SMHCC joins SM Prime for a waste-free future

The Philippine Star
SMHCC joins SM Prime for a waste-free future
Taal Vista Hotel’s Giving Garden supplies the hotel’s fresh produce requirements.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SM Prime), one of the leading integrated property developers in Southeast Asia, brings all its property groups and stakeholders toward a waste-free future by launching the #SMWasteFreeFuture project – a unified waste management and segregation campaign in response to the growing global crises on waste.

The project is the company’s waste strategy to encourage green practices in resource management, environmental impact, and most importantly, the social well-being of the community for a waste-free world.

It promotes behavioral changes in waste management through effective waste segregation via recyclable, disposable, compostable, or RDC. The project aims to achieve two primary objectives: reduce overall waste generation by implementing effective waste segregation practices and enhance waste diversion rate by diverting a greater proportion of waste away from landfills through recycling, composting, and other sustainable disposal methods.

Day one for a waste-free future

The Tela Tales bags give new life to old hotel linens and provide an artistic expression to the mothers of SMHCC’s communities.

The #SMWasteFreeFuture project was launched at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall on June 5 during the celebration of the World Environment Day.

During the launch of the project, sustainability champion and SM Engineering Design and Development Corp. president Hans “Chico” Sy Jr. said: “We have to be open to new ways of doing things and of putting into action every little step that’s crucial for advancing waste management solutions.”

“This is a small step in a long journey. This is a learning process and it will not be perfect. We highly encourage all of you to give us feedback. This project is not specific to one organization, but one that belongs to an entire society. We welcome everyone to practice this in their everyday lives,” he said.

Sy also encourages the youth and the general public to participate in the program. “Now it’s up to you and every individual here in attendance, to embrace the cause of change. We are given the opportunity to work on the biggest problems of our community when the planet truly needs it. Let’s not waste this opportunity,” he said

Sustainable hospitality on food and linen waste

In the hotel and tourism sector, SM Hotels and Conventions Corp. (SMHCC)’s practical and sustainable solutions zeroed in on waste diversion focused on food waste management and condemned linens.

In 2019, SMHCC took decisive leadership to mitigate global food waste across all its properties in the Philippines. It opened its Back of House operations to WWF-Philippines as the pilot study for the Sustainable Diner Project, covering the journey of food from source to plate, including kitchen operations, menu creation, guest engagement, composting, waste management and working with local farmers.

“We have diverted 198 tons of food waste from landfills as of 2019 to 2023. More importantly, food waste prevention is where we take our first steps. We’ve made it our priority through mindful production and simple innovative solutions.” said Leah Magallanes, vice president for Quality and Sustainability at SMHCC.

Launched during World Recycling Day on March 18 at SMX Convention Center Manila, Tela Tales, a textile upcycling project, gives life to condemned linens while seeking to provide livelihood to women from the local community.

The hotel industry changes its linens every two to three years. “We upcycle our condemned linens into beautiful products created by the communities we help,” Magallanes said. “But we also want to provide opportunities for skills building and encourage mothers from the single-income households to use their creativity and earn a little bit of extra while taking care of their families,” she said.

In partnership with designer Zara Juan, the program invested on the training and skills development of 41 women members of the community of Barangay Bulihan in Batangas and Kalingap Casa de Sueno in Tagaytay, to help them increase the additional home income and encourage entrepreneurship.

To date, Tela Tales has upcycled 1,716 yards of condemned linens. The project addresses the amount of linen in hospitality and is the hotel’s commitment to a waste-free future.

Currently, the SMHCC portfolio is comprised of 10 hotel properties with a combined inventory of more than 2,600 rooms and over 42,000 square meters of leasable convention space. The list of properties under SMHCC includes Taal Vista Hotel, Pico Sands Hotel, Conrad Manila, Lanson Place Mall of Asia, Radisson Blu Cebu, Park Inn by Radisson Clark, Park Inn by Radisson Davao, Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo, Park Inn by Radisson North EDSA, Park Inn by Radisson Bacolod and the SMX Convention Centers and trade halls.

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