August 8, 2022

HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRIPE-VINE: OUR NEW ABNORMAL

When SM Investments Corp., SM Supermalls, and SM Retail sent out their invitations for a special media event that would highlight their ongoing #SMGreenMovement, we weren’t immedi-ately aware of just how special the afternoon would be, and how great memories were going to be created in the course of the event. But from the moment we walked from the meeting place at MOA Square to SM Store’s #GreenFinds display, we had the distinct feeling that this was going to be different, and demonstrate just how important this #SMGreenMovement was to the whole SM Group.

The first giveaway, to my eye, was the assembling and roll call of the “heavyweights” of the SM Group. Tim Daniels, Miguel Mercado, Koleen Palaganas, JonJon San Agustin, and Cathy Ileto made up the brain trust that would talk about the GreenMovement at the SM Store, and then take us by tram to the solar panels situated on top of the 8th floor of MOA’s parking building. And Grace Magno informed us that Steven Tan would be waiting for us at SMaison, to host our visit to the Auro Chocolate pop-up, and the sunset cocktails and tapas at BCN.

AT SMAISON, Grace Magno shows off her group selfie skills (or not), with JonJon San Agustin and Steven Tan (standing), and Tina Arceo-Dumlao, Cathy S. Ileto, and your columnist (seated).

More than just corporate social responsibility, or an offshoot of the work of the SM Foundation, the sustainability goals of the SM group, as exemplified in part by the #SMGreenMovement, is woven into the very fabric of the group’s corporate DNA, and is integral to their OpEx. This was made abundantly clear as we came to appreciate the multiple strands and layers of the movement – how there’s clear “green” messaging for the management, the rank and file, the stakeholders, the customers, and the communities that interact with the SM Group and all its affiliates.

There may be one unifying group message, but how that message is ‘broadcast’ has diverse applications, and intent. With #SMGreenFinds and SM Retail, the suppliers were being told that they would be promoted, and potentially enhance their sales figures, by embracing their own sustainability agendas; and this applies whether it’s a big, global retail manufacturer or an independent, niche MSME. For the customer, ready identification of these products via a green badge would demonstrate that even if on a soft impact basis, anyone can make easy, accessible choices that support sustainability, and make their sustainable journey an immediate one.

The overriding concept behind #SMGreenFinds is that there are everyday products that are better for us and the planet. It’s about promoting an eco-friendly lifestyle, sustainable practices, and green culture. And making it abundantly clear that taking the “road” doesn’t entail hardship, deprivation, or a drastic altering of lifestyle choices.

THE SOLAR PANELS found on the MOA rooftop.

Brought to the MOA solar panels, they are an impressive sight to behold. But even more impressive is what they represent. The 10,426 panels can collectively power 81 escalators, or 35 elevators, or 48,000 lighting fixtures. And it’s not just at MOA where we find these solar panels, they’re in various SM malls. As it is right now, the power generated are “sold” to power generating entities, and transformed into credit for any specific mall’s utility bills. It’s a form of the circular economy that we read about – how sustainability works via various avenues, guided by a strong community commitment to make this concept work.

It’s not about making your own “island,” but recognizing that by operating collectively, we trans-form sustainability into something that’s concrete, and for the common good. I recall during a tour three weeks ago of the SM Retail headquarters, this was being applied even to working conditions and employee experience. The WELL Building Standard (having to do with health and wellness features) certification of the building is something management can be proud about, and I’m made to understand that the structure itself is now being evaluated for its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

And can I just say that I loved how SM brought the event to a close with the sunset cocktails and tapas at SMaison. It was a potent reminder that while the #SMGreenMovement is serious business, it doesn’t preclude having fun, and enjoying one another’s company. Amidst the gravity of what sustainability is all about for the SM Group, there’s still room for levity, forging strong bonds, and creating precious new memories.

HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRIPE-VINE: OUR NEW ABNORMAL

When SM Investments Corp., SM Supermalls, and SM Retail sent out their invitations for a special media event that would highlight their ongoing #SMGreenMovement, we weren’t immedi-ately aware of just how special the afternoon would be, and how great memories were going to be created in the course of the event. But from the moment we walked from the meeting place at MOA Square to SM Store’s #GreenFinds display, we had the distinct feeling that this was going to be different, and demonstrate just how important this #SMGreenMovement was to the whole SM Group.

The first giveaway, to my eye, was the assembling and roll call of the “heavyweights” of the SM Group. Tim Daniels, Miguel Mercado, Koleen Palaganas, JonJon San Agustin, and Cathy Ileto made up the brain trust that would talk about the GreenMovement at the SM Store, and then take us by tram to the solar panels situated on top of the 8th floor of MOA’s parking building. And Grace Magno informed us that Steven Tan would be waiting for us at SMaison, to host our visit to the Auro Chocolate pop-up, and the sunset cocktails and tapas at BCN.

AT SMAISON, Grace Magno shows off her group selfie skills (or not), with JonJon San Agustin and Steven Tan (standing), and Tina Arceo-Dumlao, Cathy S. Ileto, and your columnist (seated).

More than just corporate social responsibility, or an offshoot of the work of the SM Foundation, the sustainability goals of the SM group, as exemplified in part by the #SMGreenMovement, is woven into the very fabric of the group’s corporate DNA, and is integral to their OpEx. This was made abundantly clear as we came to appreciate the multiple strands and layers of the movement – how there’s clear “green” messaging for the management, the rank and file, the stakeholders, the customers, and the communities that interact with the SM Group and all its affiliates.

There may be one unifying group message, but how that message is ‘broadcast’ has diverse applications, and intent. With #SMGreenFinds and SM Retail, the suppliers were being told that they would be promoted, and potentially enhance their sales figures, by embracing their own sustainability agendas; and this applies whether it’s a big, global retail manufacturer or an independent, niche MSME. For the customer, ready identification of these products via a green badge would demonstrate that even if on a soft impact basis, anyone can make easy, accessible choices that support sustainability, and make their sustainable journey an immediate one.

The overriding concept behind #SMGreenFinds is that there are everyday products that are better for us and the planet. It’s about promoting an eco-friendly lifestyle, sustainable practices, and green culture. And making it abundantly clear that taking the “road” doesn’t entail hardship, deprivation, or a drastic altering of lifestyle choices.

THE SOLAR PANELS found on the MOA rooftop.

Brought to the MOA solar panels, they are an impressive sight to behold. But even more impressive is what they represent. The 10,426 panels can collectively power 81 escalators, or 35 elevators, or 48,000 lighting fixtures. And it’s not just at MOA where we find these solar panels, they’re in various SM malls. As it is right now, the power generated are “sold” to power generating entities, and transformed into credit for any specific mall’s utility bills. It’s a form of the circular economy that we read about – how sustainability works via various avenues, guided by a strong community commitment to make this concept work.

It’s not about making your own “island,” but recognizing that by operating collectively, we trans-form sustainability into something that’s concrete, and for the common good. I recall during a tour three weeks ago of the SM Retail headquarters, this was being applied even to working conditions and employee experience. The WELL Building Standard (having to do with health and wellness features) certification of the building is something management can be proud about, and I’m made to understand that the structure itself is now being evaluated for its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

And can I just say that I loved how SM brought the event to a close with the sunset cocktails and tapas at SMaison. It was a potent reminder that while the #SMGreenMovement is serious business, it doesn’t preclude having fun, and enjoying one another’s company. Amidst the gravity of what sustainability is all about for the SM Group, there’s still room for levity, forging strong bonds, and creating precious new memories.

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