An incredible feat: How a holistic approach brings ASUS Philippines to the forefront of sustainability and innovation
Can digital innovation and sustainability work hand-in-hand?
As the world strives to create a better place environmentally, socially, and economically, the answer is—and should be—yes. This isn’t a problem for ASUS, which has practiced sustainability for years while continuously advancing its technology and securing its place as a leading tech brand worldwide. A definitive proof is its array of sustainable products, like the ExpertBook B9 OLED and Zenbook S 13 OLED—the latter being the brand’s most sustainable Zenbook laptop offer.
But that’s not all; ASUS also consistently uplifts local communities and promotes Filipino craftsmanship with various initiatives. ASUS Philippines’ Country Manager, Mr. George Su, tackles more of these in an insightful discussion of how the brand pursues both innovation and sustainability in its tech endeavors.
Since it was first established in the Philippines, ASUS has been a market leader in providing innovative solutions through its products and services. Can you share what is the philosophy behind the ASUS brand?
“The name of ASUS is derived from the ancient Greek creature Pegasus, the white-winged horse, which represents elegance, wisdom, and striving for better. When our founders established ASUS in Taipei, Taiwan in 1989, they had a very humble beginning but already had an ambitious and sustainable thinking about this company. ASUS’ first product was a motherboard. Since then, we have excelled in different leading technologies. After 13 years of establishing the company, we entered into laptop and PC areas and gradually expanded to more and more variety of products. Today, we have the Internet of Things—but we still don’t forget about where we started. Our motherboard products are still continuously recognized as number one worldwide.
Looking back on this company’s short history, it shows that we don’t forget where we began while we continue to expand with our technological advancements. The brand mantra of ASUS is “In Search of Incredible,” which started about ten years ago as a campaign. We realized this is what we’ve been doing even before the campaign and believed we should continue this brand mantra afterward. So in our product development, research and development, sales and marketing—in everything we do, even at the end of the stream with after-sales service, we remind ourselves about being “in search of incredible” in everything we do.”
A steadfast commitment to sustainability and innovation
ASUS’ commitment to sustainability and innovation is at the heart of its values and practices, contributing to its growth and success over the years. Recently, it solidified its efforts in promoting a circular economy with the culmination of its collaboration with the non-profit organization Communities Organized for Resource Allocation (CORA).
Both groups participated in a series of activations that focused on reducing waste, raising awareness of climate action, and promoting an eco-friendly lifestyle. These included a knowledge-sharing activity about the circular economy and a two-month recycling activity conducted by CORA within ASUS. They also held a mall caravan that collected over 1,100 plastic bottles, equivalent to 28.5 kilos, for recycling. For the collaboration’s final leg, volunteers from both groups collected 646.2 kilograms of trash and debris at the Las Piñas-Parañaque Wetland Park in time for this year’s International Coastal Cleanup Day.
Overall, they collected 1.67 tons of plastic and other recyclable wastes, which will be segregated and sent to CORA’s recycling partner.
What makes the new Zenbook S 13 OLED series and the ExpertBook B9 OLED series different from all other ASUS offerings? Why are they the perfect devices for business solutions?
“The Zenbook S 13 OLED is what we claim as the world’s slimmest 13-inch OLED ultraportable laptop and our most sustainable Zenbook ever, and there are several reasons why. In terms of form, it is only 1 cm thin and weighs only 1 kilo. The lighter and thinner it is, the less energy it consumes to manufacture. As for its build, it uses an eco-friendly material called plasma ceramic aluminum—which, through our engineering efforts, became very aesthetically pleasing. It also doesn’t generate additional industry waste and is very durable while being 100% recyclable. Overall, the Zenbook S 13 OLED has both beauty, functionality, and sustainability, all in a slim form-factor laptop.
We also considered its packaging during production, so this one has 100% FSC-certified packaging. It also houses the latest technology during its release, including 13th Gen Intel Core processors. Its memory is 16 GB, RAM is 512 GB SSD, and the battery life is 63 Wh, so you don’t always need to charge it when bringing it to coffee shops and other places.
