Responding to the pandemic through business solutions

Responding to the pandemic through business solutions

for a ‘Green Recovery’ – The 4th Multi-Chamber Sustainability for Business Forum

Continuing its success from last year, The Multi-Chamber of Commerce led by the Franco-Thai Chamber of Commerce, Netherlands-Thai Chamber of Commerce and Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce, has arranged the 4th Sustainability for Business Forum (SBF20), a half-day forum providing expertise and networking opportunities for Thailand-based businesses to support and promote their sustainability engagements under the latest topics in responding the COVID-19 pandemic for a ‘Green Recovery’. Meet the practitioners behind the three-track strategy (Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Cities, Sustainable Lifestyles – Fashion & Beauty, and Food of the Future). The forum will take place on 8th October 2020 at the Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen's Park.

According to Google Year in Search Thailand Insights for Brands Report 2020, Thai consumers are turning their attention to the implications of climate change, environmental preservation and sustainability. Initiatives from both the public and private sector have encouraged them to become aware of the impact of their consumption and to look for eco-friendly products and services. Compared to 2018, there are more searches for self-protection solutions such as N95 masks and air purifiers, which have shown significant increases at 100% and 50% respectively. Interest in eco-friendly products like fabric bags and in reducing the number of plastic bags as well as energy conservation has increased significantly. Consumers are looking to reduce their carbon footprint, which shows a noteworthy increase rate of 257% for electric car, and 376% for electric scooter/motorcycle searches.  Along with the current pandemic, these increasing numbers represent an opportunity for businesses to promote sustainability and engage with consumers on what they are looking for at the moment. 

This year, views on sustainability in business will also be shared by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Mr. Kees Rade, and Director of the Regional Development Mission for Asia, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Mr. Steve Olive. Three tracks of presentations and discussions aligned with the current situation will be held in parallel: Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Cities, Sustainable Lifestyles – Fashion & Beauty, and Food of the Future. The event will end with Executive Panel – Sustainability as a Corporate Strategy led by foremost companies in Thailand who have been running their businesses with sustainability throughout COVID-19 such as executives from L’Oréal Thailand, Symbior Solar and NRF. Moreover, inspiring business practitioners and service providers will bring up-to-date insights, bold ideas, innovations, business solutions and applications of the latest sustainable trends.

Armelle Le Bihan, Multi-Chamber Sustainability Committee Director, Founder and CEO of Green Building Consulting & Engineering, coordinator of the track Smart city and the panel on sustainable lifestyles, said: “We cannot talk about sustainability without talking about the COVID-19 crisis. Firstly, because the two are deeply intertwined it makes us realise that the health of our environment is a prerequisite to ours. Secondly, because while the global economy has been brought to a halt, environmental and social distress have not been on lockdown. It is now more crucial than ever to rethink our businesses within our ecological limits and in respect of human welfare to foster their long-term resiliency. SBF20 will be an opportunity to explore ideas for a ‘new normal’ written in greener and more inclusive terms.”

Henri de Reboul, Multi-Chamber Sustainability Committee Director, founder and CEO of Phitrust Asia, an impact investor company, coordinator of the track Food of the future and sustainable lifestyles, added: “We are all looking for positive and hopeful perspectives. The three topics SBF20 is addressing are exciting and promising aspects of businesses for the future. How to make our cities, our food and our consumption safe, clean and benefiting the economy and the people? The answer to this question will attract companies from different sectors, their partners, service providers and investors. Sustainability can stimulate innovation, address growing consumer expectations and help find profitable avenues for many companies.”

Under the three highlighted tracks and plenary session, attendees will be able to explore:

TRACK 1: Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Cities: this track will discuss how to make cities more resilient to crises. What can be learned from adapting COVID-19 management for climate change? What will cities offer in a ‘new normal’ work/play living environment and take from forward thinking examples of shorter and delocalised supply cycles? What about socially inclusive communities, human centric and holistic planning, revised usage of infrastructure and rethinking urban systems towards self-sufficiency? Speakers include DEPA, Amata, and Bangchak. 

TRACK 2: Sustainable Lifestyles – Fashion & Beauty: textiles, beauty and supply-chain sustainable innovations are becoming decarbonised and reducing the environmental footprint of their value chains while improving the welfare and wealth of the people and communities they employ and serve. The forum will look at how the sustainability agenda works in conjunction with pandemic recovery plans and how cross-collaborations in advanced sustainability can bring greater business resilience. Speakers include ReReef, Yves Rocher, Qualy, Moreloop and SCG. 

TRACK 3: Food of the Future: this track covers innovation, sustainable supply chains and viable agriculture that results in safer, healthier food for consumers; increased farming community income and company profits; and reduced climate risks for all. Post COVID-19, the food industry is being challenged to strengthen hygiene and health standards, shorten supply chains and improve support for and collaboration with local producers. Speakers include Tetra Pak, Nithi Foods, Thai Union, Fairagora, Harmless Harvest and Nestle. 

PLENARY SESSION: Speakers from the CEO panel are participating by invitation only and will represent regional and global companies who have implemented sustainability transversely through their business organisation, infrastructure, operations and supply chain. The speakers include Managing Director of L’Oréal Thailand, CEO of NRF and CEO of Symbior Solar.

Ms. Ines Caldeira, Managing Director of L’Oréal Thailand, said: “At L’Oreal, sustainability has been put at the heart of our business operations focusing both environmental and societal commitments. Previously, L’Oréal Thailand implemented COVID-19 Solidarity program to help the Thai community navigate through the challenge of the pandemic. We also just unveiled a new set of sustainability target for 2030 ‘L’ORÉAL FOR THE FUTURE’, accelerating our transformation towards a model respecting planetary boundaries. I am pleased to join the plenary session with other honorary speakers and am grateful to share the company’s vision on sustainability. L’Oréal hopes to be a catalyst of change in the beauty sector and beyond, and to inspire other businesses to take action with us.”

Mr. Dan Pathomvanich, CEO of NRF, said: “Sustainability is at the heart of our company both from a purpose driven policy perspective and a competitive strategy perspective. Sustainability defines who we are on the global stage and resonates with our customers enabling us to become the preferred co-manufacturer of choice for specialty food brands around the world'.”

Mr. Florian Bennhold, CEO of Symbiorsolar's, said: "Symbior’s entire value is sustainability based on our core mission to support our clients to transform their businesses to be powered by renewable energy while reducing waste and costs, and keeping a tight focus on their core activities."

Come and join us to get INSPIRED by businesses showcasing their best practices, CONNECT with relevant sustainability business partners and EMPOWER your business with innovative and effective strategies driven by environmental, social and economic performance. To register or for more information about the forum, please visit: www.connect2sustainability.com

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