Green procurement ideas inspire Thai businesses

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Demand for green products is on the rise, making it essential for Thai business operators to adopt green procurement practices into their operations.

Companies grouped under the Thailand Business Council for Sustainable Development (TBCSD) recently launched a campaign to promote green procurement among Thai companies, pulling support from manufacturers and consumers.

Prasert Bunsumpun, chairman of the organisation, said the business sector should play a major part in ensuring global sustainability, as they were consuming natural resources and providing services from the resources. Thus, they should adopt the practices which result in minimum effects on the environment.

“The world has undergone fast-paced technological and economic change. Consumer behaviour has changed accordingly, leading to excessive consumption of natural resources and higher greenhouse gas emissions. Global warming is the hot topic globally and many countries have adopted solutions to ensure sustainable production and consumption. One such solution is to promote green procurement, to produce environment-friendly products,” he said.

Europe, the region most serious about green rules, has put in place certification of environmental product-labelling, like carbon labels, Blue Angel and EU-Flower. Showing the labels, the products inform consumers that the raw material sourcing, production process and disposal process is environment-friendly. Japan is also coming up with similar measures, but they remain voluntary.

Kwanruedee Chotichanathaweewong, director of the Thai Environment Institute, said that more countries across the world are paying attention to green products and green procurement. “This remains an unpopular idea in Thailand. “For success, we need cooperation from all parties, particularly business operators in all levels and communities, which are part of the supply chain. They should be aware of measures to efficiently reduce greenhouse gases,” she said.

The institute has launched the Green Label, which has been awarded to 158 products where the production process promises lower impact on the environment compared to products in the same categories. It has also awarded the Carbon Label to 139 products which have cooperated in reducing greenhouse gases.

All parties should work together in raising consumer awareness on green products and services. Companies themselves should also adopt green procurement practices. These would effectively lead us towards a low-carbon society, in a sustainable way,” she noted.