First Balfour’s Team Ingenuineers is one of Ideathon 2021 Top Climate Innovators

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First Balfour’s Team Ingenuineers is hailed as one of the eight Top Climate Innovators in the pilot run of Ideathon 2021: Innovate for the Climate, an initiative of First Gen Corporation to engage employees from First Philippine Holdings (FPH) and its subsidiaries as well as students from its partner schools in climate action.

Team Ingenuineers, composed of Ronna Bautista and Ana Darlene Ordiales of Human Resources, Louis Isaac Samonte of Estimating, and Limuel Banaag and Riana Joyce Ortega of Planning and Business Process Engineering, won the Knowledge and Capacity Development category. Their project called Project Sari-SaRefill Store was also hailed as the Climate Ambassadors’ Choice Award during the virtual awarding ceremony last November 26.

Top row (L-R): Lopez Group Foundation, Inc. President and Executive Director Mercedes Lopez-Vargas, FPH Chief Sustainability Officer Agnes de Jesus, Oscar M. Lopez Center Executive Director Rodel Lasco /
 Middle row (L-R): First Gen VP Shirley Cruz and members of Team Ingenuineers Ronna Bautista, Ana Ordiales /
 Bottom row (L-R): Yana Ortega, Louis Samonte, and Limuel Banaag
Top row (L-R): Lopez Group Foundation, Inc. President and Executive Director Mercedes Lopez-Vargas, FPH Chief Sustainability Officer Agnes de Jesus, Oscar M. Lopez Center Executive Director Rodel Lasco /
Middle row (L-R): First Gen VP Shirley Cruz and members of Team Ingenuineers Ronna Bautista, Ana Ordiales /
Bottom row (L-R): Yana Ortega, Louis Samonte, and Limuel Banaag

The winning entry: Project Sari-SaRefill
Recognizing the fact that Filipinos throw out millions of sachets daily and that refilling stations, whose aim is to help users move away from individually-packaged products in favor of refills, are mostly set up in areas around Metro Manila, Team Ingenuineers proposed a solution to bring access to sustainable solutions closer to those outside the metro.

Conceptualized for “sachet-user” communities outside Metro Manila, specifically Ormoc City whose local government recently released an ordinance on the prohibition of single-use plastic, Project Sari-SaRefill aims to support the city’s initiative by putting up a refilling station for First Balfour employees in its various project sites in Leyte.

The cluster of projects in Leyte is currently the company’s biggest in terms of manpower count with around 700 employees residing near the sites where, as surveyed, there are only two sari-sari stores. In the proposed refilling station where basic hygiene products will be offered, employees can reuse empty shampoo and conditioner bottles and get charged by the gram for every refill. The team aims to increase their awareness and further deepen their understanding of the impact of plastic wastes that come from sacheted hygiene products that we use daily.

To measure its success, the team will run a survey to assess whether a significant number of employees has been converted to refilling through the Sari-SaRefill store rather than buying sachets from local sari-sari stores. If found successful, the team also plans to engage the family members of workers who might be interested to put up their own Sari-SaRefill store.

First Gen Top Climate Innovator: Tem Ingenuineers of First Balfour
Ideathon 2021 trophies are made out of scrap wood frame and woven rope plastics handcrafted by Junk Not and its partner communities displaced by the Taal Volcano eruption

All winning teams will receive a seed funding of PhP 100,000, a trophy, and further mentoring from experts in jumpstarting their climate solutions.

Congratulations, Team Ingenuineers!

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