About Us

Green Antz is revolutionising the way we see plastic. By recycling plastic waste, we not only aim to minimise the amount of plastic waste that poses a threat to the environment but also build a community of people who care. Green Antz thrives on creating a movement for building  a better tomorrow for us and future generations. Since its inception in 2014, Green Antz has tried to share the value they bring by operating with a Circular Economy platform. Inspired by the unnoticed yet one of the most resilient creatures, Green ants who develop robust ecological colonies, we aim to bring the circular economy system to urban areas and spread it across large territories.

Green Antz currently has over 30 operating Eco Hubs for Plastic recycling all over the Philippines. We are currently setting up Plastic Stations to collect source segregated plastics from over 100 community partners. One of our primary focuses is innovation—we invest our resources to come up with innovative solutions to diversify the use of Plastic waste and meet the sustainability demands of the market, industry and communities. We want to create a world where sustainability is a household term. By bringing in community participation, we want to expand our outreach, create awareness and work towards a cleaner planet!

Together we can make a difference

Business Model

It is exactly due to that direct bond between peace and security at the community level and the state of the environment, expressed as Sustainability Development Goal 11 as “peace, Justice and Strong Institutions” that GA chose to focus on distributed, community-based solutions.

At its core, GA sees itself as a new breed of an organization, a hybrid of a Social Enterprise with a B Corporation and even a highly distributed, Open-Source ecosystem of transformation and change. Those kinds of goals cannot be achieved if most of the work will be done at far away locations, like in industrial parks, mainly done by machines.

Awards And Recognition

Asia Pacific Housing Forum 2019_Innovation Awards Pitch Night
Asia Pacific Housing Forum 2019_Innovation Awards
Asia Pacific Housing Forum 2019_Winner
Award Winning Eco Painting by Green Artz Co Founder Gilbert Angeles
Award Winning Eco Painting by Green Artz Co Founder Gilbert Angeles2
GREEN ANTZ CSR _Green Artz with Chief Artist Gilbert Angeles2

Earlier this year (2021), the Philippines’ Pasig river was declared as the most polluting river in the world. Green Antz Builders (GA), which sits at the heart of the word’s plastic pollution, made its core mission to act and find innovative ways to reduce these figures and by that transform the Philippines as well as make an impact to the rest of the world.

 

According to the Philippines brands audit report 2020, the largest polluters are the Fast Moving Consumer Goods brands (FMCGs), the top three of which are contributing close to 50% of the entire plastic waste in the country. Since these results have not changed over the past years, GA, as a strategy, considered collaboration with several of these FMCGs and find more effective and innovative ways they can work together to reduce the total plastic wastes they generate.

“The call came following the release of the Philippine version of the 2020 Brand Audit Report, which found that only three corporations are responsible for nearly 50 percent of the country’s plastic waste.

 

According to the report, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies Universal Robina Corporation (URC), Nestle, and Colgate-Palmolive were the top three corporate plastic polluters in 2020. The three corporations’ packaging waste accounts for 46 percent of the total of 38,580 plastic items collected: 6,350 for URC, 6,168 for Nestle, and 5,580 for Colgate-Palmolive.”

 

 

The approach GA took was based on distributed upcycling, reduction at source and overall accountability and transparency.

 

Distributed upcyling model meant letting go of the centralized, large, industrial recycling centers which costs millions of dollars but have multiple sustainability issues (transportation, centralization, disconnection from the users etc.). Instead, GA decided to focus on optimizing small to medium scale upcycling centers called Eco-Hubs, which sits at the heart or nearby local communities and thus, empower local people to be a part and engage in the upcycling process.  Using simple technologies combined with innovative solutions, it created dozens of new product lines for the construction industry, may it be Bricks, Precast slabs or fixtures

Such as furniture, table tops, wood replacing elements and more .

GA currently operates more than thirty (30) Eco-hubs and more than a hundred collection points across the country. It is well on its way to reach more than 500 centers and collection points in the Philippines alone by 2023, and intend to establish additional ones in nearby countries in the region.

