Purposeful Innovations that Power Business Continuity
EDC’s intellectual capital encompasses the intangible properties associated with our brand and reputation that are critical to our success as an organization. This includes diverse resources that we own and manage, such as patents, copyrights, intellectual property, as well as our overall organizational systems, procedures, and protocols, all of which provide significant competitive advantages.
The synergy of our combined intellectual capital helps us manage our existing assets effectively and efficiently, as well as streamline the operations of our various energy facilities. As an organization, we must constantly embrace and adopt innovations that help us improve our performance amid a challenging business environment.
At EDC, we strive to promote a regenerative society by increasing access to reliable renewable energy through purposeful innovation and proactive partnerships. As part of our way to play, purposeful Innovation compels us to systematically identify and deploy groundbreaking ideas that improve our performance and overall customer satisfaction. This culture of purposeful innovation only serves to bolster our intellectual capital.
Our intellectual capital represents the confluence of organizational knowledge, systems, procedures, intellectual property and patent registrations, and research and development that help the company advance new projects, manage existing assets, and streamline operations. Specific aspects of our intellectual capital support the continued productivity and reliability of our manufactured capital, thereby ensuring robust operations and financial returns for the company.
Our intellectual capital also represents our knowledge-based assets that are inextricably linked to both our human and social capitals. It is shaped by three primary sources, namely:
People: The knowledge, skills, competencies, and values, as well as the depth and breadth of professional experience and industry expertise, of our employees, management, and senior leadership.
Partners: The industry knowledge, networks, and reputation forged by working with our business partners, suppliers, and customers
Processes: The company policies and processes, information systems and databases, intellectual property and patent registrations, as well as the culture and norms that inform our ways of working
As we pave the way for the energy transition, we will leverage the strength of our intellectual capital, fueled by the different technology solutions and innovations that we continue to introduce in our operations. Faced with the numerous challenges of 2020, especially those brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, EDC implemented various innovations that helped our employees adapt to the new normal. These were specifically developed to enhance business operations, data security, remote work and communications, and health and safety.
The various software and applications used in our energy facilities also provide the scientific backbone for how these operate. In energy marketing, specific software and applications also informed and enabled the demand forecasting techniques and trading strategies we developed in-house. This is premised on the notion that our decision-making must be data-driven and evidence-based. This also helps us think ahead and anticipate local and global trends that may directly or indirectly impact our operations. In 2019, we learned that we must uphold existing protocols and gather more data before doing geothermal well interventions.
Our integrated systems and processes, as well as our shared services, promote collaboration among groups to expedite and upscale our value delivery. In 2020, we also actively sought ways of working that would promote greater flexibility and ease, and ensure that our workforce would not be bogged down by internal processes.
Bolstering the digital intelligence of our geothermal operations
With limited mobility and face-to-face interactions at the height of the lockdown period last year, EDC’s Sub-Surface Geothermal Resource (SSGR) Group was put to the test. The group, which is primarily responsible for generating data and honing innovations crucial to the continued success of our geothermal steam fields, had to find ways to perform their tasks all while working remotely.
Indeed, this was an unprecedented undertaking. However, the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic only served to hasten the group’s digital transformation. Inspired by the Data Science Hierarchy of Needs, the SSGR group already has a digital roadmap that lays out key initiatives to bolster the digital intelligence of our geothermal operations.
This digital roadmap serves as the foundation for data-driven insights, from data capture to advanced applications of modeling and analytics. All of these initiatives will help pave the way for digitally powered geothermal resource exploration and steam delivery.
Meaningful collaborations among SSGR’s team leads, project managers, and other key stakeholders help bring this digital roadmap to life. Through a digital community, the SSGR group can set regular meetings and provide members the opportunity to interact, collaborate, connect, share ideas, and raise issues concerning the overall development and implementation of the digital roadmap.
In a culture set on purposeful innovation, it is truly inspiring to see team members become comfortable in being agile. Individual members of the SSGR group converged into self-organizing teams and took initiative in assuming their respective roles in this digital transformation. While the task of implementing this digital roadmap is indeed daunting, we have confidence in the SSGR group’s unwavering dedication to see this transformation through the end.
The inventions and innovations that power our operations
When one visits our energy projects, one could not help but marvel at the sheer size and complexity of our facilities. But these marvels are made up of smaller components, a wealth of ingenious inventions and innovations that enable us to harness renewable energy in a regenerative and decarbonized manner.
