On March 31, 2012 the City of Manila, SM City Manila (a division of SM Supermalls) and GPF-Philippines joined in switching off the lights in communities throughout Manila from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM in support of the annual Earth Hour campaign. Earth Hour has become a global initiative in which homeowners, businesses and communities are invited to turn off their lights for one hour to show support for environmentally sustainable action.
Earth Hour first started in Sydney, Australia in 2007. From a single city initiative, it has since developed into the largest annually recurring environmental event on Earth, involving 5,251 cities, reaching 1.8 billion people in 135 countries.
Earth Hour Philippines is an annual event of the SM Supermalls, organized by the Environmental Committee of SM Cares in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund Philippines.
Earth Hour Philippines
- The Philippines was the first Southeast Asian nation to pledge full support for the environmental action. Over 50 local towns and cities participated in the first Earth Hour lights-out.
- In 2009, the Philippines became the top Earth Hour country in terms of town and city participation, with 647 Philippine towns and cities joining in. Ten million Filipinos saved at least 611 megawatt hours of electricity in 2009 – equivalent to a temporary shutdown of a dozen coal-fired power plants.
- In 2010, 1076 Philippine towns and cities participated – more than enough to retain the title.
- A record-breaking 1661 Philippine cities and municipalities switched off their lights for Earth Hour in 2011 – making the country a three-time Earth Hour champion and an official Earth Hour ‘Hero Country’.
SM CITY MANILA as well as 42 SM Supermalls in the Philippines and 4 in China joined the Earth Hour action. By making this commitment, SM Malls showed how this year’s Earth Hour theme, “I Will if YOU Will,” could inspire people across borders and cultures through performances, pledges and environmental activities.
In a statement, GPF-Philippines Executive Director Ms. Sally Quimson said environmental sustainability campaigns such as Earth Hour may also contribute to sustainable peace.
“Scarce resources brought by our population’s environmental negligence could trigger violence amongst communities and even nations. It is therefore important to support initiatives such as Earth Hour,” she said.