Meet Rianne Danao, Senior Legal Counsel, ENGIE Services Philippines

Women In Sustainability

For The Love Of Sustainability

Working as a Senior Legal Counsel in the sustainability sector means long hours and a heavy workload. However, that does not stop Rianne Danao from pursuing her dream of making the world a greener place.

“I’m primarily tasked to be a business partner in developing the company’s projects,” Rianne explains. “I give legal support along different stages of business development, draft or review the necessary documentation, and help manage risks for the business.”

She also does corporate housekeeping work and provides legal advice to support the day-to-day company operations.

Her passion for contributing to the sustainability sector led to her joining ENGIE over two years ago, where she felt aligned with the company’s vision and goals.

She reveals that the main reason for making the job switch was more due to the opportunity to put further meaning in the practice of her profession rather than because she was unhappy with her previous job.

“When I see a project that we had worked hard on coming to life, it is fulfilling to know that, somehow, the hard work will be bringing something useful to the world by helping our clients decarbonize or conserve energy,” she says.

Moving Beyond Gender Roles

When it comes to gender stereotypes, Rianne feels that there has been a lot of progress and developments in the Philippines.

“We’ve had female presidents, notable female leaders in business, and laws passed on women’s rights against gender-based discrimination, among others,” she reveals. “We can be proud of these developments but I think we can further improve on making more Filipinos aware of these rights and adopting a more progressive view on so-called gender roles.”

As a working mom, Rianne has been able to step up to the challenges of both the workplace and the home.

She strongly believes that women can do both and hopes that beyond her circles, there can be further improvement when it comes to awareness and sensitivity to gender-based stereotypes.

Gender Equality In The Workplace

As ENGIE consciously makes the effort to recruit women in managerial roles, Rianne believes that the company is pushing progress towards equality.

“While we have a long way to go, ENGIE’s ambitious Fifty-Fifty goal by 2030 inspires not only its women employees but also women in general, by showing that established companies are consciously paving the way for us to achieve equality,” she says.

In relation to such a goal, Rianne is one of the committee members who had set up the Women Empowerment Network, a platform where all female employees in ENGIE South East Asia may network with each other, give everyone a voice and support, and share and be empowered by each other’s experiences.

Towards A Greener Future

At work, Rianne takes pride in contributing to sustainability by being part of the team that assists clients to reduce their carbon footprint through the building of solar rooftop plants, energy-efficient cooling plants, and the development of renewable energy.

The recent project that she was part of – Filinvest-ENGIE Renewable Energy Enterprise, Inc. switched on its 2.8 MWp solar rooftop installation for Festival Mall which may save around 41,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

Aerial view of photovoltaic solar panels on the rooftops of Festival Mall

On a more personal level, her family, including her young children are intentional in minimizing household waste, recycling, and re-using to the extent possible. She likewise enjoys walking to work and considers her lifestyle quite minimalistic, which she considers among her little contributions to minimizing carbon footprint.

As a mother, she believes in the importance of sustainability because she wants her children and the future generation to live comfortably as well as experience all that the world and nature have to offer.

“I see a lot of beauty and intelligence in our natural world, and I am deeply saddened to see such wonderful things degraded and turned to waste because of mankind’s thoughtless and wasteful activities,” she shares.

In the near future, she hopes that ENGIE will enlarge its presence in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines. To her, it means having the opportunity to bring to life more projects that can contribute to a more carbon-neutral world.

Aerial view of photovoltaic solar panels on the rooftops of Festival Mall