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SM Group works with industry, gov’t for climate action, low-carbon economy

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The SM Group said it is advancing meaningful discourse on climate action and fostering partnerships aligned with efforts to support the country’s commitment to addressing climate change.

SM said it extended its support for the promotion of a low-carbon economy through nature-based solutions across the group.

“At SM, our vision is to be a catalyst for responsible development in the communities we serve,” said Timothy Daniels, SM Investments consultant and head for investor relations and sustainability.

“This involves careful decision-making and integrating sustainable practices into how our business is done,” he said. 

SM developed a sustainability management system focused on the two key policies of climate action and resource management.

The former incorporates both mitigation and adaptation, consistent with the national policies and the country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The latter policy states how SM manages the available natural resources, minimizing extraction of these resources, prioritizes nature-based solutions across its ecosystem of businesses and the promotion of circular systems. It aims to create a more sustainable process by reducing waste while maximizing resource efficiency.

These insights were shared during an educational forum hosted by the Carbon PH Coalition. The forum was held at SMX Aura in Taguig on April 11 focused on the topic of Philippine Policy and Investment Environment for Nature-based Solutions.

SM said its participation underscored the group’s commitment to knowledge sharing and advocating for policies that support environmental conservation.

SM is also among the first proponents of the Carbon PH Coalition—a private sector group committed to actively participating in advocacy, capacity building and collaboration in the country’s journey towards transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

The group is also actively involved in the review of House Bill 7705, which promotes a low-carbon economy and aims to ensure fair implementation of regulations on carbon emissions among businesses to achieve national climate targets.

Daniels underscored the Philippines’ critical place in the global climate change scenario.

“The Philippines is one of 18 mega-biodiverse countries in the world. We only contribute 0.3 percent percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and yet we are among the top three most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change,” said Daniels.

Climate Change Commission Secretary Robert Borje noted how public sector efforts toward national decarbonization goals can be achieved through synergies between state initiatives and private sector innovations.

He cited the need for investment-led transformative climate action as a key contribution to combat climate change.

“Government policies, together with private sector investments, can pave the path for stronger climate action,” said Borje.

Nature-based solutions are actions to protect, sustainably manage or restore natural ecosystems to address challenges such as climate change, human health, food and water security and disaster risk reduction.

SM Prime Holdings Inc., the group’s property arm entered a joint venture recently with GUUN Co., a Japanese-based material recovery and environmental solutions service company.

The venture aims to reduce the landfill impact of SM and develop an infrastructure for systemic waste management and resource recovery.

SM Retail Inc., the SM Green Finds program promotes a circular system among its partners and suppliers by introducing more sustainable ways in the manufacturing of goods and product designs while instilling a green lifestyle for both producers and customers.

Philippine Geothermal Production Company (PGPC), one of SM’s portfolio investments helps boost the group’s advocacies toward renewable energy which currently operates two steam fields producing around 300 megawatts of steam that is converted into electrical energy.

SM recognizes that as a group in growth mode, it needs to harness a renewable source of energy to ensure its expansion responsibly and sustainably.

When asked what the group’s motivation for nature-based solutions was, Daniels answered, “It’s the right thing to do.”

“We cannot exist in isolation, and we are part of a grander ecosystem,” he said.

“We are aligned with Carbon PH in its vision to address climate change through practical solutions and policy advocacy,” Daniels said.

The Carbon PH coalition is composed of 48 companies including SM Investments Corp.

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