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SMC further cuts water use

The Philippine Star
SMC further cuts water use
The initiative, which is part of the conglomerate’s ambitious “Water for All” sustainability project—which will see San Miguel and its businesses cutting utility and domestic use of water by 50 percent by 2025—resulted in some 7.7 billion liters of water saved for the year.
Edd Gumban / File

MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Corp. (SMC) announced it significantly reduced operational water use across its businesses by 23 percent in 2018, beating its stated goal to reduce consumption by 20 percent in 2020. This, despite the conglomerate’s ongoing expansion and increase in production volumes.

The initiative, which is part of the conglomerate’s ambitious “Water for All” sustainability project—which will see San Miguel and its businesses cutting utility and domestic use of water by 50 percent by 2025—resulted in some 7.7 billion liters of water saved for the year.

This represents a 23 percent reduction in the company’s total non-product water use.

SMC attributed the drop to the effective implementation of programs aimed at increasing use of alternative, “non-scarce” water, including rainwater, recycled water, and seawater.

“This is a significant milestone for us, and we’re highly encouraged by these results,” said SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang.

“It’s only the second year since we announced this major sustainability goal, and already, the effort and commitment of those in our company tasked with making this goal a reality, have started to pay off.”

Increased use of non-scarce water

The company explained that while its total water volumes for the year actually increased—due to higher production and the start of operations of new manufacturing plants—it was also able to increase utilization of non-scarce water sources.

From 4,738,338 cubic meters saved in 2017, representing 15.76 percent of the company’s total non-product water use, SMC was able to save a total of 7,762,061 cubic meters of water in 2018.

Beyond social responsibility

“For us, water sustainability goes beyond corporate social responsibility,” Ang continues. “Water is an integral part of our operations, and a vital need of our people and communities. While we’ve long worked to conserve and protect water in our areas of operation, this initiative will see us drawing even less water in the future.”

“Knowing that water is a finite resource, we really want to take leadership in addressing this issue because that’s what responsible businesses do. Water has an impact on our business and society and we fully recognize the role we can play in water stewardship,” Ang added.

In addition to its efforts to reduce water use in its operations, San Miguel also donates water systems to waterless communities throughout the Philippines. The company’s goal is to increase access to water in remote barangays.

It’s most recent donations benefitted communities in Malita, Davao; Maasim, Saranggani, and Mulanay, Quezon.

Last January, SMC’s multi-billion Bulacan Bulk Water Project, which will make potable water accessible to 24 water districts in the province at the lowest price per cubic meter, came onstream.

SAN MIGUEL CORP. WATER FOR ALL
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