What’s the Difference Between Sustainable and Regenerative Living? We Asked an Expert to Break It Down For Us



First Gen is moving past sustainability and onto a more ideal way of conducting business.


Sustainable living is that one thing we’ve all been trying to achieve, in our collective desire to do good for our environment. This explains why there remains a demand for anything reusable, which businesses have been continuously trying to cater to.


But our climate is getting even hotter by the day, on top of the other manifestations of the climate crisis, which means sustainability alone isn’t enough to maintain a livable future anymore for our kids and theirs. What else can we possibly do, then?


Enter: Regeneration. By having a regenerative mindset, we can move past the idea of just sustaining what we have while waiting for things to get better. Instead, we go the extra mile and discover alternative ways to not only restore our planet but to try and make it better than how we found it.


First Gen Corporation, a power generation company in the Philippines, is taking the lead in regeneration by offering clean and renewable energy to households and businesses. To understand how regeneration goes beyond sustainability and the importance of achieving a renewed future, the company walks us through its mission and portfolio below:


Sustainability vs regeneration
In a nutshell, sustainability aims to cut down our waste as much as possible. It’s the driving force for making do with reusable and biodegradable products—from our utensils down to our different home essentials. Regeneration, on the other hand, is about improving ways and processes to reduce environmental impact and create a much better space for everyone to enjoy. It entails a holistic lifestyle change, wherein adapting to the ever-changing state of nature is a top priority.


Clean energy as a huge leap towards a regenerative future

Among the lifestyle changes each of us can do—something that’s much more encompassing than what most people are practicing these days—is to opt for clean and renewable energy.


Today, more than half of the Philippines’ electricity is generated by burning coal, which not only emits a load of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but also releases sulfur and nitrogen that cause acid rain. Good thing clean energy is within arm’s reach, thanks to First Gen that has since pioneered natural gas and renewable energy projects in the country.


First Gen doesn’t make use of coal to supply electricity. It doesn’t have any proposed coal-powered power plants; instead, it produces energy from clean and renewable sources. It also has been supplying to different industries, businesses, and households, through distribution utilities and electric cooperatives for years—an apparent action towards reaching its goal of a decarbonized future for Filipinos.


Helping heal the planet
Regenerative practices such as limiting our meat and dairy consumption—as they are known to emit a load of harmful chemicals by the way they are nurtured, produced, and transported—aim to make the most of our resources without as much of a detrimental effect on our planet. Such a lifestyle change puts a grand focus on decreasing the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere as much and as quickly as possible. When we succeed at doing so, we’ll be able to primarily slow down climate change—and therefore mitigate the chances of drought that risks our water and food supply; of living through more intensified calamities like typhoons; and of breathing in toxic air that poses a great danger to our health.


Clean and renewable energy, in particular, helps strengthen this process. Aside from significantly decreasing harmful emissions, it also doesn’t take away our natural resources permanently. First Gen makes use of several renewable energy sources including:


  • Geothermal steam created by the natural heat of the planet, which is the only one capable of providing electricity 24/7
  • The flowing bodies of water or hydro, which, when tapped, also help in managing flood and water supply
  • Wind, which is one of the renewable energy sources with the lowest environmental impact
  • Solar, which is known to be the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source


And when these renewable sources alone can’t supply the demand for electricity, First Gen turns to natural gas, which is known to emit as much as 60% less carbon dioxide than coal. It’s a transition fuel and a viable alternative energy source that allows us to keep the lights on until such time that renewable energy can be 100% reliable and affordable on its own.


Clean energy for and businesses and future generations
So, what’s in it for us when clean energy becomes more conventional? As mentioned, clean energy doesn’t emit pollutants that are as harmful as electricity generated from burning coals does. And this can be beneficial for the environment, as it plays a hand in creating a renewed planet where generations after ours can live and thrive.


Even better: Clean energy is continuously becoming more affordable. This means more and more people can get access to this. It can also help put businesses on a pedestal for adopting regenerative practices, as most consumers appreciate such initiatives.


Don’t get us wrong: Sustainability is still very important. It’s just that now more than ever, we have to pick up the pace and do more—and this means adopting a regenerative lifestyle. After all, regeneration is about making the planet healthier than how we found it. It will help ensure that we are leaving a more livable planet for future generations filled with hope and possibilities.


The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is a pioneer in generating 100% clean, renewable, and reliable power as an electricity supplier in the Philippines for over 40 years. With power plants all over Visayas and Mindanao, the company is one of the biggest producers of geothermal energy in Asia and is expanding its reach in the international market, allowing it to offer customers affordable energy rates. EDC also strives to provide the best customer service it can to all its clients by having helpful salespeople and easy to understand contracts. Because of all of this, it is poised to become the premier supplier of electricity for the Philippines’ Green Energy Option Program. EDC takes its mission as a renewable energy provider seriously and goes beyond sustainability by investing in programs that enhance the environment and empower its partner communities, thereby fostering regenerative development. The company has also been working toward being carbon-neutral by improving its energy efficiency, as well as implementing various greening projects to ensure that its mission to provide future generations with a better life remains intact.