Four surprising secrets to a thriving work environment

Big companies and successful organizations understand the importance of developing their people who are engaged and share a common goal. They recognize that thriving employees must belong to an inclusive environment without the worry of being treated differently and where their uniqueness is valued, respected, and even celebrated. 


The country’s leading 100% renewable energy company, Energy Development Corporation (EDC), has long considered its employees as its greatest assets and among its co-creators that seek to fulfill its regenerative mission while safeguarding its partners, communities, stakeholders, and the environment. 


The renewable energy leader aims to uphold respect for gender equality and diversity and also reject discrimination through the company’s Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (DEI) Guidelines. EDC intends to build a safe, inclusive, and peaceful work community as it fulfills its mission to forge collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future.


Equality in the workplace


The study of geosciences continues to be a field that’s still heavily male-dominated, but that’s quickly changing in EDC, where women hold key leadership positions. EDC continues to work towards leveling this even more by promoting gender balance and diversity through equal career opportunities for all. 


In a focus group discussion, Geliah Gloria-Taboco, business metric monitoring lead and President of the Negros EDC Professional and Technical Association – Associated Professional, Supervisory, Office and Technical Employees Union (NEPTA-APSOTEU), shares that, in her experience at EDC, gender doesn’t matter as far as work opportunities are concerned.


“It’s not an advantage toward your career advancement, whether you’re a man or a woman. Opportunities here in the company are equal, and I’m glad to say that EDC is really advanced in that sense,” Geliah said.


Geliah added that employees of other companies don’t have the privilege of receiving the same treatment or that these workplaces are just beginning to recognize gender equality, especially for key positions, whereas EDC has long been appointing women to leadership roles.


Equity in working conditions


EDC strives to promote fair working conditions for its employees through an unbiased and competitive pay structure, rewards and recognition based on merit, and equal treatment and access to resources. 


Dr. Loraine Pastoriza-Primaleon, a geoscientist from EDC’s Integrated Subsurface Group (ISS), recounts how the company supported her in pursuing her doctorate in the United Kingdom. It was then that she became “…certain that EDC is really serious about honing its employees not just for the company but also for individual development,” Dr. Pastoriza-Primaleon said.


Meanwhile, Jaime II Dumlao from the Human Resource Management Group, an employee of almost three decades, shared that one of the primary drivers in his stay with the company is the sense of family.


“[They’re] family-oriented. They’ll support you not just when you’re single or trying to earn money but also [provide] benefits when you grow old. Benefits like housing loans, insurance coverage to include [our] family members, and even a good retirement plan when you’re done with your career,” Dumlao narrated.


Genuine concern, belongingness, and respect for all


EDC has long had the culture of pampamilyang malasakit (familial concern) ingrained in the company, which is partly the reason behind longer tenure among its employees across all sites.


The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted this during an especially challenging time amidst the rapid virus spread and nationwide lockdowns. EDC quickly implemented work-from-home(WFH) and shelter-in-place(SIP) set-ups with health and safety protocols that prioritized its senior citizens, physically challenged, and other employees and stakeholders with co-morbidities.


Romeo Villaver, a senior citizen and Leyte-based Production Shift Leader, acknowledged EDC’s efforts from that time. “I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to our company for their continuous support for all its employees in this time of crisis brought about by COVID-19.” He also shared that monthly wages did not stop, merit increases were still given as scheduled, and the utmost safety of all employees was achieved through the WFH and SIP shifts. 

Production Engineer Earl Arsua also expressed his gratitude for being able to connect with family and loved ones through technology for its SIP frontliners, saying that “…it fills the gap and surely lessened the feeling of loneliness while I was working away from my family.”


Regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or disability, EDC will continuously evolve to create safety and health management programs and policies to protect all its employees while rejecting all forms of discrimination and providing significant consideration to its vulnerable groups.


Familial concern extends beyond just the company but also to its communities, partners, and other stakeholders as they work hand-in-hand throughout the clean energy supply chain. 


Manobo Apao Descendants Ancestral Domain representative Jonathan Abel, one of the community partners the company works closely with in Mt. Apo, is instrumental in ensuring that EDC upholds the rights of indigenous peoples, cultural minorities, and local communities.


EDC constantly collaborates with all of its co-creators in addressing their concerns, which are taken into consideration in the company’s decision-making, especially when the choices made affect them, directly or indirectly.


Moreover, the company continues to create safety and health management programs and policies to protect its employees, giving significant consideration to vulnerable groups and fair treatment toward its communities, partners, and other stakeholders. 


Continuing to strive to do better and be better


EDC relentlessly strives to elevate everything it touches, from its mission to provide the country with 100% clean and renewable energy and its tireless efforts to revitalize the environment to providing continuous support to its communities and stakeholders.


For HR Head of Integrated People Relations and Policy Management Ferdinand Geronimo, the company looks forward not just to maintaining but also promoting and expanding the level of parity in terms of gender within the organization.


“Admittedly, it will not happen overnight. We are at the early stages of drawing up our roadmap, and we’re working with USAID under the program Enhancing Equality in Energy for Southeast Asia, or E4SEA, to increase gender diversity in our organization,” he adds.


With EDC’s change agents and the expertise of USAID and other partners, EDC will go beyond what is required for the good of its employees and stakeholders, integrating the best DEI practices into the company structure to create a safe and inclusive environment for every individual.


At present, EDC is in the works of implementing a roadmap for the company’s DEI journey. The DEI guidelines are only the launch point solidifying the protection of EDC’s greatest asset. As the workforce continues to evolve, so will EDC’s culture, practices, and policies to ensure that no one is excluded.


EDC’s over 1,480MW total installed capacity accounts for 20 percent of the country’s total installed RE capacity while its 1,181MW geothermal portfolio accounts for 62 percent of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity and has put the Philippines on the map as the 3rd largest geothermal producer in the world.