Mr. Suphachai Chearavanont, Chief Executive Officer Charoen Pokphand Group (C.P. Group) and President of the Global Compact Network Association of Thailand, participated in the 2021United Nations Global Compact Leaders Summit 2021 , held June 15-16, 2021. The event was held virtually from New York City, USA and broadcast live all over the world.
This year, the UN Global Compact, the world's largest sustainability network under the United Nations highlighted climate change solutions as a key agenda for the event.
António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations addressed the opening of the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2021, he stated that “we are all here to support the action plan to achieve the SDGs and to meet the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Business organizations have come together to demonstrate their readiness to share responsibility and to act on net zero emissions reduction mission, with the most effective methods” Guterres emphasized that business organizations must integrate investments. Building business alliances in parallel with sustainable business operations and consider ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance).
Ms. Sanda Ojiambo, Executive Director and CEO of the UN Global Compact, said that due to the COVID-19crisis, UNGC is concerned about the current state of inequality. As there continues to be a shortage of vaccines against COVID-19, and numerous countries still lack access to vaccinations. In addition, there are still major issues with unemployment, especially among working women who have been laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this meeting, all sectors have gathered to find ways to collaborate and mobilize solutions to solve inequality caused by the impact of COVID-19.
Suphachai Chearavanont, CEO of C.P. Group, attended the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2021 and shared his vision and ambition in the session ‘Light the Way to Glasgow (COP26) and Net Zero: Credible Climate Action for a 1.5°C World’ alongside panelists that included:Keith Anderson, CEO of Scottish Power,Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO Sustainable Energy for All (SE forALL), and the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sustainable Energy andGraciela Chalupe dos Santos Malucelli, COO and vice president of Novozymes, a biotechnology company in Denmark. Opening remarks were made by Mr. Gonzalo Muños, Chile COP25 High Level Climate Champion, and Mr. Nigel Topping, UN's High-Level Climate Action Champion, Global Champion on Climate Change andMr. Selwin Hart, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Climate Action.
Suphachaialso announced that the company is committed to bringing its businesses to become carbon neutral by 2030 which are in line with global goals to ensure the global temperature rise does not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius and the global campaign ‘Race to Zero’, leading towards the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held in Glasgow, Scotland to be held in November of this year.
The CEO of C.P. Group further shared that global temperature rise is a critical issue and as the Group is in the business of agriculture and food, responsible supply chain management requires working alongside partners, farmers, and all stakeholders as well as its 450,000 employees worldwide. There are technologies such as IOT, Blockchain, GPS, and Traceability Systems that are being utilized to achieve common goals and C.P. Group believes that building a sustainable food and agriculture system will be crucial to effectively address climate change.
As for C.P. Group, there is a policy to increase forest coverage by planting more trees to help slow down global warming. The organization aims to plant 6 million acres of trees to cover its carbon emissions. At the same time, the Group continues to drive sustainability goals with more than 1 million farmers and hundreds of thousands of trading partners. In addition, farmers are encouraged to restore forests in deforested mountain areas in northern Thailand and turn to integrated farming and tree planting to increase forest areas. All this to achieve the goal of becoming a carbon neutral organization.
Another important goal of C.P. Group is the implementation of systems to save energy and utilize renewable energy sources in its business operations. As investments made into renewable energy is considered as an opportunity and not a business cost. Furthermore, all the stock exchanges throughout the world should require for companies to set their goals and reporting towards carbon management. This will enable awareness raising and everyone can race towards the same goal of achieving net zero.
Gonzalo Muños Chile COP25 High Level Climate Champion said the world was hit hard by the COVID-19 situation this year. But at the same time, the issue of climate change remains a serious concern. There are currently more than 4,500 organizations participating in the Race to Zero campaign from 90 countries around the world. Including more than 3,000 business organizations, accounting for 15% of the global economy, this is a campaign that has grown rapidly in the past year.
For Nigel Topping, UN's High-Level Climate Action Champion, the challenge of the next 10 years for sustainability leaders across all sectors is to take action to reduce global warming with the goal of halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Addressing climate change is a challenge as it is linked to communication, politics, science, and technological challenges. All sectors must accelerate cooperation and act to reduce carbon emissions to solve global warming.
On the other hand, Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), said all sectors are now encouraged to negotiate on energy efficiency. It views climate change and energy resources as things that must go hand in hand and must focus on developing countries encourage these countries to manage their energy to create greener energy that is more environmentally friendly.
Keith Anderson,CEO of Scottish Power, discusses the operations of Scottish Power, a coal-producing company, which is now phasing out coal throughout Scotland, and will switch to renewable energy to reduce climate change. In Scotland, 97% of renewable electricity is used for all activities, including transportation and the use of energy in buildings must reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Most importantly, the city of Glasgow aims to become the first net zero carbon city in the UK.
Graciela Chalupe dos Santos Malucelli, COO and Vice President of the Danish biotechnology company Novozymes said her company has invested in renewable energy such as the conversion of solar energy into electricity. By working with partners and stakeholders throughout the supply chain, we can work together to find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible.
Alok Sharma, Chairman of COP 26, concluded the talks that 2015 was an important year, marking the beginning of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Aichi Declaration on Biodiversity, and the UN SDGs. The goal of maintaining the 1.5 degrees Celsius boundary is aimed at minimizing the amount of damage and suffering due to the consequences of climate change, including people’s livelihood and extinction of countless species of plants and animals. At this Global Leaders Summit on sustainability, we would like to thank UNGC for driving businesses to commit to the Paris Agreement and corporate leaders from all sectors are invited to join the Race to ZERO campaign, which will demonstrate to all stakeholders the determination and commitment that the business sector has risen up to the challenge.
The UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2021 from 15-16 June 2021 brings together leaders from various sectors including leading business sectors in many countries around the world such as Charoen Pokphand Group, Unilever, Schneider Electric, L'Oréal, Nestle, Huawei, IKEA, Siemens AG, as well as executives from the Boston Consulting Group and Baker & McKenzie. Opening remarks were made by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Ms. Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact.