Monday, December 01, 2014

SM Executive Readies DLSU Business Students for Risks Associated with Climate Change

I like going to conventions that dwell on topics that interest me and add to my knowledge. The other day, I attended the 7th Business Management Students' Convention at De La Salle University (DLSU) in Manila and got to listen to the talk given by Liza Silerio, Vice President of SM Supermalls and Program Director of SM Cares Environment Committee.

The event aimed to instill awareness and commitment to corporate sustainability, environmentalism, and social responsibility by introducing attendees to business approaches, strategies, and programs that incorporate sustainability principles.

Silerio told the delegates that they, as future business leaders, need to be ready for the risks associated with climate change. In her talk, she stressed the importance of sustainable measures by future private sector leaders to safeguard local communities during calamities and cushion the impact of an increase in carbon emissions, population, and demand for basic needs.

To give a concrete example of sustainable efforts, she shared the details of SM's sustainability framework, a five-level structure geared towards engaging stakeholders ranging from employees to multinationals. "Each level reaches a wider array of people which holistically provides a foundation of the sustainability management system of the company," she illustrated.

In addition, she explained how the SM Group manages to improve its sustainability programs by using a Plan-Do-Check-Act-Report cycle that helps them plan and evaluate their company's yearly events and initiatives.

She reported that in 2013, "Our intensity power consumption decreased by 11% at 153 kilowatt hours per square meter per year. This is a 16% decrease since the benchmark year of 2010." She also noted the positive impact of the cycle to SM's energy consumption, which is in line with the company's thrust of using renewable solar power in China and the Philippines.

Silerio moreover gave the students 10 Tips on Nurturing Business Relationships:

1. Empathy - Walk in others' shoes. 
2. Engagement - Show up, be present. Attend forums, accept invites, and share what the company is doing. 
3. Adaptability - Practice tailor fitting, avoid doing one size fits all, listen.
4. Perspective - We have to change it. We all see the world through our lens. Your relationships give you opportunity to influence others in business. Change someone's lens and help him see the value differently.
5. Conviction - What do you stand for and believe in? How do you make it happen?
6. Collaboration - If you work together, you're stronger.
7. Selflessness - Reduce self-interest and focus on the interests of others. We have to be consultative.
8. Accountability - Own it, make things happen. Don't just watch them happen.
9. Candor - Say what others won't.
10. Results - Up your game. The best breed of people who effectively build strategic relationships inside and outside the organization are those committed in raising the bar, each and every time. They are involved in every initiative and deliver their commitments.

She ended with a quote from Mr. Hans Sy: "Sustainability arises from our shared efforts to ensure longevity of the company through the operationalization of sustainability into our business model."

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