Bangkok 2 June 2021 Central Group, owner of retail brands and services by Thai people, highlights its policy to help Thailand emerge out of COVID-19 and to drive its strategies in Creating Shared Value between its business and our society, focusing on circular economy and Sustainable Development Goals, with an aim to tackle environmental issues and strengthen communities from upstream to downstream. This year, Central Group aims to help communities generate 1.3 billion baht income through supporting their product development, organic farming, and market development for communities. Meanwhile, Central Tham plans to restore 1,500 rai of forest, reduce single-use plastic waste and packaging by 30% a year, and reduce food waste by 10% a year. It is also planning to ensure 10% more of organic waste from its businesses will enter proper waste management processes, compared to the previous year. The landscape inside and around its shopping centers will be environment-friendly. The ultimate goal is to become a green retailer with zero carbon emissions.

Central Group’s continuous environment projects in 2020-2021 include “Sustainable Food System and Forest Restoration Project” to restore 1,000 rai of forests in Chiang Mai and Nan, which removed an equivalent of 39,353 metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere. Other projects are “Artificial Reef for Marine Ecosystem Restoration” with 5,000 corals, “Phu Chi Duen Organic Coffee Plantation for Forest Restoration'' in which 500 rai of land in Chiang Rai underwent a forest restoration, and “Organic Farming and Safe Agriculture Promotion” with 30,616 families of farmers nationwide. In the field of energy, Central Group uses renewable energy generated by rooftop solar panels at 41 locations, which produce 24,621 MWh of power, enough to supply 3,169 households for a year. There are 73 EV chargers at its locations. In waste management and circular economy, 518,000 plastic bags are reused and recycled, and 454 tons of food waste and surplus has been collected, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 56,287 tons.

Pichai Chirathivat, Executive Director of Central Group, said, “Over the past 73 years of our business, Central Group has always conducted our business alongside environment conservation. In 1992, we set up an environmental foundation to drive our environmental projects under ‘Central Tham’. We’ve launched campaigns like ‘Central Group Love the Earth’ which has been running since 2008 and has continued actively until now, with an aim to reduce landfill waste on our Journey to Zero through personal contributions of our employees and every party involved. We’ve focused on waste reduction and waste segregation, and also promoted circular economy which focuses on better use of natural resources, such as by using recycled materials and managing food surplus and food waste. We continue to advance in this area to set an example in sustainable development in retail and service businesses to inspire externally.

In the field of energy, Central Group improves its energy management for more efficiency and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Companies under Central Group have measures to save energy such as by changing electrical appliances to reduce power consumption and designing the stores to be more environmentally friendly. The group has invested in the installation of solar panels on the rooftop of 41 locations, and 73 EV charging stations have been set up at 38 stores. As a result, Central Group can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 145.3 tons a month, and there are plans to expand these services continuously.

To promote circular economy, Central Group has provided knowledge to its employees, customers and consumers about making full use of natural resources and products, recycling, and reusing. It has also developed innovations and products for environment conservation. The Group has also announced its Plastic Reduction Policy and measures on waste segregation for its businesses such as Central Retail and Central Pattana to adopt. The Say No to Plastic Bag campaign is still in place, while tote bags are promoted to replace single-use plastic bags. Restaurants under Central Group are encouraged to switch to eco-friendly packaging and utensils. In 2020, it saved 236 million plastic bags. Additionally, Central Group has adopted a system to keep track on sorted waste in its stores through CPN Waste Management platform, which is connected from start to end to report the status of all locations. Central Group also works with its partners to promote waste segregation from the source and correct management at the end such as by recycling to make the most use of resources. There are many projects under this initiative, such as:

  • Sorting Organic Waste: About 450 tons of organic waste has been sorted at six pioneering CPN locations in Bangkok and Nonthaburi, in collaboration with BMA’s Department of Environment, Nonthaburi Municipality, Tops Supermarket, tenants, and employees, to sort organic waste and turn it into organic fertilizers and biogasses.
  • Magic Hands x Won bins in partnership with PPP Plastic: Special bins are placed at 17 stores in Bangkok and vicinity to sort 12 types of plastic for further recycling following the circular economy concept. Through this project, 6.2 tons of plastic waste has been sorted.
  • 34 e-waste collection points are set up in partnership with AIS at Central Plaza nationwide. Through these points, 1,942 kg of e-waste has been collected and properly recycled or dismantled.
  • Activities which invite customers to take part in, such as using Bag for Life bags made from recycled plastic beads, which can be used multiple times and recycled again. Around 518,000 bags are brought back for use, reducing carbon emissions by 24.7 tons CO2-Eq.
  • Rethink Challenge which supports waste sorting from the source. Customers can donate used plastic food containers, and they will be recycled into plastic beads and pyrolysis oil for further use. So far, 6,500 plastic containers have been collected, weighing 159 kg in total.
  • Centara hotels have saved 790,000 m3 of water, equivalent to 317 Olympic size pools, through Going Greener and My Green Day campaigns with their guests.

In addition to managing plastic waste, Central Group has also implemented food waste management to reduce food loss and food waste, including food surplus from its businesses. Tops, Family Mart, Mister Donut and Centara hotels offer 203 tons of food surplus per year to those in need through SOS (Scholars of Sustenance), equivalent to 855,869 meals in 2020. This has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 380 CO2Eq. Meanwhile, in its hotel business, there are efforts to reduce food waste from the beginning by planning with chefs to ensure ingredients are efficiently used. Food waste is turned into fertilizers and biogasses to be used in the hotels.

With its commitment in environment conservation, in March 2021, FeedUp@UN by the United Nations, together with the AFMA (Agricultural and Food Marketing Association for Asia and the Pacific), presented two ‘Climate Action Awards’ to Central Group in recognition of the most outstanding company that drives the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, which is the main cause of climate change.

Central Group believes that integration of its environmental policy and supporting sustainable consumption and production and circular economy which makes the most use of resources from production and consumption to waste management by reusing, recycling and rematerializing, will help solve environmental issues and stop climate change. This is in line with its mission in sustainable development, job creation for communities, and improvement of life quality, leading to sustainability for the Thai economy.

“Central Group is a business that connects the upstream and the downstream, and we want to play a significant role in driving Thailand’s production and consumption towards a balance point without being a burden to our environment. We will create shared value between our businesses and our society. Helping our society and safeguarding our environment are important to our business, and will help Thailand achieve sustainable development,” said Pichai.

To achieve its environmental goals, in 2021, Central Group is joining forces with all parties and organizations involved to drive change and create fundraising platforms to support startup businesses that address social and environmental issues. It also restores forests, builds platforms that connect upstream farmers to downstream consumers, and utilizes innovation to make an impact.

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