How Hans Sy is leading SM Prime to a sustainable future 2
Solar rooftop at SM City North EDSA

SM Prime’s sustainability agenda for 2022: increase use of renewable energy by 50 percent

Today, the property conglomerate’s sewage treatment plants recycle 8.7 million cubic meters of water
ANCX Staff | Jun 09 2022

The Philippines is currently ranked third globally when it comes to climate change vulnerability. Because of its geographical location, it is more exposed to differing intensities of climate change manifestations—from erratic weather systems to natural calamities.

With this in mind, the private sector is called upon more than ever to align with the principles of sustainable development and to take on the same firm stance on environmentally sound practices in its operations.

A key figure in the private sector, Hans T. Sy, SM Prime Holdings Chairman of the Executive Committee, is seen as a role model when it comes to his dedication to the issue of environmental protection, disaster resilience and risk reduction management in the country.

In 2012, he joined the United Nations Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) for Disaster Reduction. In 2015, he was inducted the first and only Filipino member of the UN’s UNDRR ARISE (Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies) International Board. He currently serves as co-chair in the ARISE-Philippines network and National Resilience Council (NRC) of the Philippines and continues to help develop multi-sectoral partnerships to strengthen the ability of corporations, including MSMEs, to prepare and respond to disasters brought about by natural hazards such as earthquakes. 

Mr. Hans T. Sy
Mr. Hans T. Sy

“I constantly encourage the private sector to work closely with the government,” said Sy recently. “This way, we can be more cohesive in our efforts to make more meaningful progress towards a better and sustainable future.” 

According to SM Prime, sustainability is at the core of its corporate identity. It has spearheaded sustainable practices as well as set records in pioneering programs to protect the environment and focus on resilience in its developments.

For one, it embarked on a campaign to substantially reduce its water consumption. It pioneered the installation of sewage treatment plants even before the measure was required by way of the Clean Water Act in 2004.

Today, its sewage treatment plants recycle 8.7 million cubic meters of water, lessening its dependence on fresh water sources for air conditioning operations, gardening, water closet flushing and other non-potable uses. SM Prime’s water catchment basins across 20 SM malls can also catch and store almost 79 million liters of water in total every time it rains, or as much as 32 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

By controlling the flow of flood water, this provides surrounding communities more protection against the devastating effects of floods, alleviating what people would normally fear when rains come.

In 2014, SM Prime achieved an important milestone in the country with SM City North EDSA becoming then the world’s largest solar-powered mall. Today, SM Prime is adding eleven more malls with solar roof decks.

The property conglomerate is committed to increase the use of renewable energy by 50% in 2022 across its various business segments, ahead of the national goals to be 35% renewable by 2030.

Through these efforts, SM Prime says it is showing its commitment to provide affordable and clean energy to its tenant-partners, minimizing the carbon footprint emission in its operations.

“Climate change is looming over our Mother Earth,” said Mr. Sy in a video interview for the 50 Sustainability & Climate Leaders initiative. “If we can contribute no matter how little and if I can get everybody to be aware of it, I think we will make an impact.”