Forty Thai firms sign up for Sustainable Development Goals

Forty of Thailand’s leading corporations founded a formal network last week to work with the United Nations and each other in adopting the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and the network’s new chairman said he expects over 100 Thai companies will be members by the end of next year.

Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon attended the launch in Bangkok of the Global Compact Network Thailand (GCNT) with over 500 Thai business leaders. The network will forge links with similar networks in other countries to adopt lessons learned, share experiences and amplify the effects of its work.

“By assembling leaders from the Thai private sector to form a Global Compact local network, the critical work that you are undertaking to align your business with the ideals of the United Nations has my deep respect,” Ban told the group.

The network’s founders include Charoen Pokphand Foods, CP All, Mitr Phol Corporation, and Thai Union Group, all from the food and agriculture sector. Energy industry members include Bangchak Corporation, PTT Plc, PTT Exploration and Production, Thai Oil, IRPC, and PTT Global Chemical. True Corporation represents telecommunications, Pranda represents gems and jewelry, and Pinnacle Hotels and Resorts the tourism and hospitality industry.

“The launch of GCNT reflects that Thailand’s private sector is on the lookout for sustainable ways to develop business and is ready to foster a collective, responsible awareness while developing knowledge sharing and constructive activities within the network,” said GCNT President Suphachai Chearavanont, who is also chairman of the Charoen Pokphand Group.

“Organizations that sign up with the Global Compact are committed to operating their businesses responsibly in accordance with four core principles encompassing human rights, labor, the environment, and anti-corruption,’’ he added.

Supachai said that the first step the network would take would be to provide Thai businesses with guidance on how to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The group is planning to visit private sector companies and chambers of commerce across the country to make presentations and offer advice, support, and recruit new members.

The 17 SDGS were passed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, following the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals that year. They were created with the aim of achieving the “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

They address poverty, hunger, health, global warming, gender equality, education, social justice, water, sanitation, the environment, and other issues.