Philippines retailer Metro Retail Stores Group Inc (MRSGI) is planning to open up more opportunities for sustainable shopping.
Speaking at the recent Regional Forum on the Promotion of Sustainable Consumption in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), MRSGI VP for corporate affairs Anna Marie Periquet shared that “as engines of economic growth and shapers of consumer taste, retailers can make a difference in the world.”
Organised by Asean and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the forum brought together delegates from Asean member states, representatives from relevant government bodies, and non-governmental organisations as well as regional and international experts.
Periquet added that social responsibility is “part of MRSGI’s corporate DNA”. The company works alongside the Vicsal Foundation to create programs that holistically take on the challenge of providing sustainable solutions for society’s most pressing needs. Vicsal Foundation is the corporate social responsibility arm of Vicsal Development Corporation, which owns and operates MRSGI.
“Together with Vicsal Foundation and our other CSR partners, we are able to actively pursue programs that support the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” said Periquet. “We focus on helping eradicate poverty, provide quality education, ensure decent work and foster economic growth, and build stronger partnerships.”
Among MRSGI’s programs are initiatives that promote inclusive business for local farmers, fisher folk and weavers. The company also helps consumer mindsets by providing them with socially-responsible and high-quality products.
“The socially responsible goods on our shelves are not pity purchases,” emphasised Periquet. “They have passed strict tests on consumer safety, health, sanitation, and are government-registered.”
Among the CSR brands mentioned were Caritas Margins, an organisation that works with micro-entrepreneurs from marginalised communities to create various products like food, artwork, home decor and accessories; St Arnold Janssen Kalinga Center, which provides care and livelihood for people experiencing homelessness; and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, which facilitates the sale of fashion and homeware products made by persons deprived of liberty.