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Ethical Biz

Sustainability is core to Epson, with products made to be kinder to environment

Across the business today, Epson continues to leverage on its efficient, compact, and precise technologies to drive innovations that will make the world a better place. In fact, the company has taken their commitment to sustainability one step further to ensure that each new generation of core products are ever better for the environment.

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Over the last decade, we have seen a growing preference for products made by companies that have built purpose and sustainability into their business model.  Some of the world’s most successful and fastest growing companies have adopted care for the environment and a commitment to work to help solve some of society’s most pressing problems so that purpose and sustainability have become hallmarks of successful and respected businesses.

Research shows that consumers are willing to change their consumption habits to lessen their negative impact on the environment. In fact, millennials and Gen Z are especially willing to pay more for products that contain sustainable ingredients or products that have social responsibility claims.  

Harvard Business School Professor Rebecca Henderson explains it simply in her online course on Sustainable Business Strategy: “Doing well and doing good are intertwined, and successful business strategies include both”. 

Being able to communicate that your company does good in the world is a competitive advantage that attracts and retains employees, helps protect against issues, and creates trust so that people will choose your services and your products over others again and again.    

Epson had the foresight to create a company built on purpose from its early years as a watch manufacturer in the 1940’s. Guided by the keywords “integrity and effort”, and inspired by the character of Epson’s founder Hisao Yamazaki, the drive to innovate, the creativeness and willingness to take on challenges, and a strong commitment to both local and global environmental preservation took root throughout the growing organization. Beginning with a pledge to keep Lake Suwa in the Nagano prefecture clean, Epson later became the first company in the world to declare that it would eliminate ozone-depleting CFC’s from its operations, which it did across the group in 1993.  Epson joined the United Nations Global Compact in 2004, and later declared a commitment to contribute to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Products designed to be better for the environment

Across the business today, Epson continues to leverage on its efficient, compact, and precise technologies to drive innovations that will make the world a better place.  In fact, the company has taken their commitment to sustainability one step further to ensure that each new generation of core products are ever better for the environment. 

From conception to completion across the complete product range, products are designed to be more eco-friendly by eliminating hazardous substances. You will see this in the ‘heat-free technology’ employed by Epson printers to eliminate heat from the printing process, thus consuming far less electricity compared to laser printers.  You will also see this in high-capacity ink tanks which significantly reduce environmental impact while boosting operational efficiency.

“We are committed to transform the way businesses work and drive the circular economy,” explains Siew Jin Kiat, Epson SEA Senior Director for Regional Marketing.  “Within the office space, we designed our inkjet printing products to offer more cost-efficient printing that is better for the environment.  Our printers today offer one-tenth average printing costs, use one-eighth the average power consumption and can print 100 pages a minute. In the future, we will be able to provide an office-based paper recycling loop using our water-free dry fiber technology that can make new paper from used copy paper on the spot.” Epson’s revolutionary Paper Lab is the first office-based papermaking system that will shrink the office’s environmental footprint by repurposing used paper and using 60% less water in the process.

On the shop floor, products developed by Epson teams based on customer feedback are enabling better productivity, efficiency, and lower environmental impact.  Epson’s reliable robotics solutions are automating processes in labor-intensive industries to enable employees to leave behind harsh working conditions and long hours. Piezoelectric inkjet systems in digital textile printers are also driving a technology shift from analog, help textile manufacturers cut waste material by up to 95%, enable faster turnaround and the flexibility to run short-run jobs on a wide range of material.  

Purpose in the way teams work and the activities that we embark on 

This desire to make the world a better place is embraced and evident in the Epson work ethic which embraces the desire to build purpose and sustainability “into the details” of innovation and the “everyday”. Nowhere is this more evident than in Epson’s new office and solution centers where its own products are used to support a hybrid workplace while reducing power consumption, waste and caring for the environment. Workspaces are designed to be more energy efficient with layouts that allow resources to be better shared, enabling collaboration across teams that produce their best work.

Wherever they are in the world, Epson teams work to make significant contributions to global corporate climate change and social issues advocates championing human rights, environmental action, workforce diversity, and sustainable sourcing in supply chain management.  In Indonesia, for example, Epson launched an initiative that encouraged young students to take the lead in managing waste through the ‘3 R’s’: reduce, reuse, recycle. 

In the Philippines, partnered with the Rotaract Club’s ‘Juan Bottle at a Time’ project, Epson shared the basics of proper waste management and eco-brick making with the youth community of Santa Ana, Manila.

