Monday, May 20, 2024

Converge's Progress Towards Sustainable Development on World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

Converge President and Co-Founder (fifth from Left), Maria Grace Y. Uy and Chief Sustainability Officer Benjamin Azada (fourth from Left) are behind company initiatives to reduce waste to landfill output, such as the Countdown to Zero waste program. 

The current landscape of connectivity and information is more robust and transformative than ever before. The influence of digital technology has reshaped the global economy and societies, introducing a mix of positive and negative impacts. For companies in the ICT sector like Converge, harnessing these forces requires a delicate balance to align with global development goals while mitigating the downsides of rapid technological advancements.

On the occasion of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, marked by the theme of Digital Innovation for Sustainable Development, Converge stands at the forefront of sustainability efforts. Benjamin Azada, Converge's Chief Sustainability Officer, emphasized the company's significant strides towards meeting its sustainability objectives.

Central to Converge's sustainability agenda is its alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 9, which focuses on Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure. By expanding its pure fiber network nationwide, Converge has reached a milestone of 16 million homes passed with a household coverage of 60% as of March 2024.

In an effort to bridge the digital divide and cater to underserved communities, Converge introduced two new products in 2023: Surf2Sawa and BIDA Fiber. These products target affordability, a key barrier to fiber broadband access. This initiative aligns with SDG No. 1, which aims to alleviate poverty in all its dimensions.

Converge garnered an improved Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) rating on S&P Global’s annual evaluation of companies’ management of ESG risks, opportunities, and impacts in November 2023. 

Amidst the shift to digital learning post-pandemic, Converge's fiber broadband connectivity plays a crucial role in enhancing access to quality education (SDG 4). Additionally, the company contributes to fostering inclusive growth and decent work opportunities by facilitating access to employment and entrepreneurial resources.

In its operational strategy, Converge prioritizes energy efficiency, as evidenced by its efforts to reduce the energy intensity of network operations. Achieving a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.53 in the Pasig data center and 1.6 in Pampanga signifies a significant improvement towards energy efficiency goals. Moreover, Converge aims to transition more facilities to renewable energy to qualify for the Department of Energy's Retail Competition and Open Access program.

Converge actively engages employees and the public in its sustainability initiatives, notably through the Zero Waste campaign, which targets zero waste to landfill by 2030. The company encourages recycling of customer premises equipment and accepts e-waste donations from employees for proper disposal. Furthermore, Converge has registered its Extended Producer's Responsibility (EPR) Program with the National Solid Waste Management Commission, demonstrating its commitment to responsible waste management.

In conclusion, Converge's endeavors in 2023 and beyond underscore its dedication to sustainable growth. In a rapidly evolving ICT sector, embracing a sustainable mindset may appear challenging, but Converge remains steadfast in its pursuit of a safe and sustainable future for all, taking measured steps towards this vision.

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