SMC beats reduction goal, saving 7.7B liters of water in 2018
The ambitious sustainability project of San Miguel Corp. to cut water consumption across its operating units in half by 2025 is running ahead of schedule with the country’s largest conglomerate reporting that it already achieved a 23-percent reduction at the end of last year.
In a statement, San Miguel president Ramon Ang said last year’s performance was better than the goal of cutting water use by 20 percent by 2020, even as the firm’s various business lines continued to expand their activities.
The initiative, which is part of the conglomerate’s “Water for All” sustainability project resulted in an estimated 7.7 billion liters of “non-product” water saved last year alone.
“This is a significant milestone for us, and we’re highly encouraged by these results,” Ang said. “It’s only the second year since we announced this major sustainability goal, and already, the effort and commitment of those in our company tasked with making this goal a reality, have started to pay off.”
He attributed the drop to the effective implementation of programs aimed at increasing use of alternative, “non-scarce” water, including rainwater, recycled water, and seawater.
The company explained that while its total water volumes for the year actually increased — due to higher production and the start of operations of new manufacturing plants — it was also able to increase utilization of non-scarce water sources.
From 4,738,338 cubic meters saved in 2017, representing 15.76 percent of the company’s total non-product water use, SMC was able to save a total of 7,762,061 cubic meters of water in 2018.
“For us, water sustainability goes beyond corporate social responsibility,” Ang said. “Water is an integral part of our operations and a vital need of our people and communities. While we’ve long worked to conserve and protect water in our areas of operation, this initiative will see us drawing even less water in the future.”
“Knowing that water is a finite resource, we really want to take leadership in addressing this issue because that’s what responsible businesses do,” he added. “Water has an impact on our business and society and we fully recognize the role we can play in water stewardship.”
In addition to its efforts to reduce water use in its operations, San Miguel also donates water systems to waterless communities throughout the Philippines. The company’s goal is to increase access to water in remote barangays.
Its most recent donations benefitted communities in Malita, Davao; Maasim, Saranggani; and Mulanay, Quezon.
Meanwhile, San Miguel’s multibillion-peso Bulacan Bulk Water Project, which will make potable water accessible to 24 water districts in the province at the lowest price per cubic meter, came onstream last month. /atm
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