Leyte recorded a 73% reduction in water withdrawal in 2021 after its drilling operations and workover activities commenced in 2019. In the same year, Negros and Mindanao facilities were found to have a 27% and 68% increase in water withdrawal due to the commencement of drilling activities in their respective sites.
Despite a significant increase in water use brought about by drilling works in 2021, EDC extracted waterway below 5% of the estimated catchment output. Through our BINHI and watershed management programs, EDC does its part in addressing the deforestation and forest degradation crisis. These initiatives also aim to mitigate the impacts of the worsening climate change effects such as forest loss and vegetation mortality.
In selecting products and equipment, EDC prefers materials that can be recycled or reused. We prioritize using energy-efficient equipment and those that do not emit pollutants and those that are equipped with anti-pollution devices.
EDC continues to implement energy conservation and efficiency measures across all sites. The total energy consumption for 2021 is the lowest since tracking started in 2010.
Energy conservation and efficiency initiatives in our Wind and Solar facilities include updates on office design. To further promote energy conservation, AC units with inverter technology were considered for installation in new areas or as replacements for defunct units. An open-air waiting area for visitors or alternative workstations were also suggested.
Adding to these, EDC Burgos Wind Power Corporation (EBWPC) utilized LED lights throughout the facilities, with the wattage of the LED lights appropriately sized based on the recommended working conditions found in the Occupational Safety and Health Standards of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
EDC utilizes water for both domestic and operational purposes. Our geothermal assets use water in various phases of our operations: for drilling, power plant cooling towers, and washing equipment during maintenance activities. We ensure that water sources in the sites are permitted, monthly consumptions comply with regulatory limits, and that EDC operations do not contribute to water stress. Our comprehensive site watershed management programs ensure sustainable water from within our area of operation and flowing downstream.
To further minimize our impacts, we participate in water management at the watershed level on a larger scale through our geographic Watershed Management Plan, which simulates the water balance contribution at the catchment scale at each geothermal area. Using this study and assessing our annual discharge established more climate-resilient, responsive, and strategic watershed management approaches.
In 2021, EDC restored an additional 570 hectares of forests across our project sites with indigenous trees under the BINHI program which has an 80% survival rate. With an enhanced forest cover, we can help the environment regenerate and sustain freshwater supply.
EDC implements its Biodiversity Conservation & Monitoring Program (BMCP) with its in-house team of wildlife biologists and foresters and in partnership with expert groups such as the University of the Philippines Institute of Biology (UP-IB), Silliman University in Negros Oriental, and Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PBCFI) in Negros Occidental. Through the BCMP, EDC documented at least 514 total unique species of fauna, composed of 344 species of birds, 39 species of bats, 25 small to medium-sized mammals, 51 species of amphibians, and 55 species of reptiles within its project sites. EDC’s forest protection initiatives and strong partnerships with the DENR, local government units, and other stakeholders help conserve these forest habitats.
EDC aims to contribute to the regeneration of biodiversity within our project and concession areas through various initiatives. In our reforestation efforts, EDC prioritizes the use of indigenous species and supports a “no hunting, no collection policy” within our reservation areas unless otherwise legally permitted. We also encourage integrated pest management in EDC plant nurseries and plantations.
In addition, EDC operates within declared geothermal reservations. We have an Integrated Management Plan (IMP) and Comprehensive Development and Management Plan (CDMP) for forested areas. We are also deputized to manage the watershed and we strictly follow and enforce forestry laws within the geothermal reservation, following Executive Order 223. We likewise have permanent forest plots to monitor biodiversity parameters.
When necessary, EDC also undertakes environmental impact assessments to ensure that our projects and management measures consider social impact and protection of habitat. We partnered with the University of the Philippines – Institute of Biology to ensure greater accuracy and transparency in our monitoring.
In 2021, we successfully secured no net forest loss in identified conservation areas within geothermal reservations across all project sites, based on 2020 baseline forest cover.
Given that EDC is in line with the power generation business, emissions are a critical topic for us. We utilize a science-based strategy and the best available technology to support our efforts to manage this aspect. We also practice continuous air quality monitoring and third-party multi-sector monitoring.
EDC follows a waste management hierarchy and we comply with all regulatory requirements, particularly on the storage, treatment, and disposal of hazardous wastes, and majority of our hazardous wastes are recovered and recycled. For solid waste, we have Material Recovery Facilities across our project sites where wastes are sorted and recycled as much as possible.
We engage with third-party contractors to transport, treat and dispose of our hazardous wastes, ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. to donate the proceeds from the recycling of hazardous wastes to the latter's Bantay Kalikasan Program, and other organizations for the treatment of wastes.
EDC transacts with vendors and those involved in contracting/subcontracting to undergo accreditation. Part of the requirements is the accomplished Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) Questionnaire and applicable permits and certificates to ensure that goods and services will not cause a significant negative impact on the environment.