Batangas

SM Prime & WWF Philippines announce partnership towards responsible reporting on climate change solutions

SM Prime Holdings, Inc., one of Southeast Asia’s leading integrated property developers and leading conservation organization World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines have entered a collaboration in adopting a more robust reporting framework to address the climate crisis. 

This is a major partnership of WWF with a Philippine company towards the development of a bespoke program towards decarbonization.

Sustainability at SM Prime is at the core of its corporate identity. SM Prime is at the forefront of spearheading sustainable practices as well as setting records in pioneering programs to consciously protect the environment and strongly focus on resilience in its developments.

Under the partnership, SM Prime will adopt the Corporates for a Better Planet Initiative (CBPI), WWF-Philippines’ flagship program that provides an actionable framework for organizations to operate sustainably within the paradigm of the climate crisis. 

“We are delighted to work with WWF Philippines on this sustainable journey. Focusing sustainability within the context of the Philippines ensures that our strategies and projects are highly material, efficient and more responsive in addressing local concerns surrounding resilience and adaptation. We need to be one with the worldwide community to achieve this and we need to work with global experts to get this right,” SM Prime President Jeffrey C. Lim said.

Climate change is one of the most pressing and defining global issues today. The Philippines currently ranks third globally when it comes to climate change vulnerability. In relation to its geographical location, it is more exposed to altering intensities of climate change manifested through erratic weather systems and natural calamities.

These risks are rife with complexity and uncertainty and organizations typically fail to properly assess their implications. The CBPI program takes a holistic approach towards this pivotal issue, addressing these risks from a custom-built, science-based perspective. 

By partnering with the WWF, SM Prime will be able to enhance and determine climate change solutions that will be reflected through responsible and transparent reporting. 

The first phase of CBPI involves gauging where SM Prime stands in its sustainability initiatives and setting a science-based target in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels. SM Prime published its first Integrated Report in 2021 under the Integrated Reporting Framework which provides an overview of our value creation model — how we seek to create value for our stakeholders by contributing to national progress through investments and interventions critical to the country’s socio-economic growth.

As a champion of climate action in the Philippines, our partnership with WWF adds another enhancement to transparent reporting by ensuring greenhouse gas (GHG) computations are accurate and use appropriate methodologies.

With the need to broaden efforts to protect the environment, this partnership forms part of group-wide efforts under the SM Green Movement that aims to improve the quality of life of communities through sustainable solutions to promote a green planet, green living and a green culture.

SM Prime’s partnership with WWF dates back to 2007 under Hamilo Coast, its leisure resort development in Nasugbu, Batangas.

WWF closely monitors the health and viability of the Hamilo Coast area including three of its coves designated as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)—the Pico de Loro, Etayo and Santelmo.

In recognition of its conservation efforts, Hamilo Coast was cited by WWF-Philippines as its longest standing Sustainability Partner in 2020. 

Advertisement
Standard
Asia, Batangas

Sinag Schools program powers up school in Batangas

SM Foundation (SMFI), the corporate social responsibility arm of the SM group, together with Maxeon Solar Technologies, recently powered up the Lemery Pilot Elementary School (LPES) in Batangas through the Sinag Schools program.

This social good collaboration between SMFI and Maxeon aims to provide clean and renewable energy to schools in grassroot communities by installing solar panels on an SM school building, especially to those that have low operating expenses.

In addition to the solar panel installation which intends to power positive change in the way energy is consumed in public schools, the program also aims to enhance the understanding of students in terms of energy management and the need to transition to cleaner energy alternatives with lower environmental impacts.

Through the Sinag Schools program, SMFI and Maxeon installed 21 solar panels— estimated to produce 6510 watt-p—on an SM school building in Batangas.
Through the Sinag Schools program, SMFI and Maxeon installed 21 solar panels— estimated to produce 6510 watt-p—on an SM school building in Batangas.

“Through this program, we want to power up the learning and development of young people. We want to help teach young people about solar energy, about renewable energy. We want to power up the next generation to help save our planet,” Maxeon Fab4 General Manager Glenn Everett said.

The SM school building at the LPES, which was donated by SMFI in partnership with SM Prime Holdings (SMPH) in 2017, now boasts 21 solar panels—estimated to produce 6510 watt-p. With the savings on electricity, the school may realign their budget to more efforts and other innovations that will give the students an environment more conducive to learning.

It takes a village to raise a child
SMFI executive director Debbie Sy underscored the importance of collective efforts in advancing the learning experience of every student in the country: “We believe that collaboration can drive growth and become a force for good in addressing societal challenges. CSR partnerships can create solutions that improve society by fostering learning, promoting innovation and gaining access to new technologies, such as the Sinag schools program. CSR collaboration can pool resources, both financial and human resources – between multiple organizations which can amplify social good impact.”

“The establishment of an ever-evolving CSR strategy and partnerships will help companies and non-government organizations in developing and implementing crucial social good programs over decades while having procedures in place that integrate social and environmental priorities into CSR core strategy – all in close collaboration with stakeholders,” she further added.

Moreover, Everett mentioned how SMFI and Maxeon share the similar set of values and interest when it comes to helping Filipino learners: “We have this concept of powering positive change in the world. We are happy to be working together with SM Foundation to power up the Lemery Pilot Elementary School.”

“Individually, we can do so much. But together we can do actually more. For us to bring our solar technology and SMFI to bring in their schools, these things are much better together than they would be apart,” he concluded.