 

Its global approach is based on a radical open-source and sharing basis. Thus, instead of having to establish its own centers across the region, GA intends to empower local groups which are already engaged in the recycling market by making the methods and modalities as easy and simple to adopt. The goal of GA’s efforts is not for it to become the biggest recycling group in the region, rather, for it to become the most influential one, which empowers and provides local groups and communities tools and methods to grow their own activity, so as to expand exponentially in order to significantly and effectively reduce the amount of waste that goes to the landfill or the ocean.

 

Reduction at source and providing overall accountability and transparency is one of the primary aims of GA. For an effective waste reduction, collaboration with large corporations is necessary. It means working together to reduce waste in a more systematic, effective and verifiable manner.

 

One of the main takeaways from the environmental audit of 2020 by Greenpeace was that the so called “social responsibility actions” taken by these FMCGs have actually very little actual effect in reducing the amount of waste they generate:

 “These corporations have been consistent top polluters as well for the past two years, and have done nothing substantial to tackle plastic reduction at its source. Instead, they pursue programs that unfairly pass the responsibility to consumers.”

The report also revealed that an alarming 91 percent of the total collected plastics were non-recyclables, such as sachets, which have no economic value to incentivize collection and which cannot be managed sustainably. The groups said that this figure proves that recent efforts by FMCGs to boost their so-called recycling efforts are completely useless in addressing plastic pollution in the Philippines.”

“The groups also raised concern over companies’ continued reliance on false solutions to the plastic problem rather than investing on measures to phase out plastic production. This includes replacement of plastic straws for equally disposable items such as paper and bioplastics, recycling and plastic exchange schemes, and resorting to harmful practices such as incineration.”

 

 

 

To be effective, GA, is working to collaborate with these FMCGs and with multiple international service providers to transform their long-term sustainability goals into measurable, meaningful and substantial milestones.

 

GA’s first stage is to provide these corporations a clear image of where they are standing on the road towards reducing their pollution and Green House Gases emissions (GHG). This is not an easy task when it comes to large corporations especially if they want to address not only the direct effect of the corporation itself but the long supply chain and whole life cycle of their products. As self-analysis is the essential first step towards reduction of the Green Houses Gases emissions, the overall carbon footprint of an organization, also the amount of waste it generate.

Conducting a thorough analysis of of an entire organization can be much more complex than what it may seem. Such an organization may be spread over multiple branches, employing hundreds and often thousands of individuals, having dozens of product lines, some produced locally and many imported and distributed, having a large pool of temporary and contractual workers, and all of that is within the organization itself, it does not yet include an analysis of the supply chain of the products or services which can easily spread to many other countries, include many more participants and stake holders, and can stretch long after the product have left the factory or distribution center.

 

OVERALL ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY

The biggest component which is open to inaccuracies, intentional or not, is the actual journey of the waste. There is no clear-cut process on the monitoring of waste, from the time a product is produced, used, and eventually becomes transformed into waste. From waste collection to its eventual transformation to a new upcycled product, companies are unaware of what has become of these wastes.

 

The ability to provide accountability and transparency to this process of ‘the journey’ of waste is often against the interests of the recycling groups and, to some extent, the clients themselves who requested the service. As the process becomes more transparent and ‘audit-able’, it is more likely to be criticized, thus the inevitable need to improve and upgrade, and sometimes the need to even redesign entirely which entails a lot of costs.

 

It is much simpler and easier to claim ‘we have processed X amount of plastic waste’ , provide a certificate to the client that it is so, go to the location where the waste used to be, verify that it is not there any more which in the end satisfies everyone. The client can declare in its sustainability report that it has properly processed its waste and has taken responsibility over the waste it generated. The burden is now shifted to the service provider which is free to do whatever they can, whenever they can, with that waste. This includes either doing nothing with it for years until some type of opportunity comes along to utilize the waste in one way or another. Unfortunately, one of the ways they discard such wastes is using them as fuel in large factories in order to reduce the factory’s power bills without worries about how much emissions and pollution they generate.

