THAILAND - The Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organisation (TGO), a public organisation overseeing the trading of carbon credits, is preparing guidelines for organisational carbon footprints to be ready in September 2011.
The carbon footprint accounts for the carbon dioxide equivalent of emissions issued from the extraction of raw materials, transport of a product and its parts, assembly and waste management at the end of the product's life.
For instance, if a company has an annual emission of 100 tonnes of greenhouse gases, it will need to purchase 100 tonnes of carbon credits from other companies in order to become carbon neutral.
But before companies can do that, said TGO’s carbon business office director Dr Pongvipa Lohsomboon, they will first need to know exactly how much they are emitting.
TGO’s guidelines will help Thai companies calculate their annual carbon emissions for carbon trading, as well as set targets for lowering emissions within their chosen timeframe.
The organisation – which handles applications for carbon labels - is also encouraging companies to adopt carbon labelling so they can extend their market reach to the European Union and other international markets.
So far, TGO has approved 196 products from 52 companies for carbon labels as of April this year, mostly from large businesses. Of the approvals, 104 products were from the food industry, 45 from the textile industry, 27 from the packaging industry, 11 from the construction industry, four from the electricity and electronics industries, two from the plastic industry, two from the printing industry and one from the automotive industry.
Dr Pongvipa expects an increase in applications over the next two to three years, followed by a slowdown due to a change in trends such as water footprints or other sustainable labels.
She noted though, that domestic consumers still have little knowledge about carbon footprints compared to other foreign consumers, and awareness will need to be raised.
On 6 January 2011, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) passed a resolution approving in principle the setup of a carbon credit fund – a target innovation under the Capital Market Development Master Plan – to support the development of projects for reduction of greenhouse gas emission by clean development mechanism (CDM Project) as well as provide business operators with more access to sources of fund and carbon credit market.
The carbon credit fund is a mutual fund which will be allowed to invest in both equity or debt instruments issued by CDM project operators, trade Certified Emission Reduction (CER), engage in other transactions such as guarantee, loan, hire purchase or leasing of equipment, give advice or provide services related to CDM projects and be a joint operator of CDM projects.