Most importantly, it has a thin bezel and the ASUS Lumina OLED display panel, which gives users the best configuration of the display technology. Its Lumina OLED screen has a 16:10 aspect ratio with a 2.8K maximum resolution. It is Pantone-validated, meaning its color accuracy is industry-standard, and you see exactly what you print.
For regular, day-to-day users, having an OLED screen also helps lessen eye fatigue from long hours of computer usage. OLED means organic LED, and unlike regular LCD or LED panels, each pixel illuminates by itself. By reducing up to 70% of harmful blue light emissions, the ASUS OLED display gives your eyes relief from pressure and stress.”
“The ExpertBook B9 OLED is a business laptop, which you can tell from its more subtle, mature, and reliable design and look. It is our lightest 14-inch OLED business laptop, weighing only 990 grams. It delivers exceptional performance and sharp visuals with its OLED display for a modern work experience.
But despite being lightweight, it measures up to US military-grade standards and has gone through 26 tests of reliability and durability. That includes the Twist Test and Hinge Test, and overall, our business laptops prove to be at least twice as durable as our consumer laptops, which are already more durable compared to their equivalents from our competitors. There’s also the spill test; let’s say you accidentally spill water on your keyboard—the ExpertBook B9 OLED can withstand over 400cc for a certain period. Next year, we are raising the bar and setting a higher standard for our new laptop by increasing the amount of water or spills it can resist.
The ExpertBook B9 OLED is also sustainable across all the product by-cycles, from the packaging to manufacturing. It complies with environmental standards and has been recognized by multiple international award-giving bodies for its environmental certifications. Being sustainable and eco-friendly is part of our Green ASUS initiative, which has existed for over ten years already.
The Green ASUS initiative has four pillars: design, manufacturing, packaging, and recycling. When we plan designs in ASUS, our R&D engineers and researchers already consider how we can minimize the materials we use and other instances that lead to wasted materials like redundancy and malfunction. We also consider power efficiency and ensure that our Zenbook is energy-efficient.
For manufacturing, it’s useless if only ASUS, as the manufacturer is pursuing eco-friendliness and sustainability, while our suppliers continue to contaminate, emit too much CO2, or use lots of plastic. That’s why we also assist our supplier ecosystem to join our Green ASUS vision.
We’ve already discussed packaging earlier, so for the last one, which is recycling, every ASUS entity here and in Taiwan does its best to recycle. But as we always say, we can keep collecting and recycling [wastes], but that’s far from enough. You have to start [practicing sustainability] from the beginning ‘til the end.”
ASUS has gained significant business momentum in recent years, earning the recognition of being the OLED No. 1 Laptop brand in the Philippines and around the world, as well as the No. 1 Creator laptop brand worldwide. What were the important initiatives that ASUS has undertaken to lead to these recognitions?
“OLED has been around for years in home appliances and TVs, so we wondered why it isn’t also used for the laptops we use almost daily. Our headquarters came up with the idea of letting more users enjoy the benefits of OLED displays through our collective efforts.
The biggest challenge, as we’re all familiar with, is affordability. Before ASUS heavily invested in OLED laptops, some models in the market already used it—but they were rare and expensive. I think only few people knew about OLED laptops in the industry, but it never became a phenomenon. That’s the difference with ASUS; we pushed to make it a phenomenon through our wide variety of laptop offerings, marketing, and communications. From Q4 in 2021 to Q4 in 2022, we are the number one OLED brand in the Philippines and worldwide. This proves that many users appreciate and are willing to experience this technology.”
How is ASUS Philippines leading the way in promoting Filipino craftsmanship and sustainable solutions that address environmental challenges?