 

Increasing the transparency and accountability of the entire process, as the material transforms into new products is not simple. However, as a vital part of the process, GA is determined to lead the way in increasing visibility and transparency, utilizing the latest technological solutions, and over time, as new solutions become available, improve it even further. 

 

 

 

 

By utilizing these methods of Distributed Upcyling, Reduction at Source, and Overall Accountability and Transparency, GA is aiming a 10% reduction of overall pollution by 2025. These include focusing on the largest polluters, starting with the hardest to recycle elements (sachets, complex plastics, construction waste, glass and metals etc.) utilizing a distributed, open-source approach and pushing for higher levels of accountability and transparency across the board.

Given the right opportunities, GA hopes to take its mission and spread it across the region, and at other epicenters of pollution across the world.

GA started its operations in 2013, and for the first few years had difficulties in sustaining itself commercially. Despite being founded by well-experienced engineers who had previously worked from within the same FMCGs, the process of identifying disruptive technological solutions and matching them up with an innovative business model which can be both commercially viable as well as socially sound took much longer than expected.

The waste management ecosystem in the Philippines, just like in many other emerging economies, is often broken, dysfunctional and laden with corruption.  As of 2018, government data showed that despite the directive to establish enough MRFs across the country, only 24% of the nation’s communities had access to one.

One of the biggest challenges in the field of waste management was the handling of single-use plastics. “Filipinos use more than 163 million plastic sachet packets, 48 million sando bags and 45 million labo bags daily. These numbers were revealed in a new report released today by environmental organization Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA). The group contends that single-use disposable plastic is the greatest obstacle to sound waste and resource management, and is calling on governments and manufacturers to regulate, and stop producing, single-use plastics.

 

 

With single-use plastic as one of the primary issues, GA decided to focus on this at the onset of its activity. To solve it, two separate and innovative processes needed to be invented. From the technical side, a solution for these single-use plastics needed to be found, and an environmentally friendly, decentralized/ open-source / community-based level and not on a large, centralized, industrial scale. After several attempts and failures, the solution was found in a combination of shredding on small scale shredders, mixing with a novel, organic based compound and integrating with cement mixture to create the “eco mix”, a recipe which combines thousands of single used plastic or sachets into a mix of cement, which can then be molded to bricks, pavers, pre-casts or any other type of construction solution, without compromising their quality or structural integrity (as mentioned, very talented engineers were behind the process).

 

Next came the design of the product themselves – the products have to be innovative and unique in their design, but not too unique, or complex, that the work of the engineers and masons become too complicated, that there is little to no chance that they will use them.

 

The model that was finally decided on was of an interlocking design. It was borrowed from some existing products in other parts of the world and were improved to be more appropriate for the tropical conditions. The interlocking Eco-Bricks have many advantages: they saved on concrete and steel bars during the construction, they eliminated the need for plaster and finishing layers, they had load bearing capabilities, and they withstood weather conditions better than any similar products in the market. Nonetheless, they were new and different, so the computation of how many per meter, how many per floor, the learning curve for masons to get familiar and comfortable with them all took too long. Each new building was a milestone and a success, over time, 4 to 5 story buildings, complete commissaries, gas stations and fast food branches were build using only the eco-bricks, but the mainstream construction market still had a hard time to accept this new product. Without main stream adaptation, it would be hard for GA to reach the ability to upcycle the volume of plastic it needed to process in order to make a dent in the amount of waste generated in the country (estimated at 20,000 tons per day as per the latest government survey

 

The solution turned out to be the humble pavers. And specifically, the pervious pavers. Being located in the tropics, the Philippines receives every year about 2,500 mm of rainfall, which means a lot of flooding and gathering of large volumes of water in all locations which are not properly drained, rural or urban. By responding to the market demand, the R&D team of GA developed multiple styles and models of each product. One of the biggest yet unexpected hits came in the form of the pervious pavers. These interlocking bricks were accepted better by the market, since they were significantly superior compared to the standard pavers in the market (their interlocking design gave them the ability to retain their form and connection over many years, regardless of soil movement, growth of tree roots etc). Their pervious design meant that no water gathered on top but rain could simply seep through and be directed to the sides. The fact that they can be made according to specific given parameters meant that they could bear the load of trucks and cars if needed, which made them highly attractive to multiple applications.

