SM Prime embarks on trash-free future campaign

SM Mall of Asia dims its lights for an hour in observance of Earth Hour. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF SM MALL OF ASIA

The neighborhood junk shop used to be the only go-to place for selling recyclable waste from the household. Now, people can exchange such trash while visiting SM shopping malls, where the recyclables are collected every first Friday and Saturday of the month.

The Trash-to-Cash drop-off point in every SM Supermall branch is not just the retail giant’s way of encouraging waste segregation and recycling among its customers, tenants and the community. The advocacy is practiced in other businesses of the SM Group.

To mark the International Day of Zero Waste on 30 March, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SM Prime), the property development arm of the conglomerate, launched its #SMWasteFreeFuture campaign. Under the drive, SM Prime brings all its property groups and stakeholders together to act in unison in waste management and segregation.

SM Prime’s announcement of its vision of an #SMWasteFreeFuture demonstrates the company’s strong commitment and sustainability stewardship, by inviting its stakeholders to engage in activities that will help spread zero-waste awareness and work for a sustainable and environmentally responsible approach on waste management.

Joining forces can create a world that the future generations truly deserve, according to Hans “Chico” Sy Jr., president of SM Engineering Design and Development Corporation and SM sustainability champion.

“As a community, we strongly believe in our ability to contribute to solving today’s waste issues,” Sy said.

As part of the #SMWasteFreeFuture campaign, SM Prime recently unveiled its waste-to-fuel partnership with GUUN Co. Ltd. to implement the Japanese technique of reducing landfill impact. The effort uses technology that converts non-recyclable and hard-to-recycle packaging into alternative fuel.

Bolstering the campaign is the SM Supermalls’ Environmental Programs on Waste Management which pioneered the Trash-to-Cash recycling market and provided support to the annual International Coastal Clean Up event.

In the hotel and tourism sector, SM Hotels and Conventions Corporation has taken the lead in mitigating global food waste by implementing sustainable initiatives across its properties in the Philippines. Their key initiatives include the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature’s Sustainable Diner Program, that aims to transform and help the food service sector minimize its impact on the environment thru resource efficiency, plastic refusal and food waste management and contribute to the world’s future food security.

Meanwhile, SM Supermalls recently joined millions worldwide in observing Earth Hour 2024, a WWF global campaign on mitigating climate change by promoting energy conservation and other eco-friendly practices.

A total 85 SM Supermalls in the country dimmed their signage and lighting by 50 percent, marking its 16th straight year of Earth Hour participation. Mall tenants also dimmed or turned off lights within their stores while mall-goers were encouraged to come up with creative yet meaningful ways to participate like dining in candlelight or shopping for sustainable goods.

Collectively, participating SM malls in North Luzon saved 1052.17 kilowatt-hour (kwH) of energy or the equivalent of 439 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) or greenhouse gas emissions from nearly 2,000 kilometers driven by an average gasoline-powered passenger vehicle. That is also equivalent to CO2 emissions from 28,958 times of charging smartphones.

In 2023 alone, SM Supermalls saved 4826 kwH of energy, equivalent to emissions from 13,724 kms driven by a gasoline car or CO2 emissions from 417,940 smartphones charged.