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Last year Thalias decided to formalise its approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR), and selected a team made up of staff members from our administrative headquarters and each individual outlet.The goal is to create a sustainable system for managing our waste, and reducing — or, where possible, eradicating — disposable plastics and other damaging materials from our daily operations.

We started off with a CSR workshop in April, involving half of the company’s workforce, we have since held fortnightly meetings between the ambassadors seeking out new and innovative approaches to creating a virtuous circle of sustainability. For an example of some of the things we’re doing, take a look at this video here:

So far we have re-organised the waste sorting process in all of our outlets, monitoring plastic bags and returning them to suppliers, selling plastic packaging for recycling, and selling used cooking oil to Naga Earth, who transform it into biofuel.

We have also sought out biodegradable solutions for storage and distribution of merchandise, including baskets, biodegradable bags, boxes and utensils, and also removed 90% of the plastic bottles used from our back-of-house operations.

Last year, we returned more than 133kg of plastic bags to our suppliers. As a result, most of our suppliers have set about reducing their own use of plastic bags in their deliveries to us, seeking out alternative methods.

For recovered materials, each month we recover roughly 400 kilos of used cooking that Naga Earth transforms into biodiesel which emits 90% less hydrocarbon, 50% less carbon dioxide than standard diesel and also has zero sulphate emissions. Since we started, we have also collected more than 130kg of plastic bottles, 50kg of cans, and around 370kg of paper and carton, which are in turn sold to local recyclers.

Next year, we will continue to monitor and collaborate with our suppliers to help us all find alternative solutions to the use of plastics in our operations, while maintaining awareness and training within our own teams. We also intend to host another CSR workshop for our teams in Siem Reap, and continue communicating about this important subject. Working together, as a team and with our partners, we believe we can make a genuine difference.