There’s nothing that a public-private sector partnership can’t do, especially on an important environmental and ecological day.
This was proved by SM Prime Holdings and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), together with the SM Mall of Asia and SM By the Bay when they conducted a special cleanup activity along the SM Mall of Asia stretch of the Manila Bay.
The cleanup activity was part of the celebration of World Oceans Day on June 8 and is also part of the company’s ongoing efforts in support of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation program. It was also conducted to ensure that all waterways within its business environments and communities are clean and well-managed, especially in developments where the state of waterways can have a direct and significant impact on large bodies of water such as the Manila Bay.
“Being a responsible integrated property developer, SM Prime has always been aware of its role as a member of the community to help care for the environment, including our seas and oceans. To ensure that we are able to carry out this role effectively, we continue to collaborate with various communities and government partners as we implement programs that contribute to marine conservation,” said SM Prime Holdings’ Senior Vice President for Special Projects, Atty. Siegfred Mison said in a statement sent to FrontpagePH.com.
The clean-up activity also coincided with the Philippine Coast Guard’s Marine Environmental Protection Command’s 23rd Founding Anniversary.
“Marine environmental protection and preservation are amongst the primary mandates of the Philippine Coast Guard. As such, and as part of my advocacy, the PCG has almost always been the leader, if not part, of coastal clean-up initiatives all around the country. In simple ways, these coastal clean-ups mitigate pollution in the ocean. Whatever amount of wastes and garbage taken from our ocean during these clean-ups reduces the pollution in our waters thereby lessening the chances of death of seabirds, marine mammals, turtles, and other marine animals. Volunteer activities such as these promote consciousness and awareness that remind all of us of mankind’s obligation to preserve our natural resources and save our Mother Earth,” said Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Admiral George Ursabia Jr.
SM Prime have been conducting regular, weekly cleanups at the SM Mall of Asia Complex since December last year, with the help of various groups within the company as well as its maintenance and security personnel.
As of May this year, the company has already collected a total of 4,322 sacks of waste material amounting to 42,878 kg.; 80 bags of recyclable material amounting to 240 kg.; and 5,272 sacks of silt amounting to 105,440 kg.. The activities have also successfully covered a distance of about 700 meters of coastline as of the said month.
SM’s regular clean-up drives support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities, and SDG 14, Life Below Water.
These are just some of SM’s programs aimed at helping protect the country’s waters and the marine life they support. Other SM initiatives related to marine conservation are the Plastic Waste Collection Program, together with Plastic Credit Exchange, and the Trash-to-Cash Recycling Market, both promoting responsible solid waste management and proper disposal of plastic waste. All SM Supermalls nationwide recycle their water, to be used back for the non-potable and operational needs of the malls.
There is also the AweSMSeas campaign in partnership with the USAID and the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PRRCFI). The collaboration helps raise awareness of the importance of managing plastic pollution affecting the world’s waters. Prior to the pandemic, SM Mall of Asia and SM By the Bay annually host the International Coastal Cleanup event held every September. In 2019, more than 5,000 volunteers gathered and collected 31,564 kgs. of non-biodegradable solid waste.
Visit www.smprime.com/sustainability-overview for more about the various sustainability programs of SM Prime Holdings.