Cosco Capital Group vows to strengthen ESG initiatives

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COSCO Capital, Inc., together with its publicly listed subsidiaries Puregold Price Club, Inc. and The Keepers Holdings, Inc., are committed to strengthening its ESG framework to bolster the Group’s environmental sustainability initiatives, institutionalize social responsibility programs and adhere to highest standards of good governance.

The Group has collaborated with the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD), a non-profit organization promoting good corporate governance with an affiliation with Global Network of Director Institutes (GNDI) and established relations with global organizations involved in corporate governance such as OECD, ADB, IFC and the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF).

In a special joint meeting of the boards of directors of Cosco and its listed companies, ICD Fellow Alexander Patricio discussed the importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives and how these programs can become integral part of its corporate culture which in the long run can make the group even more sustainable, viable and relevant.

The Group has taken stock of all its initial ESG initiatives which are already in place, such as:

1.  Puregold’s strength in gender equality and inclusivity, with women comprising 60 percent of its workforce and 61 percent of managers and executives.

2.  Puregold’s robust support for grassroots communities where it operates. Puregold employees are up to 98 percent local hires. It has over 660,000 sari-sari store members under the Tindahan ni Aling Puring program all over the country.

3.  The grocery chain operator has stepped-up its campaign to reduce single-use packaging, with plastic bag usage down from 66 percent to only 51 percent in 2021.

4.  S&R is steadily shifting to solar power with 50% off all its stores 25% now being powered by solar panels.

5.  All Puregold stores have converted to 100 percent LED main lighting in 2021 to greatly reduce energy consumption.

6.  Increase of cross-dock operations in 25 percent of business to deliver distribution efficiencies and reduction of CO2 emission by 36 percent.

7.  The chain’s 135 wastewater treatment facilities are compliant with the Clean Water Act. The Group has also initiated a Rainwater Catchment and Gray Water venture to reduce overall potable water demand.

But there is more to be done and the Group acknowledged that strong ESG programs can create long-term value, especially as more stakeholders gravitate towards companies that prioritize concerns such as climate change, gender equality, and community empowerment.

The Group has vowed to commit more resources to these ESG initiatives. Related to this, it is creating an ESG unit within the Group which will be tasked primarily to track, monitor and report all ESG plans and programs implementation.

Furthermore, the Group will continue to closely collaborate with ICD to help it concretize and put in place a long-term and cohesive ESG blueprint.

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