The Philippine office also partnered with the local Department of Environment and Natural Resources and its youth arm, GREENducation Philippines, for a film competition that aimed to raise public awareness on environmentalism.

In Thailand, Epson worked with the Better Thailand Foundation, to encourage underprivileged and disabled children to find self-appreciation through art.  

Says Siew Jin Kiat: “Our mission is to build stakeholder trust as we grow and prosper with communities and to help create a better world.  Aligned with our vision of a sustainable future, we are dedicated to laying the groundwork for a low-carbon society and will journey to keep educating the public and engaging the youth for longer lasting impact.”

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‘Coffee for Peace’ enables Filipinos to build peace with coffee


Because at the heart of CFP’s operations is training farmers on coffee processing to develop skills to produce high-quality coffee beans.​ CFP provides knowledge on the market for farmers to understand what consumers want in coffee, and the value of what they do for awareness on fairer trade pricing.

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao from Unsplash.com

What if every Filipino, no matter where they’re based in the country, can be a “force for good” simply by sticking to routine—like, say, enjoying their morning cup of coffee?

Davao-based Coffee for Peace (CFP) proves this can be the case as its CEO and co-founder Felicitas “Joji” B. Pantoja confirms that they are a growing community of farmers and business owners practicing and advocating inclusive development principles in the coffee industry. Social entrepreneurship is their business approach to achieve justice and harmony in society and environment.

“As a reputable processor for good beans and an experienced roastery, CFP means business continuity for business owners but equally: support for farming communities. CFP even gives buyers the option to create their own brand under a MOA where 10% of very kilo sold goes back to farmers,” says J. Pantoja. 

Where does the customer from Luzon or Visayas ordering through the online shop fit into the peace building in Mindanao? “CFP by design allocates 25% of its net profit for its Peace and Reconciliation Teams, composed of volunteers from conflict-affected areas and international volunteers. They are trained in inter-faith dialogue, cross-cultural comms, trauma healing, relief and medical operations,” says J. Pantoja.

Because at the heart of CFP’s operations is training farmers on coffee processing to develop skills to produce high-quality coffee beans.​ CFP provides knowledge on the market for farmers to understand what consumers want in coffee, and the value of what they do for awareness on  fairer trade pricing. “We want farmers to be confident about the business side of farming, understand their market, correctly price and inspire the next generation to be farmpreneurs too,” says J. Pantoja.

Once the training is complete, CFP offers to partner communities post-harvest services at cost such as: coffee pulping, coffee dehulling, and coffee drying. Coffee for Peace also offers to partner-farmers and those who buy from them shared services such as: toll roasting, packaging, label design, and photography. The training result is a higher quality coffee product produced by a community in the Philippines.

Nurturing grassroots ‘farmerpreneurs’

At the Philippine Coffee Quality Competition, the top five awards went to Specialty Arabica coffee farmers from Davao del Sur. For jury member Byron Pantoja, CFP VP for operations, this indicates “farmers taking ownership of their craft as producers of some of the best coffee in the Philippines. We need to give more farmers the freedom, knowledge, and opportunity to innovate their coffee processes based on the demands of the market and the limitations of their land. That sense of ownership over what they do is what’s going to make them the best.”

Nurturing community ‘farmerpreneurs’ and realizing the country’s potential for premium to specialty coffee go hand in hand. J. Pantoja says, “Only 25% of the country’s 111M population is served by Filipino coffee farmers. Local cafes are challenged in sourcing good beans. We partner with DTI on bridging gaps such as training, equipment and drying space but getting to a scale that boosts our national reputation as a good coffee producer will take time. From 2,000 kilos at start, we are now at 32,000 kilos and encouraged to continue.”

Coffee for Peace has trained close to 880 farming families from different parts of our country, representing 13 tribes, including some Muslim areas. “Our model is to create our own competitors by giving them the secrets to making good coffee. We want to groom ‘farmerpreneurs’ who are also skilled in coffee tasting, financial management and conflict resolution. We want barista interns to dream of having their own coffee kiosks. For every kilo of coffee, one can make 140 cups of 6 ounces, and a barista in Davao nets 5K a day with his own coffee cart. The same can be done anywhere in the Philippines. Imagine if every region’s farmers had their own pop-up café or coffee cart, neighborhoods will also be educated to buy local,” says J. Pantoja.

“Premium specialty coffee from the Philippines” requires a mindset change that’s supported by the fact that local coffee has scored 80% special quality standard, points out Pantoja. A member of the National Coffee Council, she spoke about the need to streamline various resources from government policy and services and link these to smallholder farmers. “We want every island to join the national movement within the coffee industry to raise the level of coffee quality. Grassroots farmers also mean less carbon footprint for supplying the coffee locals want. We’ve gone to uplands to help a micro-lot owner assess the possibility of coffee farming. We’ve also linked roasters, who used to order coffee from us, straight to the farming community.”

