FPH executive lands in ‘Modern Governance 100’ global leaders’ list

Oct 05, 2021

A senior executive of Lopez-led First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPH) has been recognized by a United States-based governance, risk and compliance (GRC) company as one of the world’s top 100 GRC leaders for driving FPH’s efforts toward greater diversity, sustainable practices, and sharper insights for company leadership.

Diligent Corp. (Diligent), a leading GRC software-as-a-service or SaaS company, announced in its website that Agnes de Jesus, the chief sustainability officer of FPH, is one of the honorees in Diligent’s list of “Modern Governance 100” global leaders of 2021.

De Jesus received the honor under the “ESG [environment, social and governance] and Diversity Trailblazer” category for her role in the accomplishments of FPH and its subsidiaries in environment and human rights protection, promoting gender diversity and equality, and in recognizing the rights of indigenous people on top of preserving their cultural heritage.

She won the recognition, based on the nomination coming from the Center for Social Responsibility of the University of Asia and the Pacific.

Diligent is the leading GRC SaaS company, serving more than one million users from over 25,000 organizations around the globe. Its modern GRC platform ensures that boards, executives and other leaders have a holistic, integrated view of ESG data, audit, risk, information security, ethics and compliance across the organization.

FPH is a conglomerate with a long history and a strong advocacy to fight adverse and destructive climate change. As part of its advocacy, FPH later on declared in 2016 that it will not build, develop, or invest in any power plant that runs on coal, a fossil fuel with intensive content of carbon dioxide whose release to the atmosphere contributes significantly to adverse climate change.

FPH’s advocacy explains why its energy arm First Gen Corporation prioritizes the use of clean and renewable energy to run First Gen power plants. Today, First Gen stands out as the country’s clean energy leader with a total installed capacity of 3,492 megawatts.

De Jesus was appointed to her current FPH post in 2014.  Prior to her current position, she served as senior vice president for environment and external relations and concurrent compliance officer of First Gen subsidiary Energy Development Corporation, the Philippines’ biggest vertically integrated geothermal company with a pure renewable energy portfolio of assets consisting also of wind, hydro, and solar power plants.

Under the leadership of Chairman and CEO Federico R. Lopez, FPH drew up last year the conglomerate’s new mission: “Forging collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future.” With the new nine-word FPH mission, the conglomerate shifted its advocacy beyond sustainability to collaborative regeneration.

The new FPH mission’s call for collaboration also recognizes the urgency of the message in the latest assessment of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC said in its latest report that, in order to reverse the destructive impact of climate change, Earth needs a sustained, rapid and large-scale reduction in carbon emissions—a task that no one company can achieve.

In support of the mission, therefore, FPH and de Jesus have been engaging outside groups—rating agencies, banks, civil society organizations, among others—for their support or collaboration in the campaign against climate change, as well as in achieving a decarbonized and regenerative future.