An exhibition on Thailand’s BCG economic model was held at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in parallel with the 2022 APEC Summit. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit provided a glimpse of how countries plan to deal with post-pandemic uncertainty and the Thai government’s push towards a new economic model.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha urged 21 APEC leaders to adopt the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economic development model, which shares the same objectives as the UN’s sustainability campaign.
The BCG model consists of a bioeconomy that includes the production of renewable biological resources and the conversion of these resources into value-added products. A circular economy based on upcycling processes that add value to unwanted materials so that they can be used again. and a green economy that balances the economy, society and the environment and leads to sustainable development.
While acknowledging the many challenges that need to be overcome, Thai business leaders are exploring opportunities in a BCG-led economy.
The Thai Hotel Association (THA) invites all stakeholders in the tourism industry to join the BCG model.
For example, hoteliers need to reduce waste and wastewater, while travel agents need to design sustainable trips for their customers and choose to stay in eco-friendly hotels, says THA. President Marisa Sukosol Numbakdi said.
“We can contribute a lot to BCG because the tourism sector has to be sustainable,” she said. It could be an opportunity to establish.”
THA has worked on sustainability with partners such as the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
Marisa said the hotel needed more government procurement support to become a “green hotel”.
“There has to be demand first, followed by supply,” she said.
Marisa said most independent travelers don’t consider sustainability as a top priority when choosing accommodations.
She said that the government is asking THA to provide tax incentives to hotels seeking to reduce energy use, to co-invest in energy efficient equipment, and to provide training for hoteliers on sustainability. He said it is necessary to consider solutions such as issuing subsidies.
THA has campaigned among hotel members to reduce carbon emissions by reducing municipal waste, food waste and energy in the first phase, said Mrs. Marisa.
She said the BCG model requires technology and innovation, and there are still gaps in knowledge and access to funding for these tools.
Hotels that focus on reducing energy consumption and using renewable energy will guarantee cost savings in the long run, Marisa said.
The bank’s offering of green loans shows its support for the BCG model, she said.
“Even though we have moved on from the pandemic and are facing external economic risks, the challenge remains for operators to manage these risks and manage the costs of adopting BCG policies,” Marisa said. Stated.
The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) expects the growth of eco-friendly and value-added businesses, especially in the energy sector, due to BCG’s central role in the manufacturing sector.
FTI Chairman Kliengklai Tiennekul said new industries that embrace technological innovation are likely to enjoy comfortable business prospects using the BCG concept.
The federation planned to support the bioeconomy by launching a “smart agricultural industry” aimed at adding value to agricultural products and improving the local economy, he said.
Some companies are already developing circular economy models. Millcon Steel uses slag, an unwanted by-product of steel manufacturing, to reinforce roads. Also use slag to make concrete blocks.
In terms of green economy development, “eco-factory” projects have been launched to encourage factory owners to use more clean energy, develop energy storage systems, and use solar, according to FTI.
“Thailand’s manufacturing sector needs to step up its efforts to become more competitive and achieve business sustainability,” said Kriengkrai.
Bangchak Corporation, a SET-listed energy conglomerate, is shifting its business trajectory towards clean energy.
The company will focus on projects related to electric vehicles (EVs), including the development of EV charging facilities to support BCG’s economic development, said an executive in charge of corporate branding, communications and sustainability activation. Vice President Gloyta Nathalang said.
Exhibiting natural dyes at Thailand BCG exhibition held at QSNCC.Photo by Somchai Poomrad
Global Green Chemicals Plc (GGC), the biochemical arm of PTT Global Chemical Plc, adds value to bio-based products by developing a range of new products, including biofuels for aircraft.
The move is in line with the government’s push for the bioeconomy under the BCG umbrella.
GGC’s managing director Piroj Samutthananont said plans to produce biofuel for aviation are being pursued because fossil fuel-derived jet fuel could face bans or higher tax rates on flights to and from Europe in the future. said.
The company now produces biofuels for cars. This is part of Thailand’s efforts to reduce its dependence on oil and reduce its carbon footprint.
The company’s products include sugar-derived ethanol, which is used to blend with gasoline, and palm oil-derived methyl esters, which can be blended with diesel to make biodiesel.
GGC is located at the Nakhon Sawan Bio Complex (NBC) at 2,000 Rai in Tahuli District, Nakhon Sawan Province.
