Business chiefs unite for green future

Business chiefs unite for green future

Businesses of all sizes urged to consider the impact of their operations on the planet

CEOs of leading businesses participate in a panel discussion at Sustainability Expo 2022 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center on Saturday. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
CEOs of leading businesses participate in a panel discussion at Sustainability Expo 2022 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center on Saturday. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The CEOs of five of Thailand’s leading businesses have stressed the need for companies of all sizes to contribute more to environmental protection, saying it is now the norm in development and sustainability practice.

Unlike six decades ago when it was the owners of large industrial businesses who led the march to development, today it is the responsibility of every single member of society to make an impact, Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi, president and CEO of Thai Beverage Plc (ThaiBev), said on Saturday.

Speaking at the “Leading Sustainable Business” panel discussion at Sustainability Expos 2022 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, he stressed that in the aftermath of Covid-19, global attention must turn towards uniting communities in a concerted effort to save the planet.

Rethinking the amount of food left uneaten after every meal, for instance, may be just a small act, but when multiplied by millions it would be an excellent first step towards better protecting the planet, said Mr Thapana.

ThaiBev had begun to embrace sustainability even before the United Nations established the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, he said.

In the past, most businesses acted without considering the debt their commercial operations owed then planet, said Suphachai Chearavanont, CEO of Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group.

Five years ago when he became CEO at the agribusiness, telecoms and retail conglomerate, he set a new goal to get the group into the world’s top 20 sustainable organisations.

Now CP Group is 38th globally in terms of its sustainability ranking, he said.

“As a big player in the agriculture sector, CP Group is totally aware of the impact of global warning and the importance of sustainable supply chains in all processes from farm to table,” he said.

CP Group also supports fostering awareness of the importance of environmental protection among the young through the education system and supplying them with new technology and innovations to help them take action of their own, he said.

Learning from a labour crisis in Thailand’s fishery sector in 2014, Thai Union Group Plc, whose seafood processing business employs many migrant workers, has been paying more attention to sustainable business development, said Thiraphong Chansiri, president and CEO of the company.

The company begun by ensuring the legality of its migrant workers by offering to assist and finally support them to obtain a proper passports and work permits prior to entering the country, he said.

At the same time, the company has adopted biodegradable packaging and energy-saving measures in its production lines, he said.

“Investing in sustainability is a must because without sustainability our business won’t survive,” he said. “Sustainability not only saves the Earth but also our businesses.”

Joining the fight to curb global warming is not only a social responsibility but also a core ideology of Siam Cement Group (SCG), said president and CEO Rungroj Rangsiyopas.

A core part of SCG’s commitment to the environment has been continuing to reduce the use expensive coal-fired energy in favour of cleaner alternatives, he said.

The company aims to continue cutting emissions of greenhouse gases until it achieves net zero, he added.

PTT Global Chemical Plc (PTTGC), meanwhile, has been supporting smaller businesses to modernise and clean up their production, said CEO Kongkrapan Intrajang.

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