SAN Miguel Corp. (SMC) said it is working on reducing its group-wide water consumption by 50% in three years.
“Water is a valuable resource not just for San Miguel, but for all of us. We have not stopped working on improving water use efficiency across all our businesses as we all continue to face water scarcity challenges,” SMC President Ramon S. Ang said in a statement.
Since 2017, SMC reported saving 27.4 billion liters of water under its “Water For All” water stewardship initiative.
Mr. Ang said that the company saved 4.54 billion liters of water in 2021, which was a 18.4% cut in the company’s water use compared with 18.09% in 2019 and 13% in 2020.
“Savings, however, dropped in 2020 due largely to the shutdown of most of the company’s facilities amid the pandemic. Plant shutdowns and intermittent production are inefficient, resulting in more frequent startups and draining of water tanks in between, so more water is used as opposed to having the facilities continuously running,” he added.
In 2021, the company reported a return to pre-pandemic water savings, with an improvement, as lockdown restrictions eased and operations had more mobility.
“From a water savings perspective, we seem to have recovered from the pandemic, but we’re still challenged by low production volumes and continuing inefficiencies,” Mr. Ang said.
“The good thing is the majority of our businesses still showed improvement in 2021, particularly Northern Cement, San Miguel Foods, SMC Infrastructure and SMC Global Power. Ginebra San Miguel also improved slightly. Petron also improved, it still has the highest accumulated water savings, about 15.29 million cubic meters. But this is not yet their former peak performance,” he added.
To reach its water saving target, SMC utilizes sea water, water recycling, and rainwater harvesting for cooling machines, cleaning, and other utility, non-product water usage.
SMC has also mandated that all its newly built facilities be fitted with rainwater collection systems.
“A number of older facilities are also being retro-fitted to increase rainwater harvesting and to replace leaking underground pipes with above-ground, easy to monitor installations,” SMC said.
In the third quarter of 2021, the company reported an attributable net loss of P1.1 billion, reversing from a net income of P7.17 billion year on year.
In the January-September period last year, its attributable net income reached P11.97 billion, turning around from a net loss of P425 million in 2020.
At the stock exchange on Tuesday, SMC shares went up by 1.6% or P1.70 to close at P107.90 apiece. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson