It would not be exaggeration to call The Net Group the most innovative and socially responsible developer in the Philippines. While the Net Group is not the only one that build buildings that meet international green building standards, they are the only developer in the Philippines that has put up electric vehicle charging stations in their properties. Currently, they have two charging stations, one in the Net Park, the other one in Net Lima building.
Before you say that we need to take into account the source of the power when we consider how environmentally friendly a vehicle is, you should know that The Net Group does not get their electricity from air-polluting coal power plants. The electricity used to charge the e-Shuttles are generated from geothermal power plants owned by the Aboitiz Group, also a company headquartered in Fort Bonifacio.
On September 8, 2017, The Net Group launched a e-Shuttle service that provides free transport for tenants and workers of the Net Park and Net Lima buildings to and from Market!Market! transport terminal. By connecting people to a terminal for buses and jeepneys, the e-shuttle service helps to decongest the public roads, as it encourages people to use public mass transport instead of cars that take up a lot of road space per passenger.
The vehicles are produced and maintained by e-Motors, a local company that builds electric tricycles (trikes). The Net Group has contracted their service not only to provide and maintain the vehicles, but also to engage the drivers, who are mostly female. Thus, the project has several social impacts: reduce traffic congestion, reduce air pollution, promote commuters well-being (less time in traffic), and create employment for the drivers who are low income families and women.
Currently, the scheme has seven vehicles. They operate at certain hours in the morning, lunch time and the evening. Access to the shuttle service will be managed by The Net Group, which will distribute coupons to its tenants and employees.
At the e-Shuttle launch ceremony, we at thefortcity.com were not only shown the e-Shuttle, but also two more initiatives by The Net Group that aim to further promote the well-being of the tenants and employees in the Net Park.
Showers for office workers are normally not provided, and if they are provided, access is usually limited only to executives. To serve tenants that ride bicycles or walk to office, The Net Group has now installed showers in the Net Park for the tenants. Each shower coupon is P50 and the user will have 20 minutes of shower time. We are sure that not only those who bike to work will appreciate this facility: their colleagues sitting next to them should be happier too!
The Net Group's Co-President, Raymond Rufino, briefs the media in front of the shower facilities
Art Exhibit at Stairwell
To encourage tenants of the Net Park building to use the staircase to go between floors, which is good for their health and help to decongest the lifts, The Net Group has installed art works at the stairwell of the Net Park. At each of the floor's landing, there is now an artwork by Francisco V. Coching, a renowned graphic artist who has won many awards for his comic images.
Other measures taken by The Net Group to make their building even more eco-friendly and good for the tenants' health include: putting up vertical gardens on walls of the buildings, providing bicycle parking racks made from recycled materials, and, in some buildings, small urban farms for employees to grow edible plants.
At the launch ceremony, we watched as the CEO of EMotors, Ms. Elizabeth Lee, drove one of the E-Trikes effortlessly out of driveway of the Net Park building into the street. Even when all seven e-Trikes were on the street, passerbys could hardly hear a noise, and of course, there was no odor or smog from the electric vehicles.
Ribbon cutting by EMotors' chairlady Ms. Elizabeth Lee (holding ribbon bow) and Atty. Joy Cruz of Taguig City Hall (holding scissors), accompanied by officials of The Net Group, FBDC and BESC.
Supported by Taguig City Hall
One of the VIP guests at the launch ceremony was Atty. Joy Cruz from Taguig City Hall. According to Ms Cruz, the Taguig City mayor's office is supportive of e-vehicles, and as long as they are privately owned, there is no special licensing requirement from the Taguig City hall. This is great news, as it means that residents of Fort Bonifacio, many of whom are very environmentally conscious, will have one less thing to worry about when considering buying an electrical vehicle.
Let us have More!
For us who live and work in Fort Bonifacio, we want to see more initiatives like these so that we have less polluted vehicles on the road and healthier working environment. Let us hope more developers will join the Net Group in making this happen!