EconomyEditor's PickPowering opportunities for future generations

November 25, 2022

Children in a remote area in Palawan now dream of a future where they can be engineers or other professions different from anything they grew up knowing, ever since their village gained access to electricity via Pilipinas Shell’s Access to Energy (A2E) program.

Sergio C. Bernal, Jr., Pilipinas Shell vice-president for external and government relations, says that teachers in areas like Sitio Binaluan in barangay Liminangcong in the town of Taytay, Palawan noticed that the aspirations of their students changed once exposed to learning via the Internet.

Through its social investment arm Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI), the energy company provided a micro-grid project at the home of the tribal Tagbanuas, harnessing the power mix of a solar array, wind turbine, a separate solar array for the school and a generator set.

“Now, they want a different future. They see a bigger world and more opportunities out there for them,” says Mr. Bernal. Economic activity has also increased, with sari-sari stores and karinderyas becoming social hubs, now that they can remain open at night, he adds. Initiatives like PSFI’s A2E program, which powers up remote, off-grid communities using renewable energy, is part of Shell’s commitment to sustainable development.

The energy company is in the midst of transformative journey revolving around its Powering Progress strategy, with its main goals of achieving net-zero emissions at pace with society, powering lives, respecting nature, and generating shareholder value, forming the framework of its transition.

“Powering Progress demonstrates our determination to play a leading role in tackling climate change and puts sustainability at the heart of our strategy. We intend to seize opportunities in the energy transition as we work with our customers to provide the low and zero-carbon energy products and services they increasingly need. Powering Progress is designed to create value for our investors, our customers and wider society,” says Mr. Bernal.

He says that the company is reducing its operational emissions and moving into the renewable energy space by powering its own import terminals to renewable energy. Of Pilipinas Shell’s 1,100+ mobility sites, 132 are now powered by solar. Its Sites for the Future also feature the use of eco-bricks, rain catchers and other energy-efficient installations.

Shell is also the first energy company in the Philippines and the first Shell market in Asia to offer, as an option, its carbon offsetting programs and nature-based carbon credits to consumers. Low carbon products like Bitumen freshAir, lubricants like Shell Helix 0W are carbon-neutral. Shell Recharge is committed to helping customers embrace the future and drive the shift towards electric vehicles.

Mr. Bernal says that Powering Progress also means powering lives and livelihoods. The supply of affordable, reliable and sustainable energy is crucial for addressing global challenges, including those related to poverty and inequality. This is why through projects like A2E and SINAG (Save, Invest, Nurture Access to Green Energy and Technologies), Shell has installed renewable energy facilities in 14 communities in Palawan, giving more than 4,600 individuals access to power.

“Pilipinas Shell powers the lives of more than 15million Filipinos, primarily in areas where we operate. Through PSFI, we support local enterprises and enhance livelihood capacities, build technical skills for gainful employment, install renewable energy facilities in communities that are not connected to the grid, enhance critical systems thinking of STEM students, help create safe, resilient, and healthy communities, build decent housing for homeless families, and contribute to the reduction of CO2 and plastic wastes,” he adds.

Mr. Bernal says that Pilipinas Shell remains committed to being the country’s partner in nation-building, providing more and cleaner energy solutions in a responsible manner in a way that balances short- and long-term interests, and that integrates economic, environmental and social considerations. “We have been operating for over 108 years in the country, and we intend to continue to power progress through projects that support mobility, empower communities, and promote well-being so that we can continue to ensure continuing, sustainable power to the Filipino,” he says.

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