March 2016

Lights go out at SM Supermalls for Earth Hour

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All 56 SM malls across the Philippines, plus its seven SM Malls in China, turned their lights off last March 19 in observance of Earth Hour. This is the 8th year that SM has supported the world’s largest public campaign for the environment.

This year’s theme, “Shine a Light on Climate Action”, reiterates Earth Hour’s goals of not only getting public support for climate change mitigation and adaptation but also getting individuals and groups to do their share beyond the hour of the symbolic switching off of lights.

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SM’s main switch off event was held at the Fountain area of the Mega Fashion Hall in SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City. The celebration was led by celebrity superstar, Anne Curtis-Smith; Leandro Leviste, President of Solar Philippines; Climate Change Commissioner Vernice Victorio and WWF Vice President Chrisma Salao. The event was also attended by various advocates, members of the local government and the community.

_MG_9887_edit2Leading the switch off at SM Megamall are: (L-R) WWF-Philippines Conservation Programs Vice-president Chrisma Salao; Climate Change Commissioner Frances Veronica Victorio; Solar Philippines President Leandro Leviste and Celebrity superstar Ms. Anne Curtis

During the event, Solar Philippines President Leandro Leviste said “The falling prices of solar power prove that the days of having to choose between business and the environment are over. We are proud to partner with SM, a company that has long known that you can do well by doing good.”

Each SM Mall in the Philippines and China had their own versions of celebrating earth hour including environmental performances, lighting of candles and pledges of support for the environment from the surrounding communities.

12795063_904579506307592_5799641930709840491_oSM City Marilao‘s Earth Hour installation of a flower garden is made up of recycled plastic bottles, lighted by the use of solar energy.

SMRS_SFSM City Rosales with their unique, impressive and beautiful hologram projection

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SM City Fairview
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SM Chengdu, China
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SM Wuzhong, China
SMNG EARTH HOUR 2016 (1)SM City Naga

 

Aside from supporting Earth Hour, SM has also been taking sustainability initiatives that include water recycling, energy efficiency, air quality, flood control support and responsible solid waste management efforts. Regular Trash to Cash activities are also conducted wherein the public can exchange specified recyclable or reusable trash for cash. In November 2014, SM City North Edsa installed the country’s first commercial solar rooftop that produces 1.5MW of clean energy. Soon, more SM malls around the country will have solar panels on its rooftops.

“Being present in more communities gives SM the opportunity to empower everyone toward initiating change in how we treat the environment” added Liza Silerio, Director of the SM Cares Program on Environment and Sustainability.

Al Gore Visits SM Mall of Asia Solar Carpark

 

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore recently visited the newly-completed SM Mall of Asia Solar Carpark. He was welcomed by Leandro Leviste, President of Solar Philippines; Hans Sy, President of SM Prime; Loren Legarda, Senator and UN Global Champion; and Hans Sy Jr., Vice President of SM Engineering Design and Development.

The visit came as Gore was in Manila for his three-day Climate Reality workshop to educate civic leaders on climate change and its solutions. During the workshop, Gore called on Filipinos to end their dependence on coal, and predicted that the Philippines, due to its abundant sunlight, can become one of the world’s first 100% solar-powered economies.

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The Solar Carpark inspection was an opportunity to learn about how the Philippines is leading the way in clean energy adoption. He noted the scale of the project, which has made SM MOA the world’s largest solar-powered mall, and used it during his Climate Reality presentation. Joining the site inspection was a camera crew taking footage of the solar installation for an upcoming documentary on climate change.

The 2.7 MW MOA Solar Carpark is nearly twice the size of the 1.5 MW SM North Edsa Solar Carpark, making it one of the world’s largest on-site solar projects. Comprised of 10,426 solar panels and 40 inverters, it supplies nearly 20% of the mall’s power needs. Over 30 years, it is expected to offset over 80,000 tons of CO2, equivalent to planting over 400,000 trees. Unlike many solar projects, which displace vast farmlands or forests, the rooftop installation occupies previously unused space and provides a “green roof” to shade parked cars.

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Also unlike most solar farms, which are dependent on subsidies, this project is notable for relying on zero government incentives, powering the mall at below utility rates. This demonstrates how, owing to high electricity prices and sunlight levels, the Philippines is one of the first markets to reach “grid parity”, where clean energy is also the cheapest form of energy.

Solar Philippines constructed and financed the Solar Carpark, which supplies the power to SM Mall of Asia under a long-term agreement at below utility rates. Together with SM North Edsa, this makes SM the largest consumer of solar energy in the Philippines.

SM’s CSR Programs Recognized in the 51st Anvil Awards

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The prestigious Anvil Awards has recognized SM Cares, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings, Inc., for its outstanding achievements in promoting its pioneering and innovative CSR programs that uplift communities and effect nation-building.

In stellar ceremonies held at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City, SM Cares, a division of SM Foundation, Inc. (SMFI), bagged 3 awards at the 51st Anvil Awards spearheaded by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP).

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The Anvil Awards is the PR profession’s most distinguished award that recognizes and raises the bar of PR practice as a fundamental part of businesses and organizations as well as promoting social responsibility.

The Special Movie Screening for the Blind and Deaf, SM’s Casual Employment Program for Senior Citizens and the SM Cares Housing Project for the Survivors of Typhoon Yolanda were given the Anvil awards for showcasing exceptional public relations practice.

SM has always endeavored to make CSR as integral part of its operations. It has been leading efforts to execute and promote pioneering programs that aim to make a difference in the lives of the Filipino people.

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The Special Movie Screening for the Blind and Deaf is the first of its kind in the country where movies are fitted with audio-description and closed captioning to allow the visual impaired and hard at hearing a chance to enjoy going to the cinemas. The project is in partnership with the Deaf Blind Support Philippines (DBSP).

The Casual Employment Program for Senior Citizens gives senior citizens a chance to regain their self-worth by giving them employment opportunities in SM malls. This initiative is in partnership with the Office of the Seniors Citizens Affairs (OSCA).

The SM Cares Housing Project for the Survivors of Typhoon Yolanda is a distinct manifestation of the Filipino’s bayanihan spirit in the face of adversity. An initiative that was spearheaded by SM Prime President Hans Sy in the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in 2013, the project gathered together the donations of SM’s business partners, tenants and other groups and individuals to raise P200 million to build 1,000 disaster-resilient houses in the areas badly hit by Yolanda in the Visayas region. The houses are given to survivor-beneficiaries for free.

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In receiving the awards, Annie Garcia, President of SM Supermalls said “We are deeply honored to have been recognized by the PRSP with these Anvil Awards as these programs are truly aimed at supporting communities. We hope that through these projects, we are able to serve more of our countrymen towards our goal of helping the country in nation building. We share these awards with the men and women who have continuously inspired us to do better in serving the Filipino people.”

Last year, SM also won various awards for its CSR programs, notably from the Apolinario Mabini Awards, the Global CSR Awards and the Emilio Abello Awards for the Environment.