Building Green Newsletter | Issue No. 6 February

FEATURED MEMBER: The Net Group

Founded and led by the entrepreneurial partners Jacques Dupasquier and Carlos Rufino, the group pioneered the “boutique IT office building” concept in the country. The company is considered the Philippines’ largest developer and operator of green office buildings. Their projects include: Net One Center, Net Square, Net Cube, Net Quad, and Net Plaza, Net Lima and Net Park.

In line with the vision to be recognized as the premier brand in delivering unparalleled workplace experience, The Net Group (TNG) commits itself to revolutionize workplaces by creating unique and sustainable lifestyle experience that offers excellence in design, technology, and service. They deliver green office spaces, making them the ideal choice for multinationals. All the buildings are currently occupied by 500 companies and prominent corporations like Fortune, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, GE, Intel, Oracle, Ericsson, and Quisumbing Torres (Baker and McKenzie).

TNG was named in 2010 as the “Entrepreneurship Team of the Year” by the Asia CEO Award. It set new benchmarks with Net Lima, the sixth in their series of intelligent office buildings, which remains the biggest office developer in Bonifacio Global City with 54.5% of the gross leasable office in the area.

TNG has integrated the green philosophy into all aspects of property development, from design to construction to management. To show their commitment to green building, they switched six of their buildings to AboitizPower’s renewable energy, Cleanergy in 2013.

TNG continues to inspire leadership in building green.  Their Net Lima building is the first certified green building in the country under the BERDE Green Building Rating System with a 4-Stars rating. In addition, TNG’s Net Park is currently eyeing to achieve the highest rating under BERDE.

Carlos Rufino: A Visionary in Real Estate Development and a Leader in Green Building

Carlos “Charlie” Rufino is a prime mover in the real estate development and an exemplar green developer.

A visionary, and despite the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis that struck and left many businesses bankrupt, Charlie was able to see the potential of a former military base.  He knew that he can make something great out of the then barren and former military base and turn it into a great and remarkable city — Bonifacio Global City (BGC).

As Chief Executive Officer of The Net Group, he focused and invested on green office projects and built the first high rise building in Fort Bonifacio, The Net One Center. Evidently, he was able to build and develop a city in only a span of 25 years.

Charlie has achieved numerous notable projects but considers his involvement in the development of Fort Bonifacio to be the highlight of his career. For him, seeing and being able to share his experience in contributing to the growth and development of Bonifacio Global City is incredible and fulfilling.

“I have been doing projects, I’ve been doing tall buildings, … But doing a city and seeing something grow from 20-25 years ago to what it is today is unbelievable to see because very few can really experience it. At the beginning there was nothing and you’re just looking at conceptual drawings to really seeing something there. And I can share that experience because I think for many people, this process is usually from 50-60 years and the people who start are usually no longer available at the end but I’ve been able because of the past growth of Bonifacio we’ve been able to see in 22 years what has really happened.”

Together with Jacques Dupasquier, Charlie formed The Net Group, the largest developer of premium office buildings in Bonifacio Global City. The success of the company is attributed to the impeccable reputation of the two co-founders and their team. The Net Group is known in the industry as a company that delivers on its commitments. Charlie considers having a clean and good track record very important as it goes a long way. Further, he believes that in building projects, one must not create  “win-lose” situations wherein only one party benefits and the other does not.

Charlie and Jacques are advocates of sustainable development. They are prime supporters of the Philippine Green Building Council (PHILGBC), the largest green building movement in the country.

Green building has been a part of Charlie’s vocabulary for the longest time. Ten years ago, the Philippines started to become a focal point of international groups who brought their own model of development with international standards. Charlie took this opportunity to align his interest in green building. He invested in the cost and marketing of his advocacy. Thus, giving him a greater understanding that green does not only apply to the design of the building but also on how a building is being used.

During the early years of PHILGBC, Charlie encouraged his son Ramon, who then just came back from finishing his Master’s Degree in Real Estate Development from Colombia University, to support the movement as pushing green building among all sectors is constructive and rewarding.

