MANILA – Ayala Corporation Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala was inducted Honorary Fellow by the Institute of Corporate Directors on Wednesday for his “lifelong commitment to promoting the highest standards of governance among Philippine corporations.”
“JAZA has shown the light to all the governance principles with their associated best practices demanded by the imperative of attaining the aspirations of Filipinos under Dream Philippines by 2040. We are gathered here this morning to say: we wish to be guided by such light, and by the lifelong example Mr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala has been giving us,” said Dr. Jesus Estanislao, ICD Founder and Chairman Emeritus.
The Honorary Fellow is the highest conferment that the ICD gives. It is bestowed by the ICD Board to distinguished personalities, in recognition of their significant contributions to corporate governance advocacy.
Ayala has two out of five honorary fellows in ICD. Zobel is joined by Antonino Aquino, former president and CEO of Ayala Land. Aquino is a Director of ALI since April 2009 and Manila Water Company since 1998. The other three ICD honorary fellows are Amb. Jose L. Cuisia Jr., Dr. Cesar Saldaña, and former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr.
In his remarks, Zobel vowed to continue implementing and promoting the highest standard of governance across the Ayala group. Now more than ever, Zobel added, private companies play a huge role in building a more equitable and truly progressive capitalist system for the greater good.
“I believe that corporate directors and the boards are in the forefront of this campaign for an improved system. Corporate directors have tremendous power to reshape the capitalist system through their companies. And I believe that we currently have a golden opportunity here in the Philippines to accelerate this movement,” he said.
Zobel cited the success of Ayala Land in expanding its product lines from mainly luxury offerings to more diverse residential portfolio, more accessible commercial spaces, and more sustainable mixed-use and tourism districts.
“Our younger companies are already embracing this thinking. ACEN is leading the shift towards a fully renewable portfolio, while conserving and supporting the surrounding communities in its facilities. AC Health continues to be a vital part of the COVID-19 campaign, and also in the advocacy to make healthcare accessible for all. The IFC’s recent investment in Ayala’s first social bond – which is centered around healthcare – is a testament that perhaps we are on the right track in integrating social outcomes and creating value,” he said.
Last year, Ayala committed to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, aligning its business strategy with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels. Ayala is the first Philippine company to make such a commitment.
Ayala is also the only Filipino company-member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, an international coalition of businesses aiming to create a world where “more than 9 billion people are able to live well within planetary boundaries, by 2050.”
Meanwhile, last year, Zobel was appointed as part of the board of Singapore-based firm Temasek Holdings Ltd. – a global investment company owned by the Singaporean government. He also joined the Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican, a global nonprofit coalition of business and public sector leaders working to build a “more trusted, fair, responsible, dynamic, and sustainable economic system that addresses the needs of people and planet.”
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