Four renowned Thai organisations triumphantly conclude first year of the ‘Choice is Yours’ project, accelerating Thai students’ capacity to create sustainable world

BMW Group Thailand, Chaipattana Foundation, Microsoft Thailand, and SCG encourage young generation to present innovative ideas for environmental protection

In picture – Khun Wannasopin Poolgird, Country HR Director, BMW Group Thailand (Top row, 5th left), Khun Bhakamol Rattaseri, Member and Deputy Treasurer, the Chaipattana Foundation (Top row, 6th left), Khun Vasupon Thankakan, Microsoft Azure Cloud Business Group Director, Microsoft (Thailand) (Top row, 7th left) and Khun Yuttana Jiamtragan, Vice President – Corporate Administration, SCG (Top row, 8th left) recently presented awards and certificates to students who successfully completed the ‘Choice is Yours 2022’ at Siam Cement plc (Headquarters).

Bangkok. BMW Group Thailand, the Chaipattana Foundation, Microsoft Thailand, and SCG recently collaborated to organise the closing ceremony and deliver awards to the winning teams from the ‘Choice is Yours 2022’ competition. The project was designed to inspire the young generation to carry on with environmental conservation concepts by presenting fresh ideas that promote the development of sustainable innovations that can be put into actual use and result in practical consequences. It also provides an opportunity for Thai youngsters to demonstrate their capabilities in order to contribute to knowledge development and drive toward a more sustainable world and society in the future.

Mr. Alexander Baraka, President and CEO, BMW Group Thailand, said: “On behalf of BMW Group Thailand, I would like to thank the Chaipattana Foundation, Microsoft Thailand, and SCG for their cooperation leading to the success of the Choice is Yours programme today. This accomplishment illustrates that all sectors in the country, both public and private, play an important role in inspiring the young generation and promoting long-term global sustainable development. We, as a part of the business sector, are eager to push forward these sustainability goals by offering innovative products and services to customers, as well as organising projects in collaboration with our partners. I firmly believe that the Choice is Yours programme will serve as a positive drive for change and contribute to innovations for everyone’s better future.”

The Choice is Yours 2022 competition began in June 2022, and the final presentation was held on 17 October 2022, with experts from all four organisations as well as media representatives from various fields present to judge the winning teams. The winning teams received the opportunity to undertake an internship with the organisation whose expertise lay in each area.

‘The Choice is Yours’ project was organised for the first time this year thanks to the collaboration of four leading organisations: BMW Group Thailand, the Chaipattana Foundation, Microsoft Thailand, and SCG. By the completion of this project, 112 students from 20 institutions across the country had expressed interest in submitting project ideas for environmental protection and sustainable development. The winning prizes were given to the four projects listed below, which stand out for their creativity and innovative development approach.

  • REduce category by BMW Group Thailand: The JeJe Group team from King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi focused on techniques influencing consumer behaviour based on the concept ‘Reduce to Increase’, proposing innovative package boxes featuring reusable straps, with the Boxchain project. The initiative seeks to reduce the usage of consumables in package boxes, such as adhesive tape and shockproof plastic as well as paper production.
  • REuse by Chaipattana Foundation: The ReNew team from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang demonstrated an innovative process for recovering colour from unwanted or dead flowers for use in textile products. This reduces both the amount of waste generated by leftover flowers and the amount of chemicals required in the textile industry to colour fabrics.
  • REthink by Microsoft Thailand: The Chulalongkorn University Effect Hill team stood out for developing a Metaverse platform that raises awareness of the negative consequences of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere using virtual reality. They presented a system to assist with planning to reduce the amount of man-made carbon, which will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to near zero (net zero) by 2050.
  • REcycle category by SCG: The Kasetsart University Poly P team proposed a method for processing synthetic fibres in bedding waste, particularly polyester fibres, which are non-recyclable waste. The project is noteworthy because it has the potential for future innovation development into further products to aid in the prevention of microplastics in the environment, such as buoyancy pads in water, flood conveyance plates, and floating plates to block debris that flows along the water.

Pawornwan Khamnong, third year student, Integrated Product Design Innovation, Faculty of Architecture, Kasetsart University, and a representative from the Poly P team said about the programme: “What I have gained from The Choice is Yours competition are problem solving skills and teamwork because there were a lot of challenges at every step of building our own project. We encountered problems like tool performance and unexpected production processes that had not met our assumptions. The team had to come up with a thorough plan to ensure success. Through trial and error, we worked hand-in-hand to create the best idea.”

Jintanakan Sirisup, third year student, Media Arts (Graphic Design Major), School of Architecture and Design, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, from the JeJe Group team said: “We are honoured to be a part of this great initiative. We would like to thank our advisor and mentors from BMW Group Thailand who guided us throughout this competition. We have earned experience that cannot be gained from the classroom from ‘The Choice is Yours’ programme. We encourage people in our generation to be more aware of the issue of sustainability because it is something very close to home that we might have overlooked.”

Thanida Prasertchai, fourth year student, Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University from the Effect Hill team added: “At the moment, our world is going through man-made climate change. Our team came up with the idea to develop the Metaverse platform to boost awareness about the negative impacts of carbon dioxide on the climate and lives of people around the world. An internship with Microsoft is a great opportunity to grow our tech skills and we hope to play a part in driving the world toward sustainability.”

Natcha Aramwiroj, School of Architecture, Art, and Design, Department of Industrial Design Majoring Textile Design, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang from the ReNew team said: “The key challenge for our project was the development process because the colourful flowers might not have sufficient pigment to dye the textiles. We went through various experiments to find the best formula to extract colours most suitable for dyeing. We will continue to grow our knowledge and hope that our experience from the competition will be useful in the promotion of innovation and culture under the Chaipattana Foundation in the future.”

Throughout the five-month period of the Choice is Yours programme, the participants took part in both virtual and physical activities arranged by the four partner organisations. With the objective of inspiring participants to further build their sustainability initiatives, students were given an exclusive visit to BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand in Rayong where they joined the plant tour to observe the BMW and BMW Motorrad assembly lines, as well as learning about the company’s commitment to sustainability through zero-waste-to-landfill and carbon-neutral goals. The activities also included a site visit to SCG Packaging’s Banpong Complex in Ratchaburi, where participants were guided through circular economy initiatives at SCG Packaging and community-based solid waste management systems. Meanwhile, an online training session was conducted by Microsoft Thailand to provide knowledge on Power Apps, which is a tool that contestants can use to build custom apps and improve their workflow capabilities between data sources.