“We should be involved if we can, Let us be part of the early starters… So we’re very happy that we worked with them [PHILGBC]. Because I think being there at the start and having to push it among all the sectors whether you are a developer, supplier, designer, engineer is very fulfilling. And I think everybody has to be involved because at the end of the day green building helps us… In terms of telling our commitments to all our tenants that we’re also part of the PHILGBC means we know the language that we’re talking about, and we are a fierce proponent for this advocacy.”

Today, The Net Group is a leader in green building development. All the Net buildings are under various stages of certification under the BERDE green building rating system. In fact, Net Lima building is the first certified green building in the country under BERDE with a 4-stars rating. Another property, the Net Park, is currently eyeing to achieve the highest rating under the BERDE green building certification.

Presently, the industry has matured to the point it is no longer unknowing with the importance of green building. Nevertheless, Charlie remains committed to do and have collaborative spaces intended for sustainable development. He intends to gather the best minds among all sectors to come up with possible solutions and improvements for the development of cities.

“You can only move forward once you have a vision.”

Charlie is not planning to stop and rest on his laurels any time soon. For him, envisioning and planning for the development of cities are very significant. As a matter of fact, given the accomplishments that he has achieved, he plans to commit his time to be able to do something in the future to integrate the best planning in greening the cities of Makati, Pasig, and other surrounding areas.

Unquestionably, Charlie is a remarkable person. A groundbreaker in green building development. A visionary leader that continues to inspire the next generation. Advancing confidently in the direction of his vision as he translates it into reality.

Building Green Newsletter Issue No. 3

Building Green Newsletter Issue No. 3

Download the Building Green Newsletter Issue No. 3 here.

The Building Green Newsletter, much like how the native Tambuli is a tool for calling out to the communities, is here to announce to our membership the most recent events in the Council.  Featured in this issue are:

  • CEO IN FOCUS
    • Raul Joseph Concepcion, Concepcion Carrier Airconditioning Corporation
  • ARTICLES
    • Building Green Conference 2014
    • General Membership Meeting, October 2014
    • Glasstech Asia 2014
    • 2015 PHILGBC Strategic Planning
    • World Green Building Council Asia Pacific Regional Network
      • Year-End Meeting 2014
      • Mid-Year Meeting 2015
  • COMMITTEES AT WORK
    • Legislative Committee
    • BERDE Committee
    • Membership Committee
  • Announcements of Upcoming Events

For more information on the newsletter and how you can be part of the team, please contact the Membership Committee at membership@philgbc.org.

COMMITTEES AT WORK: 2015 Strategic Planning

The PHILGBC Board of Trustees (BOT) held its Strategic Planning for the year 2015 last 30 January, 2015 at the F1 Hotel, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.City. With the newly elected members, the BOT discussed the work plan for the year, as well as future directions for the Council.

COVER: Tambuli

In pre-hispanic Philippines, the “Tambuli”, which was an indigenous tool made out of Carabao horn, was used as an instrument for the natives to come and attend meetings called-for by their elders, listen to announcements from their chieftains or take part in making decisions for the safety and well-being of the tribe or community. How the locals were able to harness the idea of making this animal part as an important tool goes beyond a stroke of luck; but rather, a display of ingenuity, skill and making a sustainable use of what is applicable and available then. This form of calling proved to be an effective tool to gather people, disseminate information, allow each one to be updated with what’s going on in the villages and involve every member on issues that affect them or on situations that could threaten their peaceful co-existence in the community.

Fast forward to our 3rd edition of the Building Green Newsletter, we still see the “Tambuli” in its symbolic importance and melodious tone, as we announce to our members the most recent events in the Council as well as updates on PHILGBC’s active participation in relevant local, regional and global meetings on green building and climate change issues. Following are the activities organized and participated in by the Council:

  • WorldGBC Asia Pacific Network Year-end meeting in Singapore, last September 1 to 3 , 2014;
  • Building Green Conference last September 25, 2014;
  • General Membership Meeting (GMM) and PHILGBC Board of Trustees Election, last October 22, 2014;
  • Glasstech Asia 2014, last Novermber 26 and 27, 2014;
  • PHILGBC Strategic Planning last January 30, 2015;
  • Visit to Lima, Peru for the Low Carbon Model Town last January 14 to 25, 2015; and
  • WorldGBC Asia Pacific Network Mid-year meeting in Tokyo, Japan, last February 23 to 27, 2015.

