EU SWITCH-Asia SCP Facility join hands with governmental units under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to organise an online seminar entitled "The Power of New Generations Toward A Sustainable Lifestyle", as part of the "Mainstream Green Integration of Thailand: Transformation from Policy to Implementation" project.
Athapol Charoenshunsa, Director General of the Pollution Control Department and representative of the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, said, "Green procurement is an important policy that has been included in the national development plan, as it is part of the 20-Year Thai National Strategy and the National Economic and Social Development Plan, and reflects the United Nation's 12 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG12) in terms of sustainable production and consumption. At present, the Pollution Control Department is working on an implementation plan on promoting procurement of green products and services from 2021 - 2027, as a continuation of the promotional plan that has started since 2013."
The "Mainstream Green Integration of Thailand: Transformation from Policy to Implementation" project has been collaboratively established by three units in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment including Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), Department of Environmental Quality Promotion (DEQP) and Pollution Control Department (PCD). The project emphasises the development of sustainable production and consumption, aiming to communicate to procurement agencies and new generation of people who grew up with active trends on environmental issues and rights to environmental conservation for their generations. This is also in accordance with a sustainable development statement that says, "The development that meets the needs of the current generation and does not enforce future generations to compromise their competence in serving their own needs."
The project is supported by the European Union SWITCH-Asia SCP Facility and underscores five objectives including; 1. To increase procurement of green products and services, 2. To learn about various types of green products and services and categorise them for efficient management, 3. To create policy and implementation plan on promoting green products and services, 4. To educate and raise awareness about green products and services, and 5. To share experiences on green products and services through best practices and lessons with the ASEAN-member countries and other leading nations on sustainable production and consumption.
An important result from this project is the creation of drafted policy and implementation plan about promoting environmental-friendly products and services, integrated with a scope of creating a National Green Directory which categorises green products and services into four groups according to levels of friendliness to the environment in order to increase efficiency of management and to communicate with consumers and buyers. This also features appropriate recommendation, consideration and selection methods in choosing green products and services, as well as includes a media plan for raising awareness.
The aforementioned drafted policy and implementation plan are in line with the implementation plan on promoting procurement of green products and services Year 2022 - 2027 which consists of 6 strategies; Strategy 1: Increase green products and services, Strategy 2: Promote production of green products and services, Strategy 3: Promote sustainable consumption, Strategy 4: Utilise economic and legal measures to support, Strategy 5: Monitoring and Reporting, and Strategy 6: Administration and Regulation of the Implementation Plan. To be consistent with 20-Year Thai National Strategy, each strategy also consists of sub-strategies and plans which range from short-term two-year plan (2021-2022), medium-term five-year (2023-2027) and long-term 10-year plan (2028-2037).
The achievement from this project and the result from the seminar will lead to productive collaboration in changing behaviors toward sustainable production and consumption. The synergy and the cooperation among people from different generations will drive the society toward sustainability.
Mr.Giuseppe Busini, Charge d'Affaires a.i., Delegation of the European Union to Thailand, said, "The EU is pleased to join hands and support Thailand in its effort on sustainable consumption and production in the move towards a greener, more sustainable and the circular economy. The EU-funded 'Mainstream Green Integration of Thailand' project under the SWITCH-Asia programme is one successful example. The EU Green Deal shares many common goals with the Thai Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy and we will continue to cooperate very closely with Thailand on this issue, which is crucial for the next generations and the future of our planet."
Assoc. Prof. Thumrongrut Mungcharoen, Expert Team Leader of the Project, said, "This project has started since June 2020 with pilot institutions such as the Pollution Control Department (Representative of Central Government Agency), Rangsit City Municipality Office (Representative of Local Government Agency), and Stock Exchange of Thailand (Representative of Private Sector)."
From the study of procurement records during financial year 2020 of the three pilot institutions, citing policy and direction proposed under the project, it shows that the Pollution Control Department could increase value of green procurement by 3.5-fold from Baht 6.87 million to Baht 23.82 million. This will have contributed to reducing greenhouse gas emission of 12 million tons for 8 years (2022-2029).
Rangsit City Municipality Office could increase value of green procurement from originally 4% of annual budget to 80%. While the Stock Exchange of Thailand could increase value of green procurement from 77% of annual budget to 88%.
The achievements and experiences from this project will be shared with members of the ASEAN countries and amplified domestically in Thailand toward developing Vendor List Registration System. This follows a concept of National Green Directory platform in order to provide convenience for buyers such as government agencies, private corporations and the public; as well as enhancing opportunities for sellers who focus on producing and distributing green products and services. The effort will help expand Green Market in Thailand and engage the new generations with green production and consumption for a sustainable lifestyle.