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Home / case studies / Case study: How Thai Union is improving the energy efficiency of its facilities

Case study: How Thai Union is improving the energy efficiency of its facilities

As a global seafood leader dedicated to innovation and sustainability, with brands across North America, Europe and Asia and the Pacific, Thai Union recognises the serious impact of greenhouse gases (GHG) on climate change and global warming and is committed to operating responsibly  Tweet This!, reducing its GHG emissions.

This case study is based on the 2017 Sustainability Report by Thai Union published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Abstract

For Thai Union, measuring and effectively managing the energy consumption and efficiency of the factories it operates, is a key priority. In order to improve the energy efficiency of its facilities Thai Union took action to:

  • reduce coal consumption
  • reduce electrical consumption
  • reduce CO2 consumption

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2017 Sustainability Report Thai Union identified a range of material issues, such as ocean plastic, human rights and ethical labour practices, responsible sourcing, transparency and governance, innovation and product responsibility. Among these, improving the energy efficiency of its facilities stands out as a key material issue for Thai Union.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Thai Union engages with:   

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Thai Union management

 

 

·         Online consultation

·         Tailored strategy presentation

·         Reporting (e.g. newsletter, emails)

·         Events (internal, external)

·         Microsite

Thai Union staff ·         Online consultation

·         Tailored strategy presentation

·         Reporting (e.g. newsletter, emails)

·         Events (internal, external)

·         Microsite

Thai Union legal staff

 

 

·         Online consultation

·         Tailored strategy presentation

·         Reporting (e.g. newsletter, emails)

·         Events (internal, external)

·         Microsite

Consumers

 

·         Microsite

·         Corporate sustainability campaign

Customers

 

·         Online consultation

·         Tailored strategy presentation

·         Reporting (e.g. newsletter, emails)

·         Trainings (sales teams)

·         Site visits

·         Events (internal, external)

·         Microsite

Industry associations/lobbyists ·         Online consultation

·         Tailored strategy presentation

·         Microsite

International organisations (UN, Interpol, etc.) ·         Online consultation

·         Tailored strategy presentation

·         Site visits

·         Events (internal, external)

·         Microsite

NGOs/foundations ·         Online consultation

·         Tailored strategy presentation

·         Site visits

·         Microsite

Policy makers/regulators ·         Online consultation

·         Tailored strategy presentation

·         Reporting (e.g. newsletter, emails)

·         Site visits

·         Events (internal, external)

·         Microsite

Shareholders/investors ·         Online consultation

·         Tailored strategy presentation (personalised emails & letters)

·         Reporting (e.g. newsletter, emails)

·         Trainings (investor relations team)

·         Site visits

·         Microsite

Suppliers ·         Online consultation

·         Trainings

·         Microsite

Think tanks ·         Online consultation

·         Tailored strategy presentation

·         Microsite

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

In 2017, to assess and prioritise material topics, Thai Union carried out face-to-face meetings with key stakeholders, including governments, customers, consumers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society, along with staff and research institutions.

What actions were taken by Thai Union to improve the energy efficiency of its facilities?

In its 2017 Sustainability Report Thai Union reports that it took the following actions for improving the energy efficiency of its facilities:

  • Reducing coal consumption
  • Thai Union managed to reduce coal consumption at Thai Union Factory and Thai Union Seafood, by reducing and optimising the pressure of steam production. This can reduce yearly coal consumption by approximately 1,342 tons, bunker oil by 370,851.22 liters and costs by 10,363,462.77 Thai Baht.
  • Reducing electrical consumption
  • Thai Union utilised methane from a biogas wastewater treatment plant to generate electricity at Thai Union Manufacturing, thereby reducing the electrical cost by over 9 million Thai Baht per year. In addition, at Songkla Canning, Thai Union reduced electricity consumption in the refrigerant system by installing small compressors (132 kW) instead of big compressors (300 kW) in the anteroom, air lock room and ice making machines. This will save approximately 2.2 million Thai Baht per year, with an internal return rate of 1.35 years.
  • Reducing CO2 consumption
  • At Pakfood Company (Okeanos Food) and Thai Union Factory, Thai Union managed to reduce its CO2 consumption per ton of production in the flash freezing process by 12,680.21 tons or 54%, compared to 2016. This also saved Thai Union 19.4 million Thai Baht in 2017.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 302-1 Energy consumption within the organization

2) Disclosure 302-3 Energy intensity

3) Disclosure 302-4 Reduction of energy consumption

4) Disclosure 305-5 Reduction of GHG emissions

 

Disclosure 302-1 Energy consumption within the organization corresponds to:

Disclosure 302-3 Energy intensity corresponds to:

Disclosure 302-4 Reduction of energy consumption corresponds to:

Disclosure 305-5 Reduction of GHG emissions corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Business theme: GHG emissions
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • Business theme: Ocean acidification
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  • Business theme: Forest degradation

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



FBRH GRI Standards Certified and IEMA approved Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI-Standards Certified and IEMA approved Course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

 

References:

1) This case study is based on published information by Thai Union, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) http://www.fbrh.co.uk/en/global-reporting-initiative-gri-g4-guidelines-download-page

3) https://g4.globalreporting.org/Pages/default.aspx

4) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to Thai Union: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

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