For one, EDC has two patent registrations and one utility model registration with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of the Philippines for the following inventions, namely: (1) clock-actuated fluid sampling apparatus, (2) continuous on-line steam purity, and (3) monitoring system declogging tool. These inventions are used in our geothermal fields and plant operations, specifically for fluid collection, reinjection system, and geothermal wells.
Our Sub-Surface Geothermal Resource (SSGR) Group also continues to develop innovations that are crucial to the continued productivity and reliability of our geothermal steam fields. These innovations are briefly described in the table below.
The group also generates a substantial amount of data, which are then processed and analyzed to make informed decisions regarding the management of our geothermal steam fields. As part of its digital roadmap, the SSGR Group is currently developing a centralized database called Integra, short for Integrated Geothermal Resource Archive. This will help ensure that large amounts of data will be safe and secure, yet remain accessible to team leaders, project managers, and other key decision-makers.
Enterprise asset management built for the future
An organization as big as EDC relies on numerous assets to stay operational—and these assets get smarter every year. As such, enterprise asset management remains a crucial aspect of our operations as it allows us to gain visibility, obtain insights, and exercise control over our intelligent assets and equipment.
In 2020, EDC installed Maximo, an enterprise asset management solution from IBM. It went live on November 11, 2020, and is now being used to help facilities manage activities identified in the Critical Asset Risk Register, Long-Term Asset Plan, and Asset Investment Plan. Activities have been identified based on their impact with regards to cost, time, and other resources.
Maximo also includes modules on work planning and scheduling, purchasing, inventory, and the monitoring and tracking of asset locations. As part of the asset management strategy for all of EDC’s assets and facilities, we also implemented an Asset Strategy Optimization System to perform basic risk-based processes, as well as an Asset Investment Plan which considers the different asset risks in relation to exposure to natural catastrophe, reliability, and technology obsolescence.
Maximo is also interfaced with external systems, such as SAP for financials and COUPA for purchase orders, to provide a fully integrated process. Worker safety is a priority in EDC, and we have implemented a more streamlined and robust safety permitting process using the Nisoft system, which will also be integrated with Maximo.
As an integrated suite of applications, Maximo provides a comprehensive view of our assets and empowers asset management, remote monitoring, and predictive maintenance in one platform. Combined, these features also help strengthen our manufactured capital as they help optimize performance, extend asset life cycles, reduce operational downtime and costs, and improve asset reliability.
In 2020, EDC shifted to work-from-home arrangements before the lockdown periods began to curb the spread of COVID-19 and ensure business continuity while keeping employees safe and healthy. Only a handful of employees were asked to work in our power plants to keep the lights on, especially for our customers from critical industries like hospitals and food manufacturing. They reported for duty in batches to comply with regulations and ensure that necessary physical distancing was maintained. The shift to working remotely inevitably transformed our ways of working as an organization.
On a personal and professional level, this change required our employees to transform their knowledge, skills, competencies as they learned to adapt to this new work setup. On an organizational level, this shift also required us to transform our processes, procedures, protocols, and tools to continue to support our employees, whether they are working from home or on-site.
We invested in digital tools and solutions to enable our employees to work from home effectively. For employees who still needed to report to the project sites and facilities, we also developed stringent return-to-work protocols to ensure their health and safety.
As a subsidiary of First Gen, we also benefited from their significant investments in technological solutions. To promote social distancing in project sites and offices, we implemented an advanced social system that utilizes card tags that have audio-visual and vibration alerts upon close contact. We also implemented an integrated safety management system to better align with First Gen’s new Safety Rules System in its Head Office.
Cognizant of the vulnerability of work-from-home setups to data compromise, we strengthened our data security and remote information processing procedures. We set up a digital system that isolates potential web and email security risks, as well as used a set of endpoint management tools to provide remote IT support to our employees.
To automate certain business processes, we also adopted and strengthened the security of our electronic signatures and cloud-based forms. These solutions sped up the processing of necessary documents, all while making it easy for employees to find the information and files they needed to perform their functions.
One of the principal challenges of working from home is promoting collaboration and engagement among teams. As such, to promote seamless communication and collaboration among our workforce across the country, we took advantage of various messaging platforms and video conferencing applications, such as Zoom and Google Meet.
All of these vital organizational changes, borne out of necessity due to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, are a testament not only to our agility and sense of purposeful innovation but also to the strength of our combined intellectual capital.
Our 2020 Integrated Report
Our Integrated Report tells the story of our efforts to achieve our business objectives, hand-in-hand with our sustainability aspirations.