Sustainability Efforts Net People of the Year Award for Sy

[L-R: Kevin Belmonte, People Asia President and associate publisher;  Hans Sy, President of SM Prime Holdings, Inc.; Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez, Publisher and CEO of PeopleAsia;  and Joanne Rae Ramirez, Editor in Chief of People Asia]

For advocating sustainable green business practices in the company’s operations, SM Prime Holdings and SM Investment Corporation First Executive Vice President Hans Sy earned the nod as one of the 14 People of the Year awardees given annually by Stargate’s PeopleAsiamagazine.

Sy received the accolade from PeopleAsia publisher Babe Romualdez during ceremonies held at the New World Hotel in Makati City.

Being the first Filipino representative for the Private Sector Advisory Group of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, he was recognized for advocating the “importance of disaster resilience and in providing opportunities and assistance to disaster-stricken areas.”

The award-giving body noted SM Group’s past relief efforts in Tacloban City after Typhoon Yolanda and Bohol after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the island province. Sy initiated the donation of 1,000 disaster-resilient houses to affected families in Tacloban City, Cebu City, Iloilo City, and Ormoc City. The project is set to be completed in July 2015.

“Quite frankly, 1,000 units are not enough with the damage I saw. But again, I’m not the type who will get discouraged,” said Sy in an interview with PeopleAsia“But again, I’m not the type who will be discouraged. I just went on with the project and I believe it has also influenced other companies to do the same.”

In November 2014, Sy hosted the largest solar installation in the Philippines consisting of 5,760 solar panels atop SM City North Edsa’s multi-level car park.

People of the Year is an annual award given out by PeopleAsia magazine to individuals who have “left an indelible mark through their contributions in business, leadership, advocacies and entertainment, among others.”

Sy was featured PeopleAsia’s 15th-anniversary issue, released in December 2014.