With eye on sustainable business model, SMC to halt plastic bottled water business


MANILA – San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has announced plans to discontinue its plastic bottled water line, under the Purewater brand, as part of its bold sustainability initiative to reduce its environmental footprint. This move is in line with its strategic investments in various sustainable businesses.

“The plastic bottled water business has given us good returns, but we are choosing to forego it in favor of our long-term sustainability goals,” SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang, said.

“As we’ve transformed to a diversified business with interests in critical industries like power, infrastructure, public utilities and fuels, we realize we have a much bigger role to play in tackling the most pressing social and environmental issues,” Ang said.

“A critical part of our strategic future are major infrastructure projects like the Bulacan Bulk Water project and its objective to provide safe, potable, and affordable water for a greater number of Filipino families,” he added.

“Leaving a business like the plastic water bottle business while at the same time helping build the basic right of all Filipinos to safe and affordable fresh water is a big step to a sustainable future.”

“We are happy to announce that the “Purewater” brand will live on, but not as a plastic water bottle business but through SMC’s investment in filtration technology that will be deployed during calamities to make safe drinking water available to displaced and affected families in lieu of environmentally unsustainable bottled water, Ang noted.

Discontinuing the plastic bottled water line is the second major SMC initiative under a sustainability program integral to the company’s slogan “Your World Made Better.”

In March this year, SMC announced its most ambitious sustainability program to date. Dubbed “Water for All”, the program will have San Miguel Group cutting domestic and utility use of water by 50% by 2025.

The discontinuation of the plastic bottled water business, however, will not be counted as part of SMC’s overall reduction in water use, Ang clarified.

In recent months, SMC has also announced that it plans to invest in various sustainable businesses, particularly in the energy sector.