Photo by Nathan Dumlao from Unsplash.com

Coffee and PH culture

Coffee is innate in the Filipino culture. “When we visit high-conflict communities, coffee served from a palayok is good quality. When I brought a sample to Canada where I used to live, the roasters said there was potential for premium quality to specialty. But we can only produce limited quantities. Opening opportunities for our farmers drove me to collaborate—inspire baristas to educate customers, get roasters to work with traders who source from farmer,” said J. Pantoja.

Operating for 13 years now, Coffee of Peace started with peacebuilding work. “Coffee is the vehicle but the ‘product’ is peace. In our peacebuilding work in Maguindanao, Basilan, and Sulu, we saw that coffee makes Moslem and Christians sit together and dialogue to settle conflict. In our environmental work, we saw that Arabica trees are included in our national greening program. Giving life back to forests also give locals a new, sustainable means of livelihood. I tell farmers: ‘You don’t have to go to the city, the buyers will come to see protected forest.’ We also advise farmers to get to know their customers, then the process follows,” said J. Pantoja.

As a case, Korean buyers came to Davao looking for fine Robusta. Local farmers have since expanded to Robusta. Explains B. Pantoja, “While specialty Arabica has fruity flavors like blueberries and strawberry, fine Robusta has a super smooth, full-bodied chocolatey taste like black tea.”

This distinction in tastes can be a strength of the Philippines as a group of islands since, explains J. Pantoja, we can’t compete with the land mass and harvest volumes of Vietnam, Brazil or Colombia, and we can’t produce for large coffee chains. “Instead, our edge is premium specialty coffee, with micro-lot orders of 1 to 2 tons that are of a quality and fetch a good price. Each island can produce a different taste profile depending on soil and fauna of that area. Arabica alone has 3,500 subvarieties, while Robusta has 2,400 subvarieties. The higher, the elevation, the sweeter the coffee.” The growing community of coffee champions and curiosity of millennials can only drive excitement over developing Philippine variants that are also ‘Just’ coffee of the social-justice kind.

For more information, visit www.coffeeforpeace.com and peacebuilderscommunity.org. Follow Coffee for Peace at www.facebook.com/coffeeforpeace.

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Ethical Biz

Teleperformance renews commitment to planet by pledging monthly switch-offs

Teleperformance Philippines renews its commitment to the planet as it pledges to do monthly switch-offs in all 22 of its business sites nationwide this 2021.

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Teleperformance Philippines renews its commitment to the planet as it pledges to do monthly switch-offs in all 22 of its business sites nationwide this 2021. 

The pledge was announced at its recent “Let’s Change the World” Citizen of the World (COTW) Meet-up, which shared updates on current advocacy projects of Teleperformance. The townhall, also held in celebration of Earth Hour, included special guest World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines Ambassador Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski. 

The WWF Philippines Climate Change Solutions Steward and the first female Earth Hour Ambassador, Cojuangco-Jaworski shared practical ways for Teleperformance employees and their friends and family to contribute to sustainability and climate change solutions for a cleaner and greener planet.

“Ultimately, it’s the things we do when nobody’s watching that matters the most. It’s about what we do as individuals, which was what we do in our own homes, what is our lifestyle and what are our habits. The biggest problem is the carbon footprint we leave on this earth,” shared Cojuangco-Jaworski.

Among some of the tips Cojuangco-Jaworski shared was reiterating the importance of the three R’s – to reduce buying what you don’t need, to look at what we can reuse and to recycle when we do our daily tasks. Another topic she touched on was plastic waste, hence, the importance of reducing consumption of single-use plastics, which could be ingested by animals, and then by people.

Teleperformance is committed to creating a positive impact on our local communities around the world through Citizen of the World, a charitable initiative to help the world’s most vulnerable infants and children meet basic survival needs and ultimately reach their individual potential. This effort is joined by the Citizen of the Planet program, a global corporate initiative implemented in 2008 aimed at ensuring that Teleperformance operates in an environmentally friendly and responsible manner.

Going beyond Earth Hour, Teleperformance employees are encouraged not only to volunteer for Citizen of the World activities but can also contribute by donating pre-loved items, purchasing items in the COTW store, donating part of their monthly salary, and participating in the monthly Earth Hour pledged by Teleperformance Philippines in all their sites across the country. 

