As part of its commitment to sustainability, the ATRAM Group, the leading independent asset and wealth manager in the Philippines, partnered with the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) to support carbon sequestration via a tree planting project in Borbon, Cebu. Through RAFI’s One-To-Tree program, the partnership planted 5,000 fruit tree seedlings in this municipality that is in the northeastern part of the island of Cebu. The program is aimed at not just planting seedlings but also nurturing them into maturity and contribute towards carbon neutrality or carbon negative for ATRAM. Once the seeds grow and become fruit-bearing, the program is also expected to support local employment and food security in the community.
This tree planting activity marks the first of many projects under ATRAM’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, where they have adopted three of the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Goal #13 Climate Action. “It’s something that we look forward to doing more of because it’s something that’s entrenched in the company’s core propositions, which is really about sustainability, nurturing, and growing together,” shares ATRAM Chief Revenue Officer, Marcy Kohchet-Chua. “When we talk about investing, we’re not talking about things that happen overnight. These are things intended for the long term–and that’s where we want to take this partnership and program.”
According to Kohchet-Chua, each tree planted also marked milestone birthdays of their clients, furthering the company’s goal of nurturing relationships with their clientele.
Born out of the goal to slow down the effects of harmful illegal logging practices, One To Tree’s vision is to revive biodiversity in the Philippines through planting native trees in various locations around the Philippines. “Trees are [the] main source in converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. In our case we’re planting fruit trees, which now provides us with food and sustenance,” explains RAFI Chief Financial Officer, Carlos Kahn, on the benefits of the foundation’s tree planting initiative. According to RAFI, native trees provide better flora to the area around them, support endangered and other wildlife species, and help impede erosion.
“We want to collaborate with foundations and folks that do good work and that’s our main purpose,” says ATRAM Chief Executive Officer, Phillip Hagedorn. “There is no better symbol of a good investment than a tree. From a small seed, the investment of time and resources to grow while managing risks (such volatile weather) can bear fruit via good returns that the next generation can use to build their future better.”
Recognizing the value of sustainability, ATRAM innovates to provide solutions to support sustainable development, including launching the ATRAM Philippine Sustainable Development and Growth Fund. “We are looking at companies from a different lens–not just a financial lens, but a sustainable lens as well. That helps us make identify which companies out there look to create profit with a purpose and sustainability in mind. That’s one of the missions that we have,” adds Hagedorn.
The Fund is designed to invest in companies that score high in terms of the integration of UN SDGs into their operations and strategy, and have reported attractive returns relative to valuations. To learn more about the ATRAM Philippine Sustainable Development and Growth Fund and how to invest, visit atram.com.ph/funds/uitf/ATRSDGA.