Thailand-The Philippines: Green jobs in the hotel and automotive industry

The Greener Business Asia project promoted capacity building and enhanced employer-worker cooperation to support greener workplaces and sustainable enterprises.

In Thailand, the focus was on greening small and medium-sized hotels in the tourism industry to improve resource efficiency, environmental impact, workplace practices and overall enterprise competitiveness. The pilot enterprise programme (2011-2012) implemented in Phuket, enabled newly established worker-management teams to identify key problems and proposed strategies to address them.

In the Philippines, the automotive industry was targeted to green its supply chain. A pilot training programme (2011-2012) for automotive companies was implemented followed by on-site advisory services to support companies in implementing their green improvement plans.

The project collaborated with 15 enterprises in the automotive sector in the Philippines and 12 enterprises in the hotel industry in Phuket, Thailand, as part of the project’s first demonstration phase. The enterprises varied greatly in their affiliation with associations, their size, how long established as a business, and the extent to which environmental practices were already in place.

Since the booming tourism industry is a key characteristic of the region, during the second phase of the project (2012-2014) small and medium-sized hotels in the island of Coron (Palawan) in the Philippines also benefited from the tools used and lessons learned from the initial experience in Thailand. The programme was implemented together with the National Wages and Productivity Council, who eventually mainstreamed the programme as part of their service offerings for improving the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Through a methodology of engaging with worker-employer teams and providing them with a package of practical trainings and resources, the project has supported the establishment of “Green Teams” in hotels in Thailand and the Philippines to initiate improvement programmes. These have shown customers their commitment to sustainable operations, while at the same time fostering improved productivity and workplace cooperation, which have led to concrete results and positive changes.

During the second phase, in Thailand three hotels in the Bangkok area were targeted as well as some establishments in Samui Island. In the Philippines, 12 hotels/resorts completed the full program and core training was also provided to 43 more establishments in other destinations such as Tagaytay City and Bohol Island.

The project has also developed training content and resource materials for employers and workers organizations on green jobs, sustainable development and climate change, taking into account the enterprise experiences from the project activities.

The Greener Business Asia project was part of the ILO/Japan Multi-bilateral Programme.