As the "Net Zero" target or the net zero emission of Green House Gasses that various countries and organizations have announced to address global warming, and Thailand setting the Net Zero target for 2065, Bangchak Group announced their Carbon Neutrality by 2030, and Net Zero by 2050, committed to jointly drive the country towards a low-carbon society with the BCP NET plan, most recently signing an MoU for the development and promotion of the sustainable Koh Mak - Low Carbon Destination, Amphoe Koh Kood, Trat Province in cooperation with The Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA) (Public Organization), Kasetsart University - Faculty of Fisheries, Koh Mak Subdistrict Administration Organization (SAO), Baan Ao Nid Integrated Agricultural Community Enterprise, witnessed by the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (Public Organization), as part of the Group's ongoing nationwide "Bangchak WOW" Socio-Environmental Development Model.
Chaiwat Kovavisarach, President and Group Executive Chief Officer, Bangchak Group stated that "the Global Warming Crisis is a critical issue for every country in the world, no less than any economic crisis. Having joined the World Economic Forum 2022 in June at Davos, Switzerland, world leaders discussed three main issues, namely the energy crisis from the Russo-Ukrainian War, the resulting impending good shortage, and inflation. Additionally, garnering much interest, Energy Transition towards clean energy centered on the critical Green Economy, of which Bangchak Group is ready to drive the development of the Low-Carbon Society with the BCP NET Plan comprising 4 dimensions in order to achieve organizational Carbon Neutrality by 2030 and Net Zero by 2050 emphasizing tangible processes and long-term results.
B = Breakthrough Performance emphasizes high quality production processes, efficiency enhancements for low carbon emissions and environmental-friendliness, such as using technology and fuels that reduce Bangchak refinery's carbon emissions, opening Net Zero service stations, using electricity from energy storage (batteries) from BCPG Green Energy Business etc.
C = Conserving Nature and Society promoting ecological balance and linkage towards a low-carbon society through natural carbon sequestration, emphasizing the cultivation of carbon sequestration through two ecosystems namely 1) Forest Ecosystems (Green Carbon) such as reforestation campaigns with the Royal Forest Department, and tree-planting in company operations such as in BCPG power plants etc. and 2) Marine Ecosystems (Blue Carbon) from mangroves and seagrass such as Mangrove Reforestation with the Department of and Coastal Resources, sponsoring Kasetsart University - Faculty of Fisheries' Feasibility Study of Seagrass GHG and Carbon Sequestration along Koh Mak and Koh Kradat Coral Reefs etc. This also includes employee carbon credit evaluation skill development in collaboration with various multi-dimensional partners to reduce carbon footprint and environmental impact.
P = Proactive Business Growth and Transition, transitioning business towards clean energy and the Net Zero target through technology for sustainable growth, increase revenue from Green Businesses, emphasizing new investments that reduce GHG emissions from business operations, study technologies that foster low-carbon businesses such as Blue/Green Hydrogen, low-carbon fuel alternatives such as Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) or Green Diesel, Carbon Capture and Utilization and Storage technology, and Carbon credit trading business to promote low-carbon culture. Green Businesses account for about 40% of Bangchak Group EBITDA, which is expected to grow to at least 50% by 2030.
NET = Net Zero Ecosystem creating an ecosystem that accommodate the Net Zero target such as BFPL's fuel transportation business, providing low-carbon fuels, offering the EV-bike rental platform Winnonie, establishing Carbon Markets Club to promote carbon credit trading, joining in setting up the Syn Bio Consortium, fostering organizational low-carbon culture through various awareness campaigns such as "Bangchak 100X Climate Action: All Hands On Board", as well as waste management campaigns with customers and consumers such as "Cups for Saplings", "Conserve & Share for Happiness" and "Mobile Refused Waste" campaigns etc. This also includes educating and communicating with business stakeholders such as suppliers resulting in a Sustainable Supply Chain, leaving no one behind.
Regarding the signing of this memorandum of understanding for the Development of Koh Mak Low Carbon Destination, Bangchak Group is delighted to support Koh Mak, which is the first targeted area of the Low Carbon Destination campaign in Thailand initiated by DASTA and the commitment to nature and environmental conservation of the local community, considered a national prototype in mitigating global climate crisis, by supporting Kasetsart University's Faculty of Fisheries in pioneering Thai Blue Carbon study on the carbon sequestration of seagrass along the Eastern region coral reefs.
"This natural carbon sequestration by seagrass is receiving attention from around the world, with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), last year, reporting that seagrass is the only plant that is completely marine, making it 7-10 times better for carbon sequestration and storage than terrestrial forests. Moreover, Bangchak Group also have other initiatives to promote Koh Mak as low carbon destination such as introducing Winnonie trial runs to local business operators with the help of the Koh Mak's SAO, and providing various tools, such as gloves and shirts, produced from recycled PET bottles to Trash Heroes Koh Mak volunteers for their routine beach cleanups and the Baan Ao Nid Integrated Agricultural Community Enterprise team for their seagrass conservation and rehabilitation activities, as well as studying collaborative opportunities such as Net Zero Schools power by Clean Energy etc."