“As we work to help bring awareness around environmental sustainability and, in addition to this commemoration this month, we at Teleperformance also commit to have an Earth Hour every single month. So for one hour every single month, we will switch off our lights for the rest of this year. We hope this will help continue to bring awareness as this is such an important goal for humanity and the community,” shared Jeffrey Johnson, Senior Vice President for Human Capital Resource Management and Citizen of the World Foundation President. 

Among the other projects accomplished by Citizen of the World were donations of food packs and PPEs to frontliners of the Philippine General Hospital, Vicente Sotto Medical Center and Southern Philippines Medical Center. Bringing to life its commitment to children and education, Citizen of the World also gave medical and financial aid to 100 children and their families through Kythe Foundation, awarding of 2,000 school supplies to various elementary schools in Metro Manila and the provinces. 

The elderly in need were also not forgotten as Citizen of the World donated 1,200 grocery packs to White Cross, Mary Mother of Mercy Home for the Elderly and the Abandoned and Good Samaritan Nursing Home for the Elderly. TP’s Gawad Kalinga village was also supported during the pandemic with a feeding program, donations of disinfectants and face masks and the provision of cash allowances.  

To help the country in its fight against Covid-19, the Citizen of the World program also donated 8 e-bikes to the Department of Health and PHP 150,000 worth of medical aid to the Philippine National Red Cross. Altogether, the Citizen of the World Foundation was able to create an impact on the lives of around 28,000 Filipinos. 

For more information on Teleperformance Philippines and its Citizen of the World initiatives, visit http://teleperformance.ph/

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Ethical Biz

Smart teams up with SM Cares to boost e-waste collection program

Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) teamed up with SM Cares to encourage more Filipinos to properly dispose their electronic waste for a better world.

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Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) teamed up with SM Cares to encourage more Filipinos to properly dispose their electronic waste for a better world. 

Shoppers can bring their old gadgets — like mobile phones, chargers, computer wires, earphones, and other e-waste — to the collection hubs at SM Supermalls nationwide. To encourage customers to support the program, Smart will raffle off 22 units of the Smart Bro prepaid pocket WiFi devices to those who will participate in the Live Smarter Challenge at designated areas until May 22, 2021.

Last month, Smart launched its “Live Smarter for a Better World” campaign which puts the spotlight on its long-running community partnership and corporate social responsibility programs to inspire Filipinos to commit to “personal revolutions” to generate lasting positive impact to society.

“We are happy to have partnered with SM Cares as we enable people to pursue their passions and purpose, especially for the environment,” said Jane J. Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business at Smart. 

She further underscored that big and small efforts can contribute to making a better world, highlighting the importance of Smart’s network and services in keeping Filipinos connected and empowered. “This is the driving force that has kept us going. It has always been in our DNA to serve and improve the lives of Filipino people—not just our customers,” Basas added. 

Meanwhile, SM Supermalls, through the SM Cares Program on Environment, launched its Electronic Waste Collection (EWC) Program earlier this year.  

“This is just the beginning of our series of CSR programs with Smart, as we join hands in creating a better world for Filipinos. We at SM are committed to continuously look for ways and means to better care for the planet and to support the communities where our malls are present, including addressing the growing problem of e-waste,” said Liza B. Silerio, VP – Corporate Compliance Group of SM Supermalls.

Smart Communities

Smart is also continuously enabling communities with technology, particularly education and livelihood, with two of its corporate social responsibility programs: School-in-A-Bag and “Buy Local, Buy Smart.” 

The School-in-a-Bag is designed to provide access to technology, connectivity, content, and a disaster-resilient pedagogy even for schools in remote areas without electricity. Each water-resistant backpack carries a laptop and pocket WiFi for the teacher and 10-20 tablets for the students, all pre-loaded with interactive, multimedia content accessible even if offline.  

Meanwhile, the “Buy Local, Buy Smart” initiative enjoins employees of PLDT, Smart, and its sister companies to buy their produce directly from local farming communities. By providing a sure and direct market for their produce, Smart is helping small-scale farmers earn more. Through the program, a sustainability fund for farmers is also established. For every purchase of rice from store.cropital.com, up to Php100 goes to funding their next planting cycle.  

Smart’s other initiatives also include building a culture of disaster resilience among communities with its #SafePH campaign, enhancing tourism through digital innovation with its Digital Tourism efforts, and preserving nature through mobile and communications technologies with its various environmental protection programs.

Smart’s environmental stewardship programs are aligned with the company’s commitment to helping the Philippines attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG #13: Climate Action.

For more information, visit https://smart.com.ph/Pages/betterworld

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