Conglomerates SM Investments Corp. and Ayala Corp. on Tuesday pushed for the inclusion of sustainability development into business strategies to promote growth and mitigate risks.
SMIC chairman of the executive committee Hans Sy said the group’s sustainability thrust focused on empowering small and medium enterprises to ensure sustainable value chain and in attaining business continuity.
“Empowering supply chains is particularly close to our hearts because SM’s roots were borne from our father’s entrepreneurial spirit,” Sy said during the United Nations Global Compact- Global Reporting Initiative regional sustainability summit at Conrad Manila in Pasay City.
“It is because of this that we understand the journey and challenges faced by small and medium enterprises. We want to help them not only by providing a strong market but by building their resilience to overcome their risks and maximize their opportunities,” Sy said.
SMIC’s property unit SM Prime Holdings Inc. is taking a step further by helping SMEs bounce back immediately after a disaster, he said.
It built an SM Reliance Center in SM Clark, Pampanga to serve as the data storage and capacity building facilities for SME partners. SM Prime also provided free storage data to serve as the repository for documents essential to early recovery and business continuity. More than 1,500 SMEs have availed of the service.
“Supporting our SME partners focus their efforts from managing disasters to managing risks is a critical step toward an enduring partnership in resilience,” Sy said.
SM works with nearly 25,000 SMEs, both directly and indirectly, representing 27 percent of total SMEs in the Philippines. These include mall tenants, traders and suppliers mainly in retail.
Meanwhile, Ayala Corp. chairman and chief executive Jose Augusto Zobel de Ayala said that building sustainability into business strategies, goals and practices would enable companies to grow responsibly while safeguarding their relevance to stakeholders.
The conglomerate in April this year launched the Ayala Sustainability Blueprint, a framework that allows each business unit to champion specific United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and make a significant impact in sectors that would benefit the most.
“We designed a long-term sustainability blueprint that lays out actionable and measurable targets that address critical environmental, social, and governance gaps that the country faces today,” said Zobel de Ayala.
“It is specifically designed to support the achievement of the UNSDGs by 2030 that will enable us to be more deliberate in monitoring and evaluating our sustainability targets and allocate resources to these initiatives more appropriately,” he said.
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