Asia’s largest mall property employs solar panels for clean energy

SM Supermalls has consistently made green milestones by implementing various measures to be more energy-efficient and make better use of natural resources in order to protect the environment.

Here are some of the sustainable practices encouraged by the country’s top chain of shopping mall chains, which can be emulated on a smaller scale by households and small to medium businesses.

1 Switch to solar panels. SM Supermalls utilizes solar energy as part of its commitment to sustainability. Mall of Asia was the first Philippine mall to use rooftop solar decks. Now, these are used in 10 of SM malls, with plans to install 50 more over the next few years.

SM Supermalls is the first mall in the country to install e-Vehicle charging stations.

The mall chain is sourcing around 68 percent of its energy from renewable sources, which has helped reduce energy consumption by 28 percent, and carbon emissions by 31 percent.

Home solar panels are now becoming more affordable, and with the money one can save on electricity bills, these eventually pay for themselves. Start with small changes like switching to outdoor solar lights or solar water heaters.

2 Employ energy-efficient appliances. If you can’t switch to solar yet, you can look for appliances that use less electricity. You can get inverter air conditioners or refrigerators and check any product’s
energy-efficiency factor number, which is usually on a yellow sticker. You can also get a smart plug, which can be programmed to turn off an appliance when it is on standby.

SM Supermalls’ Trash to Cash Recycling Market provides a convenient way for mallgoers to turn their recyclable waste into cash.

All malls have been designed to be both energy and water efficient. It uses LED lighting systems which saves energy by 50 percent, and
sensor-activated escalators that save another 30 percent. The skylights, green walls and windows also make full use of natural light. SM is also the first mall chain in the country to install e-Vehicle charging stations.

3 Use less gasoline. Gasoline prices are at an all-time high, so budget-savvy Filipinos are turning to cheaper (and greener) forms of transportation, such as riding the bicycle and carpooling. Aside from saving money, biking has zero pollution and carpooling has lower carbon emissions.

SM Supermalls has long supported the use of environment-friendly transportation. It has dedicated bike lanes, hundreds of bike racks, vending machines and service repair stations. It also has produced Biker’s Safety Videos and Manuals which one can be download from the SM Supermalls website.

4 Segregate trash. The malls follow a strict trash segregation program. In fact, compostable waste undergoes a conversion process. The produced compost is then distributed through various community programs.

SM Supermalls also supports the recycling efforts of the surrounding communities, with its Trash to Cash Recycling Market.

Every first Friday and Saturday of the month, you can bring your recyclables like plastic bottles, aluminum and tin cans, old papers and books, and metal cookware and kitchen items and exchange them for cash. You can also join its Plastic Waste Collection Program, and regular Electronic Waste Programs at participating SM Cyberzones.

5 Collect rainwater. Water is a valuable resource. That’s why SM malls have rainwater catchments to harvest rainwater, especially in flood-prone areas, which serves the double purpose of conserving water and helping its communities to stay safe and flood-free.

When it rains, 20 SM malls can catch up to 79,257 cubic meters of rainwater, which is enough to fill 32 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

At home, collect rainwater in large barrels for gardening or cleaning the floors. There are many guides you can find online that can teach you how to save rainwater.

6 Join the SM Green Movement. All these measures are part of SM Supermalls’ commitment to protecting the planet. “SM has always strived to nurture and give back to all the communities we serve. That includes creating a greener, safer environment,” says Steven Tan, SM Supermalls president. “Through our programs, we also hope to make it easier for people to make eco-friendly choices in everyday life. The Green Movement is not just about what SM does within the malls, but what we can do together as a community.”

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