EDC recognised at Steward Leadership 25 for pioneering geothermal forest restoration through BINHI

Originally published on eco-business.com

The Energy Development Corporation (EDC), First Gen Corporation’s 100 per cent renewable energy arm and the world’s largest vertically integrated geothermal energy producer, was included in this year’s Steward Leadership 25 (SL25) for its exemplary BINHI greening legacy program. 

Organised by Stewardship Asia Centre (SAC), INSEAD Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society, WTW, and The Straits Times, this prestigious award recognises the top 25 projects that have significantly impacted stakeholders, society, future generations, and the environment across 14 countries in the Asia Pacific region and the Middle East.

BINHI is EDC’s flagship 15-year-old environmental program that aims to restore and protect the forests within its geothermal project sites. At the core of this endeavour is the propagation of endangered and threatened Philippine native tree species to ensure that ecosystems and communities are resilient. 

“This honour is not only for our BINHI team and over 200 partners across the country. It is our tribute to the forests that we have been nurturing as part of our solution to climate change,” said Allan V. Barcena, Assistant Vice President and head of Corporate Relations and Communications at EDC.

Regeneration through reforestation

BINHI strategically operates in EDC’s major geothermal sites across the country, covering 10,140 hectares of reforested areas and 200 tree parks and arboreta.

Its success lies in its multi-sectoral approach, fostering partnerships with forest communities, non-profit organisations, local government units, and private enterprises that have been working to not only bridge forest gaps but to also bring back to abundance BINHI’s 145 priority Philippine native and threatened tree species since the program’s launch in December 2008. This collaborative effort has positioned BINHI as the largest private sector-led forest restoration initiative in the Philippines.

Global impact

EDC BINHI’s commitment extends globally through partnerships such as the Global Tree Assessment (GTA) program with Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI). As the sole Philippine partner in GTA, BINHI has contributed to the assessment of 1,470 Philippine endemic and near-endemic tree species, highlighting EDC’s commitment to global conservation efforts.

Carbon absorption and energy security

BINHI has enabled EDC to absorb more carbon than it emits, making EDC the only Philippine company to achieve this feat. In 2021, BINHI forests absorbed over 1.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, contributing to EDC’s overall renewable energy operations that produced a little over 9,000 gigawatt hours of clean power, avoiding using coal or fossil fuels.

Vision for the future

BINHI is a testament to steward leadership, emphasizing EDC’s conscientious and impactful use of natural resources. The company envisions BINHI spreading its roots further to establish a decarbonised and green future not only for the Philippines but for the entire region and the world.

About EDC

Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is First Gen Corporation’s 100% Renewable Energy (RE) subsidiary with over 1,480MW total installed capacity that accounts for 20% of the country’s total installed RE capacity. Its 1,185MW geothermal portfolio comprises 62% of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity, making the Philippines the third largest geothermal producer in the world. First Gen is the Philippines’ leading clean energy company.