Last came the need to find proper channels for buying and utilizing the products. Finding additional sources of plastic waste was easy, processing them is challenging but possible, the main problem was always finding willing customers who are ready to commit to purchase and integrate these products and service on a long term basis into the framework of their own activity. Without it, GA might find itself processing tons of plastic waste, diverting it out of the landfills, but not being able to find ways to integrate it back into the market. This was the oxygen supply which GA desperately needed as it was diving deep into the ocean of plastic waste.

It took a few good years, but the tides were finally starting to change when large local developers were finally willing to adopt GAs products on a large scale and long-term basis. Ayala Corporation and its subsidiary, Makati Development Corporations were some of the first to do so.  Other developers are following them and are slowly moving to adopt GAs products on large, long term scale.

And so, after more than 7 years of uphill battle, GA was able to finally close the circle of producers which takes responsibility on the waste they generate, communities that are engaged on the local level to take part in solving the waste problems in a distributed and effective manner, products which meet the quality standards authorities demand, and finally, off-takers who were willing to commit to long term purchasing agreements.

By 2021, GA is proud to present 5 years supply agreements with companies such as Ayala Land and Makati Development Corporation and long-term partnership with Colgate-Palmolive, which made GA their sustainability partner in their road towards circular economy and zero carbon emission by 2025.  It carries dozens of product designs, types and characteristics, which can fit the need of various applications in the market. It was able to secure a multi-year agreement with several developers, committing to off-take millions of its products over the coming years. It operates more than 30 community based Eco-Hubs and more than 100 collection points across the country, and its well on its way to expand both nationally as well as making its first steps on expanding regionally to other territories.

One ton of recycled plastic saves 5,774 Kwh of energy, 16.3 barrels of oil, 98 million BTU’s of energy, and 30 cubic yards of landfill space.” 

 

As of July 2021, GA is on its way to become the largest and strongest bridge which connects directly the FMCGs and the construction industry in a manner that completely bypass the landfill. Financially, the model GA has introduced have proven itself stable enough, ánd is now receiving requests from similar initiatives across the globe.

GA aspires to become not just a tool to upcycle plastic, but an ecosystem which will accelerate economical, ecological and social transformation. As the world is moving from linear economy to circular economy, from growth and extraction to green growth and even degrowth, GA hopes to become the ecosystem that provide new tools to solve existing problems, as well as build and develop solutions to the problems which are still ahead of us.

GA’s innovation was the only manner by which it was able to survive in the waste management field. Innovation, which came not only in the form of developing new types of products and then re-inventing them several times according to the changing needs of the market, but creating a novel ecosystem of services and business models which enable the processing of waste in unique ways.

The first aspect by which GA’s innovation can be demonstrated is its push towards novel levels of transparency and verification. In such an over-flooded market as the Philippines waste processing arena, it is very easy to provide claims without any basis. Processing the types of waste no one else can process, and doing so in an effective, environmentally sound manner which can also scale up easily as per demand is not simple nor easy. Therefore, many other service providers end up resorting to limited solutions, with much heavier environmental costs and no scale-able or long-term options.

 

A lot of waste solution providers may report that that they diverted waste from the landfill but in actuality it might be surprising to learn that nothing is carried out after the first step of plastic waste collection. It is understandable since finding off-takers for the final byproducts is far from easy.

