According to the Bank's vision “Growing Together for Sustainability”, the Bank aspired to grow together with all sectors of society sustainably. The Bank linked ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It connected business frameworks to help reduce poverty, develop the economy, and make the community and society achieve a better quality of life.
One of the Bank's missions is to create a sustainable society or a sustainable community according to the CSR operation guidelines under the following 3 main strategies.
- Strengthen Foundation strengthening a strong foundation by creating careers for the community
- Go Local Based Solutions Enhancing all products and services of the communities through effective marketing operations
- Grow Local Aiming to generate sustainability for the communities by being a source of funds for them
The Bank, therefore, initiated the Go - Local, Grow - Local Project in 2019, following the aforementioned strategic plan. It put an emphasis on developing a strong community based on the self-reliance principle and reducing dependence from the outside. The communities were encouraged to mainly rely on their potential, resources, wisdom, way of life, culture and local environment. This was in line with the National Economic Development Plan in building a strong community by applying the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy to obtain balance and strength from within. In this regard, people in the communities gathered and jointly formulated community development guidelines and activities.
The Bank were able to take advantage of its strengths, both in financial knowledge and financial products and services to meet the needs of the communities through the operations of the branches in each area and collaborations with partners who have expertise in various fields. The collaboration aimed to improve the quality of life in each community in terms of management, community-based tourism, local products, art, culture, marketing and financial literacy.
In 2019, the Bank initiated the Go Local Grow Local Project throughout the country. It had selected the target communities from the branches’ presentation of their surrounding communities across Thailand, namely Ban Suan Durian Community in Songkhla Province; Ban Laem Sub-district Community in Suphanburi Province; Ban Sanuan Nok Community in Buriram Province; Ban Mae Kampong Community in Chiang Mai Province; Ban Khok Khai Community in Phang Nga Province; Ban Duea Community in Nong Khai Province and Tha Ma-O Community in Lampang Province. The Bank was in the area to discuss with the communities and cooperatively set mutual development goals.
In 2020, the Bank continued to develop the target communities according to the development plan set in cooperation with each community. The noticeable results of the project in each area of the development plan were as follows.
- Financial literacy: The Bank supported the communities in performing accounting, keeping income-expenses records, utilizing financial technology that meet the demands in modern society. Moreover, it also encouraged the communities to participate in government projects that the Bank had played a part in propelling, such as the the “Chim-Shop-Chai” [Taste-Shop-Spend] scheme, the “Rao Tiew Duay Kan” [We travel together] scheme, and the “Khon La Khrueng” [Let’s go halves] scheme. The objective was to support the growth of the foundation economy and reduce economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Management: The Bank assisted the communities in the allocation and the utilization of resources in each community for utmost benefit and effectiveness, both natural resources and human resources. It also helped the communities in waste management and prevention of COVID-19 disease.
- Tourism and Services: The Bank focused on helping the communities achieve the Community Based Tourism Standard (CBT THAILAND) of the Department of Tourism. It adopted the Community Based Tourism Standard in developing sustainable tourism in the communities in order to fit the standards. In this regard, the Bank had encouraged six communities to participate in the audit. All of them passed the audits.
- Products: The Bank helped the communities develop various products by focusing on creating value for local products. It had analyzed and developed with the community and experts so that the products could be sold and accepted.
- Art and Culture: The Bank encouraged the communities to maintain their identity, conserve local art and culture. In addition, it also supported the communities in adopting art and local culture to add value to tourism and local products.
- Marketing: The Bank promoted the understanding and recognition of Social Media marketing, including performing marketing for the communities through the Bank's public relations media to help the communities become more well-known.
From the implementation of the Go Local, Grow Local Project, the Bank analyzed information in order to improve the process to be more efficient and more effective. As a promoter, the Bank adjusted the community development strategy plan to focus on local products and tourism and drive the communities towards sustainability. And the Bank also has a plan to develop other communities across Thailand in every 68 district office locations.