Indeed, with a bigger and more-involved membership of a combined 888 corporate and individual members, we are transforming into a greener building industry. This is exemplified by the growing number of registered projects under BERDE, and the awarding of the first 4-Star BERDE Certification of the Net Lima building.

We are positive that these updates will inspire more members of the industry to understand our own locally-adaptive BERDE Green Building Rating System, and will encourage more volunteers to join in promoting sustainability in the building industry.

For this edition, we are featuring one market leader, who is a staunch supporter-of and is a sustaining member of PHILGBC. His works have helped inspire confidence and have built the basic foundation for the sustainable growth of his company—Mr Raul “Jojo” Concepcion, the CEO of Concepcion Carrier. This edition incorporates both private and government participation on various greening efforts.

We are also featuring through series of photos, events that have taken place, member activities that have been both beneficial and enjoyable, and more importantly, volunteer works that have seriously helped shape our calling into our present generation TAMBULI

CEO IN FOCUS: Raul Joseph Concepcion, Concepcion Carrier Airconditioning Corporation

Concepcion Industrial Corporation’s Chief Executive officer, Raul Joseph “Jojo” A. Concepcion, sat down with Ancy Palma and Ken Lerona to share his views on bringing sustainable products to the market. He also shared his thoughts on how hard work and grit can lead to success.

We heard your father started you early in the business. Can you tell us your story?

When I was seven years old, my task was to count inventory. The first time I went to the factory was when I was 12 or 13 years old. That’s when I started working on the line. My job was putting rings on the copper tubes for the aircon [units] for two months. I worked in a non-aircon room and my dad told me to eat the food that everyone else eats and eat where everyone else eats. I think that built my character. That’s when I realized the value of hard work and the humility of hard work. I also learned to see the perspective of other people, kailangan din kasi that you see things from the ground level – and I think that gives our organization an advantage.

Is there big pressure on you to fill your dad’s shoes being a COO (child of the owner) who is now handling the business?

Of course, there’s a pressure but I think it’s not really a big pressure. Obviously, being the son of the owner and looking at my father’s accomplishment, like every son who’d like to be better but there is also this philosophy that people have different potentials.

The way I look at it is that I have a goal, that goal is clear, achieving those goals. Working every day to achieve those goals and moving to the next goals. I often tell our people in the plant – we have very big plants – I ask them, “How do you eat an elephant? Piece by piece.” And that’s what we do with our expectation levels. It’s not about, “hey I want to be this great guy up here,” it’s about taking that step at a time.

I think another part of it is humility. I think it is very important that as a person, you are thankful with what you have accomplished. I think being humble as possible is good for this business.

You have been successful in your business, owning 40% of the market and you are targeting to move even higher, can you tell us more about it?

It’s based on fundamentals, really. One of the things that my father taught me is to be humble. When we enter businesses for example, how do we get to 40%? It’s about building capabilities; it’s building foundation. We have our seven core capabilities that make us great, that make us compete.

We play in a very global market and this market is a roller coaster of big waves. We weather these waves because our foundation is correct. Every year, good year or bad year, we continue to invest in building our capabilities. Today, we’re expanding in the building and industrial side – for that purpose, we’re seeing the opportunity to grow.

In the PHILGBC for example, we’re seeing the demand not just for equipment but whole solution rather than just individual products. That is what our company is trying to do, and I believe that our partners are realizing that “hey, I’m selling you the most efficient product but I may be throwing materials away.” So what I’m saying is that I may sell your savings in energy but practice wasteful spending of materials. Does it make sense? On one hand you are saving, but on the other hand, you’re throwing.

If you’re talking about green, it’s the whole picture and not just about one scenario. For example, putting up a building contributes only about 20-30% of the environmental impact. It’s the actual usage of the building that makes the greater impact. For us, this means not only about delivering an efficient product – it’s about the engineering, the manufacturing involved. This is why you have to have a holistic way of looking at the solutions. This is how we look at our business.