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Sustainability

dtac CEO: zero corruption is fundamental to dtac’s right to operate

Many businesses require a specific license to operate, be it an architecture firm, a hospital or a large restaurant. As CEO of dtac, I work in an industry where the licensing process is particularly stringent and touches on almost every aspect of our business, from the installation of base stations to the rights governing our use of Thailand’s airwaves. But the license I value the most is dtac’s social license. And it is my firm belief that fighting corruption is fundamental to dtac’s right to operate. FREE AND INVALUABLE What is a social license? Unlike government issued licenses, a social license to operate is not a piece of paper. It refers to acceptance of our company’s right to operate by all our stakeholders: the general public, our customers, the media, the government, our shareholders, our employees, etc. And in observance of the International Anti-Corruption Day 2020 on December 9, 2020, I wanted to share how dtac strives to maintain its social license to operate through strict policies against all forms of graft and influence. For spectrum alone, dtac has committed to over 100 billion baht in payments to the Thai government in the last three years. But unlike spectrum licenses,…

dtac Think Hai d: The movement to make mobile phones sustainable

Amidst the rising numbers of handset sales each year, mobile phone makers and retailers are adopting sustainability principles in their value chains. dtac as a key player of value chain of mobile telecommunication industry, is taking a serious action against e-waste disposal through Think Hai d, the initiative encouraging responsible disposal of e-waste. Thailand is considered a country with high mobile internet penetration rates. There are 93.7 million phone numbers, accounting for 133% of its total population. Handset sales stand at 14.1 million annually – with around 100,000 for first time users and the rest for replacement. Replacements alone represent 20 percent of Thailand’s total population on a yearly basis. Peerapol Chatanantavej, Head of Device Portfolio & Device Expert at Total Access Communications Plc or dtac, said, “The boom in sales of handsets over the past decade was mainly caused by the evolution of technology and the tendency of consumers to want a device with more applications. The role of mobile phones is becoming more critical to people’s daily lives.” As the role and features of handset evolve over time, its use reached beyond an IT device for connectivity and became a measurement of social status, driven by factors like…

Taking Kids from Posting Online to Building Online

How the co-founders of FabCafe Bangkok are teaching 21st century skills in dtac’s Safe Internet youth camp Ari is a leafy residential neighborhood in Northern Bangkok. Down one of its quiet alleys, what looks like a home actually houses Thailand’s branch of FabCafe. FabCafe started in Tokyo as a gathering spot for the local community of tinkerers, hackers and designers, before growing to 12 “cafes” globally. But Bangkok’s FabCafe is now also working with a much younger crowd. By partnering with dtac’s second Young Safe Internet Leaders Camp (YSLC 2.0), it is equipping Thai kids with important skills to make their online lives safer and more fulfilling. dtacblog sat with Kalaya Kovidvisith and Samutpon Tanapant. Both are university lecturers and co-founders of FabCafe Bangkok, a place they have defined as “the creative space for design and technology”. They also designed YSCL 2.0 for dtac. Decoding “Learning Design” YSLC 2.0 culminates in its young participants designing projects to make the internet a better place for their peers. Before getting to that point, its first module first requires all camp participants study online privacy and sexual abuse, diversity respect to stop cyberbullying, and the anatomy of fake news. The second module features…

Thailand’s Gen Zs tackle Cyberbullying with Chatbot

When these teenage friends heard of dtac’s Young Safe Internet Leader Camp, they immediately knew they could contribute. Although they come from three different schools, they bonded at a tutorial school. And unfortunately, one thing they had in common is the experience of bullying. This is an all too common problem in Thailand. Surveys indicate about 90 percent of students have experienced physical or verbal abuse. dtac thus joined hands with the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) and the Thai Media Fund to organize an online camp where young participants opportunities can develop their ideas to make the internet a safer place for youth. To better understand Thailand’s Gen Zs, dtacblog met 18-year-old Thitapron” Film “ Mangkang ,18-year-old Saharath “Fluke” Suwannawong  and 17-year-old Thanyaluck “Fon” Srirattanai from the Triamudomsuksa Pattanakarn Nonthaburi School; 17-year-old Tanaree “Friend” Prasertdee from the Kasintorn Saint Peter School, and 18-year-old Napat “Totti” Somjaree from the Debsirin Nonthaburi School. Cyberbullying: No Minor Issue The team joined the YSCL 2.0 camp with the project of creating a chatbot named “Ob Oon” (warmth). Their intent was for the chatbot to listen to students suffering from bullying and provide them with advice. "Before we joined the camp, we had only…

Understanding the full spectrum of sexuality and gender to reduce cyberbullying

Research on bullying among secondary and vocational students in greater Bangkok, which was conducted in 2019 by Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Economics and dtac, confirms that LGBT youth account for 46.67% of bullying victims.In response, dtac Safe Internet has joined with Plan International Thailand, a non-profit organization fighting for the rights of children, to co-design online curriculum titled “Gender Diversity: Respect to Stop Cyberbullying.” Designed for teachers, it enables them to provide students’ an education on online threats.Krongkaew Panjamahaporn, a specialist on gender-equality at Plan International Thailand, said, “Online and offline bullying happens because people do not understand diversity. Those who appear different are typically singled out and labelled as black sheep. In fact, differences and diversity are the norm. The human race has a vast genetic diversity of physical characteristics. Sexual orientation, too, can be diverse.” “From childhood, humans are taught just two genders – male and female – the only two genders identified on birth certificates. Later in their lives, many babies will grow up and find out that their gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned to at birth. Such cases are just natural,” she added. How to Explain Gender and Sexuality To promote…

