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Unmasked Truth: Thai Businesses Struggle with Going Green – Financial Hardships and Knowledge Deficit Exposed!

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In an exploratory investigation on the adaptation strategies businesses employ to curtail greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the Thai Private Sector for Development Office (TPSO) revealed a keen but constrained commitment from small and medium businesses. The study highlights the growing recognition of environmental urgency but also the existing obstacles SMEs face – largely stemming from financial constraints and a knowledge deficit. Interestingly, the pattern of consumer preferences exhibited a noticeable swing towards eco-friendly products.

TPSO’s esteemed director, Poonpong Nainapakorn, provided insights into their comprehensive project titled “Study of Thai Business Adaptation Guidelines for Environmental Trade Measures: The Case of GHG Emission Reduction”. This project embarks on consumer surveys, engages in detailed discussions with business owners, and puts forth recommendations to business and governmental sectors. It primarily aims to inspire informed policy decisions that will empower businesses to adapt seamlessly while preserving their market edge.

The survey included a substantial 5,012 respondents, painting a largely green-conscious consumer base. An impressive 81.64% exhibited interest in eco-friendly products motivated by factors ranging from environmental stewardship, support for sustainability-prioritizing businesses, and novelty-seeking. This positive trend was somewhat dampened by considerable barriers like high price points, limited accessibility, and scanty promotion.

The dialogues held with business managers unmasked a readiness to revamp operations to diminish GHG emissions. The primary encumbrances they identified included financial challenges in enhancing production processes and acquiring carbon footprint certifications. Moreover, a deficit in understanding about GHGs and environmental measures in overseas markets was apparent. Furthermore, consumers’ dispositions towards cheaper alternatives do not favorably incentivize businesses to adopt ecologically friendly measures.

Nainapakorn advocated several propositions to the governmental authorities. These include:

  • Implementing policies or measures to undergird environmentally-conscious businesses and fostering better unity among affiliated agencies.
  • Encouraging businesses to adopt sustainable practices and facilitating access to green technology.
  • Market boosting and value enhancement for eco-friendly products through effective labeling and devising comprehensible and acceptable environmental operations tools for international markets.

Businesses are advised to maintain a comprehensive record of operational data, encompassing water and energy consumption, oil utilization, and raw materials used, to heighten efficiency and emphasize their commitment to environmental preservation. Acquiring carbon footprint certification could commence with widely used items and, subsequently, branch out to more to conserve time and costs. Additionally, businesses must commit to updating their knowledge base and tracking situations that could potentially influence trade to ensure timely adaptation.

On the whole, the study accentuates the essentiality of coordinating governmental policies, private sector endeavors, and consumer predilections to mitigate GHG emissions and foster environmental vitality in Thailand’s flourishing business domain.

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