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Food firm starts big pivot to renewable energy use

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MANILA – A push towards a “net zero” goal and support for the country’s commitment to cut total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have propelled a food firm to source its electricity needs from power producers that use renewable sources. 

Universal Robina Corp., one of the country’s largest food firms, has signed an agreement with MPower/Vantage, Bacman, and First Gen to supply at least 18 of its facilities in Luzon and two more in the Visayas with geothermal, solar and hydro energy.

These include factories in Pasig, Laguna, Cavite, Pampanga, Antipolo and Bulacan, as well as facilities in Cebu and Negros Occidental. 

“One of our focus areas is climate action. Under climate action, URC is gearing towards net zero by 2050. We aim for a low-carbon economy by optimizing the use of renewable energy amongst other tools to reduce the impact of GHG emissions,” URC chief sustainability officer David Lim said in a statement.

Lim said the goal is to “have all our plants utilize electricity from 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.” 

Net zero means balancing the amount of GHG the company emits with the amount it removes.

This commitment will support the country’s pledge to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which aims to reduce Philippines’ GHG emission to 75 percent by 2030. 

This is not URC’s first initiative at pivoting towards renewable energy as it has been installing solar panels that generate close to two megawatts at its manufacturing facilities in Canlubang, Laguna, and San Fernando, Pampanga.

Plans are also underway to install solar panels in Calamba, Misamis Oriental, Tarlac, Pampanga and Cebu plants. 

Overseas, its solar energy initiative is even more broad. (PR)

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