All 56 SM malls around the country, plus seven in China, will be turning their lights off at exactly 8:30 PM on March 19 in observation of Earth Hour. This is the 9th year that SM has supported the world's largest public campaign for the environment. The Philippines was one of the top 10 countries with the highest number of participants in 2015.
This year's theme, "Shine a Light on Climate Action", reiterates Earth Hour's goals of not only getting public support for climate change mitigation and adaptation but also getting individuals and groups to do their share beyond the one-hour symbolic switching off of lights.
"We invite the public to visit the nearest SM mall in their respective areas on March 19 and be part of this global movement," said Liza Silerio, Director of SM Cares Program on Environment and Sustainability. "We want to help in spreading the effects of climate change and creating awareness on what we can do to help our planet. We hope that through our different programs, we can convince more people to stand against climate change, and commit to do something in every way we can. "
Supporting Earth Hour is just one of SM Supermalls' strategies for environment conservation. "Risk planning against calamities has been part of SM's business strategies for decades. Natural disasters will happen, and we all have to be prepared not just for our business but also for the communities we serve" SM Prime Holdings President Hans T. Sy said.
For many years now, SM has been taking sustainability initiatives that include water recycling facilities, rainwater catchment tanks, and LED lighting systems. Regular Trash to Cash activities are also conducted wherein the public can exchange specified recyclable or reusable trash for cash. In 2014, SM North EDSA installed the country's first and biggest commercial solar rooftop at 1.5MW. Soon, more SM malls around the country will have solar panels on its rooftops.
"Being present in more communities gives SM the opportunity to empower everyone toward initiating change in how we treat the environment. From our neighboring households, to schools and local government offices around the country where SM operates, we can get as many supporters for the Earth Hour initiative," Silerio added.