The first stages of collecting the plastic are of course very impressive and “instagram-able”.  And it is true that it is wonderful to see a whole stretch of beach, water canal or local community’s fields which were covered with waste before now looking clean and pristine. However, what happens to the collected waste and where it actually ends up is not clear at all and most often they are merely stored in warehouses piled up in “jumbo bags” up to the ceiling, and waiting for possible future processing. It is indeed better than being spread across the beach, the canals or the hillsides, but it surely is still far from being properly up-cycled or treated.

 

Another common place where the waste ends up at are incinerators, furnaces and the likes. Those firing solutions turn the plastic waste into gas, often with significant greenhouse gas emissions, which are neither measured nor reported.

 

These pretension of waste solutions is harmful on multiple dimensions. It gives the client-companies who sought for waste processing assistance false indicators as if they are doing more in terms of sustainability, but in reality sets them back on their road to their sustainable goals. At the same time, it discourages other waste processing groups from entering the field as they cannot provide apparent similar services at lower prices. With less players in the market, and time being of the essence, the environment suffers as waste continuous to pile up.

 

 “corporations that until now have refused to own up to their responsibility by peddling false solutions to the plastic problem, and remain opaque in their plastics reporting,” …… “These corporations have been consistent top polluters as well for the past two years [4], and have done nothing substantial to tackle plastic reduction at its source. Instead, they pursue programs that unfairly pass the responsibility to consumers.”

 

 

With the current waste processing issues in mind, GA is integrating innovative solutions which provides its clients and auditing groups complete visibility of every batch of waste throughout its life cycle, provide  transparency and traceability which are required in order to verify the process that each batch of waste have undergone and where exactly did that batch of waste end up. GA is doing it by integrating digital elements of bar-coding, ERP systems and other technical elements, which provides real time data of the waste being processed and block-chain solutions which provide immutable database which can track each by-product back to its origin.

 

Some of these solutions are still being optimized for commercial deployment, in collaboration with international green-house-gases auditing and reporting groups, but the target that GA has put forth is clear, increasing the bar on transparency and traceability until each the entire process is visible and verifiable.

 

The second way by which GA introduced novel methodologies to the sustainability market is its emphasis on reduction at source. Regardless of how good and effective companies’ sustainable solutions are, if they are not able to effectively reduce over time the overall amount of waste being used and discarded, this is just perpetuating the existing problem.  Therefore, GA made it clear that it would only engage with organizations with clear, verifiable, long term commitments to the reduction of the amount of waste and pollution they generate. GA has established several new business units and affiliates to provide assistance to organizations in designing their road-map towards lower emissions and constantly upgrading the tools it provides to organizations in guiding them in their strategic planning.

At first glance, it seems like a self-defeating business model. After all, if all of GA’s clients will decide to strongly commit to reduce their waste generation to zero, or even go for carbon negative, within a couple of years, GA will have no clients to provide its services to. However, reality is far from it. At the current rate, even if emissions will miraculously stop tomorrow, most scientists agree that the harmful effects of climate change will take decades to deal with and require the collaboration of many organizations to progress towards carbon negativity by actively absorbing CO2 out of the atmosphere.

“..carbon dioxide is a very long-lived gas, having a lifespan of hundreds of years, possibly up to a thousand. The chief culprit of human-induced global warming, past and current anthropogenic CO2 emissions will end up lurking, accumulating in the atmosphere for decades, even centuries, contributing to long-term global warming, before being reabsorbed by either natural carbon sinks or artificial means.”  

 

Second, GA invests many of its resources in developing a long line of innovative technologies which are still under testing and evaluation. These include solutions such as 3D printing of entire houses made of its innovative Eco-Mix, utilizing its locally designed and manufactured giant 3D printing device. GA is likewise testing the transformation of plastic waste to 3D printing filament, which can replace the need to use virgin plastics in 3D printers. Moreover, there are also unique solutions for hard to process waste such as glass, metal, tetra-pack containers and others, which GA has already developed.

