Green road

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By Alah Soledad Sungduan

Standup for Life

Thursday, February 28, 2013

WITH team effort and commitment for sustainable development 30,000 more trees were planted in the different areas in Baguio City including Tuba, Benguet in just a year.

The SM City Baguio’s employees in partnership with independent groups and local government agencies in Baguio under the supervision of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in CAR Region made a remarkable achievement by already attaining the 30k mark from the 50,000 target trees to be planted in the next three years under the mall’s project “Green Road to 50,000” which started in January 2012.

The goal for the “Green Road to 50,000” project is to plant 50,000 trees throughout the city including its adjoining communities in support with the government’s National Regreening Program.


The areas where pine tree saplings were already planted include the Busol Watershed, Buyog Watershed, Burnham Park, public school premises, SM City Baguio mall grounds, and areas in Tuba Benguet.

According to SM City Baguio PR Manager Karren Nobres a contractor was hired to monitor and maintain the seedlings planted to ensure its high survival rate.

“Thru the help of the local community, volunteer Government Offices (GO’s) , NGOs, schools, and other organizations who are willing to tie-up with SM's environmental efforts we believe we can complete the program the soonest possible time before the timetable,” Nobres said.

Prior to the said project SM has been donating tree saplings to the city through SM Supermalls’ SM Cares, its flagship Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, which aims for the preservation of the environment not only in the locality but in the whole country as well.

The activities of the program include waste management and recycling to ensure the cleanliness of its mall surroundings and in the community where it operates.

The journey towards the realization of the “Green Road to 50,000” can be seen in a photo exhibit at the mall grounds which opened last February 20. The opening of the event was also a celebration of Green Road’s 30,000th tree which was attended by the representatives from the DENR-CAR, SM Supermalls executives, Ms. Earth Philippines 2012 runner-up Stephany Stefanowitz, and other celebrities. The exhibit will run until this summer.

According to the Secretary of Restoration Ecology Society of the Philippines (RESPhil-SCENe) Professor Jay Jay Fernandez Manuel environmental protection necessitate concerted efforts among different aspects of society which include the industries.

Environmental educator Manuel said that while these industries are ought to boost their economic growth, it is also their moral obligation to take into consideration the possible impacts of their operations to the environment, and ultimately come up with measures to minimize it.

“There is a need for them to come up with environmental activities or projects which are sustainable. In this manner, a balance economic development and sustainable development is achieved,” Manuel added.

Manuel also said that there are a lot of activities that industries could come up with like reforestation, energy and water conservation programs, adoption of rivers and watersheds, clean-up drive, and integrating sustainable green building into their physical plant.

In the pursuit for economic development alongside with this should be the quest for sustainable development to ensure the protection of our environment. Sustainable development and environmental protection should be part of the CSR program of any industry. SM City Baguio’s concrete program and commitment for sustainable development should be emulated by all industries including local governments.

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Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 01, 2013.


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