January 31, 2020


Charoen Pokphand Foods adopts eco-efficiency concept for water management


Guided by the eco-efficiency concept, Charoen Pokphand Foods PLC (CPF) targets to reduce raw water consumption in its operations by 25% this year and 30% by 2035.


Mr. Prasit Boondoungprasert, chief executive officer of CPF, stressed the significance of water, saying it is the most important production factor of the agricultural and industrial sectors.


CPF has thus adopted thorough water management throughout the production chain for maximum benefits to balance business growth and ecosystem conservation. The goal is to reduce environmental impacts and concurrently reduce demand for raw water.   


CPF said it is using three sustainable water management approaches including annual assessment of water shortage using the tools of Aqueduct, an international organisation that identifies and evaluates water risks around the world.


Another is recycling and the third is releasing treated water from livestock farms and processing plants to nearby communities and farmers to help relieve drought impacts.


"We have required all business units to follow this policy. They must maximise natural resource management and release treated water to communities and factories located around the Company's premises," said Mr. Prasit, Boondoungprasert, CPF chief executive officer. 


He said CPF's shrimp farms reduced water usage by 23 million cubic metres in 2018 due to the improvement of farming techniques and recycling technology, which involves recycling of water from farmhouses for other purposes and releasing no water to the environment (zero discharge).


Demand for water reduced


Demand for water from external sources has been reduced by 70-75%, compared with traditional farming. Biofloc Technology was deployed to handle waste in the ponds, reducing the water change frequency. In the farming cycle, water usage decreased to only 1.5 cubic metres per 1 kilogramme of shrimp compared with 5 cubic metres consumed by traditional farms. 


Swine and chicken farms also save water by following the dietary and usage standards designed for each animal while water pipes are kept in perfect condition. In 2018, 380,000 cubic metres of treated water were released to nearby farms, covering a total of 3,650 rai (584 hectares). Water from swine farmhouses goes to biogas digesters, to generate methane-gas renewable energy for internal use.


Treated water contains mineral nutrients — nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, being natural fertilizers for sugar cane and tapioca grown around the farms. It helps farmers reduce demand for natural water and save fertilizer costs.


CPF also aims to become a low-carbon organisation, targeting to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) in production process and product lifecycles by 25% in 2025 from the 2015 base year.

For instance, renewable energy from 25 biogas projects, biomass projects and solar rooftop projects is powering its operations.


Together with environmental-friendly pig food innovation, these projects help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 522,000 tonnes per annum on average. In 2019, renewable energy increased to 25% of total energy consumption.


CPF will also adopt the "neutral carbon" approach in its charity-run CSR (corporate social responsibility) project, starting this year. Under this approach, GHG emissions from energy consumed throughout the activity period, participants' travel, as well as food and drinks will be compensated by the carbon credits of 560 tonnes of CO2 equivalent earned under Thailand Voluntary Emission Reduction Programme (T-VER). This project aims for zero waste.