Going green also means tapping clean energy sources
Barely a decade since it was founded in 1999, The Net Group (TNG) decided then to make its future buildings green.
TNG—developer and owner of seven intelligent office buildings within the Bonifacio Global City—also sought to “greenify” its earlier developments.
“Real estate is, by nature, a long-term business. In order to be successful in the long-term, you can’t just look at maximizing your profit today. You have to look at your impact on the environment and your partnership with the community,” Ramon D. Rufino, TNG co-president, said in a statement.
Shift to renewable energy
Rufino admitted that it was a daunting task and as such, TNG decided that the transition would be done step-by-step.
“When we made the commitment (to go green), we looked at so-called low-hanging fruits—things that we can do quickly while generating maximum positive impact,” he said.
And this was why TNG decided to source renewable energy from Aboitiz Power Corp.
“We didn’t have to spend a lot on capex (capital expense) and go through lengthy technical research. We just partnered with an established leader in the power industry,” he said.
TNG switched six of its buildings to Cleanergy, AboitizPower’s brand for renewable energy, in July 2013.
“We are happy to be part of TNG’s leadership in sustainable building designs and in ’greenifying’ communities. We will be partners with them in looking for better solutions and in building a better future for our communities,” AboitizPower SVP Luis Miguel Aboitiz said.
Adopting green philosophy
Rufino however pointed out that TNG’s commitment to become sustainable does not stop at using renewable energy.
He noted that TNG integrated the green philosophy into all aspects of property development, from design to construction to management.
TNG tapped international architect Chad Oppenheim, known for sustainable building designs, to develop the concept for its Net Lima and Net Park office developments.
The Net Lima was the first project to be certified under the BERDE (Builidng for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence) rating tool of the Philippine Green Building Council with a 4 star rating.
It included features to reduce solar heat gain and optimize natural light for energy efficiency. The property also uses a system that harvests rainwater and water condensate from air conditioning units.
Net Park is currently undergoing BERDE certification and hopes to be the first project to achieve a 5-Star rating, the highest possible rating under the green building rating tool.
Rufino said that for TNG, going green is not a mere marketing pitch. Securing the BERDE certification was aimed to show that the company is serious about pursuing sustainability for all of its buildings.
“It is our assurance that our buildings will perform above and beyond current norms and standards in terms of green performance,” Rufino said.
TNG’s buildings have been recognized since 2011 by the Don Emilio Abello Energy Efficiency Awards, while in 2013, TNG was named Philippine representative to the ASEAN Energy Awards Best Practice Competition in Buildings.
In 2015, Net Park became a finalist in the 5-Star Best Commercial High Rise Development category of the International Property Awards Regional and Global Division in London.
With a 54.5-percent gross leasable office space in Bonifacio Global City, TNG leads the real estate industry not only in terms of sustainable building design, but also when it comes to its relations with tenants.
TNG co-president Cristina S. Samson said their tenants—many of whom are Fortune 500 companies that share TNG’s concerns on environmental protection—help the group realize its green potential.
TNG tenants, according to Samson, not only embrace energy conservation and environmental protection, but they also push for the green philosophy to be adopted by their employees.
She said that considering how climate change affects every individual on the planet, property developers should thus discard the notion that going green is an expensive venture, and start taking sustainable initiatives.
“Look at what’s available in the market,” Samson said, referring to the choices available in the market in terms of energy.
AboitizPower has the Cleanergy, the company’s brand for clean and renewable energy sourced from its several hydroelectric and geothermal power generation facilities.
AboitizPower is the holding company for the Aboitiz Group’s investments in power generation, distribution, and retail electricity services. The company is currently one of the largest power producers in the Philippines with a right-mix portfolio of assets located across the country.