Hans T. Sy, Chairman of the Executive Committee of SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SM Prime),recently showcased the company’s sustainability drive at the2022 General Membership Meeting of the Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (ARISE) of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) in Geneva, Switzerland.
“Resilience, being a priority in SM developments, is factored into every development, with 10% capital expenditure allocated for disaster risk resilient features. To add, SM puts equal importance in securing its people and providing world standard processes in dealing with disasters,” said Mr. Sy who was invited as a special guest by Ms. Mami Mizutori, UNDRR Head and Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction.
“This is one reason why the public sees our properties as safe havens,” Mr. Sy explained, “We have our SM Resilience Center for status monitoring of malls, our Business Continuity Plan for tenants, and our own SM Disaster Resilience Policy to guide our people,”
Mr. Sy is a founding member of the UN DRR local network, ARISE Philippines which introduced disaster risk reduction projects in cooperation with government agencies including the launch of the World Bank’s Building Resilience Index, a web-based hazard mapping and resilience assessment framework.
From only two networks in 2015, namely the Philippines and Japan, ARISE has spread to more countries with the presence of 29 strong networks with over 400 members to date.
“The role of the private sector is now heard in the resilient world,” Mr. Sy said, as he commended the leadership of Ms. Mizutori for pushing the boundaries of private sector engagement to elevate the level of safety and security of member countries from natural hazards.
“Under SRSG Mami Mizutori, we found our legs, the structures where the foundation of resilience now stands,” he exclaimed. “With Hans Peter as ARISE co-chair and Fernando as ARISE Vice Chair, leadership is in capable hands, together with all current Board members. I commend you all for relentlessly leading the charge in this movement for resilient societies.”
SM Prime is committed to continuing its strong support for ARISE and promoting disaster risk reduction. Mr. Sy stressed, “DRR saves lives and money and future-proofs our development gains, for the survival of the next generation and the entire planet.”
SM Prime has other properties with resilient infrastructure designs but what sets the group apart is that it puts equal importance on securing its tenants, and equipping its employees with world-standard skills in dealing with disasters. As of 2022, 94% or 75 over 80 SM Supermalls are certified with the ISO 22301 Business Continuity Management System.