The reality of COVID-19 and its effects on the lives of people around the world have shifted the collective consciousness away from long-term goals that build toward sustainable growth and directed the world’s attention to immediate action for recovery, mitigation, and economic resilience. While navigating in this new reality, Ayala remains committed to our goal in achieving environmental sustainability, social equity, and good governance through focus in our ESG themes.
We give high importance to our environmental, social, and governance impacts, and our materiality continues to align with the GRI Standards, industry-specific topics and disclosures from SASB, the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact. We showcase the blend of these metrics with the emphasis that we in Ayala go beyond mere compliance in creating shared value and being a responsible organization.
This framework was a result of a rigorous process involving the different business units of the group. It began with the definition and setting of the criteria that will guide us in finalizing the material topics:
This was followed by the identification of the material topics from the previous reporting framework and engagements with the different stakeholders, in-depth look at the different reporting standards, evaluation of reviews by WBCSD and ESG rating institutions, and lastly, research on ESG trends and challenges.
We then looked closely at each material topic to gather their impact and importance in the context of our businesses and stakeholders. The results then went through validation by having thematic workshops that were attended by sustainability champions and management representatives of the business units.
The insights and results gathered from the workshops were reviewed. Prioritization occurred based on their strategic importance and impact on the value chain – all in the context of industries we are in and what our stakeholders value. The final step of categorization involves the analysis on the interconnectivity of the material topics and disclosures.
This resulted into the five thematic themes:
The 5 themes were approved by the parent company's Board of Directors, with support from the CEOs across the group, as recommended by the Sustainability Council. In 2020, Ayala stayed true to best practice and conducted a review of its reporting framework.
With the strong call for ESG in 2020, Ayala further realized that they have to be given emphasis on their own despite the connection to the SDGs. Hence, we decided to separate the SDGs from the pentagon of the Reporting Framework to highlight the environmental, social, and governance topics. This evolution also reflects the thinking of Ayala that ESG has become more prevalent in discussions today and must be meticulously viewed by organizations.
Our ESG Reporting Framework and Ayala Sustainability Blueprint guide us in disclosing and communicating our performance. We give high importance to our environmental, social, and governance impacts to ensure that we remain a responsible organization, while we continue to set our sights to positively contribute to societal development.