Thai CEOs discuss sustainability’s key role in supply chain survival at SX2023

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post

The Sustainability Expo 2023 (SX2023) has illuminated the essential role of sustainability in successful supply chain networks. The Thailand Supply Chain Network (TSCN) Business Partners Conference, also known as the TSCN CEO Panel, took place at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center as part of the ongoing expo.

The key topic of discussion was the self-application of sustainable practices for business survival.

Prominent figures like the CEO of Thai Beverage Plc, Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi; the CEO of Siam Cement Group, Roongrote Rangsiyopash; and the CEO of Charoen Pokphand Group, Suphachai Chearavanont, were among the key speakers.

Roongrote highlighted that the Ukrainian war has triggered a significant increase in energy costs despite the post-pandemic recovery. Consequently, this has resulted in elevated food prices and inflation, leading many countries to explore renewable energy options, particularly solar cells, to reduce dependence on petroleum oil and gas.

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Suphachai noted that several businesses are investing in sustainability and incorporating carbon credits into their operational costs.

The Charoen Pokphand Group, for instance, has set a target to manage seven million tonnes of carbon emissions annually. Including all suppliers, the Group faces the formidable challenge of managing 70 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year, reported Bangkok Post.

Sustainable development goals

Suphachai stressed the importance of government support for green energy, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, to expedite carbon emission reductions. He remarked that Thailand has only achieved 12% of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in the past four years since pledging to reduce carbon emissions.

Without measures to stimulate a minimum annual reduction of 4% in carbon emissions, the government may need to spend 2 billion baht (US$54,141,860) to purchase carbon credits by 2030.

Thapana from ThaiBev emphasized that sustainability is now widely recognised, particularly among the younger generation.

“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.”

According to Thapana, it is crucial for businesses, irrespective of their size, to adapt to the mega-trend of incorporating sustainable concepts into their operations. Implementing environmentally friendly practices will influence the entire supply chain, leading to innovative solutions based on sustainability.

Thapana predicted that in the near future, businesses that meet all demands while also respecting the environment will be game-changers. Roongrote supported this view by advising business owners to follow the lead of those who have successfully invested in sustainability, as several countries have introduced policies for sustainable development to address environmental issues.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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