Digital technologies have been evolving at a fast pace, forever changing the economy, society and world in which we live.
Mr. Kan Trakulhoon
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Emerging digital technologies have been driving an increasingly competitive landscape by enabling new digital platform providers with different business models to enter the market, posing a major challenge to our existing business in the way we generate revenue and maintain customer relationships. This new environment has also shifted the focus of human capital development, encouraging companies to acquire talents with new abilities and knowledge, such as Blockchain and Data Analytics, to fulfill their future needs. The upcoming 5G technology and its vast applications could potentially exemplify this affect, along with the rising concerns over personal data. While Thailand has one of the highest global rates of social media usage, awareness of cyber risks remains low, particularly in terms of the dangers of sharing personal information on social media. This means that while we aim to deliver digital services that deeply engage our customers, it is also our responsibility to care and protect customer data. Despite increasing internet penetration, we continue to witness gaps in digital literacy and the well-being of people in urban areas compared to the rural population. By ensuring wider digital inclusion and accessibility, the company will bring value to all communities while ensuring trust and the Company’s continued license to operate.
Among the environmental guidelines that have been brought to global attention is a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, reflected in the commitment of nations to set goals to limit global warming under the Paris Agreement, as well as the draft Thai Electronic Waste Disposal Act, in response to the skyrocketing growth of new e-gadgets with short product lifecycles. In addition to regulatory compliance, climate change could put our ability to provide services to our customers at risk from the increasing severity of unpredictable natural events. Meanwhile, the proliferation of IoT equipment would result in higher volumes of hazardous waste in the community as well as driving overall electricity consumption through our networks. For these reasons, it is crucial that AIS make every effort to improve energy efficiency, to ensure consumers’ understanding of appropriate e-waste disposal, and to become more resilient to climate change in order to improve our long-term cost structure while reducing operational and reputational risks.
2018 marked an important step in sustainable development for AIS as we re-prioritized our material issue to address the emerging risks faced by our business and capture new growth opportunities. AIS has set 7 strategic focuses as our priorities, including Digital Innovation, Data Privacy and Cyber Security, Human Resources Development, Social Inclusion, Cyber-wellness and Online Safety, Emissions, and Waste. Key movements in 2018 include:
- Economic aspect:
- Launched the AIS IoT Alliance Program (AIAP) to share knowledge and capability from multiple industries in both the public and private sectors, aiming to become the central hotspot for the exchange of technological ideas and information to improve and develop products, services and solutions that will run in line with the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy
- Social aspect:
- Set the goal of becoming the most trusted operator in terms of cyber-wellness in Thailand by 2021, with the development of a network-based security solution already in process and a 2019 launch targeted
- Environment aspect:
- Partnered with Thammasat University in an e-waste collection program covering the university area, with plans to launch the program in 2019
- Set climate related targets to reduce GHG emission intensity scope 1 and scope 2 by 75% by 2023 compared to the base year of 2015
In 2018, AIS maintained our presence in the FTSE4Good Emerging Index and the SET THSI Index (SET Thailand Investment Index) by The Stock Exchange of Thailand as well as retaining our status on the list of the ESG100 (Environment, Social and Governance) by Thaipat Institute for the fourth consecutive year. These recognitions reflect our continued and long-term commitment to sustainable business practice.
As a Digital Life Service Provider, AIS aims to leverage our capability and innovation to contribute to the economy and society with minimal environmental impact. Through our 7 strategic focuses of sustainable development, AIS is keen to build long-term value, contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 9: Innovation and Infrastructure and SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
Overall, we believe that it is crucial to look beyond financial indicators by addressing the ESG issues to pre-empt negative impacts and minimize risks to ensure sustainable growth and the continued creation of value for society.