Sands China continuously strengthens its sustainability commitment through local procurement

Responding to the government’s call of turning the Macau SAR to become an eco-friendly city, Sands China Ltd. has always been keen on acquiring green and biodegradable products from local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
As a large-scale international company, one of its top priorities has been to explore new technologies to further reduce its carbon footprint, thus sourcing products from local suppliers in a bid to also support local SMEs.
According to Chan Yuk Ming, director of Supply Chain at Sands China Ltd, the gaming operator has committed itself to achieving sustainable operations in a more responsible manner.
Although this could also be a challenge for the company since there is only a few manufacturers of environment friendly products that are available in the city, the gaming operator strives to achieve sustainability through sourcing from locally-available merchandises.
A local firm Hong Cai (Macau) New Material Technology Co., Ltd. plays a significant role in this operation of the gaming operator.
Sands China is procuring a series of products and services from Hong Cai, which primarily focuses on the sale and promotion of green, low-carbon, biodegradable and environmentally friendly tableware (single use) and bags.
Hong Cai is one of its few suppliers of environmentally friendly materials with independent production lines, and also seeks to have similar sustainable goals with the company.
Hong Cai has been participating in various exhibitions such as the Macao International Environmental Co-operation Forum & Exhibition – the platform where Sands China’s procurement team took the initiative to contact them.
“We’re very happy to have cooperated with them. The cooperation has been nearly one year so far. Both parties have cooperated seamlessly, and with reliable delivery and services we have had a smooth procurement and settlement processes,” he added.
The company produces corn starch based material that are made from polylactic acid (PLA), which biodegradable and environmentally friendly products.
If disposed of correctly, these products will break down into carbon dioxide and water within several months.
No toxic gases are generated during the incineration process and carbon emissions are therefore reduced.
According to Chan, Hong Cai has an independent production line and is willing to cooperate with the firm and follow up on its requirements.
“Because the business scope of Sands China is so diverse, each department has different demands for eco-friendly utensils, this is especially true in regards to the specific detail of each product, such as the mold, shape and texture etc., as all these serve to give the users a different experience,” Chan explained.
“They were also very willing to accommodate our suggestions and have always tried their best to improve the product to fulfill our demands,” he added.
For Sands China, it is significantly important to continually create communication with its SME partners to produce quality products and services in its properties.
Thus, at present, Sands China offers a series of channels for suppliers to establish a cooperative relationship with them.
“They can register their information on Sands China’s official website, where they can also find information about our procurement. Sands China also holds events such as invitational matching sessions and open days. The Sands Procurement Academy has also been set up inviting local suppliers to attend courses, and graduates enjoy priority in procurement opportunities,” said Chan recalled.
Meanwhile for Edith Sio, managing director of Hong Cai (Macau) New Material Technology Co., Ltd., its partnership with Sands China has allowed the company to continuously expand its market.
The local firm entered the Macau market in 2014, with a manufacturing base located in mainland China. The firm’s products can be kept for two to three years.
Sio admits the challenge in the beginning of its operations, as environmentally friendly products were not popular yet in the city back then, noting that the prices of these products were higher than ordinary plastic tableware.
From the outset of the firm’s operations, the annual Macau Food Festival was the largest and most regular order. There have also been restaurants and environmental groups that proactively contacted them to purchase a series of products yet there was still an absence in demand.
“That was, until last year, when we began cooperation with Sands China and since then our business has gradually expanded, said Sio.
“The fact that we are able to cooperate with Sands China is a “new lease of life” which helped us gain a reputation and since then we have gradually found other gaming enterprises, hotels, hospitals and restaurants are proactively contacting us,” the managing director added.
In addition to boosting business operations and sales, the cooperation with gaming enterprises has broadened that SMEs’ horizons and perspectives, which brought forth breakthroughs for them.
For Sio, Sands China’s procurement team has assisted the company in successfully providing suitable products and services to the gaming operator.
“We were initially unfamiliar with Sands China’s receiving department’s working hours and couldn’t complete the task during the allotted time, but they were willing to extend their working hours and provide assistance,” Sio shared.
“Subsequently, Sands China also came to understand the difficulties SMEs are faced with and not only gave support in terms of manufacturing supplies, but also provided sites we could use for goods distribution, thereby reducing transportation costs, she added.
The gaming operator has pledged to continually heed to the SAR government’s call to support local products and companies. This continuous move signifies its commitment to supporting local enterprises as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts.

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