Spreading social good all the way
SM Foundation made sure to truly touch the lives of the learners and teachers of LPES as it donated eight desktop computers, 200 bags with school supplies, and more than 160 pcs brand new kinder and elementary books to further promote the love for reading among the students. Clothing items for parents were also distributed.

For more information about this initiative, follow SM Foundation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube: @SMFoundationInc.

Maxeon is headquartered in Singapore. The company designs, manufactures, and sells Maxeon® and SunPower® brand solar panels. Maxeon has sales operations in more than 100 countries, operating under the SunPower brand in certain countries outside the United States. Maxeon is a leader in solar innovation with products that span the global rooftop and solar power plant markets through a network of more than 1,700 trusted partners and distributors. A pioneer in sustainable solar manufacturing, Maxeon leverages a +35-year history in the solar industry and numerous awards for its technology.

SM Foundation, through its School Building Program, is an active partner of DepEd’s Adopt-a-School program. This social good initiative aims to promote quality public education by building classrooms nationwide. To date, it has turned over more than 100 school buildings to grassroots communities.

Standard
Batangas, Philippines

Hamilo Coast: Nurturing nature for 15 years and beyond

The current rate at which individuals observe sustainability practices is far from halting climate change. Whether it is reducing the use of disposable items or saving more energy, environmentally conscious activities will only yield significant results if everyone is “cast in the same mold,” so to speak. That said, high-impact global sustainable development lies within the responsibility of the government and large organizations—conglomerates among them.

Understanding such a role, SM Prime Holdings, Inc., one of the largest integrated property developers in Southeast Asia, has incorporated its sustainable practices in its developments early on. Through SM Prime’s Costa Del Hamilo Inc., a leader in the leisure resort industry and the movers behind Hamilo Coast – this premium seaside complex in Nasugbu, Batangas, fosters a tangible connection with nature. Marking its quindecennial year, Hamilo Coast looks back at its milestones and achievements with its core emphasis on sustainable development.

“Sustainability has been at the forefront of our vision in providing a resort lifestyle. We strive to practice both environmental and social sustainability in our operations through our partners and commnunities,” Franklin M. Bolalin, Assistant Vice President for Hamilo Estate Management, said.

Disaster risk reduction

Every year, the country deals with an average of 19 typhoons, with some often resulting in damages to properties and loss of life. Coastal defenses such as seawalls and breakwater structures are often implemented to resist storm surges. In the case of Hamilo Coast, mangrove trees are the key.

Hamilo Coast’s 100,000 square-meter or equivalent to 10 hectares mangrove belt is one of the largest mangrove areas in the municipality. The sustainable beach resort town has since planted 50,000 mangrove propagules, protected hand-in-hand with the conservation organization World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines.

Biodiversity conservation

Apart from disaster mitigation, mangrove trees also benefit the climate by absorbing greenhouse gases (GHGs) and carbon dioxide. This capacity nurtures the ecosystem and biodiversity in the area, providing habitat for a wide array of species.

Hamilo is home to rich marine life and abundant flora and fauna. Its conservation programs and various sustainability initiatives have nurtured and conserved its precious biodiversity. There are about 96 various bird species found at the estate. Among these bird species are the rough-crested Malkoha and the Philippine eagle-owl.

From growing local plants to conducting regular coastal clean-up drives, coastal resource conservation initiatives are active in Hamilo Coast. With the help of WWF, they can increase their fisheries’ biological capacity and monitor their Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)—the Pico de Loro, Etayo and Santelmo coves which are among the three MPAs for Costa Del Hamilo’s Sustainable Development Project. Hamilo has been working with WWF since 2007 monitoring the health and viability of Hamilo Coast area.

In recognition of its conservation efforts, Hamilo Coast was cited by the World Wide Fund for Nature as its longest Sustainability Partner in 2020.

“Over the years, our partnership with SM significantly contributed to the impact we are making in our work in Hamilo Coast. From liquid waste and coral monitoring, to our present work on integrated waste management and food sheds, we hope that this continuing partnership would help us realize our vision of making Hamilo a holistic model of sustainability”, says Katherine Custodio, WWF-Philippines’ Executive Director.

Green buildings development

The path towards a sustainable future is paved with many interventions, including zero waste, dematerialization, zero emissions and resource efficiency practices. For its part, Hamilo Coast makes its intention to be a premiere sustainability community possible by making sure its buildings are designed with the environment in mind.

Some of the estate’s facilities are powered by alternative sources of energy. For example, its lamp posts use solar power more than traditional ones to function. Natural lighting and ventilation are also noticeable in some of its residential areas, which benefits the environment as well as its tenants. Additionally, Hamilo Coast implements a solid waste management plan that consists of recovery of materials and vermicomposting, among others.

Sustainable living

At Hamilo Coast’s core is how a distinct beachfront home can harmonize with its surrounding environment. As people crave for a more relaxed environment, closer to nature and the outdoors amid a work-from-home setup pushed by the ongoing pandemic, Hamilo homes give access to invigorating landscapes, coves to explore and the calming sea.

Fifteen years later, Hamilo Coast has surpassed its reputation as a weekend respite. It is now one of the best settlement options for people looking to live the coastal life in a sustainable community.

Standard
Batangas, Travel

Club Balai Isabel’s First Lakeside Pool Party

Last month, we came back to Club Balai Isabel in Talisay, Batangas to experience their first ever lakeside pool party. There were DJs, dizzying lights, foam machine, beer pong & more.

The Club Balai Isabel Aqua Park looks much better now guarded with more staffs. This is my third time at the hotel and park but I still want to go back. See you soon CBI!

Standard