 

In Short, GA understands that sustainability is not a fixed goal but rather a moving target which requires constant verification, adjustments, optimization of existing technologies and reinventing of new ones. The actual definition of what is environmental sustainability and what are its parameters is being updated over time and the integration of technological solutions such as big-data allows GA to analyze data in real time, verify the effects of its existing methods and update or change them as the conditions change.

“ Big data is the technology that is allowing us to analyze this explosion in information and develop new advances and solutions. Applying big data to environmental protection is also helping to optimize efficiency in the energy sector, to make businesses more sustainable and to create smart cities, to cite just a few examples.“  

 

In its effort to set the bar higher, GA makes sure to engage only with groups that show clear commitments not only to recycle their waste but also to drastically reduce the amount of waste they generate. With this commitments means re-designing their own products and services in a flexible manner, which is meant to change and evolve over time. The first goal of many of these groups is reaching “net neutrality,” recycling an equivalent amount of waste in the same amount they generate. Once that goal is reached and sustainability and practice has become an essential and basic part of the company’s DNA, it can then start to progress towards higher goals, such as  “carbon negativity,” recycling and treating more waste than its generates overall (directly and indirectly), improving the sustainability of its entire supply chain, among others. These kinds of processes need to be adjusted to the specific needs and culture or practices of each client. It requires GA to innovate the manner by which it measures, verifies, communicates, and implements the road towards sustainability for each individual client. And going back to the fact that close to 50% of the plastic waste in the Philippines can be traced back to 5-10 large companies, GA is assured that its efforts will have an exponential effect on the overall waste situation in the country.

“Climate change and environmental degradation are already impacting peace and security in diverse ways. At the same time, the change needed to transition to lower-carbon, greener economies is fraught with risks, but also offers many opportunities to contribute to more peaceful, sustainable societies.  “ 

 

 

In its basic form, human capital reflects the investments individuals make in their education, training for employment, and health. As the level of human capital rises, productivity levels rise and individual earnings can increase.

However, human capital isn’t limited to producing economic outcomes. This isn’t to say that human capital can’t be measured through quantitative or qualitative analysis. This capital is important to the strength and vitality of a community.

Communities with strong human capital have leaders who are capable of reaching across differences and focus on assets and fellow influencers. The attributes of human capital include the individual qualities that help us participate in organizations and build our communities.

 

 

It is exactly due to that direct bond between peace and security at the community level and the state of the environment, expressed as Sustainability Development Goal 11 as “peace, Justice and Strong Institutions” that GA chose to focus on distributed, community-based solutions.

It is easier to shift towards large scale processing facilities, as the waste itself is often in large piles, at/or beside landfills or dump-sites. The processing of large volumes of waste require machinery such as shredders, mixers, molding devices, among others, which are costly and may be complex to operate. Many would think that it would be better to develop few large facilities that would process the different kinds of waste and simply transport all waste in these facilities for processing.

However, those kind of industrial solutions are often very costly, require the involvement of financing agencies, which in turn forces the business to prioritize profits in order to pay for the machinery and the loans before any other consideration. The Philippines, being an archipelago with thousands of isolated communities, transporting waste to a few centralized locations would not be feasible nor sustainable. If GA would have taken this large-scale industrial process approach, it might have ended up with a few large, “white elephants” of processing facilities, that most likely turn obsolete considering the fast development of technologies.

 

At its core, GA sees itself as a new breed of an organization, a hybrid of a Social Enterprise with a B Corporation and even a highly distributed, Open-Source ecosystem of transformation and change. Those kinds of goals cannot be achieved if most of the work will be done at far away locations, like in industrial parks, mainly done by machines.

GA exists to transform the way we see consumption and extraction. With this approach, everyone is part of the process and everyone is held accountable: from the creation of materials that will be future wastes, to consumption, and finally discarding materials which now is on its end of life considered as waste. Not being part of any process, both companies and consumers detach themselves from the responsibility of the wastes being created and how products are wantonly consumed, and that someone else should be held responsible for it.

