2020 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) has risen to 78th in the
world, up from 121st in 2018, which is better than the global
average and better than similarly ranked countries such as China and the
Philippines. However, with the current problems of PM 2.5 particulates, water
and drought management, and garbage and waste management, Thailand must
continually raise its standards of resource and environmental management. Business
sectors, which play a major role in consumer behaviors, will serve as an
important mechanism in driving the economy towards sustainability.
Under the present economic conditions where the
business sector is facing hardships from the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are
compelled to give top priority to their own survival and risk management. However,
for businesses with the potential to adapt, the adoption and implementation of
the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) sustainability management approach
will help to improve the efficiency and image of the organization, and create
long-term business advantages, supported by two main factors that will
facilitate future business, namely 1) Marketing opportunities arising from NextGen
consumers who are willing to pay more for environment protection, and 2)
Pressures from non-tariff measures which are aimed at raising product quality
and protecting consumers.
KResearch perceives that businesses engaging in
agricultural products, food, energy, logistics, chemicals and plastics are
major players that have to step up their adjustment for long-term
sustainability. While such adjustments may accumulate incremental cost for
businesses, emphasis on sustainable business management should have positive
effects on these businesses in the long run, which would be reflected in a
competitive advantage and comparatively lower financial costs. The
implementation of sustainability management by businesses aligned with the
government policy should have a sustainable positive effect on solving the
national-level issues, and thus potentially contribute to the assessment for
Thailand’s EPI, boosting confidence in future trade and investment.
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