SM invests in future, goes big on renewables

As part of its sustainability roadmap, property giant SM Prime Holdings seeks to boost by 50 percent the share of renewable energy in its electricity consumption by end-2022, alongside the installation of solar power facilities on the roof decks of the majority of its shopping malls.

SM Prime also plans to install solar panels on over 50 of its shopping malls to generate a combined capacity of 140 megawatts of renewable energy over the medium term.

At present, it has eight malls with a combined solar power capacity of of 7.7 MW. These eight facilities are under the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA) scheme.

In a press statement, SM Prime announced that it’s already working out the diversification of its energy sources even in developments where the RCOA scheme is not yet implemented.

Through these efforts, SM Prime committed to provide affordable and clean energy to its tenant-partners, thus minimizing the carbon footprint of its operations.

“Sustainability has always been a part of SM’s strategy and we are continuously exploring ways to promote environmental consciousness in our operations and developments. We are now embarking on a program to utilize more of renewable energy in our business operations to minimize environmental impact,” said Jeffrey Lim, president of SM Prime.

These initiatives are aligned with the DOE’s program of moving up the renewable energy supply component of the country to 35 percent by 2030.

Solar power, whether on or off-the-grid, is a popular renewable energy option for many companies, as solar panels are quite easier and faster to install compared to other renewable energy options. Because of their size, roof decks of shopping malls are considered ideal sites for solar facilities. This initiative maximizes the use of space, especially in urban settings, and allows operators to significantly reduce electricity expenses. As the cost of solar batteries further goes down in the years ahead, the reliability of solar power is expected to increase as well.

At present, the eight local SM SuperMalls with solar panels are SM Mall of Asia, SM City North Edsa, SM City Cauayan, SM City Cabanatuan, SM City Iloilo, SM Tuguegarao, SM City Trece Martires and SM City Bacoor.

Solar facilities
In mainland China, SM City Xiamen, SM Lifestyle Center and SM City Jinjiang also operate solar facilities.

The property developer said that along with its other environmental care and protection programs, the continuous development of its sustainable program was initiated in 2013 by SM Prime chair Hans Sy, who also co-chairs the Executive Committee and United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies.

“As we continue to strive for more sustainable operations, SM Prime will keep working toward a future-proofed business by developing proactive solutions through partnership with various public and private entities that can further improve our way of business and reduce the carbon footprints generated in our operations,” Lim concluded.

The company noted that sustainability as well as disaster risk reduction and resilience formed part of SM Prime’s core business strategies.

Source: Inquirer