Thailand’s sustainability leaders offer insights on transformative trends
Thailand’s largest sustainability network, the United Nations Global Compact Network Thailand, has published its “SDGs Mega Trends 2023” report, highlighting five major trends among the sustainable development goals (SDGs) that businesses could focus on to unlock global pathways to resilience, growth and sustainability in the post Covid-19 era.
Suphachai Chearavanont, the network’s chairperson said: “As a local network of UN Global Compact, Thailand’s chapter has prepared “SDGs Mega Trends” for four consecutive years to serve as a knowledge centre and framework for sustainable development practices for business operators.”
“This year, we have selected five trends of SDGs that businesses could apply to their operations amid a variety of global challenges, such as climate change and threats to the ecosystem and biodiversity,” he added.
Suphachai, who is CEO of Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, said Thailand had shown noticeable progress in achieving the SDGs in the past year thanks to cooperation among the civil society, government and private sectors.
He pointed out that members of the network (known by the acronym UNGCNT) helped reduce greenhouse gasses emission by the equivalent of 8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide last year. “It was also the year when network members declared their intention to preserve at least 30% of land and marine biodiversity in Thailand at the GCNT Forum 2022 event,” Suphachai said.
Although Thailand is among world leaders in terms of SDGs implementation, the United Nations has pointed out that the country still needs to aggressively drive the transformation of its economy into a green, low-carbon one, as well as achieve joint sustainable development goals shared among members of the global community, he said.
“The business sector must take an active role in continued implementation of SDGs, to ensure the country’s progress amid global challenges, and that all parties can progress together sustainably,” he added.
As for this year, the five SDGs Mega Trends focus on business’ adaptation and transformation to suit the post Covid-19 era as the global economy gradually recovers, while achieving SDGs in the following key aspects:
1. Biodiversity – A fertile environment is the most valuable capital of businesses, as it creates initial factors of various raw materials necessary for the manufacturing process of products and services. Biodiversity is therefore a key foundation that businesses must protect, take care of, and rehabilitate.
2. Sustainable Finance – Finance is the key to drive investment for businesses as well as allocate capital in the economy. Sustainable finance can produce economic value to business operators, fulfill the practice of good governance, as well as create positive impacts on the environment and society.
3. Supply Chain Management – Since business operations nowadays have shifted from a competitive to cooperative approach, the building and management of comprehensive supply chains that share values among operators while promoting a circular and sustainable economy has become a crucial task of all businesses.
4. Green Workforce and Jobs – Jobs that can help in preservation and rehabilitation of the environment will become more important across all business sectors. Green businesses have continuously increased in numbers, while the Thai government also promotes hiring in eco-friendly industries through various measures.
5. Energy Transition and Innovation – As global trends change, new investment opportunities emerge. Businesses must keep exploring options to transition to renewable energy by using new innovations. These investments will require substantial funds, but they can also provide long-term yields.
SDGs Mega Trends 2023 also covers an opinion survey among over 2,600 CEOs drawn from 18 industrial sectors across 128 countries regarding current challenges, sustainable growth and path to full recovery in the post Covid-19 era.
The report includes exclusive interviews with CEOs from five of Thailand’s leading corporations that are members of UNGCNT, revealing their vision in SDGs implementation. They are Singha Estate Plc (biodiversity protection and rehabilitation), Kasikornbank Plc (sustainable finance), Charoen Pokphand Foods Plc (supply chain management), WHA Corporation Plc (green workforce), and CK Power Plc (energy transition to low-carbon society).
Interested organisations and individuals can view the full details of SDGs Mega Trends 2023 at http://ebook.globalcompact-th.com/books/vsbf