Global Compact Network Thailand (GCNT) consisting of 54 members from leading Thai business and non-business organizations approved its 2020 strategies at its Virtual Annual General Assembly Meeting. The strategies reinforce the Network’s commitment to supporting the Thai private sector to operate its business with responsible corporate practices, create awareness and capabilities to integrate SDGs into business strategies, and concrete actions into tangible outcomes and propose new strategies to support national implementation.
Mr. Suphachai Chearavanont, CEO of Charoen Pokphand Group Co., Ltd. and in his capacity as Chairperson of Global Compact Network Thailand stated, "GCNT's ultimate goal is for the private sector to appreciate the concept of sustainable development and responsible business practices. In this regard, all of our members are committed to integrating the SDGs into business strategies within the Thai business context. GCNT focuses on four core principles: human rights, labor, the environment and anti-Corruption in line with the UN Global Compact’s Universal Principles. In light of COVID-19, we would add public health and well-being to our strategies. Education on sustainability at all levels will also become increasingly important and be added. Education is a cross-cutting issue that would lay strong foundation for our sustainable future. This crisis will end one of these days but achieving sustainability, especially climate change mitigation, will always remain a critical challenge. Hence, the achievement of the SDGs is imperative and we all must work together."
The GCNT’s 5 Strategies based on the SDGs are as follows:
Strategy 1: Creating awareness through "Thailand Sustainability Index" of the private sector. The index will set indicators and provide fundamental information of the business in sustainable development.
Strategy 2: Bringing market mechanism to drive sustainability through Public-Private Partnership. . To create and share sustainability insights of each organization through such activities as weekly 17 SDGs workshops that allow members to share their experiences and challenges in integrating SDGs in their operation. The workshops will create an environment for networking to exchange new knowledge and trends in sustainable business practices. An annual sustainability report in accordance with the UNGC's Ten Principles, focusing on human rights, labor, the environment, and anti-corruption will promote transparency and commitment among the private sector.
Strategy 3: Grooming New Leaders across all Management Levels from the C-level all the way to managers and new employees. Change agents are necessary to make transformation towards sustainability a reality.
Strategy 4: Recognizing our champions in sustainability to empower the business organizations to achieve the SDGs by encouraging representatives of each company to share their visions and solutions in addressing the socio-economic, environmental and corporate governance challenges through internal and external organization activities. Participants with an outstanding performance will be recognized at the local and global "SDGs Pioneer 2020" events, scheduled to take place in early 2021.
Strategy 5: Applying technology and innovation to solve socio-economic and environmental challenges. For example, we should collectively support an impactful and scalable innovation for reducing carbon dioxide emission in the business operations towards creating a carbon-neutral operation. At the same time, we could promote innovative practices for zero waste. Technology can also help reduce inequality by promoting digital transformation and education while building a network of startup communities.
Mr. Prida Tiasuwan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pranda Jewelry – a GCNT founding member said, “Pranda is delighted to have been a member of GCNT from its beginning. I support all of the strategies while making an observation of the technology and innovation strategy that GCNT should focus mainly on innovation. We should seek opportunities to form cooperation that is not limited to creating benefits for a particular but all organizations."
Mr. Somchai Wangwattanapanich, Vice President of Federation of the Thai Industries added, "The Federation of the Thai Industries has joined the SDGs Steering Committee led by the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council. Many of the Council’s and national strategies are in line with what GCNT tries to promote. Therefore, we should coordinate closely with the Council to drive sustainability together while paying attention to the linkage to the civil society."
Mr. Somchai Wangwattanapanich
At the end of the meeting, Mr. Suphachai concluded, “I am proud to be part of this sustainable journey with all of GCNT member organizations. Although we still face challenges, we can and should always inspire each other. It is my sincere hope that GCNT can lead to partnership towards not only national but also global sustainability. The consumerism we face today overuses our resources without proper consideration of the consequences: either socio-economic or environmental costs. Therefore, it is our responsibility to collaborate for new ways to promote sustainability in our business operations for the benefits of our next generations."