Some define their destination but for others, it is destiny that finds them. This was the case of Dave Devilles.
The road less travelled unveiled for Dave right after graduating college. Initially dreaming to be an urban planner, opportunities led him to the world of corporate social responsibility and public relations. Privileged to be under the tutelage of Paul Aquino, the younger sibling of national hero Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Dave dove in-depth stakeholder engagement.
“During this time, I did communications work for a renewable energy company that manages the world’s largest geothermal power assets,” recalls Dave. “It was here that the seed of sustainability thinking was nurtured.”
It was an opportune time as Dave was in the middle of the excitement surrounding the implementation of then newly signed RA 9136 Electric Power Industry Reform Act. Dave was tasked to develop a communications plan to raise awareness and need for rural electrification and manage stakeholder expectations under the Build-Operate-Transfer agreement. His efforts did not go unnoticed. His team was awarded the prestigious Bronze Anvil award for their maiden sustainability report.
“Back then, our pioneering work was hailed as one of the best in the industry, paving other industries to benchmark our work.”
Today, Dave is part of the sustainability leaders of the Aboitiz group. He was instrumental in pioneering innovative programs like a youth-oriented waste management project focused on sustainable fashion. His team also championed sustainable lifestyle practices in the company, encouraging employees to lead low-carbon lifestyles.
“The small acts of sustainable efforts will amount to greater positive impact when taken collectively.”
Now focused on the construction industry, Dave continually spreads his infectious positivity and passion for sustainability to everyone he works with and in everything he puts his hands into.
“In Aboitiz Construction, we have the opportunity to demonstrate to both our shareholders and stakeholders that our path to business growth can be achieved by focusing on resource efficiency, waste management, and employee engagement,” shares Dave. The Aboitiz Group is now one of the thought leaders in CSR and sustainability in the country.
“The most tangible value we create right now is the generation of thousands of jobs for Filipinos.”
Dave was also destined to be a devoted family man. He is blessed with a beautiful wife Emerose, and two bundles of joy. Mentoring and molding the younger generation comes naturally with Dave. And he generously shares himself not only to his family but to so many students and young professionals hoping to build a lifelong career in communications and sustainability.
Dave’s tips to a career in sustainability.
- Get your hands dirty! Sustainability is borne out of resiliency. It is important to go out in the fields immerse yourself with people.
- Get Real! Sustainability is about real-life solutions and not stubborn environmental ideology.
- Work Together! It is about collective action. It is about creating shared values.
In all of Dave’s awards and achievements, he carries on with a humble heart, eager to learn about people, about the environment and the world around us.
“I think skills development and digital innovation is still a less explored area in sustainability,” shares Dave. “I’d like to pursue digital innovation as a means to elevating corporate sustainability, one that creates greater value for more people.”
As Dave continues on with the journey towards sustainability, he keeps a Chinese proverb close to his heart, “When the wind blows, don’t build a wall; build windmills.”
For Dave, sustainability is ultimately about resiliency and bringing out the sterling, humane qualities of people.