SUNDAY, April 21, 2024

Financial experts champion green technologies for Thailand’s sustainable growth

Financial experts champion green technologies for Thailand’s sustainable growth

Concrete green practices with proper technology and credible verification will be major game changers that could propel Thailand towards becoming a top sustainable economy, say experts from Kasikorn and Lombard Odier.

Speaking on Tuesday, a day ahead of its special forum titled “Rethink Sustainability Strategy: Navigating Investment Opportunities Towards a Sustainable Future”, Hubert Keller from Lombard Odier said most countries have demonstrated a fundamental shift towards net zero. 

He said investors must get ahead of the curve, with nature high on the agenda, as evidenced by the recent COP28, given its critical role in underpinning the global economy, food systems, and fighting climate change. Nature-powered economic systems, with their regenerative approach, have the potential to outperform modern economic systems. 

Hubert Keller

“In rethinking the role of nature, our focus must now shift towards putting nature at the heart of climate action, towards a nature-positive economy,” he said. 

He added that a transformation is taking place as investor demands, changing consumer behaviour, cheaper technologies, and new regulations become powerful drivers of a Circular, Lean, Inclusive, and Clean (CLIC) economy. 

Citing the current transition period to the green industry, Keller advised Thai entrepreneurs not to pass up this opportunity to take action and transform themselves as soon as possible so the country can be one of the first preferred options for the new path of global supply chain.

Financial experts champion green technologies for Thailand’s sustainable growth

While praising Thailand’s proactive policies to encourage environment, social, and governance (ESG) practices among businesses, he noted that the country urgently requires concrete regulations, verification systems, and clear actions from the entire industry, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, to truly transform into a green industry. 

He then emphasised the important role of financial institutions. 

“In today’s world where ‘Global is Local and Vice Versa’, financial institutions can leverage on their collective networks, expertise and solutions, to translate global best practices into local actions, to align investment strategies and seize financial opportunities as the world transitions towards net zero,” he said.

Aiming to become Thailand's bank of sustainability and Southeast Asia's ESG leader, Kasikorn Bank president Pipit Aneaknithi said the bank strives to be a driving force in supporting the transition by offering a diverse range of financial products to promote environmental change initiatives. 

“We also improve our internal processes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet international standards. With a commitment to go beyond banking solutions, we use our extensive network to provide our stakeholders with knowledge, solutions, and best practices on their path to a sustainable future," he said. 

Pipit Aneaknithi

Kasikorn Bank announced in 2023 that it would grant 200 billion baht in green loans by 2030. It has already loaned 74 billion baht and expects to reach 100 billion by the end of this year. 

Meanwhile, he pointed out that the strategic collaboration with Lombard Odier, a global wealth and asset manager, will help the bank provide detailed information and best practices for each industry's transformation, assisting Thai businesses in adopting and adapting to their specific context. 

He then emphasised that collaborating with Lombard Odier to promote the "rethink sustainability" concept among stakeholders would help lead Thailand's transition to a more environmentally friendly economic model and contribute to net-zero emissions.

“The financial sector plays a crucial role in activating nature-based models across economic, business and investment landscapes,” he said. “This strategic network sets to leverage its financial ecosystem, capabilities and global insights-driven solutions, to rethink sustainability and accelerate the sustainability transition in Thailand.”

Jirawat Supornpaibul

Jirawat Supornpaibul, executive chairman of Kasikorn Bank's Private Banking Group, explained that the concept of “Rethink Sustainability” is not only about capitalising on investment opportunities but also about unleashing the most sustainable and invaluable future that humanity has seen.

He then pointed out that the most important thing now is to take action rather than simply raise awareness.

Believing that investment leads to education, he hopes to persuade Thai investors in the KBank Private Banking network, most of whom are entrepreneurs themselves, to learn about the latest green movements of world-class companies so they can see the benefits of green practices and be inspired to follow.