GC sets target to assess GC group’s potential in circular economy based on BS 8001:2017 standard. We also aim to achieve the goal of establishing a Plastic recycling plant for high-quality circular rPET and rHDPE plastic resin by 2020 and commence commercial production in 2021
Challenges and Business Opportunities:
Building awareness of the public in “scarcity resources” is challenging nowadays. With different crisis occurring all over the world, alerts society to look back and seriously give importance to the use of resources, in order to palliate the currents situation. GC is committed to be a part to promote a sustainable measure and create value in accordance with “Circular Economy” principle. In this regard, GC focuses on promoting knowledge-sharing sessions for all sectors and facilitating awareness raising workshop and training for its executives and employees, conducting an analysis and assessment of GC’s circular economy implementation according to BS 8001:2017 standard, and establishing the Circular Economy Strategy.
Circular Economy for Sustainable Development
Due to the increase of world population, worldwide demand for resource will move upwards. The growth of world population does not only accelerate the utilization rate of world’s limited existing resource, but it also increases the volume of waste as well as the world’s temperature. Thus, resource scarcity and climate change impact have become pressing issues to resolve.
GC places considerable emphasis on maximizes the cycle of resource utilization, allow the use of “Renewable Resource” and “Re-Material” (resource from used products) in the production process instead of using limited existing resource, and reduces as much waste as possible throughout the entire production process. This is where the Circular Economy Concept comes into play in the difference operation process of the industrial sector. Besides, GC considers sustainability as a core business priority and an integral part of the corporate strategy. Accordingly, GC has applied the Circular Economy Concept to consider and set the company business plan, optimize the use of resources, reduce waste generation, and reduce impacts to the environment.
The concept focuses on finding an equilibrium between technological and biological development to reduce waste and environmental impacts throughout the entire supply chain. Thus, GC integrates the concept into business practices in 3 ways.
Circular Economy leads to Zero waste to landfill by implementing 5Rs principles (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Renewable และ Refuse), which helps reduction of both community waste and industrial waste to landfill. GC puts a great effort on reducing proportion of non-renewable resources and increasing the renewable or recycled resources. The company has initiated a technological development by enhancing the efficiency and quality of environmental management, such as:
Energy Conservation Projects
- GC has performed Heat Integrate Deheptanizer Overhead with Benzene Column Reboiler Project in operating site of GC Branch 5 (Aromatics Plant 2), in order to reduce steam consumption from heat recovery process between the upper part of C7 distillation column and the reboiler of benzene distillation column according to heat integration principle. In 2019. GC reduced energy consumption by 181,007 GJ per year, greenhouse gas emissions by 19,910 tons CO2 equivalent per year and operating costs 80 million baht per year.
- GC has implemented the project to enhance the energy efficiency in Refinery plant by reusing heat lost in atmosphere into production, resulting in reduction of natural gas consumption at furnaces, electricity generation and steam production processes. In 2019. GC reduced energy consumption by 336,880 GJ per year, greenhouse gas emissions by 18,913 tons CO2 equivalent per year and operating costs 104 million baht per year.
Alternative Energy Project
- GC has installed the solar rooftop system with total generation capacity of 2 megawatts to generate electricity for internal use. The system can generate a maximum electricity of 6,778 kilowatt-hours/day.
Pollution and Waste Reduction Projects
- GC has collaborated with PTT Innovation Institute to design and develop a small scale and lightweight heat exchanger which can be installed in the limitation area. After implementation, GC will be able to recover and reuse more hydrocarbon in exhausted gas from the production lines by 700 tons per year, equivalent to 22.3 million baht per year. This will also contribute to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 355 ton CO2e per year.
- GC has been accumulative reduce greenhouse gas emissions 235,377 tons CO2 equivalent by the project with entrepreneur using carbon dioxide as a raw material in the production of Sodium Carbonated related to circular economy principle.
Reusing Waste as Alternative Raw Material
- Using Mercury waste from the Aromatics and Refinery plants by using Mercury waste as raw material for production of medical equipment
- Promoting and encouraging employees to separate waste in office, e.g. separating plastic, glass, and paper waste for recycling and separating food waste to be used as animal feed by the surrounding community, etc.