“A recent example is last year, right after the pandemic, our team worked with local artist Zarah Juan. She’s a well-known advocate for Filipino craftsmanship and works with local communities nationwide, as far as General Santos. When our teams began working together, we promoted the Zenbook S 13 OLED. Later, we found that we shared a lot of values in common. We want to bring the latest technology to users in the Philippines, while Zarah Juan and her team want to promote the unique and aesthetic craftsmanship of hardworking Filipinos locally and globally.
I think this is a perfect match since we are a global tech leader, but we always act locally. We co-produced a unique carry bag—the Zen Tote—which showed both teams’ creativity in making something for the ASUS Zenbook S 13 OLED that also displays the craftsmanship of local artisans and uses local materials.
There are also other examples of our commitment to sustainability, like our collaboration with the local NGO CORA. Both the Zarah Juan and CORA projects are recent campaigns from the past two years wherein our team tried to find those with the same vision as ours in sustaining the environment and supporting Filipino communities.”
How do ASUS Philippines’ various initiatives help uplift local communities, and what are the most remarkable examples to date?
“The first thing that comes to my mind is the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) project called ADOC, or the APEC Digital Opportunity Center. The DOCs were promoted particularly to those whose economies and markets suffer the most digital gap in accessing computers. Like other Taiwanese IT companies, we donated our desktops and monitors to those communities in need.
We also donated ASUS desktops to a project with the local NGO Fil-Chi Love and Care Foundation, which solicited donations from society to buy secondhand container trucks and transform them into mobile computer labs. They have trainers certified by TESDA to teach computer literacy, and ASUS and ASUS Foundation donated 23 sets of computers. These 40-foot-tall containers go to remote areas in provinces like Isabela, Panay Island, Bacolod City, Samar, Bicol, and Leyte.
We donate computers to the project yearly, and now, six to eight containers are roving around the country to provide this kind of service. Each container stays in a barangay for a month, and they can train over 330 students. The students are 8 to 88 years old, and I have witnessed those who graduated and got a TESDA certificate.
Last year, we gathered support and donated 22 sets of ASUS desktops and monitors to the Carmelite Learning Center in Bohol. It helped them establish their first computer lab in their private primary school, and we also provided a non-profit computer literacy program to the nearby native tribe, the Ati from Loay, Bohol.
The beauty of programs like these is that they maximize and highlight ASUS’ product quality. Given the need for heavy-duty equipment when roving around the country, it was a good quality test for our products. Just imagine if a computer is unreliable and not made of good quality. When you go to remote areas, it takes much effort to bring it back here for repairs, and it’ll be such a waste because someone else could’ve used that time to learn about computers instead. That’s why our partner NGO always tells us that our computers are reliable.”
What’s in store for ASUS Philippines next year? What do you most look forward to?
“[It’s still a secret, but] you might get some hints from recent industry news, and the first is artificial intelligence. Microsoft, Intel, and NVIDIA already announced AI features for their upcoming products. ASUS products will present the best combination of all those key components in hardware and software. We will also develop our AI Features and designs together with our supplier ecosystems.
The second is sustainability. As I mentioned, Green ASUS has been our initiative for over 10 years, and we will continue to improve our impact on sustainability efforts. We will continue to drive this among the four Green ASUS pillars. Lastly, we will consider more state-of-the-art and cutting-edge technology to infuse into our various products.”
The next steps toward a sustainable and incredible future
As part of its holistic approach to sustainability and innovation, ASUS has also set its 2025 Sustainability Goals with the aim of bringing proactive and positive changes to society and the environment. Among ASUS’ goals is achieving net zero, which involves using 100% renewable energy in Taiwan-based operations by 2030, and in global operation centers by 2035.
ASUS also aims for its key products to achieve an ENERGY STAR® standard rating above 30% to demonstrate their energy efficiency. In the recently announced ASUS 2022 Sustainability Report, the brand shared that it exceeded ENERGY STAR® standards by 34%.
The report also showed that ASUS’ eco-friendly products accounted for 87% of total product revenue. With these achievements, ASUS was able to bag multiple 2023 Asia Sustainability Reporting Awards and receive international recognition for its sustainability efforts.