At ACEN, we prioritize our goal to attract, retain and grow the best talent in each aspect of our business, as the quest for a Net Zero world is a tall order indeed. ACEN 2030 is an aggressive goal and we believe that we have the right elements to succeed. We have a strong balance sheet, robust pipeline, strong partnerships and most importantly, a highly energized organization. We put our people first – we provide a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for our people, a workplace where they can feel a complete sense of ownership and belongingness, and where their opinions matter. We believe in fostering an inclusive culture where everyone feels they are heard, treated fairly and with respect. We create programs and benefits that support the development of the entire organization, ensure a safe work environment and a diverse culture for our employees.

As we move forward with our commitment to achieve Net Zero by 2050, and the successful completion of the ETM transaction which involves the early retirement of the remaining coal plant and transitioning to cleaner technology. ACEN supports a Just Energy Transition even after the divestment completion. We continue to collaborate with key stakeholders and other industries to develop transition plans and help the workforce to develop skills for new energy technologies.

Growth and development

ACEN promotes personal growth in the organization and is committed to providing equality of opportunity for learning and development to its employees. The company believes in lifelong and continuous learning anchored on the principle of continuous improvement and one’s ownership of career development.

ACEN’s learning and development strategy revolves around a blended learning approach that accelerates development of emerging and business competencies. Furthermore, ACEN has established its Learning and Development Policy to provide structured guidelines for the implementation of an organizational-wide talent development program. ACEN advocates a modular framework for continuous learning anchored on 3 components: Experience, Education, and Exposure.

We launched a career and learning roadshow to address the sentiments of employees on career development. This roadshow aims to educate and empower employees to take charge of their career pathways through discussions on vertical and lateral career growth, building organizational capabilities and career tracks. For learning and development opportunities within the development plans of our employees, we offer support for employees who wish to pursue certifications and further education. Furthermore, ACEN has launched its mentorship program to provide an avenue for the organization’s leadership team to impart useful knowledge and experience for further employee development.

ACEN has bolstered its training efforts by launching a comprehensive set of learning and development programs covering a wide range of core, governance and targeted learning materials offered to all regular employees. Core programs provide fundamental competencies that are relevant across all business units. Governance programs are championed by specific business units to promote compliance and good governance across the company. These programs cover specific themes such as cybersecurity, anti-corruption and business ethics, diversity, equity and inclusion, and ACEN’s code of conduct. Lastly, ACEN’s targeted programs are programs aligned with an employee’s development plans or learning needs to address specific competency gaps.

To complement its internal training programs, ACEN partners with educational institutions to provide additional career development opportunities for its employees. Each year, ACEN conducts the Emerging Ayala Group Leaders (EAGLE) Program in partnership with Emeritus and Columbia Business School Executive Education. Participants are offered an immersive learning experience with live faculty sessions from industry experts and asynchronous learning modules covering the dimensions of leadership, problem-solving, and value creation. In 2022, ACEN sent 8 individuals to participate and complete the EAGLE program. Since 2015, ACEN participates in the leadership programs such as the Ayala Leadership Acceleration Program (LEAP) equip our Management Team to maneuver the organization in a swift and agile manner, in line with the demands of the dynamic energy sector that it navigates. This also includes executive educational programs and function-specific programs, coaching and feedback mechanisms. In 2022, we partnered with Zenger Folkman to conduct a 360-feedback leadership development program for 15 of its executives.

Workplace of the future

At ACEN, advancing the renewables revolution also includes a strong commitment to deliver the “workplace of the future”. We understand how a space can influence our energy, health and overall well-being. That’s why sustainability takes center stage at the ACEN headquarters through innovative solutions aimed to boost our quality of life, save on energy, cut waste and more.

Air purifying plants from Netherlands-based Air So Pure were carefully chosen and strategically placed in key areas of the headquarters. Sustainably grown, these plants have scientifically proven air purifying health benefits, converting toxins and CO2 into oxygen in a very efficient way. The ACEN headquarters, like the rest of Tower 2, uses an Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) circulation system which exchanges stale, polluted indoor air with fresh, clean outdoor air without wasting energy.

The ACEN headquarters is built with a mindset that’s grounded on sustainability in parallel with its commitment to the renewables revolution.

For its furnishings, highly durable furniture made of wood materials sourced from sustainable forests are utilized in the office, minimizing our carbon impact and resulting in a contemporary and environment-friendly workplace. Meanwhile, the carpets used are made from recycled fishing nets. The supplier, Interface Inc., uses discarded fishing nets to produce nylon yarn and create high quality carpet tiles.

To add to our overall efficiency, the use of motion sensor lights also provides a very convenient system that aims to save on electricity consumption. Meanwhile, motion sensor faucets help to stop the spread of germs, prevent water overflow and provide better efficiency on water usage.

