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SM Hotels and Conventions Corp (SMHCC) sets the bar for green procurement in the country’s hospitality sector

The world we live in today has significantly changed compared to how it was many light years ago. With more than five billion people expected to be on Earth by 2050, the concern about achieving a quality life remains. Climate change, global warming, deforestation, waste disposal, loss of biodiversity, and many other issues continue to confront us. Our actions have unfortunately degraded our environment and the exploitation of our resources have reached an alarming rate. We are clearly living far beyond our planet’s capacity to support us. What can we do to survive and withstand this?

Transformation is key. We must innovate and redefine our ways of working. In this manner, SMHCC actively pursues and lives out the concept of sustainability. While the company provides infrastructure to support and contribute to nationwide growth and development, its strategic directions are supported with strategic action programs and action plans that will drive change.

As part of its thrust towards Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in the Philippines, SMHCC recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development Inc. (PCEPSDI). The said agreement highlights SMHCC’s commitment to promote sustainable tourism aimed at encouraging greater involvement on greener consumption. SMHCC Executive Vice-President Peggy Angeles further reiterates that “SMHCC’s partnership with PCEPSDI solidifies the company’s objective to upgrade our sustainability programs, core practices and internal capacity building by applying SCP practices such as: resource efficiency and cleaner production, greening the supply chain and green procurement, and waste management among others.”

Specifically, SMHCC spearheaded an awareness program on green procurement through a full-day workshop conducted by PCEPSDI attended by a total of 100 top suppliers of Taal Vista Hotel, Pico Sands Hotel, Pico de Loro Club, Tagaytay Highlands, SM Investments Corporation procurement group, and SM Retail. The basic premise of this specific kind of procurement program is that every single purchase has hidden health, environmental, and social impacts throughout the entire supply chain. Specifically, it is defined by the UK Sustainable Procurement Task Force as “the process whereby organizations meet their needs for goods, services, works and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole life basis in terms of generating benefits not only to the organization, but also to society and economy, whilst limiting damage to the environment.”

The green procurement workshop was able to educate and professionalize both the procurement staff and suppliers who are the significant drivers of the program. Sustainable product specifications were set and identified such as the use of paper materials for goods & packaging and green cleaning products for housekeeping. Moreover, to promote efficiency, an e-ordering system will be implemented to reduce impacts associated with printing and transporting paper documents. The choice of suppliers will be based on their solid credentials for sustainability. Those who use harmful materials in the products they supply will be replaced.

PCEPSDI President and Executive Director June Alvarez highly encourages SMHCC’s proactive efforts and involvement saying that "We are grateful for this partnership with SMHCC. We look forward in supporting their efforts towards sustainable tourism through our Green Choice Philippines Programme together with our other project partners such as DOT, UN Environment Programme, WWF-PH, and Tourism Congress of the Philippines. We intend for tourism in the Philippines to be a strong environmental and sustainable driver wherein SMHCC has agreed to be at the forefront of this endeavor.”