Joining SM Retail President Chito Manalo (top, middle) during the GRI virtual summit were (from top, left) Dr. Allinnettes Adigue,
Global Reporting Initiative’s Public Policy and Corporate Relations Manager; Anirban Ghosh, Mahindra Group’s Chief Sustainability Officer;
(from bottom, left), Helena Barton, Deloitte’s Risk Advisory Partner; and Charlie Villaseñor, Procurement and Supply Institute of Asia’s Chairman of the Board.

While the COVID-19 pandemic caused tremendous impact and disruptions in the supply chains of various industries, SM Retail highlighted the importance of taking care of its community as part of its response to current challenges, and the role of its supply chain in this commitment.

Speaking along with industry leaders from different parts of the world during the Asia Supply Chain Sustainability Summit hosted by the Global Reporting Initiative and the Procurement and Supply Chain Institute of Asia on Monday, November 23, SM Retail President Chito Manalo said that the company’s extensive supply, distribution and logistics network has been valuable in its efforts to help its communities, employees and customers.

“During the period of March, April, May, as a company, we used our extensive supply network, and our extensive distribution and logistics network to have an immediate response for the welfare of the community,” Manalo said.

SM Retail, along with the rest of the SM Group, donated more than P400 million in medical supplies to hospitals and partner communities. Its supply chain and logistics partners were crucial in helping secure and transport these items to their nationwide recipients amid limited mobility.

SM Retail also ensured the safety of its employees through regular and company-funded COVID-19 tests, contact tracing and information and education campaigns.

Taking care of its communities and ensuring the safety of its employees were very critical for SM especially at the onset of the pandemic, according to Manalo.

“This is part of the sustainability mindset that SM as a company has in leading these two very important aspects of our business before anything else. Our business will only be as sustainable as the communities we proudly serve,” he added.

With a portfolio that includes food and non-food brands, SM Retail also introduced innovations to better and more efficiently cater to the needs of its customers during the pandemic. Manalo also highlighted the importance of innovations in technologies and processes for companies to be able to respond better to unprecedented challenges.