Beyond making a call to action, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) takes things further in bringing sustainable solutions available for Filipino entrepreneurs. The DTI attached agency is launching its newest signature brand, Sustainability Solutions Exchange (SSX). The trade event and conference encompasses a multichannel approach to sustainable development—a brand with a global panel, an online platform to connect businesses to vetted sustainable suppliers both locally and abroad, and support programs that help facilitate the transition to sustainable processes for micro, small, and medium scale enterprises (MSME’s).

Championing sustainability for the food and lifestyle sectors in the digital space

SSX will have an exhibition component that promotes solutions and best practices from around the world. The conference component, on the other hand, converges stakeholders to discuss sustainability challenges and opportunities. The event will also provide a platform for business-matching activities and an avenue to champion sustainability with other key players through the website, sessions, and networking.

Carrying the same name as the brand, the digital trade event will be held on the Hopin platform from 23 – 25 March 2022. Its maiden edition will focus on promoting solutions, products, and services, and provide a platform to exchange ideas on sustainable consumption and production for local food and lifestyle companies. Opening the ceremony will be Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez with Undersecretary Abdulgani M. Macatoman, and CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan.

Highlighted in this event are policy makers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, sustainability experts, and advocates from the local and international sustainability community, including Dr. Selva Ramachandran of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP Philippines), Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda from the Lone District of Antique, DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo, Kelly Bird, the Country Director of Asian Development Bank (ADB), Filippo Gavazzeni of Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, Journalist Ms. Whitney Bauck of Unwrinkling, Georg Platzer of IKEA, Amelia Juhl of IDEO Tokyo, Reese Fernandez of Rags2Riches, Pacita “Chit” Juan of Echostore, Arch. Christopher Dela Cruz of Philippine Green Building Council, and many others.

The digital expo, one of the key components of SSX, will highlight different sustainable solutions, products, and services that participants can discover and engage in. The Sustainable Solutions and Advocates zone will feature packaging solutions, green technology, sustainability programs, and more. The Marketplace zone will showcase businesses from both the food and lifestyle sectors for guests to meet and immerse themselves with sustainable brands during the exhibition. The food category will offer natural and healthy food, food supplements, and organic farms. The lifestyle category is composed of a wide selection of products such as personal care items, accessories, home decor, and furnishings.

From exclusive Q-and-A’s with panelists to co-branded sustainability talks by local companies, the Sessions room contains multiple on-demand content such as keynote and panel discussions. Resource persons from the sustainability sector will discuss topics such as circular food, design for responsible consumption and production, ethical business policies, responsible innovation, and more. In case you miss the talks on the Stage, there’s a replay of the different segments the following day on the Replay section.

The future is circular

There is a growing number of conscious consumers that have created a large demand for responsible consumption and production. This has likewise made a ripple for businesses to shift to greener practices.

The first sustainability directory in the Philippines

CITEM is proud to develop the very first online resource hub to house a directory of vetted sustainable solutions, products, and services to allow business sourcing and pitching between companies looking for sustainable options.

Latest news on sustainability, screenshot of stands as the first of its kind as a one-stop shop offering multiple touchpoints for the sustainability sector. The website will house stories, news, and resources for participants looking for ways to make sustainable choices everyday or to lead their business’ sustainability transformation. There are data stories that help visitors digest information in a more visually engaging format. The Solutions portion of the website will be a directory of suppliers offering sustainable products or solutions that has been vetted by a panel of experts and are subject to continuing compliance requirements.

As CITEM partners with more international organizations geared towards achieving a more circular world economy, a growing list of local and international events is made available on the website. This helps our local community be more in touch with the pulse of the global sustainability community.

Sustainability transformation is not a one-man job

It is a collective effort from different sectors, and SSX wants to spark the conversation of this global action in the Philippine setting. CITEM, the organizing team of SSX, as well as its supporting government agencies, the DTI’s Regional Operations Group (ROG), Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC), Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), Design Center of the Philippines (DCP), and Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines-Socially Relevant Technologies Project (IPOPHL-SRT), and event partners United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF-PH), German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (GPCCI), Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, inc. (ICCPI), and Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) aspire to create export-ready and sustainable Filipino companies through this digital event.

Guiding CITEM in its efforts is its Program Director, Carlo Delantar, the co-founder and Managing Director of Altum Concepts. He stands as one of the country’s top advocates of building a circular economy and is known for many things including being the Head of Circular Economy at Gobi Partners, Country Director for Waves For Water, Co-Chair of the Global Shapers Climate Action Steering Committee of the World Economic Forum, and Circular Economy Pioneer of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Be a part of Sustainability Solutions Exchange. Register at as a supplier, purchaser, or participant. Follow us on our social media platforms to be updated on the latest relevant solutions and technologies for local producers in the food and lifestyle sectors.


The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is the export promotion arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). CITEM has established the country’s image as the premier destination for quality export products and services. It continues to set the highest standards of creativity, excellence, and innovation to achieve export competitiveness in the international market.

To contribute to the advancement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), CITEM launches the Sustainability Solutions Exchange (SSX), a community to exchange ideas and solutions with the goal to advance Philippine businesses towards sustainable growth. By 2030, SSX aims to become a globally recognized trade and community platform for sustainable products and solutions. The event will consist of various digital components such as the Exhibition, Conference, Business Matching, and other special activities.

Ref. Elmer Harold Grande

Twitter: @SSXPhilippines
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Date of Release: 23 February 2022