Green Beyond Paper: NEO on their First Sustainability Report
Posted on July 08, 2023
Written by Amy R. Remo
The real estate sector has undoubtedly made significant headway to become more sustainable. Over the last decade, property developers have become more mindful of their carbon footprint, implementing measures to curb their impact on the environment.
Nowadays, the goal to be sustainable has become a more ambitious, all-encompassing initiative that requires a deeper commitment. While difficult, many have since strived to do their share, realizing that such practices do not only reduce their environmental impact, but also create economic value, enhance occupants’ well-being, and contribute to building a resilient future.
Philippine developer NEO is among the players who have long understood the importance of integrating sustainable practices in its operations.
Since its inception, NEO has committed to construct environment-friendly, health-conscious, and resilient structures. This is clearly evident in the fact that NEO holds the exceptional distinction of having the world’s first real estate portfolio to receive EDGE Zero Carbon certification from the International Finance Corp. (IFC), among many other recognitions.
This means that all of NEO’s seven office buildings have achieved “net zero energy”—that the operational energy consumed by the structures are sourced from renewable energy and emits nearly zero carbon.
“NEO is passionately committed to green, net zero, healthy and resilient building not only for its own portfolio of buildings but also for the entire real estate industry,” Raymond Rufino, chief executive officer of NEO, said in the company’s first Sustainability Report.
The recently launched NEO Sustainability Report, which covered the year 2021, showcased the organization’s sustainability journey, from the initiatives it implemented as a green building pioneer to the various milestones it has achieved in safety, carbon reduction, and resiliency.
This report, according to Rufino, reflected their dedication to create a positive impact. It was designed to be relevant, concrete, and impactful.
“We firmly believe that it is essential to openly and transparently discuss our commitments, the actions we have taken to fulfill them, and our company’s overall performance, including our buildings,” he said.
EDGE Zero Carbon
Since 2013, NEO has made substantial strides in its sustainability thrust. That year, it transitioned to a 100 percent off-site renewable energy source and implemented energy conservation programs. In 2016, it also achieved 5-Star BERDE certifications for all buildings.
The year 2021, however, saw even bigger, more groundbreaking gains from NEO’s pioneering initiatives.
“2021 was met with landmark achievements for NEO as the portfolio reached net zero carbon emissions with verification through both the IFC’s EDGE Zero Carbon certification and the Philippine Green Building Council’s Advancing Net Zero Philippines program. This allowed NEO to attain net zero four years ahead of its original commitment of 2025,” Rufino said.
This, in particular, is a highly significant milestone as achieving net zero will be a significant step towards creating healthy, prosperous cities and building a sustainable, resilient future.
For NEO, this demonstrates its strong leadership and commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability—especially since it covers all its buildings, namely One/NEO, Two/NEO, Three/NEO, Four/NEO, Five/NEO, Six/NEO, and Seven/NEO, all located in Bonifacio Global City. With a total gross floor area of 256,707 sqm, NEO is home to over a hundred tenants and a total population of 27,000 building occupants.
“Net zero pledges are achievable with deep management commitment and strategic policy structures. The path to net zero may seem daunting, but it is within reach for all of us. If we at NEO can do this, I’m sure all our fellow real estate owners, developers, and managers can also make the commitment. Our success is not exclusive to us alone; it serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for others in the industry,” said Gie Garcia, Managing Director of Property Management at NEO.