Central Group, the leader of social and environmental development, alongside conducting its business, continues its main social development project “Central Tham”, which invites everyone to take part in making our society and environment better, led by Central Group, under the idea of Creating Shared Value (CSV) to benefit communities, society and environment alongside its business.
The success of Central Tham, from the start of the initiative in 2020, is the fact that it has generated 1.2 billion baht income to communities, improving lives of 500,000 people in 100,000 households in 44 provinces. Central Group is committed to improving communities and society in four areas: Better Work, Better Life, Better World and Better Society, for sustainable development of all stakeholders.
Pichai Chirathivat, Director of Central Group, said that over the past 73 years, Central Group has always been committed to social responsibility and involvement. Central Tham is made possible by everyone’s collaboration: employees, the public, and Central Group’s partners. Central Group believes that sustainable development begins with collaboration and real actions. Central Group not only supports educational development, improving quality of life, and reducing the gap in our society, but also supports job opportunities for those with disabilities, local product development through product improvement, distribution channels and direct purchase from local farmers to generate income for communities, thereby promoting sustainability from upstream to downstream. At the same time, Central Group has addressed environmental issues and increased green areas. The Group focuses on generating income opportunities alongside conserving local culture by developing conservation tourism in communities. Throughout its 73 years, Central has always been firm in its purpose to improve the quality of life, to strengthen communities, and to support the growth of our society. Some highlight activities under Central Tham in 2020 which have continued to today include:
- Helping those with disabilities: The idea was to change people’s perception on those with differences so that we can all live together, as diversity is important to our society. Leveraging on its scale, Central Group promotes job opportunities and career development for those with disabilities by employing them as Contact Call Center employees at Phra Mahathai Center. In 2020, to support the growth and development of those with disabilities, Central Group and its affiliated companies such as Central Retail Corporation Public Company Limited, Central Pattana Public Company Limited, and Central Plaza Hotel Public Company Limited, have continued to employ those with disabilities, with a commitment to reduce the gap and promote equality. Central Group is one of the companies awarded for its support for those with disabilities for four consecutive years. from the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, and won the Best Company in Supporting Those with Disabilities for 2020.
- Phu Chi Duen: Phu Chi Duen used to be a bald mountain due to monocropping in the area. This affected communities in the area, whether in heights or plains. Since this was a bald mountain area, in order to grow coffee, trees must first be planted. Fruit trees were encouraged, and a variety of trees, at least 4-5 types, were grown in that area. When the trees were able to provide shades, coffee plants were then grown. Coffee plantation in this area began in 1984. Thanks to Central Tham’s agricultural support, the area has turned green once again. The locals take care of the area and plant trees as well as prevent deforestation. In 2020, 500 rai of land underwent a forest restoration effort together with the World Wildlife Fund.
- Jing Jai Farmers’ Market: Central Group is committed to offering safe and clean food to its customers. The project allows customers to have access to chemical-free fruits and vegetables, and supports organic farming. It also helps local farmers sell their organic fruits and vegetables as well as local products in Central Group’s venues, such as Tops and Central Food Hall. There are 23 Jing Jai Farmers’ Markets at present, with a plan to expand to 34 within 2021. In 2020, Jing Jai Farmers’ Market was able to generate 193 million baht income for local communities.
- Samui Model Project: In this project, Central Group supports the development of a model city for circular economy. The “Samui Zero Waste” model is located on Koh Samui, Surat Thani, to encourage waste separation from the source. Food waste from employees are converted into fertilizers to be used in local farms and biogasses used for cooking school lunches at local schools and cooking classes at a local university.
- Na Muen Sri Project: Central Group is committed to preserving local culture and uniqueness, which has shaped the Thai society today. Communities keep such culture and local wisdom alive. Central Group plays a role in helping communities become stronger and develop sustainably, such as in the Na Muen Sri Textile Museum project, which is a center that collects woven fabrics with a long heritage going back more than 200 years. Central Group has helped improve and promote the museum to turn it into an attraction, generating job opportunities to those in the area.
Central Tham is a social development project under Central Group and affiliated companies such as Central Retail Corporation Public Company Limited, Central Pattana Public Company Limited, and Central Plaza Hotel Public Company Limited, with the objective of building and supporting local communities through career building, income opportunities, reducing cost of living, and health promotion, in line with the Group’s purpose to utilize its expertise to drive the grassroots economy, bridge the gap in the society, and bring benefits to the country.