In 2009, Typhoon Ondoy literally took the country by storm, causing about US$1B or about PHP50B in damages and taking 747 souls. Witnessing this forever changed the course of life for a little young lady who was left terribly shaken by all the devastation surrounding the calamity.
“Iba ang tao na may alam sa taong may pakialam, since then, I felt the need to act and become part of the solution.”– Abby Bonita, Sustainability Champion PH
On Choosing the Sustainability Path
At the peak of her youth, Abby Bonita focused her studies on Environmental Planning and Management while completing her university degree. She narrowed-down her major subjects on Corporate Environmental Management. Her first stint came when she joined SusDev Global, a sustainability consulting company as a sustainability associate.
‘I didn’t choose the sustainability profession, it chose me. I just learn it day by day, at the same time, I am blessed to be mentored and worked with the pioneers of sustainability in the Philippines.”Abby Bonita, Sustainability Champion PH
As one opportunity leads to another, Abby moved to join UnionBank, led by one of the country’s foremost family-business leaders, the Aboitiz Group. Looking beyond her youth, she was entrusted to lead projects that created positive impact to the bank’s sustainability agenda.
“I just learn it day by day, at the same time, I am blessed to be mentored and worked with the pioneers of sustainability in the Philippines.”Abby Bonita, Sustainability Champion PH
At only 27 years old, Abby was invited to join Meralco’s newly established Sustainability Office, mandated to drive the company’s sustainability agenda marked by four focus areas – Power, Planet, People and Prosperity.
On her fellow Millennials and Gen Z
When asked about today’s sustainability-conscious generation, Abby feels that this sense of sustainability consciousness and search for change is brought about by this generation’s lost sense of purpose. Coupled with lack of patience, Abby explains that the young professionals of today may find themselves making wrong decisions and feeling exhausted. The gap, she believes, lies in the expectation to have everything right away, not understanding that some things need to go through the processes nor learning to trust in alignments and timings.
” I say this in the context of human achievement, our generation was born after the passionate discovery of — man walking on the moon, the discovery of the internet, etc. that drives and makes us humans. Given that, we are more prepared to make and do personal sacrifices to ensure that we make an impact on issues that we care about. With this, I am hopeful that our generation will be redefining success — a better world for all.”Abby Bonita, Sustainability Champion PH
On her dreams for sustainability
Abby stresses that sustainability should not be an afterthought to business, rather at the focal point of its purpose. She stresses that sustainability professionals are in a crucial position to make a difference as proponents of creating a better world.
” My dream for sustainability professionals is to advocate sustainability principles at the highest levels of influence and at the front lines where sustainability impacts are most felt; and to put the agenda in motion by developing or recommending programs that carry the most impact and scale, given our country’s spheres of interest and limitations.”Abby Bonita, Sustainability Champion PH
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