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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        30  March 2011

First zero-carbon store in Asean

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Tesco Lotus is preparing to open its first zero-carbon retail store in Southeast Asia in Thailand in November.

The store featuring breakthroughs in energy saving will be developed under the Talad Lotus format and is scheduled to open in Bang Phra, Chon Buri. It is expected to cost about 1 billion baht (US$ 33 million), compared with between 200 million and 300 million for a conventional Talad Lotus. Most of the additional cost represents energy saving equipment.

Features of the new outlet will include a solar farm on the roof to produce energy to offset the carbon emissions generated by the store. Other projects would produce energy equivalent to the total carbon emissions from the store. "This is the latest move by Tesco in going green in line with the parent firm in the UK, which plans a cumulative reduction of carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2020," said Saofang Ekaluckrujee, senior corporate affairs manager of Ex-Chai Distribution System Co, the operator of Tesco Lotus in Thailand.

Apart from installing technology to reduce energy, the company also is negotiating with suppliers and tenants to sell more green products at the store and in shops in the plaza. The company plans to increase the number of green products available at its stores to 300 items this year, up from 197 last year. These items will include products sold under its house brand and the products of suppliers. As well, it will ask for cooperation from suppliers to implement greener transport and delivery systems.

The popularity of green products has been increasing steadily, spurred by offers of additional loyalty points to customers who purchase green products at Tesco Lotus stores. The most popular green item is energy-saving light bulbs.

Additionally, the company plans to send its technical team to help farmers who supply produce to develop products that are chemical-free and at lower cost.

"We want to up lift farmers' incomes and standard of living," said Ms. Saofang.

She said the move toward green was part of Tesco's corporate social responsibility activities this year. The company has increased its CSR budget by 20 percent this year to 150 million baht (US$5 million).

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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