People need to work together in order to help create awareness and encourage the whole community to take action in protecting the environment which is why every June 5 the world celebrates a special day that will remind us of the mission that we all ought to take for the sake of the present and future generations.
SM takes this mission to heart as they celebrated World Environment Day together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with a pledge of support and a meeting on 'Blazing New Trails and Building a Shared Future' with DENR's Strategic Partners.
Led by DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Loyzaga, the private sector underscored the importance of working together towards a sustainable future, and highlighted their initiatives towards safeguarding the country's environment and natural resources.
SM Prime Holdings, led by its sustainability champion Hans Sy, has long put in place initiatives to ensure the company's operations are sustainable and environmentally friendly.
"As we celebrate World Environment Day, on behalf of the SM family, you have our commitment that we will continue to embrace sustainability in everything we do as a company to protect the environment for the future generation of Filipinos," says Bien Mateo, SM Supermalls Senior Vice President for Operations.
As one of DENR's strategic partners, Mateo highlighted SM's initiatives on energy conservation, solid waste reduction, and water conservation, among others.
To further help contribute to energy efficiency, SM uses LED lights in all its properties and maintains 50% of its electricity supply from renewable sources. Likewise, SM's 17 malls with solar power installations were able to generate 20.165 megawatts of peak energy. SM has supported Earth Hour for the last 15 years, and its participation in the Global Lights Switch Off has resulted in conserved energy equivalent to CO2 emissions from over 400,000 individual smartphones charged.
SM's solid waste management initiatives have also helped divert trash from ending up in landfills and large bodies of water. These include its flagship program, Trash to Cash Recycling Market, which has collected more than 1 million recyclables a year; the daily collection of solid waste in 14 malls in partnership with Friends of HOPE; electronic waste collection booths in Cyberzone and designated mall areas; regular coastal and community clean up drives.
As part of this year's Philippine Environment Month celebration, SM mounted Coastal Clean Up activities around World Oceans Day last June 8, in partnership with the DENR, Local Government Units (LGUs), and schools. As a result, nearly 1,500 volunteers joined nationwide and more people are expressing their interest to support future activities.
Aside from the regular coastal clean-up, SM is instituting efforts to help conserve water resources. Currently, SM malls are recycling water to help lessen the dependence on freshwater sources for non-potable use. In the past year, SM recycled 3.58 million cubic meters of water and reuses this for daily operations such as its cooling systems, toilet flushing, cleaning, and grounds upkeep.
SM has also implemented green designs in its buildings, and its water catchment basins in 23 malls, each the size of about 3-5 Olympic size pools, to help prevent flooding in surrounding communities.
To enable clean and sustainable transportation, SM promotes a bike-friendly environment and recently celebrated World Bicycle Day with a community bike ride gathering 1,800 cyclists at SM By the Bay and select SM malls; bike safety clinics for kids; and a monthlong bike fair offering incentives and discounts to bikers nationwide. SM pioneered in-mall electric vehicle charging stations – 34 e-vehicle chargers in 28 malls – one of the highest numbers in any location to date.
Mateo added that SM's partnerships with the DENR and various stakeholders to help pursue environmental stewardship and disaster resilience are resolute and year-round.
"We can do no less with the active participation and leadership of Hans Sy in the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), ARISE, and National Resilience Council guiding us on the importance of going beyond complying with the United Nations Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction," shares Mateo.
For more on SM Prime Holdings' sustainability program, visit the SM Prime Holdings website and this page.
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