TWO micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) in Cebu presented last Wednesday the eco-friendly business methods they adopted to make their businesses sustainable.

Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa and Mayflower Pension House were asked by the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) to present their methods to entice more Cebu MSMEs to venture into eco-friendly businesses.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

Shangri-La’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) manager Malou Gerra said the company became compliant with environmental management and food safety management systems and trained their staff on vermicomposting, the process of producing organic fertilizer or vermicompost out of biodegradable materials with the help of earthworms.

No longer optional

Gerra said adopting eco-friendly practices enabled them to strengthen their CSR initiatives for the environment, especially with the hotel’s thrust in tourism.

Joel Lee, president of Mayflower Pension House, said his family’s three small hotels have been practicing eco-friendly methods.

He said these methods are “no longer optional” but required of businesses. He said the family has implemented the 5R (refuse, reuse, reduce, recycle and restore) practices in all three of its hotels.

“We refuse plastics and we restore to nature what we take,” he said.

Lee said they serve water in glass pitchers rather than in mineral bottles and the family’s Mayflower Pension House has a mini-forest.

Costs

While venturing into an eco-friendly business is not always easy, Lee said it is still a choice to adapt eco-friendly processes. “Costs escalate because wastes are not recycled,” he said.

Elmer Mercado, an environment planner and consultant, said that for MSMEs to be successful in this venture, manager and owners have to merge their personal commitment and business decision as well as get the total support and commitment of all concerned in the business, up to the lowest ranking employee in the company.

He said this helps in making the implementation of the eco-friendly business approaches easier.