Engaging our employees

ACEN takes pride in its high employee engagement score, as the organization rallies behind ACEN’s 2030 goals, supported by activities aimed to improve our employees’ well-being.

In order to assess employee sentiments in real time, ACEN launched a quarterly pulse survey to evaluate the company’s efforts in relation to employee attraction, development, engagement, well-being and retention. The most recent employee engagement survey WTW indicated a Sustainable Engagement score of 93% across ACEN. The periodic survey serves as feedback mechanisms and reference data for management on how to sustain effectiveness of its employee policies and programs.

Managing the performance of all employees is also an important part of motivating and engaging our workforce, creating a venue for us to set clear targets for each team member and to help them understand how they contribute to the company’s shared goals. To ensure personal and professional growth of each employee, a rigorous performance appraisal process is held each year which starts from goal setting, talent review using our nine-box grid and individual development plan (IDP), and the performance review proper.

We also helped foster work-life balance through special interest groups that cater to various personal interests of our employees, allowing them to pursue hobbies and passions on a regular basis. As part of our commitment to our employees, we acknowledge the importance of supporting our team’s physical and mental well-being. ACEN’s year-wide employee engagement calendar included activities such as online concerts, sports tournaments, employee volunteerism programs, personalized mental health and well-being support, and virtual team building events. Online counseling and psychological well-being hotline channels are also made available for ACEN employees.

Compensation and benefits

ACEN is guided by its compensation philosophy that ensures the competitiveness of employees’ total remuneration compared to its relevant market. As a result of the 2021 mid-year compensation review, improvements on the total compensation of employees were implemented. The salary increments, benefits and rewards are commensurate to the overall company and individual performance, determined through the mid-year and annual performance and talent review process.

In 2021, an executive stock ownership program (ESOWN) was approved. This long-term incentive is meant to enhance ownership and accountability, and align management compensation with company objectives.

Aside from standard compensation packages, we offer employees wellness benefits that subsidize activities that promote physical or mental wellbeing. Work-life balance is further encouraged with sufficient vacation and sick leaves, and other forms of paid time off.

As part of ACEN’s initiative to raise awareness on diversity, equity, and inclusion, we have recently provided gender-support benefits, with health insurance covering common law and LGBTQ+ partners. Dependents coverage has also been expanded to include in-laws, nieces and nephews in health insurance.

At our plants, dedicated shuttle services are provided for employees residing in remote areas. For plant-based employees, comfortable and sufficient staff housing is provided for long-term accommodation. Daily meals are provided by in-house canteen and pantry facilities. Health-related benefits are extended to immediate family members and include mental health as well as wellness programs. COVID-19 vaccination coverage was also extended to employee dependents.

ACEN offers retirement benefits to ensure the long-term financial welfare of our employees, as well as financial support programs to meet more immediate needs.

ACEN Cadetship Program

ACEN’s Cadetship Program, organized by our Plant Operations Human Resources team, has become a pathway for recruitment, employee succession and talent development within our growing organization. This five-month accelerated program allows 15 cadet engineers to learn through technical and leadership learning programs and mentorship from ACEN leaders, providing on-site operations experience for fresh graduates and licensed civil, electrical and mechanical engineers. This exposure gives them an opportunity to hone their technical skills, build their competencies and expose themselves to the various facets of the energy industry.

Through our Cadetship Program, our 15 cadet engineers are now well trained on the rudiments of the renewable energy industry.

Atletang Ayala

ACEN believes in the greatness of Filipino athletes and their potential to excel on a global level. Through the Ayala group’s Atletang Ayala program, we commit to provide holistic support to our rising athletes who aspire to compete in major international sports events, including the Olympics.

We provide support to two emerging Filipino athletes: Prince Alejo, 21, a rising star in the Philippine karate scene, and Pia Bidaure, 24, a world-ranked archer and SEA Games Gold medalist. Prince and Pia are project and part-time employees at ACEN’s power plants, where they are provided with salaries and benefits while training for their competitions and at the same time, being productive members of the power plants’ workforce. ACEN also helps supplement their funding needs through crowdsourcing initiatives and campaigns.

Prince, as a mechanical engineering student, works part-time at SLTEC while training at Ayala’s world class facility Vermosa Sports in preparation for the 2023 Asian sports competitions. Pia, on the other hand, is a civil engineering student who works part-time at ACEN’s SacaSol plant in Visayas while training for the 2023 Asian sports events.

Both Prince and Pia are part of the pioneering eight athletes under the program selected through a rigorous screening process. The Atletang Ayala program offers a yearly contract that can be renewed annually until the 2024 Olympics, contingent on the attainment of clear performance measures.