NBC hopes to target the high-tech biochemical industry, including biopharmaceutical development.
NBC’s first phase development includes a sugar cane crushing unit with a capacity of 24,000 tons per day. An ethanol production plant with a capacity of 600,000 liters per day. A biomass power plant with a capacity of 85 megawatts. Produces 475 tons of steam per hour.
new marketing tools
Courier service Kerry Express (Thailand) Plc believes that ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) concept and BCG economic model are necessary for the new economy.
Alex Ng, CEO of Kerry, said companies in the old economy should not underestimate the cost and effort of fulfilling such a mission, which requires significant investment. said.
The company has launched a research and development task force focused on eco-friendly and eco-friendly efforts, and is working with its Chinese parent company SF Holding to pursue it, he said.
“As the technology becomes more mature and affordable, we can speak more confidently about BCG,” said Ng.
“We are starting global procurement to find suitable solutions from everywhere, not just Thailand.”
Jirachai Tankingamwong, R&D and marketing director at wooden furniture maker Diesawat Industries, said the government has proposed the BCG model to align all parties in the same direction.
BCG and sustainability are global trends and Thailand can use them to differentiate its products, he said.
“No country has yet become a leader in BCG or sustainability,” said Jirachai.
“If we can establish ourselves in this space, we can build trust and credibility.”
Left BCG exhibition in Thailand held at QSNCC
Diesawat, a pioneer in the production and export of wooden furniture, has received requests from overseas customers for sustainability-related products. The company expects this trend to become mandatory or standard in the future.
“Sustainability is now a new marketing tool,” said Jirachai.
“If you ignore it or are unprepared for it, you can lose when it counts.”
He said the government needs to communicate better with the public about the BCG model because the majority of people still don’t understand it.
Jirachai said local government bodies need to understand the model and pass that knowledge on to the community.
“Once you understand the model, you can decide for yourself whether to accept BCG,” he said.
Jirachai said Deesawat can design products made from agricultural or industrial waste and differentiate them from their competitors.
“Instead of asking how we can benefit from sustainability, we should ask what we lose by not pursuing sustainability,” he said.
Jirachai said BCG products should not be more expensive than traditional items in order to generate momentum among users.
need a success story
Sanan Angborkul, president of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, admitted that most people have little understanding of BCG’s economic development.
The private sector hopes that the APEC 2022 conference will be a forum to inform Thai society and many parts of Asia about the BCG development model.
According to Sanan, some international trade includes requirements for environmental protection and green products, so there is increased awareness of BCG and sustainable development not only among large companies and industries, but also among small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Need to understand better. measures and new free trade agreements.
It is imperative that governments work with the private sector to apply the BCG and create successful business prototypes so that other companies can follow suit.
In response to the country’s BCG economic development policy, the Chamber of Commerce partnered with the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce to establish a circular economy academy for entrepreneurs and consumers to strengthen the competitiveness of Thai companies. did.
Chaichan Chaleonsuk, chairman of the National Shippers Association of Thailand, said the government needs to provide financial support and funding, especially to small and medium-sized enterprises that want to transform their production processes into green factories. He said more spending needs to be done to accelerate product establishment. Design and development center and green industrial park.
Many companies support ESG practices that share similar goals as BCG’s economic development, both moving toward sustainability goals.
ESG is a set of criteria adopted by investors and companies to support businesses that care about the environment and people and promote good governance.
From August to September, Deloitte Thailand surveyed executives of 106 companies in the country to find out how environmental and social issues are changing the business environment.
According to Deloitte’s Thailand ESG and Sustainability Survey Report 2022, most business leaders prioritize ESG awareness in their organizations and integrate ESG practices into corporate strategy.
Nearly 85% of respondents in finance and accounting agreed that sustainability is playing an increasingly important role in corporate finances.
The majority of respondents prioritized the role of reporting on sustainability key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics as part of their standard cycle.
According to the survey, approximately 19% see finance as a driving force in defining and achieving sustainability goals.
According to Deloitte, private companies are also looking to fully integrate sustainability goals into their corporate performance management processes.
According to the research firm, 51% of respondents report on ESG management approaches and KPIs as part of their reporting cycle.
However, a quarter of respondents collected ESG data but did not share it publicly.
In the survey, the main gaps respondents identified as limiting efficient reporting on sustainability were the lack of technology for effective data collection, the lack of talent and skills within organizations, and Unavailability of data was revealed.