TPSO supports govt's greenhouse gas emission reduction policy
The Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO), under the Commerce Ministry has revealed itself as a staunch ally of the government's greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction policy and is urging the private sector to adapt.
Through a study of how businesses are adapting to reduce GHG emissions, TPSO found that while business operators are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of GHG reduction, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) still lack knowledge and face financial constraints. Most consumers, meanwhile, are interested in environmentally friendly products.
According to TPSO director Poonpong Nainapakorn, the recent “Study of Thai Business Adaptation Guidelines for Environmental Trade Measures: The Case of GHG Emission Reduction” project encompassed surveys of consumers, in-depth interviews with business operators, and proposals to the government and private sector. The goal was to provide information to the government for policy formulation and to help businesses adapt and maintain competitiveness.
According to the consumer survey, which involved 5,012 respondents, 81.64% were interested in buying environmentally-friendly products for reasons such as environmental conservation, support for environmentally-friendly businesses, and trying new products. However, the main reasons for not being interested in such products were high prices, limited availability, and a lack of promotion.
The in-depth interviews with business operators revealed that they are willing to change their operations to reduce GHG emissions, but many, mostly SMEs, face financial limitations in both improving production processes and obtaining carbon footprint certifications. Additionally, they lack knowledge about GHGs and environmental measures in other countries. Consumers often choose cheaper products, which does not incentivise businesses to adapt.
Nainapakorn suggested several proposals for the government, including:
1. Formulating policies or measures to support environmentally-friendly businesses and enhancing coordination among related agencies.
2. Promoting business operators' transition to environmentally-friendly practices and providing access to green technology.
3. Marketing environmentally-friendly products and increasing their value through labeling. Also, making tools and mechanisms used in environmental operations in Thailand understandable and acceptable to foreign markets.
Businesses should collect data on every stage of their operations, such as water and energy consumption, oil usage, and raw material quantities, to improve efficiency and emphasize environmental friendliness. Certification for carbon footprint could start with popular products and then expand to save time and costs. Moreover, businesses should continuously update their knowledge and monitor situations that might affect trade to adapt promptly.
The study also highlighted the importance of aligning government policies, private sector initiatives, and consumer preferences to reduce GHG emissions and promote environmental sustainability in Thailand's business sector.