Signatories are Chaiwat Kovavisarach, President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Bangchak Group, Group Captain Athikun Kongmee, Director-General of the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization), Assistant Professor Suriyan Tunkijjanukij, Dean of the Faculty of Fisheries, Kasetsart University, Noppadon Sutthithanakul, President of the Baan Ao Nid Integrated Agricultural Community Enterprise, Koh Kood, Trat Province, and Nol Suwatjananon, Koh Mak Subdistrict Administration Organization, witnessed by Kiatchai Maitriwong, Executive Director, Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (Public Organization).
Assistant Professor Suriyan Tunkijjanukij, Dean of the Faculty of Fisheries, Kasetsart University stated that "The Blue Carbon Project of seagrass ecosystems around Koh Mak - Koh Kradat led by Asst. Prof. Thon Thamrongnawasawat, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Fisheries - Kasetsart University, began the investigation using sophisticated technology, including satellite data and utilizing various drones for aerial investigations, as well as field studies and dives to evaluate the state of the area, evaluating a total of 8 areas around Koh Mak/Koh Kradat and classifying the areas into three main groups, and five subgroups. The seagrass to the west of Koh Kradat was evaluated to have the highest Blue Carbon potential, prompting researchers to conduct a detailed study, mapping the spread of four species of seagrass in the area, including large algae species, such as Sargassum, Sea Grapes, coral etc. before investigation carbon sequestered on the seafloor using standard international methods in order to compare with other international studies (IUCN, 2021).
The study found that seagrass is very complex, expected to be a good carbon sequester, but will require more time for detailed evaluations. Moreover, compared to past data, it was found the area of seagrass was highly pristine, with not significant effect from human activity, reflecting the ongoing resolute commitment to marine conservation of the Koh Mak local community. The pristine conditions are conducive to long-term carbon sequestration, critical to Thailand's low-carbon economic plan. Moreover, the area of seagrass was found to host a highly complete marine biodiversity including horse crabs, Pen Shells, and more than 20 species of fish supporting local fishermen and the tourism. The next step will be the evaluation of carbon sequestration/storage and additional evaluations, including planning the cultivation of seagrass using various techniques to maximize yields and minimize natural disruptions."
Group Captain Athikun Kongmee, Director-General of the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization) (DASTA), stated that DASTA is delighted to have the support of the private sector like Bangchak Corporation Public Company Limited, in promoting and developing "Koh Mak", Trat Province, a DASTA designated area for sustainable tourism, into a Low Carbon Destination by reducing carbon emissions from tourism activities relative to other destinations and elevating Koh Mak to a prototype Circular Economy destination with a waste management strategy for Thai tourism.
"DASTA operations on Koh Mak is centered on reducing carbon emissions generated from tourism, as well as identifying carbon sequestration strategies to offset emissions from tourism activity on Koh Mak based on straight-forward approach of prioritizing carbon sequestration at its source."
The cooperation with Bangchak and the Faculty of Fisheries, Kasetsart University Study of Blue Carbon in Seagrass around Koh Mak-Koh Kradat is critically important because seagrass can sequester and store carbon up to 7-10 times that of terrestrial forests. Tourist participation in the conservation and expansion of seagrass will greatly benefit the environment and ecosystem of Koh Mak, in addition to its ability to sequester and offset carbon emissions.
As part of the Circular Economy approach, DASTA is currently conducting the "Koh Mak Tourism Waste Management" campaign to foster effective waste management on Koh Mak by first reducing the import of products that produce waste, and emphasizing circular waste management to maximize its usefulness, and ultimately to integrate with proper waste management systems with the goal of promoting Koh Mak into a prototype model for sustainable waste management.
Chaiwat stated that "Supporting Koh Mak Low Carbon is part of the cooperation with various local organizations and communities for the socio-environment development of the Group's surrounding operational areas and other areas across the country through the Bangchak WOW Model (Well Being Improvement/ Oxygen Enhancement/ Water Management).
- W - Well-Being Improvement emphasizes the improvement of quality of life such as knowledge development for professions, employment opportunities in the service station and Inthanin coffee shops, community economy initiatives such as community kitchens, Pun Suk Market, Clean Service, COVID-19 Crisis campaigns to reduce economic impact and support public health operations over two years, as well as waste management and the expansion of community product channels through service stations of Inthanin etc."
- O - Oxygen Enhancement (air quality improvement) emphasizes the importance of green spaces and carbon capture such as the Virtual Trees campaign whereby Bangchak members can contribute points to the cultivation and conservation of real trees, reforestation to combat PM 2.5, Reforestation according to the Royal Approaches, and the OUR Khung BangKachao - conservation and development of green spaces with Chaipattana Foundation etc. Moreover, this also includes a commitment to evaluating and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the organization's various activities and products, eliminating waste landfills, producing dust-reducing fuel or Euro V low-sulfur Diesel to reduce PM2.5 during the end of each year etc. Bangchak Refinery is accredited with the GI5 from Green Industry Level 5 (Highest) evaluation by the Ministry of Industry.
- W - Water Management emphasizes the importance of water management, examples such as Water Efficiency Enhancement project, Bangchak Refinery Water Footprint evaluation, buying used cooking oil for clean waterways including mitigating adverse health effects from repeated vegetable reuse. It is currently planning and conducting preliminary studies for the "Clear Clean Canal" campaign to improve the water quality of canals surrounding Bangchak refinery, expected to be completed by the end of 2022" Chaiwat concluded.
Source: Bangchak Corporation