In a world where our hands are the gateway to performing precise actions and connecting to the things around us, the importance of protecting them with gloves cannot be overstated. Whether it’s performing intricate medical surgeries, food experiments, or heavy-duty construction, the use of gloves across different sectors of industries has become an essential part of our lives.
One notable company that has since 1989 been producing a variety of gloves, such as powdered natural rubber gloves, powder-free natural rubber gloves, and nitrile gloves, is Sri Trang Gloves (Thailand) Public Co (SGX Code: STG). As Thailand’s largest and considered one of the world’s top rubber glove manufacturers, Sri Trang Gloves’ 6 factories produce around 55 billion pieces annually, exporting to over 170 countries.
With a strong focus on sustainable business operations and corporate transparency, it’s not surprising that Sri Trang Gloves has received numerous sustainability awards over the years, including winning Thailand’s FDA Quality Award 11 times. Here are 5 things to know about the ESG efforts undertaken by Sri Trang Gloves.
ESG relates to Environment, Social, and Governance. Which of these three pillars does the Group focus more on and why?
STGT places equal importance on all three pillars of ESG: Environment, Social, and Governance. These aspects are deeply ingrained in the company’s culture and are integral to the group’s sustainability efforts. That said, we are currently focused on driving the environmental aspect of ESG in view of the urgent need for emissions reduction.
In particular, we are actively working on achieving net-zero goals, striving for zero waste, implementing water recycling systems, and ensuring traceability throughout the supply chain. These environmental initiatives have a significant positive impact on society at large, as they create a cleaner world by mitigating the effects of climate change.
Are there any green innovations or developments that the Group is working on?
Our research on green innovations and development is currently focused on enhancing our range of natural latex examination gloves.
While nitrile gloves are widely used due to their hypoallergenic, and chemical and heat resistant qualities, they are produced using non-renewable crude oil and contribute significantly to waste generation upon disposal. In contrast, latex is a renewable material with a low carbon footprint. We are dedicated to improving the properties of latex gloves so that they become a viable alternative to nitrile gloves.
One of our breakthrough products is the world’s first non-detectable protein latex gloves. These gloves have successfully been tested according to ASTM D5712-15 and ASTM D7427-16 and have been found to have nondetectable levels of the four principal allergenic proteins. This means that individuals with protein allergies can use our latex gloves without any concerns.
Our goal is to make latex gloves a sustainable choice across a wider range of applications. We are dedicated to promoting green innovations and development in the area of hand protection, ensuring a more sustainable future for the healthcare industry and beyond.
What are the Group’s ESG achievements that are different from those of your competitors and which shareholders should understand and care about?
One differentiating factor lies within the social dimension of our ESG efforts. While many companies strive to meet certain social standards, we are committed to going above and beyond by consistently attaining the highest level of certification. We also embrace diversity and inclusivity, with a workforce which features 50% female representation, including our CEO. We support and value LGBTQ individuals, and actively promote employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
Another aspect which sets us apart is our integration of ESG principles into our overall strategy and product offerings. All our gloves are manufactured using 100% renewable energy. These practices are implemented on a large scale, enabling the group to achieve the lowest total carbon emission for a glove company. We also pursue carbon footprint certifications for our products, allowing stakeholders to tangibly measure and evaluate our environmental performance.
Supply chain transparency and sustainability are key pillars of our success. As part of our strong emphasis on traceability, we have developed Sri Trang Friends Ecosystem, which ensures the traceability of our products, and adheres to industry standards such as those by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
We are also the first gloves manufacturer to issue green bonds. This demonstrates our commitment to enhancing our ESG performance and aligning our financial activities with sustainable practices.
Our ESG achievements showcase our holistic approach to sustainability, commitment to social responsibility, integration of ESG into product development, and our pioneering efforts in sustainable financing. These achievements differentiate us from competitors and reflect our dedication to the creation of long-term value and positive impact for the benefit of our business, customers, and the wider community.
Could you elaborate more on the Group’s recent MOU with Siam Cement Group and how does it align to the Group’s ESG efforts?
Our recent MOU with Siam Cement Group (SCG) and its subsidiary, The Concrete Products and Aggregate Co., Ltd. (CPAC) builds upon a previous agreement we had signed in August 2022 with another SCG subsidiary, Siam Refractory Industry Co., Ltd. (SRIC).
The latest MOU outlines a framework for regular knowledge sharing, skills exchange, and collaborative efforts in managing used materials and industrial waste. The partnership specifically focuses on studying the conversion of waste materials, such as sludge, which are generated from wastewater treatment, into alternative fuel for cement production. This waste-to-energy initiative represents an expansion of our ongoing waste-to-raw materials collaboration with SRIC.
As part of the existing collaboration with SRIC, the Group has already delivered 557 tons of used glove formers to SRIC for repurposing into refractory materials. This figure is projected to increase significantly to 1,600 tons by end 2023. The MOU with CPAC also seeks to further enhance our waste management practices and explore innovative solutions to maximise the value of waste materials. By sharing expertise and collaborating with SCG and its subsidiaries, we can leverage our knowledge in managing used materials and industrial waste effectively.
Overall, the MOU with CPAC strengthens our efforts in sustainable waste management, supports the transition towards a circular economy, and enhances the group’s overall ESG performance.
What internationally recognised accreditations did Sri Trang Gloves attain last year and can you elaborate more about it?
The Group has achieved several notable internationally recognised accreditations, demonstrating our commitment to various aspects of sustainability and business excellence, including:
International Labour Organisation (ILO): This accreditation recognises our efforts in promoting employee welfare. By clearing all 11 indicators, we have demonstrated our commitment to upholding human rights and providing fair and safe working conditions for our employees.
Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI): We have been accorded the A Grade for all our audited facilities, in which the BSCI audits assess areas such as working conditions, health and safety, and fair remuneration. This recognition underscores our dedication to social responsibility, ethical practices, and compliance with international labour standards.
Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX) SMETA: We comply with SEDEX SMETA, a globally recognised ethical audit methodology, which covers labour standards, health and safety, environmental performance, and business ethics, affirming our commitment to transparency, ethical sourcing, and responsible supply chain practices.
“Best New Green Bond” award at the Asset Asian Triple A Awards: This recognition highlights our dedication to improving our sustainability efforts and our commitment to financing projects that have a positive environmental impact.
Editor’s Note: Some answers for this article were extracted from the SGX 5 in 5 series published on 11 July 2023 and have been republished with permission. You can read more on Sri Trang Gloves (SGX Code: STG) on the SGX website.