- Installing Seawater Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) and Wastewater Reverse Osmosis (WWRO) systems to monitor and improve wastewater quality discharged from wastewater treatment system to ensure that the discharged amount can be used and reentered in the operating process. Reusing off gas from Aromatics Plants, i.e. ethane, propane, butane, as substrate for olefins plants instead of flaring, and using heavy residue from Phenol Plants as raw materials for fuel oil production in Refinery plant. In 2020, it can generate an income for the company of over 107 million Baht per year.
GC has established the Eco-design guideline based on the ISO 14062 standard to serve as a guideline for new product development. At present, GC has applied the Eco-design criteria to evaluate its products. In 2019, five products were classified into the environmental-friendly product category, namely 3 pack PE packaging, Bio EBM-2018, Bio Tuna cup-2018 and Royal project phase II-2018, and ESD HIP for E&E. The aforementioned products can reduce impact on the environment, for instance reducing use of raw materials, which leads to reduce production cost, greenhouse gas emission and waste, using compostable and renewable raw materials instead of fossils, etc.
Additionally, GC is still committed to develop products based on the Eco-design principles to be the role model company for product stewardship.
High Performance Products
- GC has developed plastic compound for autoparts, which has passed durability tests and met the specifications standard of the automotive industry. Additionally, GC has also collaborated with customers to define product injection condition. In 2019, Solution Creation Company Limited began commercial distribution of the plastic compound under the brand “PlastMate”. This is considered GC’s first step into the automotive industry. The project is estimated to generate a revenue of over 24 million baht.
- GC has developed the properties of plastic resin to be more compatible with its customer’s high-speed monofilament production machine. The enhanced plastic resin yields tougher and stronger monofilament, which has contributed to reducing costs and process loss for customers. GC has expected to generate a revenue of approximately 900 million baht from this project.
- GC has jointly invested with AREVO, a startup company specialized in the development composite materials using 3D printing technology. This technology requires low production energy and operating costs and can timely yield products with unique or complex properties, e.g. autoparts, aviation parts, sports equipment, etc. These composite materials are recyclable, five times stronger but three times lighter than Titanium.
Bioplastic and Low Carbon Products
- GC developed the innovation of 100% biodegradable plastic beads or BioPBS which can replace normal plastic beads for manufacturing different packaging and products such as spoons, forks, straws, film, dry food containers and as a coating on paper cups. But most importantly BioPBS can decompose naturally due to the 3 fundamentals as follows: heat, moisture and bacteria in the soil, allowing it to be disposed with organic waste or food waste. Thus, after being landfilled, the mentioned materials will be decomposed due to the bacteria in the soil and become carbon dioxide, water and biogas without leaving any harmful residue to the environment. In 2019, GC generated revenue 1,223 million baht / year.
- GC develops Bioplastic Resin to Support National Environmental Policy and Thailand’s policy to reduce plastic use.
- GC develops GC compostable label to promote consumer awareness of products made from biodegradable raw materials or products with special properties, increased opportunity for manufacturers to develop products that meet market needs, and supported government policy to reduce environmental and global warming problems.
Transformation of Waste into New Products
- GC strives for collaboration to have strategic partners to accelerate company growth. Upcycling SE project through Sarn Palung Social Enterprise (SPSE), Social Enterprise (SE) under PTT Group focusing on comprehensive treatment of plastic waste to create added value. Used plastic is recycled into fashion and daily life items under Trademark “Upcycling by GC”. Approximately 505,000 PET bottles are recycled to selling products, which can be reduced greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 44.69 tons CO2 equivalent and equals to planting 4,965 trees.
- GC has collaborated with PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Company Limited, or PTTOR, to reuse waste from Cafe Amazon stores and coffee factory to create modern furniture under the “Circular Living” concept, e.g. the Macaw wall decoration made from Polypropylene plastic coffee cups, coffee tables made from coffee factory waste, and sofa textile made from used water bottles, etc. Furthermore, the Cafe Amazon Circular Living Concept store has replaced its packaging with biodegradable materials, e.g. 100 percent biodegradable Polybutylene Succinate (PBS) coated paper cup for hot drinks, 100 percent plant based Polylactic Acid (PLA) cups for cold drinks, and bioplastic straws, etc.
