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29 Jul 2020

Econ Digest

Thailand’s Environmental Performance Index improves in 2020, boosting confidence in trade and investment

           Thailand’s 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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Econ Digest