Pursuing their goal of contributing to the environment and the community where they operate, GNPower Mariveles Energy Center Ltd. Co (GMEC) and GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co. (GNPD) together with Municipal Environment and Natural Resources of Mariveles held the annual tree planting activity ‘Oktreeberfest’ at Mt. Tarak in Barangay Alas-Asin, Mariveles, Bataan on October 18.
With the theme “Aksyon Para Sa Kalikasan,” around 50 employees of GMEC and GNPD volunteered in the second year of this annual event. Last year’s activity was held at the wooded area of the “I Love Mariveles” standee at the Zigzag Road also in Alas-Asin.
This year, the volunteers planted more than 400 samplings of Narra trees on the site. GMEC adopts 109 hectares of forest land in Mt. Tarak, while GNPD takes care of about 130 hectares of woodland on the same mountain.
GMEC-GNPD Total Rewards and System Analytics Manager Clarence Luna graced the event and encouraged the participants to continue to volunteer in environmental initiatives, especially tree planting. “We always support causes like this because it not only helps the environment, but it also helps the community. Let’s plant a tree with pride and dignity”, Luna said.
The activity is part of the companies’ flagship Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program called P.R.O.G.R.E.S.S., under the “R” or Reforest Land arm. GMEC and GNPD believe that planting trees increases the resilience of ecosystems, helps minimize climate change effects, and gives the government and the people time to adapt to changing climate conditions. Furthermore, planting native seedlings in ecologically appropriate areas can also improve air quality, conserve water resources, and counteract soil and biodiversity loss, which ultimately progresses the host community’s health and well-being.
World Resources Institute said that forests absorb twice as much carbon as they emit each year. According to their report, from 2001 to 2019, the world’s forests provided a “carbon sink” of a net 7.6 billion metric tonnes of CO2 per year, which is 1.5 times more than the United States emits annually. Thus, planting trees is essential to mitigate climate change and improve the overall quality of life not only in the Philippines but globally as well.
“This is my first time to volunteer in planting trees, and it feels good to do something important. I know that by taking care of the earth, fighting climate change, and making the world greener, we’re securing a better future for everyone,” said Darius Fernandez, a GNPD volunteer from the Technical Services Department.
“I had fun seeing my colleagues dedicate their time to planting trees. What a great reminder that we still value and care for nature. This tree planting activity gives us hope that by maintaining a greener environment, we can still save our future,” GMEC Procurement staff Arlene Ramos said.
“Tree planting should be one of our ‘religions’. Planting those Narra trees did not only make me feel good, but it also felt like I’m making sure that nature will never run out of stock,” a GMEC volunteer from the Warehouse Department said.
Meanwhile, GNPD Environment Officer Denmark Palma said that the Oktreeberfest activity is a “remarkable action of the company and all volunteers in protecting and creating a greener environment.” He added that “it is beneficial not only to GNPD and nearby communities but also to future generations.”
MENRO representative and Forest Ranger Melvin Claro also graced the event. “On behalf of the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office, kami po ay lubos na nagpapasalamat sa GMEC at GNPD sa paglalaan ng oras para sa mga activity na katulad nito. Ito po ay malaking tulong para sa aming patuloy na pag-aalaga sa ating kagubatan dito sa Mariveles,” Claro said.
P.R.O.G.R.E.S.S. stands for Protect marine life, Reforest land, Optimize wealth from waste, Generate livelihood skills and income, Rehabilitate social infrastructure, Elevate educational opportunities, Safeguard quality health access, and Strengthen disaster resiliency.
Through P.R.O.G.R.E.S.S., GMEC commits to continually co-create positive change, shared value, and sustainable social and environmental development to ultimately define energy for progress.