GIZ Thailand pushes for environmentally friendly procurement
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On 26 July 2019, the Corporate Sustainability Handprint (CSH) team under the auspices of GIZ Thailand organised a meeting titled “Eco-friendly procurement in the organisation” at the Ariyasomvilla Hotel, which was attended by office managers of GIZ Thailand and the AIZ training hub.
Marie Rossetti, Head of Corporate Sustainability Handprint (CSH) Thailand talked about GIZ’s guidelines for environmentally friendly procurement, saying: “Environmentally friendly procurement is an important mission of the CSH. The company, through its Sustainability Office, will help support each country around the world to adopt guidelines for environmentally friendly procurement that not only comply with the rules and regulations of the company but also consider country contexts. In Thailand, as a regional hub, we have a particular responsibility to be at the forefront of sustainability and green procurement. We procure a lot, and oftentimes for others. We need to be systematic in our green procurement practices and let everyone we work with know about it.”
During the meeting, Ms. Jarinporn Tippamongkol from the Pollution Control Department (PCD) spoke about the climate criteria for Green Public Procurement (GPP), the good practices of both the government agencies and the private sector to promote the GPP as well as the existing eco-labelling in Thailand.
“At present, the Green Public Procurement is not being enforced by government agencies although we are seeking cooperation from private sector to reduce pollution. This means that there is no certification for every product and service in Thailand. However, when we go to buy a product, we discover that eco-friendly products are not really more expensive than normal products. So, before deciding to buy, we should consider its environmental impact down the line. And that’s it! We have to decide to choose eco-friendly products. And we should start doing so today. It’s better than doing nothing to improve the environment in our country.”
One highlight of the workshop was the chosen venue, Ariyasomvilla in Bangkok, a hotel funded by the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand (SME Bank). The hotel applies an environmental management system and integrated sustainable practices to its operations, including serving organic food in its restaurant and selecting products and raw materials that can be found locally.
The meeting also allowed participants to come up with conclusions on how to choose an environmentally friendly hotel for organising the conferences. Following the criteria of the GIZ Thailand hotel checklist, hotels must have policies in place (e.g. business and staff development) that reduce negative impacts on the environment. Also, the hotel should support the purchase of products or services that are environmentally friendly, save energy in buildings, promote products made by people in the community while also working on reducing paper usage, reusing plastic bags and using leftover food to make new dishes.
The meeting helped participants to gain a broader knowledge and perspective on environmentally friendly procurement as well as on how to implement GIZ Thailand’s green procurement guideline in daily office operations. Good practices include buying products with label number 5, which help in energy savings, or reducing unnecessary waste disposal by extending the life cycle of items. Knowing how to maintain office supplies, reuse of plastic bags or even studying how to dispose of garbage and sorting waste correctly were also part of the discussion and the agreement among office managers. All these practices shall allow the office and projects to lessen their footprint on the environment.