CHAROEN POKPHAND Group (CPG) has contributed US$50,000 (Bt1.76 million) to inaugurate the Social Innovation for Development Centre, operated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Suphachai Chearavanont, chief executive of CP Group, said: “CPG has [provided] $50,000 for UNDP as an initial budget to fund the promotion of Thai youth and start-ups to create social innovations for development, in line with CPG’s sustainability policy and the SDGs.”
To mark this cooperation, CP signed a memorandum of understanding with the UNDP yesterday.
“CPG has operated its business by adhering to the three-benefit philosophy, which means the benefits should go to first into the country where we invest, then the society where we operate, and finally the company’s [long-term benfits]. Moreover, it has attached importance to the 17 SDGs, which cover social, economic and environmental dimensions,” Suphachai said.
“CPG is pleased to work with the UNDP in Thailand in order to promote activities for sustainable development.”
The MoU signing ceremony was held at Centara Grand at CentralWorld hotel. Noppadol Dej-udom, CPG’s vice president for sustainability, good governance and corporate communications, and Martin Hart-Hansen, deputy resident representative of UNDP Thailand, represented their respective organisations.
Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark, now a UNDP administrator, and Luc Stevens, UN resident coordinator and UNDP resident representative in Thailand, also witnessed the signing ceremony.
Beyond the financial support of $50,000 as an initial fund to encourage Thai youth and start-ups to create social innovations under the MoU, CPG has also supported the UNDP in a joint development project for sustainable production and consumption throughout the supply chain, anti-corruption projects, and publicity for the SDGs.
Hart-Hansen said cooperation with CPG was a new dimension for business cooperation to promote sustainable development.
“UNDP is [a] worldwide network of the United Nations, which has a role in promoting change and connection with countries,” he said. “We have a body of knowledge to help people around the world get a better life.
“In Thailand, UNDP cooperates with [private companies] with high potential like Charoen Pokphand Group, which is committed to driving changes under the UN framework. This is a new dimension in business cooperation and sustainable development as a means of cooperation in setting up the Social Innovation for Development Centre.
Moreover, it’ll attract youths and start-ups to help gather ideas for innovation to solve social problems.”