Bangkok, 22 March 2024: For 77 years, Central Group has maintained its commitment to create shared value while conducting business, allowing all sectors to thrive together sustainably. Therefore, in order to achieve widespread and ongoing change as well as lasting benefits, Central Group has advanced social development in diverse areas through the “Central Tham — Better Together” initiative.

Pichai Chirathivat, Executive Director of the Central Group, stated, "7 years ago, Central Group initiated the “Central Tham—Better Together,” which serves as the foundation for sustainable development for all of the affiliated companies. The initiative aims to create shared value (CSV) between businesses, society, communities, the environment, and stakeholders. It also leverages the power of “Do It Together” to deliver concrete positive value to all sectors while fostering sustainable growth that is in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

From the beginning of introducing “Central Tham,” Central Group has consistently dedicated itself to sharing its expertise and experience in the retail and service industry. In order to cope to the challenges of enhancing the quality of community products and increasing their attractiveness to customers, Central Group has visited the communities in different regions to practice, learn, and work together with them. It also supports distribution channels for the community products. Therefore, the communities have the potential to create a consistent source of revenue, achieve self-reliance and sustainability, and exchange information with one another, ultimately resulting in the creation of learning centers that could transform into a sought-after tourist destination. Furthermore, Central Group aims to promote equity by bridging gaps in inequality, creating job prospects, advancing education for teachers and students, preserving the environment, and contributing to a more sustainable world, etc.

In 2023, Central Tham's efforts were able to generate 1,700 million baht for the communities, benefiting over 150,000 residents. It created employment opportunities and provided career support for 1,011 individuals with disabilities. It also helped advance the transition to Net Zero by reducing the quantity of waste dumped in landfills by over 20,830 tons. Additionally, it installed solar cell systems on 170 rooftops, capable of generating more than 114,200 megawatt-hours of electricity from solar energy.

In preparation for 2024, "Central Tham" has established a roadmap to create continuous and robust positive change. The roadmap includes “6 essential strategies aiming at promoting sustainable development”. The project highlights under the strategies are as follows:

1. Community – Develop potential and the community economy

To improve the community economy by increasing occupational knowledge and skills and promoting distinctive marketable items

Outstanding projects for developing potential and community economy:

1.1. Mae Tha Organic Farming and Sustainable Living, Mae On District, Chiang Mai Province

Since 2017, Central Tham and the Earth Net Foundation have collaborated to implement the Mae Tha Organic Farming and Sustainable Living Project across 9 rais of land, which aims to promote organic farming and inspire the next generation of farmers to lead sustainable agriculture. The Mae Tha community is currently expanding its operations to include a homestay in order to promote organic community tourism for tourists and people interested in general. The homestay offers a variety of sustainable organic farming activities, such as gathering happy chicken eggs and sampling local cuisine. In 2023, the project involved over 110 households and generated more than 8.4 million baht in revenue while creating jobs in the community. In terms of tourism, there were 1,500 visitors who brought in almost 380,000 baht from training and travel.

1.2. Na Muen Sri Weaving Community Learning Center, Trang Province

Central Group supported the construction of the "Na Muen Sri Weaving Museum" in order to preserve the 200-year-old hand-woven fabric culture that has been handed down through the generations. Subsequently, this community was extended into a learning center with the aim of promoting Na Muen Si weaving to the general public and developing cultural tourism routes, including a cycling tour route through Na Muen Sri Subdistrict. It provides interesting tourist spots amidst a gorgeous environment. Central Tham also encourages the opening of community entrepreneurial stores that sell woven fabrics from Na Muen Sri. The community had the potential to generate more than 9.2 million baht in revenue in 2023, which supported 155 households. "Na Muen Sri Weaving Community Learning Center" is currently regarded as a prototype for a learning center dedicated to cultural conservation. Every year, around 21,000 people, including the general public and representatives from both public and private organizations, visit and shop for the community products.

