Regenerating Our Natural Resources for the Future
EDC acknowledges that nature is the foundation for our business and that therefore, we must take responsibility for the resources we utilize. EDC adopts the “system value” strategy to future-proof our businesses. Business success and the prosperity of society are linked, but both of these depend on the quality and condition of the environment. We recognize that our business and the society in which we operate this business, can only thrive within a healthy and stable environment.
EDC’s deep commitment to environmental stewardship is beyond compliance. We aim to not only to safeguard the environment, but also to actually enhance forests and biodiversity in our areas of operation. By protecting and enhancing the forest cover in our work sites, we ensure the delivery of optimum forest goods and services that not only help in the recharge of the geothermal and hydropower reservoirs but also serve the various publics and industries that are dependent on the watershed.
EDC’s Commitment to Environmental Stewardship Goes Beyond Compliance
Our management approach reflects this. Here’s how.
Materials and Energy
EDC still uses gasoline and diesel, which makes up a significant portion of our material consumption.
In the selection of products and equipment, EDC has a preference for materials that can be recycled or reused, where possible. [At present, in EDC’s GRI disclosure for materials, EDC is not using any recycled materials. This might need to be tempered.]
We prioritize the use of energy efficient equipment, as well as those that do not emit pollutants, such as excessive smoke, noise, dust, heat, or radiation and are equipped with anti-pollution devices.
EDC utilizes water for both domestic and operational purposes. Our geothermal assets use water in various phases of our operations: for drilling, in the cooling towers, and for washing equipment during maintenance activities. We have two cascading power plants in Pantabangan that use water to generate power. EDC’s solar and wind plants use minimal amounts of water to wash equipment.
As water is a valuable and vulnerable resource, it is important to us that we manage both our water use and our wastewater discharge.
EDC complies with all regulations and standards concerning water use, withdrawals, and discharge in our areas of operation. On a larger scale, we participate in water management at the watershed level, through our geographic information system–assisted Watershed Management Plan. EDC has a Water Budget Study, which simulates the water balance contribution at the catchment scale at each geothermal area. Using this study and assessing our annual discharge has allowed us to do more in-depth hydrological or groundwater studies. This will help us predict aquifer response to future climatic or land use changes and can support better decision-making and the formulation of more more responsive and strategic watershed management approaches.
With respect to discharge, EDC implements the Zero-Discharge System (ZDS) in all of our operating geothermal project sites. All the geothermal waters extracted three kilometers below the ground–including geothermal brine and condensates–are injected back into the geothermal reservoir after they are used to generate power. This system ensures that the geothermal reservoir is recharged and that the water extracted is not discharged to the natural surface environment.
In terms of a more broad, ecosystem-based management, EDC collaborates actively with external stakeholders to protect, rehabilitate, and restore the forest and promote development in upland communities. We are constantly improving these programs and feedback mechanisms to enable more efficient water monitoring and watershed management.
EDC’s operations, at different phases of project development, can affect the forest environment and the biodiversity contained therein. In the development phase of geothermal operations, activities such as vegetation clearing, can have a negative impact on biodiversity.
Protection of biodiversity is meant to maintain the health of the forests that support the geothermal reservoir. This is part of our overall commitment to environmental stewardship.
Through EDC’s initiatives, we aim to enhance biodiversity within our project and concession areas. We implement measures to mitigate the possible negative impact of our activities on biodiversity, and evaluate our efforts to ensure that we are successful in this regard. We also seek to maintain and improve on EDC’s reputation as a good steward of the environment.
In our reforestation efforts, EDC prioritizes the use of indigenous, premium, species; we support a “no hunting policy” within our reservation areas; and have established sanctuaries to protect the wildlife in our areas. We encourage integrated pest management in EDC plant nurseries and plantations.
EDC operates within declared geothermal reservations. All our operations are covered by required forestry permits, in compliance with relevant forestry and wildlife laws. EDC has an Integrated Management Plan (IMP) and Comprehensive Development and Management Plan (CDMP) for forested areas. EDC is deputized to manage the watershed and we strictly follow and enforce forestry laws within the geothermal reservation, following Executive Order 223.
To monitor biodiversity parameters, we have permanent forest plots. We use this data to refine our biodiversity management plans. When necessary we undertake environmental impact assessments. We work in partnership with the academe (University of the Philippines – Institute of Biology) to ensure greater accuracy and transparency in our monitoring.
Emissions, Effluents, and Waste
Given that we are in the power generation sector, emissions are a critical and material topic for EDC. We utilize a science-based strategy and the best available technology to support our efforts to manage this aspect of our operations.
At the baseline level, we ensure compliance with applicable pollution control laws, regulations and standards—such as the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999, the Ecological Waste Management Act of 2000, the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004, and the recently institutionalized Executive Order 174 (“Philippine Greenhouse Gas Inventory Management and Reporting System”).
With respect to effluents, EDC implements the Zero Discharge System (ZDS). We also practice continuous air quality monitoring and third-party multi-sector monitoring.
EDC has protocols for proper waste management, for both solid and hazardous waste. We engage only DENR-accredited third party contractors to transport, treat and dispose of our waste materials.
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.