Fighting the sextortion of children

Police Colonel Morakot Sangsrakoo is with a very special agency within the Royal Thai Police. Since its creation in 2016, the Thailand Internet Crimes Against Children (TICAC) has been working to catch online predators and protect their victims, closing 212 cases and arresting 245 offenders. Unfortunately, there are more cases every year and a single offender can create hundreds of victims.“There’s a growing desire among young people to achieve online fame, which their parents also support and encourage by creating online profiles for their children, even when their age violates the platform’s rules. This has led to growing online risk exposure,” said Pol Col Morakot.We recently met with him after he gave a lecture on online privacy and sexual abuse at the dtac Young Safe Internet Cyber camp. The project is part of the dtac Safe Internet initiative to develop digital literacy and resilience skills for children and their family members, allowing them to surf the internet safely.He focused particularly on sextortion, a form of blackmail where a perpetrator threatens to reveal intimate images of the victim online unless the victims give in to their demands for money, further intimate images or even a real-life encounter. How sextortion happens “Predators…

This family-owned textile factory is pushing for a more sustainable future with dtac

dtac "Think Hai d" t-shirts are now made of plastic bottles and old clothes, saving thousands of liters per shirt. While dtac isn’t a clothing brand, the company does produce a line of branded items sold at the dtac House headquarters. As dtac curbs its environmental impact across its entire supply chain, the mobile operator turned its attention to the t-shirts it produces. The manufacturing of a single t-shirt can require enough water to quench a human’s thirst for three years. Moreover, the textile and fashion industry account for 10 per cent of the world’s total carbon-dioxide emissions today. It is the second biggest polluter, behind the energy industry. Thus began dtac’s search for a way to curb its fashion line’s carbon footprint, which led to contracting Saeng Charoen Grand Company Limited (SC GRAND), Thailand’s first textile recycling factory. Jirarot “Wat” Pojanavaraphan, managing director and third-generation owner of SC GRAND , told dtac blog, “For dtac’s t-shirt production, we use two sources of recycled materials: old clothes and plastic bottles. The result is a recycled polyester fiber blend. With four old t-shirts and four plastic bottles, we can make one brand-new t-shirt!” The process begins with separating textile waste by…

dtac says stringent waste sorting needed to slow Thailand’s mounting trash problems

There is growing awareness in Thailand for the environmental impact of waste on our soil, air and water. The year kicked off with ban on single-use plastic bags, which were previously handed out so freely that even buying a bottle of water in a convenience store would come with an obligatory accompaniment of one straw and one small bag. But then urban waste almost doubled between January and March from a year ago mainly due to increased food deliveries propelled by social distancing. Today, Thailand’s trash problems remain as pressing as ever. Considering its own environmental impact, dtac has committed to zero landfill by 2022. Achieving this target will involve stringent sorting of waste. Last year, dtac generated 281 tons of general waste. Bringing that figure to zero means carefully separating all trash into six categories that can be processed through recycling, incineration, or even used as fish food. It is a difficult task that involves educating thousands of employees on the complex distinctions between trash types. dtac blog sat down with Kultawat  Sindhuseka, dtac’s head of facility and his team members – Vipada Manutad and Trintapat Akarawanidvhawat, to talk about their role in handling the waste at dtac facilities…

We all have a part to play in solving Thailand’s urgent waste problem

This is a guest post by Rachaya Kulnapongse, Head of Sustainability, dtac. When it comes to waste, it is the plastics at sea that generate the largest headlines in Thailand. In 2018, the story of a whale that washed ashore in Songkhla gripped the nation. After it died an agonizing death, the postmortem revealed the poor beast had starved to death, its stomach filled with 80 plastic bags. A year later, a 10km long island of trash floating in the Gulf of Thailand again provided an all too vivid reminder of waste’s impact on the oceans. By contrast, the waste accumulating in Thailand’s landfills is often ignored, despite being a major source of air, soil and water pollution. According to the Pollution Control Department, solid and hazardous waste in Thailand increased by 15 percent over the past decade. Bangkok alone produces 4.84 million tons a year, accounting for 17 percent of landfills in the country. Around 30 percent of solid waste is managed and disposed of sustainably, while the rest is added to landfills which grow larger every day. The growth of waste is global, driven by rapid urbanization, growing global populations and overconsumption in high-income countries. It leads to…

Researcher highlights role of education in cyberbullying

“They’re just playing. Don’t take it seriously.” If you grew up in a Thai school, chances are you’ve at one point encountered this line or something like it — from pupils and teachers alike. Sadly, an ignorance towards the toxic nature of bullying pervades Thailand’s education system. Modern technology could hold so many keys to help spread a wider understanding of bullying and its consequences, but instead we see new digital spaces making bullying more widespread, and with less accountability. Online social platforms have widened the prevalence of bullying in Thailand to the point that it now sits in the top five countries with the highest number of reported cyberbullying cases globally, according to the Department of Mental Health. Mr. Thanee Chaiwat, director of the Chulalongkorn Experimental Economics Center, has dedicated years of research to the problem. Last year, dtac commissioned Mr. Thanee to conduct a research study on cyberbullying behavior among secondary school students in greater Bangkok in a bid to understand the root cause of the problem. The move came as part of dtac’s ongoing initiative to advocate against and raise public awareness towards the risk cyberbullying poses to the nation. Abuses of power Cyberbullying fits within a…