 

GA is well aware that such true change of mindset can only come by transforming individuals and the communities themselves. The distributed, community base, dynamic business model of GA is an expression of it is its own version of “activism”.  It is a disruptive model that empowers the communities to acquire new skills which help them to be more equipped for the next generation of “green jobs” and make the distributed communities a pivotal part of the drive towards a solution.

In GA’s vision, addressing the waste issue becomes a gateway to an entire social transformation. For example, it is already pilot testing the ability to include the un-banked and under-banked members of society into the economical circles by providing them blockchain token exchange for the waste they collect that has a multiplier effect due to global shifts towards digital currencies (some of which have risen in hundreds of percentages in the past few months due to global financial markets fluctuations). GA has been contacted by communities from across the globe as they would like to learn how to apply these methods in their own countries. From Africa to the middle east and even South America. Communities understand that given the right tools, better utilization of waste can become the lever which can uplift them out of poverty, especially during these times, by which countries come to realize the devastating effect of climate change and are willing to allocate more substantial resources for addressing these issues.

These transformations will not happen in a day, but a slow but strong shift towards these kinds of values will happen once local communities are empowered and made part of the solution. To engage these communities is a game changer more so that rural and coastline communities are often the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

This in consideration, the processing centers of GA, or Eco-hubs, are designed to be located at close proximity of these communities, bringing them new opportunities, and skill sets. At this basic level, while the waste is being processes, new skills to do so are being developed. Since the model is distributed but coordinated, the local facility management does not need to concern itself on finding clients for its products. Rather, the head office will secure deals from buyers or off-takers. The local Eco-Hubs will primarily focus on producing them. However, the Eco-Hubs is designed to become much more than just a production center.  It is meant to bring hope in form of fair exchange for waste collected, providing opportunities even for people out of the employment circle. It shall provide free internet services for students, clean and purified water at a very low cost, and much more. All of those modalities and others are being tested at GA’s various Eco-hubs, together with relevant international groups, in order to find the optimal combination of social welfare community services, opportunities for training, and even financial services which will help transform these communities and multiply exponentially the value of their human capital.

It is important to remember that beyond all the activities and initiatives of Green Antz stand one person, who is the driving force and prolific genius that made his life mission to transform the entire landscape of sustainability in the Philippines. Rommel Benig comes from a very humble background, in one of the Philippines’ poorest and most typhoon-stricken regions, Bicol. He graduated from an engineering course in the University of the Philippines and continued with his career in Nestle Philippines. Over time, he progressed to lead the product design and process innovation team within Nestle Philippines, so he became well familiar with the manner by which the processes happen within the big conglomerates.

 

Rommel could have stayed the course in his career and rose to a higher and better position securing his and his family’s future, but he chose another path. Realizing the amount of waste FMCGs were generating and the slow pace by which they were changing towards sustainability, Rommel decided that the only way to address sustainability issues was to act from outside the corporate world and provide large corporations with solutions that can cut short their slow transformation and act as a catalyst or booster by providing them solutions that otherwise would have taken them decades to plan, test, integrate and apply.

 

He started his journey from the most complicated point of engagement, the sachet plastic waste which was too hard for anyone else to recycle. That was back at 2013. It took him and the group of friends he was with more than 5 years of trial and errors until they were finally able to breach commercial profitability. Sticking to his principles and focusing only on solutions which, once implemented can scale up to national levels, addressing the heart of the industrial manufacturers and putting its aim at finding solutions to tens of tons per month, no less, he had to re-invent GA several times over during this uphill battle.

When Rommel and GA started their path, sustainability was just a side line issue, which was given to the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department at best, and was used mainly for Public Relations.  Today, big corporations are ready to work with GA as partners, not just for CSR but as part of a long-term and genuine partnership program. Standing today at the verge of expanding to other countries in South East Asia, with an executive team of local and international experts and several impact funds who are willing to bet their resources on it, GA owes it success to the vision, ingenuity, resilience and unwavering determination of Rommel.