“Mitr Phol’s community development project is a social innovation-management collaboration between the company, community and local administration, which aims to set up sustainable system to improve community’s qualities of life”
Mitr Phol Group (MP) of Thailand is a group of companies which was founded in 1956. Mitr Phol Group has been in the sugar and value-added sugarcane business for over a half century with key business units that include sugar, wood substitute materials, renewable energy and fertilizer.
It is the largest sugar producer in Thailand and the Asia-Pacific region, and ranks forth in the world. In addition to its operations in Thailand and China, Mitr Phol operates and has investments in Lao PDR and Australia.
With over 60 years of experience in Thailand’s sugarcane and sugar business, Mitr Phol group is today Thailand’s leading sugar manufacturing company with acclaimed international working standards, offering variety of sugar such as refined, coarse grain, natural cane, brown sugar and syrup. Besides sugar products, Mitr Phol is a major player of fibreboards and renewable energy (ethanol and biomass electricity). Today, Mitr Phol is also one of the most widely known companies in bio-based technology and is also known in bio-energy producer.
MP values the significance of maximum resource utilisation and waste management; and ensures that waste from the production processes is recycled and developed into valuable by-products. A significant contribution to their business revenue and sustainability comes from ethanol, a by-product of sugar production. MP produces 1.2 million litres of ethanol per day which is blended into alternative clean energy. This sustainable alternative to fossil fuel significantly helps reduce the import of crude oil and CO2 emission.
Bagasse, which is cane fibre, offers an environmentally friendly alternative to supplies feedstock to the Company’s biomass power plants and contributes great environmental benefits because of its low carbon emission. This has resulted in a reduction of 650,000 tons of carbon emission per year. Bagasse provides sustainable fuel to MP’s bio-mass power plants to power steam energy. These bio-mass power plants provide 400 MKW which supplies electricity to the group’s factories. Excess electricity is sold to Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) to meet the needs of the Nation which dramatically reduced the import of energy.
As an industry leader that cares for the environment and sustainability, they carry their values of “Creating Value for Better Life” into the Company’s productivity, operational and sustainability goals. MP is the first company in Thailand to practice Low Carbon Sugar production and Waste to Value management. MP strictly adheres to the ISO14001 Environmental Management System and applies eco-friendly processes. The Company encourages and pursues continual innovation in their process, focusing on improvement and development of sugarcane yield and quality, greener production technologies and machinery to sustain its growth.
Despite its formidable scale and success, the owner of Mitr Phol has not forgotten his roots. Having lived the hardships of a farmer, he has inspired the Company’s strong passion to help sugarcane farmers to live better lives. The Company firmly believes that their success stems from the success of their sugarcane farmers. The philosophy of “Grow Together” and “Creating Value for Better Life” is a strong guiding principle aimed at making sugarcane planting a sustainable career, and targeted at improving the welfare and livelihood of sugarcane farmers.
The Company has adhered to a strong sense of sustainability, and practices this within a transparent and ethical framework. The Company also subscribes to the vision on Sustainability, “To become a model organisation that operates its business with ethics and good governance, as well as sustainable social and environmental development.” MP supports and adheres to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Principles and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and have implemented these guidelines to shape the group’s business direction, operational, farming, production, research development, human resource and corporate sustainability goals. Throughout its existence in the integrated sugar business, MP has consistently demonstrated its commitment to sustainability development through community development.
Mitr Phol’s community development project is a social innovation-management collaboration between the company, community and local administration, which aims to set up sustainable system to improve community’s qualities of life in 5 major aspects; Psychological, Economics, Social, Physical Well-being, and Environmental.
Community development is categorised in 4 focus points:
Assist community to understand oneself, create a paradigm shift and role model in community.
Develop Learning Center and Knowledge Center and propel knowledge towards local policy.
Develop Leadership skills for Community Council’s member.
Strengthen and expand the network and create knowledge sharing among network.
MP believes in “Grow Together”. If the communities survive and sustain in their careers, MP could reduce risk of material supply (sugar cane) and strengthen our business and sustainable development goals as well. Thus, MP demonstrates its commitment to community development very seriously by ensuring efficient management and governance. Hence, the Community Development and Community Relations Department was set up to oversee, monitor and implement Mitr Phol’s community development projects.
Under Community Development Project, MP supports 25,500 families, 136 villages in nine sub-districts, and plans to expand this reach to another 12 new sub-districts nearby sugar mills in 2017. This project seeks to improve their quality of life and encourage self-sustainability within their farming community by supporting the setting up of organic vegetable farming groups; encouraging farmers to do mixed farming to provide themselves with home-grown rice, fruits and vegetables; and supporting and assisting in setting up Community Development Committee in all sub-districts.
Moreover, MP has worked closely with the Thai Health Promotion Foundation in Community Development Programme that helps to promote a healthy society and environment through knowledge sharing. One of its sub-programmes is the development of disabled persons for work opportunities and “Hiring for CSR”, a programme to encourage the recruitment of disabled persons in their nearby residence. So, this is a way of Mitr Phol which supports a truly sustainable community in Thailand.
MP believes that caring for the community begins from within the organisation. Management and staff at Mitr Phol had same belief and DNA. MP have cultivated cultures to all staff and have a large number of events regarding CSR. By creating job opportunities, providing career development and training to improve competency of MP employee, so they are prompt and able to provide knowledge and give hands to uplift living standards of the local communities effectively.
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