SM To Gather Private Sector In Landmark Sustainability Summit

In the first ever Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Summit in the Philippines, SM, alongside other large Philippine firms and organizations, will spur discussions on how to promote sustainable development and help bridge the gap in sustainability reporting.

In order for firms to operate over a long period, they must pay attention to things other than the bottom-line. These include managing the impact on the global or local environment, community, society and economy. To reflect their economic, environmental, social and governance performance, a sustainability report is issued by corporates and organizations.

The summit’s lead convenor, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has partnered with the SM group of companies led by SM Investments Corporation, the Australian Embassy in the Philippines, the Philippine Business for Environment and the Makati Business Club in launching this summit in the country.

GRI is an independent international organization that has pioneered sustainability reporting since 1997. It helps businesses and governments worldwide understand and communicate their impact on critical sustainability issues such as climate change, human rights, governance and social well-being.

The main speakers are Sunny Verghese, Co-Founder and Group CEO of Olam International Limited and the Chairman of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development; and Tim Mohin, Chief Executive of GRI.

Heads of leading businesses will also give industry perspectives on how Philippine businesses could pave the way to a Sustainable Philippines. They are Teresita Sy-Coson, SM Investments Corporation Vice Chair and concurrently Chairperson of BDO Unibank; Hans T. Sy, Chairman of the Executive Committee of SM Prime Holdings; Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, President and CEO of Ayala Corporation; Justo Ortiz, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Union Bank of the Philippines; Irwin Lee, President and CEO of Universal Robina Corporation and Vincent S. Perez, Jr., Co-Founder and Chairman of Alternergy.

The sustainability summit will be held on October 8, 2018 at the Conrad Manila which was conferred its Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification in 2017. LEED certification, established by U.S. Green Building Council, is one of the world’s prestigious program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

Conrad Manila sits within the Mall of Asia Complex, one of SM Prime’s biggest property investments which was master planned with disaster resiliency in mind to minimize effects of flooding during storm or extreme tides among others.

SM’s Sustainability Story

SM’s sustainability story traces back to its founder, Henry Sy, Sr. who believed that business growth and social development go hand in hand.

SM’s corporate social responsibility aims to address the gaps in basic services in the communities it serves through social development programs of the SM Foundation. SM Foundation helps provide access to quality education to students from financially challenged families through college and technical-vocational scholarship grants and by building well-equipped public schools. It also helps improve the quality of universal healthcare by renovating public health facilities and by conducting medical and diagnostic missions nationwide. SM Foundation also created a program to help farmers learn progressive farming techniques.

SM Prime’s Hans Sy, has taken the lead in disaster resilience and climate change adaptation. He serves as the only Filipino international board member of the UNISDR’s Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (ARISE), a private sector alliance which promotes disaster resilience in the country. Mr. Sy has championed several sustainability initiatives including incorporating disaster resilient features in the design of malls nationwide.

BDO Unibank, for its part, has advanced Sustainable Energy Finance through its partnership with the International Finance Corporation and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. Recognizing the multiple challenges to finding reliable sources of renewable and alternative energy, BDO has taken the bold step of launching the country’s first green bonds which has funded about US$450M green funds to date.

SM’s path to sustainable growth is anchored on energizing local economies by creating jobs, promoting inclusive supply chains, facilitating infrastructure development, providing access to financial services, supporting community development and social inclusion, integrating disaster resilience and encouraging entrepreneurship, wherever SM is present.

The Mall of Asia Complex, one of SM Prime’s biggest property investments, was master planned with disaster resiliency in mind to minimize effects of flooding during storm or extreme tides.

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