- CG has collaborated with Sansiri Public Company Limited, one of Thailand’s leading real estate developers, to create performance and durable products for homes, e.g. water tanks made from GC’s high-quality plastic resins, non-VOC solvent for decorative paint, made from natural ingredients, which is safe for residents and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor and construction materials like wood composite. Additionally, GC has created eco-friendly furniture using recycled Polyester from the Upcycling by GC project.
GC has collaborated with all sectors throughout the value chain to develop and advance CSR projects by optimizing resource utilization, reducing waste, and transforming waste into value added products, in an attempt to create an integrated business connection under the principles of circular economy.
A Customer Solution Center (CSC) has also been set up in order that customers can play a role in designing products, adding value to plastic waste and further developing it into a business idea. As well as encouraging new perspectives in consuming valuable and environmentally friendly plastics through different projects and exhibitions as follows;
Sustainably Public Private Partnership for Sustainable Plastic and Waste Management: PPP PlasticThe company collaborates with the governments, private sectors and communities, help to manage the issue with waste and promote the use of plastics sustainably according to the Circular Economy concept. While having the goal to reduce the quantity of plastic waste in Thai seas at least 50% within 2027. GC strives to reduce the volume of plastic wastes with the use of biodegradable plastics which is environmentally friendly, promotes the development of plastic products which can be reused multiple times to replace single-use plastics and transform plastic wastes into new products. In 2019, 300 tons of waste are recycled throughout the project implementation. It also can generate revenue for Rayong communities over 3.5 million baht.
Our Khung BangKachaoOur Khung BangKachao is a collaboration among 34 organizations from the governments, private sectors and civil sectors under the supervision of Chaipattana Foundation. Our Khung BangKachao aims to develop a green area and elevate the quality of life in Khung BangKachao community, developing the area to grow strongly and become a sustainable eco-friendly community model. As chairman of the Waste Management Team, GC has implemented the principles of circular economy to reduce waste problems as well as raise awareness in waste management from original source. An outstanding project in 2019 is the development of recycled monk robes. This project uses Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottle recycling innovation to manufacture polyester threads. The strands are then combined with polyester zinc and cotton to weave fabric which is later cut into robes for monks at Chak Daeng Temple in Khung BangKachao. The recycled monk robes are of high quality and conform with Buddhist discipline. Furthermore, the robes are comfortable to wear, wrinkle-free and do not absorb moisture while also possessing anti-bacterial properties. This project has not only transformed used PET bottles into value-added products, but it has also created jobs and generated income for the local community.
Circular Living Symposium 2019: Upcycling Our PlanetGC and National Geographic, an international press organized the Circular Living Symposium 2019: Upcycling Our Planet to inspire creativity in increasing value to resources as well as promoting the circular economy concept in daily life to the public. This activity gauged intentions from various sectors, public, private and partnerships. The seminar received cooperation from 150 organizations and a total of 1,300 people participated in the event.
Yes, Plastic! Things to Rethink ExhibitionGC worked together with the Creative Economy Agency (Public Organization) with organizing the Yes, Plastic! Things to Rethink Exhibition which ran from the 30th October 2018 till 17 February 2019, to present new perspectives and ways of thinking for consuming plastic. Through the vision that plastics uses 450 years to decompose, into being a material which is strong and resistant for 450 years, with the use of creativity design and adding value, plastics can co-exist with value in the environment.
ThinkCycle Bank ProjectGC initiates the ThinkCycle Bank project in order to transform waste into valuable materials in the economy. Using the online recycling bank, GC strives to tackle the waste problem at its source, hence builds understanding on waste separation, reusing waste according to the Circular Economy in additional to creating a network for waste separation from households to provincial level. Presently, 22 schools are participating in the program, helping to create awareness about waste in youth communities, educating about waste management to maximize its benefits and providing opportunities for youths to participate and earn income from recycling wastes. In 2019, 12,581 tons of wasted were recycled
- Moreover, the company has plans to invest more than 1,000 million baht in the establishment of the largest plastic recycling plant for high-quality circular rPET and rHDPE plastic resin by 2020 and commence commercial production in 2021. The main objective of the plant is to address plastic waste problem and reduce social and environmental impacts.