1.3. The Learning Center for Agricultural and Community Products Development, Ban Theppana-Theppana Farm, Chaiyaphum Province

Theppana Farm stands out due to the fact that it is 1 of only 7 orchards in Thailand that cultivates Hass avocado, which is considered an economic crop that gives good returns and helps reduce the amount of monoculture cultivation. It also practices smart farming, raises avocado seedlings, and trains those interested in avocado cultivation. Central Tham recognized Theppana Farm's potential and hence has facilitated the distribution of farm produce to Tops and Jing Jai Farmer's Markets. Central Tham also supported the creation of a learning center on the farm, which serves as a model for smart agriculture in the Northeast when it comes to avocado cultivation. The farm is also a collection hub for agricultural products from the neighborhood communities, which are then sold to Central Group's associated companies. In 2023, the Theppana Farm's learning center accomplished a great deal. For example, it engaged 500 households, boosted the local economy by over 41 million baht, received over 10,000 visitors—including tourists and representatives from the government and business sectors—who purchased the products, provided 3,000 people with training on how to plant avocados, and added 3,000 rais of new green space.

1.4. Smile Melon Farming Learning Center, Ayutthaya Province

Melons were once grown in this community as a side job in addition to rice growing. But as rice prices have dropped, the community's primary source of income is now melon farming. Together, the people in the community formed a sizable melon community enterprise and developed it into a comprehensive center for melon cultivation. Central Group has provided various types of support to the community production factors, such as the construction of a cultivation house and a produce sorting facility. The community is now able to grow melons in a circular agriculture system, and the produce's quality meets current trade requirements, allowing for continuous orders. Furthermore, Central Group intends to develop the Smile Melon Farming Learning Center as a community tourist attraction. A review of the learning center's 2023 performance indicates that, with 30 households, it had the potential to bring in over 15.2 million baht for the community in addition to drawing in tourists and representatives from the government and business sectors who purchased goods for over 7,200 people.

1.5. Jing Jai Farmer's Markets or Jing Jai Markets

The Jing Jai Market gives local farmers an opportunity to bring their safe vegetables and community-famous products to sell in Central Group's territories, generating consistent income and fostering a healthy economy in the communities. The Jing Jai Market currently operates 33 branches across 29 provinces, with one in Chiang Mai Province and the other 32 spread across the Central Group's retail centers. In 2023, the Jing Jai Market could produce more than 231 million baht for approximately 10,200 farmer households.

1.6. good goods

good goods is a brand of local wisdom items with contemporary designs launched in 2018 by the "Central Tham Social Enterprise" under Central Group. Through knowledge-sharing with communities, Central Group elevates Thai products to a modern level. It also supports design assistance and helps the communities build good-quality contemporary products. The profits from product sales are reinvested in community development. good goods currently operates 3 branches: the first branch is a concept store located on the first floor, Hug Thai Zone in Central World; the 2nd branch is in Jing Jai Market in Chiang Mai Province; and the third and most recent branch is located in Central Phuket Floresta, G Floor, Hug Thai Zone.

2. Inclusion – Reduce inequality and promote equality by providing equal access to opportunities

To minimize inequality and create opportunities for youths by developing their educational potential, establishing learning centers, and promoting project-based learning

Outstanding projects to reduce inequality:

2.1. Elevating Education Project for Baan Tak Daet School, Phang Nga Province.

Central Group intends to develop Baan Tak Daet School into a "Rai Dok Kha Rice Learning Center" by promoting the implementation of the sufficiency economy philosophy. The goal is to promote the cultivation of Rai Dok Kha rice in the school area and disseminate knowledge to the entire community. The Rai Dok Kha Rice Community Enterprise was formed with the support of Central Group, aiming to pass on agricultural knowledge and skills to students in the area. This helps the school to generate revenue through the selling of Rai Dok Kha rice. Baan Tak Daet School currently has a rise in student enrollment, from 47 in 2016 to 85 in 2023, making it a model school for community learning.

