Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Director Rachel Esther Gumtang- Remalante has been named as one of Asia’s Top Sustainability Superwomen for 2021, in recognition of her role as sustainability champion for the Philippine corporate sector.
Ms. Gumtang-Remalante joins the list of 10 exceptional women from Asia who showed their excellence and contribution toward driving change and making a long-lasting impact in the area of sustainability.
“I am deeply honored to join the ranks of women who have made significant strides in ensuring sustainability for their organizations. This has been made possible by our Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino and Commissioner Kelvin K. Lee’s guidance, as well as the rest of the Commission’s commitment to uphold its vision of promoting sustainability and good governance for the advancement of the country’s business sector,” Ms. Gumtang-Remalante said.
Ms. Gumtang-Remalante currently heads the SEC Corporate Governance and Finance Department (CGFD), where she has spearheaded several programs in line with the Commission’s pursuit of sustainable practices.
As CGFD director, Ms. Gumtang-Remalante was instrumental in the issuance of SEC Memorandum Circular No. 4, Series of 2019, which provides the Sustainability Reporting Guidelines for Public Listed Companies (PLCs). The guidelines directed PLCs to report their contributions to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, in addition to their sustainability efforts.
With the issuance of the guidelines, the SEC was awarded the International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR) Honours 2019, given by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in Geneva, Switzerland in October 2019.
Following the implementation of the guidelines for sustainability reporting for PLCs, Ms. Gumtang-Remalante initiated the Commission’s own issuance of its Sustainability Report. The SEC subsequently partnered and collaborated with international independent standards firm Global Reporting Initiative for the creation of a Technical Working Group that would be in charge of releasing the SEC’s first Sustainability Report, set to be published this year.
The Commission continues to engage its stakeholders, especially companies whose adoption of good sustainability practices would have significant economic, social, and environmental impact. In 2021, it conducted 10 workshops and consultations for the promotion of sustainability.
Ms. Gumtang-Remalante likewise ensured the Commission’s adherence to good corporate governance practices, which led to several awards from both local and international firms. This includes the 3G Advocacy and Commitment to Corporate Governance Award 2021 in the 6th Global Good Governance Awards (3G Awards) conferred by London-based Cambridge IFA, as well as the Best Sustainability Company of the Year given by the Asia CEO Awards in October 2021.
“We congratulate Dir. Rachel Esther Gumtang Remalante for this exemplary honor. The SEC is proud to have a capable and dedicated sustainability champion who has skillfully spearheaded the Commission’s corporate governance and sustainability initiatives,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said.
Asia’s Top Sustainability Women is a non-profit initiative by Singapore-based sustainability consultancy firm CSRWorks International, which seeks to recognize and honor exceptional women who have demonstrated significant influence and are driving real change in sustainability.
This year’s list was selected from 52 nominations across 12 countries. Other women leaders who made the list include Armelle Le Bihan, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Thailand’s Green Building Consulting & Engineering; Audrey Tan, co-founder and CEO of PlayMoolah as well as Esther Chang, executive director of the UN Global Compact Network, both of whom are based in Singapore; Beibei Jiang, senior strategist and China Program Lead for Growald Climate Fund; Sophia Chiu, chairwoman of Taiwan’s TECO Electric & Machinery Co., Ltd.; and Thai Huong, founder and chairwoman of Vietnam’s TH Group Joint Stock Company.
Also joining the list are three leaders from India, namely Kiran Negi of the Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organization; Bare Necessities founder and CEO Sahar Mansoor; and KBCols Sciences Pvt. Ltd. founder and CEO Vaishali Kulkarni.