Sustainability is the key to supply chain network success, according to panelists at the Sustainability Expo 2023 (SX2023) on Saturday.
As part of the expo currently being held at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, the Thailand Supply Chain Network (TSCN) Business Partners Conference, or TSCN CEO Panel, was held under the topic "Self-Applying for Sustainable Business Survival".
Key speakers included Thai Beverage Plc (ThaiBev) president and chief executive officer, Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi; president and chief executive officer of Siam Cement Group (SCG), Roongrote Rangsiyopash; and chief executive officer of conglomerate Charoen Pokphand (CP) group, Suphachai Chearavanont.
Mr Roongrote said the Ukrainian war has made energy costs skyrocket despite post-pandemic easing, and that has led to high prices of food and high inflation. These high energy cost drove many countries to be interested in renewable energy, especially from solar cells, leading to less use of petroleum oil and gas for energy.
Mr Suphachai said many businesses invest in sustainability. They pay carbon credits as part of their business operation costs. He said CP Group has a goal to manage seven million tonnes of carbon emissions a year. When combined all suppliers, CP Group needs to manage 70 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually, which is quite a challenge.
He said if the government has a policy to support green energy, especially among small and medium-sized businesses, carbon emission reductions will be achievable sooner.
He said that since Thailand pledged to reduce carbon emissions, the country has achieved only 12% of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during the past four years. If there are no measures to encourage all parties to reduce carbon emissions by at least 4% every year, the government might need to pay 2 billion baht to purchase carbon credits in the year 2030.
Mr Thapana of ThaiBev said awareness of sustainability from every agency is now visible, especially among youths as they care about their future.
"Big companies play a vital role in leading the sustainable development while many entrepreneurs act as jigsaw pieces that help strengthen the sustainability concept in our society before expanding the concept to the regional and global levels," he added.
Mr Thapana said it did not matter if a company is big or small. It needs to adapt to a "mega-trend" which is to apply sustainable concepts to their business.
When one company starts to care about the environment, it will affect the whole supply chain and they also need to apply the same concept. Together, they can create new innovations with sustainability, he said.
The impact of doing business with sustainability will not be limited to local partners but also regional partners, he said.
"I believe that in the near future, many businesses that can serve all demands while taking good care of the environment will be the game changers," said Mr Thapana.
Backing Mr Thapana's proposal, Mr Roongrote said business owners should follow in the footsteps of others who succeed in sustainable investment, as some countries have now come up with sustainable development policies to help cope with environmental issues.