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Health, wellness seen in sustainability reporting for buildings

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Greater focus on health and wellness in terms of sustainability reporting for buildings will be expected in the future, according to local green office developer NEO.

“I think there’s going to be an acceleration of green building and sustainable commitments because a lot of people — the consumers, the customers, the tenants — are now going to be much more demanding,” said Raymond Rufino, NEO chief executive officer, in a virtual roundtable discussion on Friday.

“Buildings are going to be healthy, are going to be safe, and will promote the well-being of the people who live, work, and play there,” he said.

Mr. Rufino said health and wellness as a key component of sustainability is going to be huge.

“It has always been there, except that I would say, most of the companies did not focus too much on health and wellness. It would always focus on ‘let’s reduce our carbon footprint, let’s be more careful about our use of water’,” he added.

Further, Mr. Rufino said it is important for companies to fully embrace sustainability as a core part of their vision and mission.

“I think the best thing we can do is to try to inspire and convince the senior leaders at all of these companies to really embrace this. If the leadership starts and it is genuine, then the whole company will follow,” he said.

Recently, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Kelvin Lester K. Lee said all publicly listed firms are encouraged to report on their sustainability practices.

Mr. Lee added that the SEC seeks to make sustainability reporting mandatory for all companies.

According to the SEC, around 93% of publicly listed companies have complied with sustainability reporting in 2021, an increase from the 90% logged a year ago.

“We are encouraging them, we’re essentially asking them and mandating that they report on their initiatives and if that proceeds in that direction, that’s over 600,000 active corporations in the Philippines,” Mr. Lee said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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