The Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, INC. (PCEPSDI), through its Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Project held an Awareness Seminar on September 8, 2021, entitled “Cultivating Green Consumerism through Sustainable Practices in a Fast-Paced Society”. The Awareness Seminar aims to continuously promote the advancement of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in the country, increase the awareness level of the participants on the significance of green purchasing and enlighten the consumers regarding the environmental initiatives of SM Supermalls by providing convenience and accessibility to products and services all over the country.
During the seminar proper, Ms. Erica Nicole Gomez, Sustainable Packaging Project Officer of the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, INC. (PCEPSDI) led the participants regarding the purpose of the seminar through her opening remarks. Ms. Gomez stressed out that there is indeed a necessity of engaging the people through multiple initiatives such as events, webinars, and activities to promote green practices and to be equipped with more sustainable tools and approaches in the country beyond understanding the What, How and Why’s of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Project.
As the first speaker, Mr. June Alvarez, the President and Executive Director of the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc., and the country’s representative to the Global Eco-labelling Network (GEN) presented the Philippine Environment, Ecosystems and the Environmental Issues and Concerns in our country to equip the participants with more understanding why we need to employ and incorporate Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) in our business operations and lifestyle.
Mr. Alvarez stressed how important the Laws of Ecology are, which is essential for us to understand and analyze the phenomena in our environment. He implies that “everything must go somewhere else as if we burn garbage, it doesn’t end with it but goes and affects others”. He reminded the participants of how blessed our country is in terms of the biotic and abiotic factors in our ecosystems. However, humans become a threat to the environment as it disrupts the global cycles through anthropogenic activities. As we face different phenomena in our country, Mr. Alvarez discusses how we can respond to the given environmental concerns by sharing a sustainable lifestyle that we can go through in our little ways.
Mr. Alvarez ended his Green Consumerism and Green Productivity for Achieving a Sustainable Lifestyle presentation by introducing the tools and practices of the Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) project and its goal which is about the use of services and related products which respond to basic needs and bring a better quality of life while minimizing the use of natural resources and the effect on the environment. He left the quote that “SCP is not necessarily consuming less. It is about doing more and better with less”.
To introduce the National Ecolabelling Programme – Green Choice Philippines (NELP-GCP), Ms. Jouelle Hannah Nerveza, the Programme Officer of the National Ecolabelling Programme – Green Choice Philippines (NELP-GCP) focused on discussing topics such as Green Purchasing, Green Products, and Checking the Label as the second speaker of the awareness seminar. To promote Green Purchasing, Ms. Nervesa persuaded the participants to consider the environment as a basis of their decision before purchasing products and services. She also informed the public that we should start patronizing Green Products rather than Conventional products for the reason that Green Products produce low pollution, are resource-saving, and are recyclable compared to conventional products that have no environmental benefits. To end her presentation, she stressed out that checking the products labeling is a significant approach to value green purchasing and the use of ecolabelling is a vital communication tool to raise consumers’ market-driven consciousness.
MS. Jouelle Hannah M. Nerveza, Programme Officer, National Ecolabelling Programme – Green Choice Philippines (NELP-GCP).
As the third speaker of the awareness seminar, Ms. Paulith Aguilar, Researcher of the Sustainable Packaging towards Marine Litter Reduction Project under Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (PCEPSDI) bestowed informative discussion about how sustainable packaging can reduce marine litter. Her discussion was mainly focused on the status of the marine environment, the relevance of greening the packaging industry in the Philippines and providing opportunities for engagement through the Sustainable Packaging Towards Marine Litter Reduction Project.
To engage the participants in the Eco-friendly initiatives of SM Investment Corporations, Ms. Marimar E. Baticulon, the Sustainability Manager of SM Investments Corporation focuses on discussing “The SM Ecosystem for our Communities and the Environment”. Ms. Baticulon shares to the public the SM Green Movement as one of their Eco-friendly initiatives which aim is to make sustainable living easy by building an ecosystem of sustainable businesses. She stressed out that going green is advocating for green living and the customers have a big part of it because they have the power to change our environment. Furthermore, part of SM Investment Corporations initiatives in Going Green, are promoting green products and services and adopting green practices in their operations such as embracing sewage treatment plants to recycle wastewater for future consumption. SM Supermalls also encourage their customers to engage in their Trash to Cash Project and their newly established project the SM Sustainability School as part of their advocacy for green living.
Ms. Marimar E. Baticulon, Sustainability Manager, SM Investments Corporation.
As the last speaker of the awareness seminar, Ms. Maureen Grace V. Lebria the Programmes & Projects Director under the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (PCEPSDI) shared different ways on greening the Food Service and Tourism sectors, approaches on how we can contribute to reducing negative environmental impacts and provided information regarding the sustainable initiatives of some food services and tourism sectors. According to Ms. Lebria, greening the Food Service and Tourism sectors both benefit the consumers and the businesses. This approach will improve health and therefore prevent others from getting sick, increase the safety of the consumers and uphold climate and social justice. Moreover, the benefits it may bring to businesses may increase their competitive advantages, meet the rising consumer demands, track and increase the business efficiency, create new opportunities, and be recognized and awarded. To end her presentation, Ms. Lebria provided approaches on how we can lessen the negative impacts on our environment. She stressed out that Food Service and Tourism sectors must align their business with government programs and Roadmaps on Sustainable Programs, adopt the Eco-labelling Criteria for the Foodservice Establishments and for the consumers to practice traveling safely without single-used plastics
Ms. Maureen Grace V. Lebria, Programmes & Projects Director, Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (PCEPSDI).
The awareness seminar training was enthusiastically ended by Dr. J.R. Nereus O. Acosta, Jr. Chairman of Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (PCEPSDI), by reminding the participants that everything that the PCEPSDI does is a call to action. He stressed that it is easy to forget the word “sustainability”. That is why a call to action must be repetitive so that it will be left in deep consciousness and the hearts of the people. Dr. Acosta assured that the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (PCEPSDI) will always be there to maintain, conserve and ensure that our country with such ecological prestige will be preserved accordingly. He wishes that the participants will be taking the awareness seminar as advocacy that will be left intact in their hearts.