SNAP-Benguet supports host villages for sustainable future
This month, renewable energy solutions provider SN Aboitiz Power-Benguet (SNAP-Benguet), operator of the Ambuklao and Binga hydroelectric power plants (HEPP), is celebrating 14 years of sustainable operations and partnerships with its communities, stakeholders, and employees.
“Our company’s core values include a strong emphasis on health, safety, and social responsibility, all of which play an important role in ensuring that our operations run efficiently. These are the driving forces propelling us toward a more sustainable future,” Joseph Yu, president and chief executive officer of SNAP-Benguet, said.
To meet the country’s growing power needs, the Ambuklao and Binga plants have 105 and 140 megawatts (MW), respectively. The availability factor for both the Ambuklao and Binga plants is currently around 94 percent. Availability factor is a measure of a power plant’s reliability, or the percentage of time it is available to provide energy to the grid.
The company’s focus on maintaining the best possible operational standards is reflected in its certifications. SNAP-Benguet has Integrated Management System certifications for ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System, ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System, ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health and Safety Management System, and ISO 55001:2014 Asset Management System.
SNAP-Benguet strives to improve the surrounding community’s quality of life while harnessing the power of nature through responsible hydropower operation. “Our operations channel sustainable development. Over the years, the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility and community investment initiatives in Benguet have supported 443 projects totaling P183 million,” Yu said.
The company’s CSR fund has supported 21 projects totaling P14.5M since the pandemic in 2020, benefiting host barangays Ambuklao, Tikey, and Tinongdan; municipalities of Bokod and Itogon; provincial government of Benguet; Shakilan ni Ikulos-Indigenous Peoples Organization of Bokod; and Tinongdan Indigenous Peoples Organization.
“In addition to ensuring business continuity and unwavering commitment to our communities, we continue to implement sustainability initiatives to preserve and protect the environment.” Yu said.
As of today, the company has planted around 165,315 seedlings with an 87 percent survival rate along the Ambuklao-Binga watershed.
Furthermore, SNAP-Benguet’s social development strategy includes education. As of 2022, 22 college scholars are receiving funding to help with tuition, school fees, and living or study expenses through the company’s scholarship program Bridging Gaps in Higher Education through Tertiary Scholarships or Brights. Since 2018, the program has enabled 10 scholars to complete their college education.
The company takes pride in fostering a safety culture among its employees and the communities. The Ambuklao and Binga plants have recorded a total of 5.4 million man-hours since 2012 and 2013, respectively, with no lost-time incidents.
The Department of Labor and Employment has consistently recognized the company for its occupational safety and health achievements at the Gawad Kaligtasan at Kalusugan Awards over the years. Earlier this year, the Department of Energy’s Safety and Health Association of Philippine Energy Sector lauded the company for its exemplary safety and health practices for its implementation of global-standard health and safety practices in its operations.
To reinforce the celebration’s focus on sustainability, on July 11, employees took part in tree-planting activities in areas surrounding the Ambuklao and Binga HEPPs yielding 186 seedlings, while youth aged 12 and under from the host communities participated in a sustainability-themed poster making contest.
“For the past 14 years, we’ve kept our commitment to power positive change for a sustainable future, and we will hold true to this promise for the next 14 years and beyond,” Yu said. – Press release