SCG promotes circular economy to cinch sustainable operations

December 13, 2021 | 08:00
SCG, one of the leading conglomerates in the ASEAN region, is relentlessly pursuing the circular economy to achieve sustainability across its operations.
SCG promotes circular economy to cinch sustainable operations
SCG promotes circular economy to cinch sustainable operations

To actualise the circular economy, SCG has researched and developed innovative products that are not only environmentally friendly but also better serve the needs of customers. The innovations mainly focus on three core businesses, comprising Packaging (SCGP), Cement-Building Materials, and Chemicals.

In 2021, SCGP has rolled out several innovative packaging solutions in line with circular economy principles such as innovative films that control gas and vapour flows like OptiBreath and OdorLock. Specifically, OptiBreath is a packaging that extends the freshness of fruits and vegetables, reducing food waste and reducing logistics limitations. Meanwhile, OdorLock seals food odour so they can be comfortably stored alongside other items.

In 2020, the group launched SCGP-Inspired Solutions Studio to enhance customer experience with packaging designs and circular economy-based solutions. One example is R-1, a flexible packaging that comprises multiple layers to offer unique properties of high-impact resistance, content protection, and recyclability. SCGP, in cooperation with Dow Thailand Group and Khao Tra Chat, have developed R-1 to environmentally friendly rice bags that are 100 per cent recyclable.

SCG has expanded its packaging business through mergers and partnerships as well as fostered collaborations in the use of high-quality post-consumer recycled resin (PCR) by converting post-use plastic bottles into new ones for the first time in Thailand, accelerating its entry into the high-growth circular economy trend.

Meanwhile, SCG Cement-Building Materials pursues growth via products, services, and solutions that emphasise sustainable construction. Examples include the Green Construction Solution by CPAC that enriches construction standards with an end-to-end suite of digital technologies. This is made possible by CPAC Construction Solutions including CPAC BIM, CPAC Drone, CPAC 3D Printing, and CPAC Smart Structure. These solutions should help turn approximately 10-20 per cent of construction waste into community wealth, based on the waste to wealth concept.

Likewise, SCG Chemicals also seeks to make a foray into high-growth circular economy markets. Recently, the business entered into the field in Europe by signing an agreement to purchase shares of Sirplaste, a leading plastic recycling company in Portugal. This acquisition not only promotes the full use of resources in line with circular economy principles, but also allows SCG to further improve its plastic recycling technology in ASEAN, and expand its sales channel in the European market.

SCG Chemicals aspires to be a chemicals business for sustainability by implementing energy-saving projects and speeding the expansion of its circular economy business. It recently signed an MoU with Braskem to explore a joint venture to build a bio-ethylene plant in Thailand to address the demand for bioplastics.

These efforts underscore SCG’s commitment to doing business in ways that align with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles. Besides its three core businesses, SCG will continue to develop innovative products, services, and solutions catering to the circular economy, medicine and healthcare, as well as electric vehicles.

At present, 103 products are classified as SCG Green Choice, and the number is expected to increase to 135 this year. These products reduce natural resource and energy consumption, as well as have extended shelf life, providing viable alternatives to environmentally-conscious consumers.

In the first quarter of 2021, revenue from sales of SCG Green Choice products accounted for $1.51 billion, or 37 per cent of the group’s total revenue from sales.

Furthermore, SCG has pledged to promote renewable energy based on circular economy principles. It has actively increased the use of solar energy in its production. In 2020, solar energy use amounted to 88,125MWh while it used 77,744MWh in the first eight months of 2021.

Additionally, it has rolled out SCG Solar Roof, an energy-saving solution for homeowners and entrepreneurs. In 2020, Solar Roof sales skyrocketed, registering a 182 per cent growth on-year as people spent more time at home. The business targets its total revenue from sales to reach $20 million in 2021 as it helps lessen electricity costs and offer clean energy to consumers.

Similarly, SCG has increased the use of alternative fuel in-line with its Zero Coal Initiative. In 2020, alternative fuel use was 14.3 per cent. From January to February 2021, the proportion grew to 16 per cent.

For example, the Cement-Building Materials Business aims to secure more renewable energy by acquiring agricultural waste to use as fuel, recycling waste heat generated from the cement manufacturing process, and boosting the use of solar power from solar farm and solar floating solutions. Meanwhile, SCGP works on packaging innovation that may be reintroduced into the recycling process and increasing the share of renewable energy in manufacturing.

By Thanh Van

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