The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has recognized nine business establishments and two individuals for their exemplary performance under the agency's Philippine Chiller Energy Efficiency Project (PCEEP) and the Philippine Environment Partnership Program (PEPP).

One of the awardees -- the Leyte-based EDC Green Core Geothermal Inc. -- was given the DENR's Official Seal of Approval in recognition of its efforts to incorporate green policies across its business operations to help protect the environment.

This year's PCEEP excellence awards were handed out to Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino/Cofely Philippines and The Peninsula Manila. The Ayala-owned Trinoma Malls in Quezon City, SM City Iloilo, Bank of the Philippine Islands-Buendia Center in Makati City, and the International School Manila in Taguig City received plaques of recognition; while Manila Pavillion got a certificate of recognition.

A special citation was conferred on Stellar Equipment and Machinery Inc., the exclusive distributor and retailer of Johnson Controls building efficiency systems and York air conditioning systems in the country.

The DENR also recognized Trinoma Malls for having the "highest greenhouse reduction" for 2015.

Engr. Vincent Lazaro of Waterfront Cebu Hotel and Casino and Engr. Karsten Carlo Pica of Cofely Philippines shared the award for Best Chiller Management of the Year.

The DENR lauded the awardees for their strong commitment to protect the environment and the ozone layer by implementing environmentally sustainable practices and meeting eco-friendly standards.

The agency also expressed hope the awardees will inspire other businesses and individuals to pursue environmental excellence, strive for energy self-sufficiency, and provide the public with cleaner and more environmentally sustainable means of living.

Initiated by the World Bank-Global Environment Facility, the PCEEP provides technical and financial assistance to businesses to allow them to replace old chillers with new ones that are energy-efficient and free from ozone-depleting substances in order to protect the ozone layer and reduce greenhouse emissions.

At the end of the project on Jan. 1, 2017, the PCEEP is expected to have replaced 30,649 tons of refrigeration, reduced 5,700 kilos of ozone-depleting potentials, generated at least 124.7 gigawatt hours in electricity savings, abated 10 megawatt demand, and reduced 62,400 tons of greenhouse gases.

The PEPP, on the other hand, is a program that aims to promote the adoption of pollution prevention and cleaner production processes among business establishments. It also provides assistance to other businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises or SMEs in cleaning up their production processes to prevent pollution.

EDC Green Core Geothermal Inc. is this year's lone recipient of the DENR's Official Seal of Approval under "Track 1" category of PEPP.

Track 1 industries are recognized for their initiatives that go beyond compliance, and are driven to improve their performance with competitiveness, image and supply chain requirements.

Recipients of the DENR's approval seal have undergone a series of evaluation, including validation of documentary requirements and site inspection conducted by the EMB's regional offices and members of the PEPP Technical Evaluation Committee.

To qualify, a company must have no pending administrative case with the Pollution Adjudication Board within three years prior to the date of application. It should also comply with all applicable environmental laws and have been proven to show superior environmental performance.

Industries awarded with the DENR seal enjoy relaxed requirements for submission of reports, longer validity of permits and simplified procedures in securing environmental compliance certificate or ECC for expansion projects. The seal is valid for one year. ###