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better and sustainable purchasing choices are called at SSX.

Innovative business practices, green technologies, and contributing to a circular economy — these are some of the conversations that emerged during the recently concluded Sustainability Solutions Exchange (SSX), a three-day digital conference and exhibition initiated by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM). The digital show gave emphasis to the food and lifestyle sectors, paving the way as the first government-led sustainability program for entrepreneurs in the Philippines.

SSX had more than 1,200 attendees hailing from 33 countries, making it one of CITEM’s most attended online events. More than 150 suppliers of sustainability solutions, products and services signed up for the expo component. These suppliers came from the following industries: food, lifestyle and packaging solutions; green technology; certifying bodies; alternative industrial products; inventions; and sustainable projects by the government, NGO, academe and other agencies.

SUSTAINABILITY is at the heart of CITEM.

CITEM executive director Pauline Suaco-Juan said that the reason behind launching SSX is to create a dialogue between Philippine MSME, solutions providers, industry experts and sustainability advocates all over the world. “We aspire to not only promote competitive Philippine companies and products globally; we would like to champion brands that are socially conscious and sustainable,” she added.

A roster of 60 speakers composed of experts, stakeholders, and entrepreneurs addressed different sustainability issues through informative presentations and panel discussions. These local and international industry leaders presented topics that ranged from market opportunities and challenges, to business approaches and supply chain refinements.

Pocket Garden is a public space design collective which aims to enrich shared spaces for a healthier community.

The talks at SSX focused on how the Philippines fared in terms of sustainability, defining our local and global progress while offering available strategies and resources. They highlighted the role of businesses: From its product design, manufacturing, distribution and how MSME play a vital role in ultimately addressing global challenges through innovative projects.

The importance of familiarizing ourselves with the new 3Rs: Reusing, Repairing, and Refilling the Economy was mentioned by Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in the Philippines, Dr. Selva Ramachandran. He explained, “This will entail a concerted action from all stakeholders to facilitate producers designing products for reuse, refilling, repair and recycling where the government uses its purchasing power to buy sustainable products and communities demanding access to better choices for consumption.”

On the last day of the three-day event, Design Center of the Philippines launched the inaugural collections of their Bakong and Pinyapel initiatives under their Smart Materials Innovation Program.

PHOTOGRAPHs COURTESY OF sustainability.ph

The inaugural edition of SSX, aside from its exhibition and conference fronts, also offered different ways for participants — entrepreneurs, solutions providers, speakers, and guests — to meet and exchange ideas. CITEM was able to arrange more than 70 business-to–business meetings during the event, with the goal of matching suppliers with MSME participants and buyers.

Talks and discussions during the three-day exhibition and conference are available on demand via the Hopin Replay section until 20 April and will also be available on the sustainability.ph website on 22 April, coinciding with Earth Day.

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