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Powering Up the Biggest Solar Panel Installation to Date is Jollibee Group

A Win for the Planet. Officials from the Jollibee Group and First Gen Corp. led the switch-on rites of Canlubang Baking Facility’s solar panels last January 9, 2024. In the photo are (from L-R): Ronaldo  Sales (Zenith Foods Corporation’s AVP-Canlubang Baking Facility & Plant Head), Carlos Lorenzo Vega (First Gen VP for Power Marketing, Trading, & Economics), Michael Ong (Zenith Foods Corporation’s VP  & Head Supply Chain Management), Honorable Rosseller Rizal (Mayor of the City of Calamba), Julius Leyba (Zenith Foods Corporation’s AVP & Head of Engineering Services), Mark Malabanan (First Gen’s AVP for Solar), and Manny Portugal (First Gen’s Head of Technology Solutions).

With 6,300 solar panels in operation at its Canlubang Baking Facility (CBF), the Jollibee Group     is fast-tracking its transition to sustainable energy. This is the company’s largest solar panel installation to date. The Jollibee Group’s worldwide sustainability agenda, Joy for Tomorrow, serves as a framework for the company’s commitment to more sustainable business practices, which includes this program.

The Jollibee Group has partnered with First Gen Corporation through Pi Energy Inc. to power one-third of its manufacturing facilities with solar energy through Zenith Foods Corporation (ZFC), a subsidiary of the Jollibee Group. On January 9, 2024, in Canlubang, Laguna, officials from the Jollibee Group and First Gen Corporation led the switch-on ceremonies alongside Calamba City Mayor Roseller Rizal.

Calamba Mayor Roseller “Ross” Rizal and Jollibee Group Supply Chain Head Michael Ong at the ribbon-cutting and switch-on ceremony. Aside from achieving energy independence, Rizal noted that the initiative to promote sustainability in CBF will save a considerable amount of cost and decrease carbon footprints, which is the cause of global warming. 

During the ceremony, Jollibee Group Supply Chain Head Michael Ong underscored the company’s drive to lessen the environmental impact of its supply chain operations. “In our quest to bring the joy of eating not only for today’s generation but that of tomorrow’s, we integrate solar energy into our state-of-the-art Canlubang Baking Facility. This is our largest installation to date, but this is also just the beginning. We have more locations planned in the months ahead, and we are determined to accelerate further our journey towards carbon neutrality,” he said.

Calamba City Mayor Ross Rizal cited the project’s role in helping achieve the city’s goals on sustainability for the business community. “Your [ZFC] initiative to promote sustainability in your facilities will not only have positive results for your company, but it will also be in solidarity with the government’s call for a more orderly operation of companies that considers many factors, including those that concern our environment,” he said. 

The Canlubang Baking Facility is the manufacturing site of Red Ribbon products.

Ong and his team at ZFC started accelerating the integration of sustainable business practices into the Jollibee Group’s commissaries and logistics centers in 2020. The Canlubang Baking Facility is now the second out of the four target sites for solar panel installation. The first one was Zen3, also in Canlubang, which was installed with 3,000 solar panels last November 2023. The solar panel installation in the two other sites is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2024.

These commissaries and logistics centers support the Jollibee Group’s portfolio of brands in the Philippines, such as Jollibee, Greenwich, Burger King, Red Ribbon, Chowking, and Mang Inasal.

Solarizing for the future

First Gen constructed four rooftop solar power plants for ZFC’s commissaries, cold storage, and logistics facilities.

Carlo Vega, First Gen’s Vice President for Power Marketing, Trading, and Economics, said, “We are thankful to Jollibee Group’s ZFC for their trust in our company to be their reliable energy partner in our shared vision of a cleaner and greener future for this generation and the next.”

A journey towards more sustainability

The Jollibee Group continues to accelerate its shift to renewable energy by operating 6,300 solar panels in its Canlubang Baking Facility (CBF), the company’s most extensive solar panel installation to date.  

Based on the baseline data from 2020, Ong said that, with the exception of solar energy utilization, waste reduction at Jollibee Group manufacturing locations nationwide has decreased by 38% by 2022. Additionally, the manufacturing facilities have reduced their energy and water use ratios by 21.5% and 23%, respectively.

“We learned that our impact on the planet revolves around three critical areas: energy, water, and waste. With this newfound awareness, we embrace the challenge of ‘Joy for Tomorrow,’ and we set out to establish strategies, systems, and initiatives that will allow us to treat our planet more responsibly,” said Jose Miñana Jr., Jollibee Group’s Chief Sustainability and Public Affairs Officer.

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