3. Talent – Develop the excellent potential of employees

To foster and develop employees at all levels by imparting operational knowledge and skills so they can operate effectively, as well as by offering them a variety of activities and training programs.

Outstanding projects for developing the excellent potential of employees:

3.1. Building Skills for Future

Central Group intends to equip employees at all levels to cope with the shift to the digital world by providing them with knowledge.

3.2. Enhancing Operational Skills

Central Group enhances employees' hard skills and soft skills by creating a training roadmap with over 50 routes that are ideal for employees.

3.3. Supporting and Fostering Employees’ Well-being

Central Group fosters employees' physical and mental health, upholds human rights, and cherishes the DEI principle (diversity, equity, and inclusion). Furthermore, Central Group encourages the employment of senior citizens for customer service roles at storefronts and hires disabled people in various departments, such as Thai Watsadu and Power Buy contact centers, hotels under Centara Hotels & Resorts, and restaurants in Central Restaurants Group .This project has resulted in the employment of over 327 people.

4. Circularity – Drive the circular economy

To encourage and motivate everyone to cooperate in protecting the environment in order to make the world greener and more sustainable

Outstanding projects for driving the circular economy:

4.1. Food Surplus Management

Central Group intends to reduce the amount of food wasted from the outset. In 2023, Central Group donated more than 2,681,476 surplus meals, reducing the amount of waste going into landfills by 641 tons and reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 1,486 tons. In addition, surplus food that cannot be eaten was converted into organic fertilizer and biogas for future use.

4.2. Plastic Waste Management

Central Group focuses on decreasing plastic waste using three approaches: 1) Reducing single-use plastic in department stores and shops of Central Group. In 2023, it could minimize the quantity of plastic bags given to customers by 187,758 bags, which could minimize plastic waste by more than 15 tons. 2) Increasing the usage of eco-friendly products in business unit operations; for example, Centara Hotels & Resorts has stopped using plastic straws, switched from plastic to cloth bags for laundry delivery services, and changed from plastic to refillable bottle packaging for bathroom supplies. 3) Encouraging the recycling initiative. In 2023, up to 1,020,009 PET plastic bottle waste was gathered by Central Group for upcycling into new goods.

5. Climate – Restore climate change

To make progress toward achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

Outstanding projects in climate change restoration:

5.1. Promoting the Use of Renewable Energy through Solar Rooftops

Central Group has installed solar rooftops at more than 170 locations, including the shopping centers of Central Pattana; Central Department Stores, Robinson Department Stores, and Thai Watsadu stores of Central Retail Corporation; hotels under Centara Hotels & Resorts; and factories within the Central Restaurants Group. This project allows Central Group to produce a total of 114,200 megawatt-hours of electricity for its own use per year. In addition, more than 1,356 electric vehicle charging stations have been installed within the business units of Central Retail Corporation, Central Pattana, and Centara Hotels & Resorts.

5.2 Promoting Fuel Reduction in Transportation

In order to improve the quality of air for people in Thailand, Thai Watsadu has adopted electric trucks to deliver items in the logistics and supply chain. Thai Watsadu and Tops currently operate 22 electric delivery vehicles, which have assisted in reducing fuel use by around 180,000 liters.

6. Nature – Preserve ecosystems and biodiversity

To protect and restore ecosystems and biodiversity since they are critical to long-term development and food security, Central Group has plans to mitigate the effects of climate change by undertaking projects that expand and preserve green spaces.

Outstanding projects for preserving ecosystems and biodiversity:

6.1 Green Space Restoration

In 2023, Central Group was able to increase green space and restore forests over 9,411 rais, reducing carbon emissions by 7,456 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. In 2024, Central Group is planning to carry out the Community Climate Action (CCA) project to restore 50,000 rais of green space in 6 provinces, etc.

"Central Tham" has released a new promotional video titled "Do It for Once," which aligns with the campaign "THAMsformation - Change toward Sustainability." The video reflects the importance of transformation, which cannot occur solely through thought but also requires the courage to do on a constant basis. To watch the video, click here

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