On 7 June 2019, as a part of the exhibition and conference “ASEAN Sustainable Energy Week 2019” in Bangkok, a number of specialists and scholars, senior government officials, and representatives from the business sector joined a multi-stakeholder seminar, “New Ideas for Sustainable Business and Lessons from Pioneers in Circular Economy and Climate Change”. This was co-organized by the Embassy of Japan in Thailand, the Thai Pollution Control Department (PCD), the Thai Department of Industrial Works (DIW), the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO), the Federation of Thai Industry (FTI), the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), and UBM Asia, and held at the Bangkok International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre (BITEC).
More information is available here, at the website of ASEW-Expo:
Website of Department of Industrial Works (DIW), Ministry of Industry (MOI):
On 7 June 2019, as a part of the exhibition and conference “ASEAN Sustainable Energy Week 2019” in Bangkok, a number of specialists and scholars, senior government officials, and representatives from the business sector joined a multi-stakeholder seminar, “New Ideas for Sustainable Business and Lessons from Pioneers in Circular Economy and Climate Change”. This was co-organized by the Embassy of Japan in Thailand, the Thai Pollution Control Department (PCD), the Thai Department of Industrial Works (DIW), the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO), the Federation of Thai Industry (FTI), the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), and UBM Asia, and held at the Bangkok International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre (BITEC). The conference shared useful experiences from private companies and governments at the forefront of circular economy and climate change, including corporate commitments to sustainability, new industrial and energy policies in Thailand, and past discussions among relevant stakeholders. The participants also expressed a range of views and ideas on ways to overcome challenges to realizing sustainable business, in support of a low-carbon and circular economy. Some examples are the potential of growth in the recycling business by improving plastic waste collection and product design, networking and matching with possible partners, more effective and persuasive approaches to the management of people, and policies to orient market-based businesses toward sustainability, so that business activities and investment independently favor sustainable business.
In the opening session, high level speakers shared the Thai government's national plan on plastic waste, its strategic plan on industry, the Eco-Industrial Town initiative, T-VER, and JCM, emphasizing the urgency of climate change and circular economy issues.
The first session, Challenges towards ASEAN Circular Economy, was moderated by Prof. So Sasaki, Visiting Scholar, Faculty of Economics, Chulalongkorn University with panelists from two private companies in Thailand, Wongpanit, and SCG Plastic, and an international agency, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA). The panelists agreed that the Chinese import restriction on plastic waste other recyclable waste has significant impacts in Asian countries, and Marine Plastic Litter Issue is an international problem that can not be solved by single country, and building a circular economy is the key. On the other hand, the discussion also indicated that such situation can offer businesses opportunities for proper recycling industries. Some ideas to support such direction include reducing the difficulty for recycling by better product design including under voluntary guidelines, securing the demand for recycled products such as by setting industrial standards, and improving the efficiency in the recyclables collection.
The second session, “Emerging Opportunities Presented by Climate Actions and Technological Innovation”, was moderated by Mr. Toshizo Maeda, IGES, with panelists from two government agencies, DEDE and IEAT, and two private companies, Azbil (Thailand) and TMB. The panelists discussed how responses to climate change and local environmental challenges, such as CO2 emissions reductions and pollution controls, have been addressed by government agencies and the private sector. The discussion confirmed that there is still huge untapped potential for energy conservation in factories and buildings, and that private banks have ample funds to support this. Although government agencies have been promoting the right policies and initiatives, such as energy efficiency and smart city development, the scale and extent may be insufficient to address the profound climate and environmental challenges. As further enforcement of green financing requires clear policy direction and support from shareholders, more concerted efforts are required from the public and private sectors.
The third session, “Frontrunners of Sustainable Business in Asia”, was moderated by Mr. Koji Fukuda, Chief Advisor, JICA Technical Assistance for Capacity Development to Accelerate Low Carbon and Resilient Society Realization in Southeast Asia. The session was joined by Toyota Daihatsu Engineering and Manufacturing, Coca-Cola ASEAN, Siam Compressor Industry, and UN Environment, and showcased a concrete set of actions that have already been implemented. The discussion indicated a key motivation to integrate environmental sustainability into business, beyond the conventional CSR, is the sense of risk perception and business sustainability. Practical challenges shared by the panel included, inter alia, balance between costs and measures, greening the mindset of employees, operational alignment by corporate businesses with competing priorities, partnerships to lift up entrepreneurship, and deregulation to expand renewable energy. More frequent and structured Government to Business (G-to-B) dialogue was also called for, in order to nurture common perceptions and strive for complementarity, by exploring next steps that fill existing gaps in action.
BITEC – Bangkok International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre, Bangkok, Thailand
IGES Kansai Research Centre
East Building 5th Floor, Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution, 1-5-2, Kaigan-dori, Waki-no-hama, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo, 651-0073 Japan
|Keynote Remarks||Yoshinori Suga, First Secretary, Embassy of Japan in Thailand|
|Plastic Waste Management in Thailand
Pralong Dumrongthai, Director General Pollution Control Department (PCD)
|Circular Economy in Thailand
Supakit Boonsiri, Deputy Director General, Department of Industrial Works (DIW)
|Climate Change and Business in Thailand
Natarika Wayuparb Nitiphon, Deputy Executive Director Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO)
|Thai Environmental Industry
Somchai Wangwattanapanich, Chairman of Water and Environment Institute for Sustainability The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI)
|Session 1||Challenges towards ASEAN Circular Economy
So Sasaki, Visiting Scholor ChulalongkornUniversity
|Plastic and Other Material Recycling in Thailand
Somthai Wongcharoen, President Wongpanit
Kongchai Wonghiriwat, Program Manager, Circular Economy Office, SCG Plastic
|Latest Trend of Circular Economy
Michikazu Kojima, Senior Economist Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
|Session 2||Discussion points
Toshizo Maeda, Deputy Director, IGES Kansai Research Centre
|Energy Efficiency and Energy 4.0
Wisaruth Maethasith, (on behalf of Pongpan Vorasayan, Senior Professional Engineer) Bureau of Energy Regulation and Conservation, Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE)
|How to Use Data for Energy Saving and Value Maximization
Keiji Hashimoto, Assistant General Manager, Azbil (Thailand)
Attapon Jirawatjanya, Deputy Governor Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT)
|First Green Bond by Thai Commercial Bank
Andrew Kent Jan, Head of Balance Sheet Management TMB
|Session 3||Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050
Yoshiaki Ishimoto, Vice President, Toyota Daihatsu Engineering and Manufacturing
Leopoldo Becerra, Quality, Safety and Environment Director Coca-Cola ASEAN
|Green Company Project
Kajonsak Suwattanakorn, Deputy Managing Director Siam Compressor Industry
|Circular Economy business models enabling low carbon lifestyles - emerging leadership from Asia-Pacific’s entrepreneurs
Janet Salem, Programme Officer UN Environment