What does ‘build back better’ really mean? One of the world’s top CEOs give us his take

Asha Bajaj
5 min readJun 13, 2020

#UN; #EconomicShock; #Covid19Pandemic; #MankindExistenceAtRisk; #ClimateResilient

Geneva, Jun 12 (Canadian-Media): UN chief António Guterres, has warned of an “unparalleled economic shock”, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. So, going forward, can the private sector “build back better” to reorder the post-pandemic world, or, might the UN’s vision of a sustainable future be relegated to a low-priority aspiration? We put these questions to the CEO of one of the world’s largest conglomerates, who is working with the Organization, towards a better future, UN reports said.

A time-lapsed scene of a busy street at night in Bangkok, Thailand.
​Image credit: Unsplash/Dan Freeman

Suphachai Chearavanont, is head of Thailand-based CP Group — one of the world’s largest conglomerates — and chairperson of UN Global Compact Thailand. With companies in 22 countries, across a wide range of sectors — from agriculture to automobiles, pharmaceuticals, and property development — Mr. Chearavanont has an insider’s view of the huge changes, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, that are taking place across Asian economies.

CP Group has been a participant in the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest sustainability initiative, since 2003. This means the group has committed to aligning with ten Business Principles, on human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. UN News spoke to Mr. Chearavanont in his office in Bangkok and started by asking him if the impacts of the pandemic, are making it harder to stick to those commitments.

“The pandemic has of course had a big impact on the world, on Thailand, and on CP Group, even though we are not involved in the most heavily affected industries, such as those related to tourism or logistics. However, we are as committed to sustainable development as ever, if not more so: I think that COVID-19 is a reminder that we need to live sustainably and responsibly deal with the wellbeing and health aspects of how we live together, in a society.

Despite the terrible toll of this pandemic, the impact of climate change poses a much greater threat to the continued existence of mankind.

At the same time, we have been trying to help the public, and the Government, to cope, and setting up initiatives to address the concerns of employees. We…

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Asha Bajaj

I write on national and international Health, Politics, Business, Education, Environment, Biodiversity, Science, First Nations, Humanitarian, gender, women