There is wisdom that takes root in the old proverb, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’.

In the same vein, SM Foundation, Inc. the social good arm of the SM group, and the Fast Retailing Foundation (FR Foundation), a general incorporated foundation in Japan, is partnering with communities to raise various species of trees in the firm hope that together, they can plant the seeds for a better tomorrow.

As ‘Grow Trees Community’, the ‘treescaping’ and reforestation initiative aims to plant and grow at least 200,000 trees in Batangas, Pampanga and Benguet provinces and help create livelihood opportunities by working closely with conservation-focused people’s organizations and various government agencies.

“The core of our program is to go beyond planting trees. It addresses the social and economic needs of communities by providing them with the means to engage in agroforestry. We want to build a strong foundation to keep growing communities by fostering collaboration and leadership in caring for the environment,” said Cristie S. Angeles, SM Foundation Assistant Vice President for Livelihood and Outreach Programs.

Grow Trees Community taps local communities as stewards of the environment.

In a coastal village in the municipality of Macabebe where the project has the biggest exposure, both foundations intend to plant the Bakawan species of mangroves to serve as a natural defense against storm surges while enhancing ecological biodiversity.

“We are particularly drawn to this project which is a first in terms of our partnerships here in the country. After we can confirm the success of this project, we are looking forward to pursuing more of these types of projects in the near future in collaboration with our partner, SM Foundation,” Yoshio Ishida, Secretary-General of FR Foundation said.

Grow Trees Community is in support of the SM Green Movement that aims to improve the quality of life of communities through sustainable solutions to promote a green planet, green living and a green culture

FR Foundation focuses on promoting research designed to spur technological development, nurture human resources and support socially vulnerable groups. It is part of Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., the leading Japanese retail company that owns well-loved casual wear brand, Uniqlo. # # #