ECCP looks at SM Malls for energy efficiency campaign

June 7, 2010 7:06 pm 

Manila, June 7 — European businessmen on Monday said they are looking at SM Prime Holdings (SMPH), the country’s largest mall operator, to lead an energy efficiency campaign from the ground level.

Henry Schumacher, executive vice-president of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), said just like the US-based Walmart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, did in 2006, SMPH can duplicate the same approach and ask its suppliers, service providers, and tenants to develop energy efficiency.

“SMPH can set an example for the entire country by making sure that everyone involved in its business are adopting sustainable energy policies. This will not only result in huge savings for the companies but will also ensure that the environment is protected,” Schumacher said.

According to Schumacher, there is also a growing trend among consumers who are now looking only to purchase clean, green, and socially sustainable products. Consumers now are less convinced by the marketing ploy of companies.

Walmart, four years ago, measured the ability of their suppliers to develop packaging and conserve natural resources, ordered the factories of its biggest suppliers to become 20 percent more energy efficient by 2012, and supported toys that are made from natural or recycled materials.

Walmart suppliers that failed to place energy efficient standards and meet the required targets were no longer allowed to do business with the retail chain.

Schumacher said they are banking on the ability of SMPH to make available competitively priced goods and services with the least negative corporate impact on the ecology.

Currently the SM Super Malls have a twice-a-month recycling market where consumers can trade their thrash for cash, built waterless urinals, introduced recyclable green bags for shopping, and installed a building management system that controls electricity consumption.

Still, Schumacher believes SMPH, which is bringing former US Vice President Al Gore into the country to speak on environmental concerns, can still do more. <P>“Energy conservation and efficiency should be a high priority among businesses in the country. There is no better place to start than at the SM Malls,” Schumacher said.

The ECCP recently started the SMEs for Environmental Accountability, Responsibility and Transparency (SMART Cebu) project in Cebu which aims to assist businessess achieve eco-friendly production while helping them penetrate the European market.

Its initiative, the European Innovation, Technology, and Science Center has also placed on high priority energy efficency and sustainable environment in its new objectives.(PNA) LOR/bac/utb


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