Last updated: Friday, March 22, 2019


Boosting Dialogues, Scaling Up Sustainable Development Models

Posted: Wednesday, July 04, 2018

The Government of Vietnam has expressed its strong determination to create a sustainable environment since early 2018, through the meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam and Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development and many other dialogues with businesses on this issue.

Vietnamese businesses as stakeholders

Vietnam is among countries integrating global sustainable development goals into the national agenda. Together with its partners, the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD) under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has been working hard to bring these goals closer to the business community.

Mr Nguyen Quang Vinh, General Secretary of VCCI and Vice Chair of VBCSD, said that the world economy is heading for green growth through such model as circular economy and Vietnam cannot be out of the game. To join global value chains, the Vietnamese business community needs to change its thinking towards sustainable development rather than pursue short-term benefits.

2018 is defined as a banner year of new sustainability initiatives based on public-private partnerships (PPP) such as Vietnam Center for Circular Economy, the programme for promoting sustainable agricultural development in cooperation with the United Nations International Trade Centre (ITC), and the programme for business capacity building in the digital age. Specially, VBCSD will also coordinate with the Ministry of Planning and Investment to develop an in-depth Report on Sustainable Development Goals.

Addressing the Vietnam Corporate Sustainability Forum (VCSF) 2017, Dr Vu Tien Loc, President of VCCI and Co-chair of VBCSD, also affirmed that a sustainable business will have two types of certificates: one is business certificate and the other is recognition from employees, workers, partners and the community. This is the passport for businesses on the road towards sustainable development goals.

He said, new and advanced business models such as inclusive business, circular economy, social enterprise, sustainable value chain development, transparency and integrity in business or advanced corporate governance tools like sustainability reporting need to be further developed in the business community and stakeholders.

Regarding benefits of sustainable development, Mr Nguyen Quang Vinh stressed that a sustainable economy is not only friendly and humane to the community but also creates development opportunities for businesses. Market opportunities valued at US$12 trillion by 2030 will only be for business-minded entrepreneurs who embed sustainable development into the heart of business strategy.

Fostering dialogues, forming sustainable networks
This is the viewpoint of Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam at the meeting with the Executive Committee of the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD) on April 10, 2018 at the Office of the Government.

Deputy Prime Minister Dam affirmed that, to make positive changes and facilitate business development, it is necessary to form a broad sustainable development network engaged with business associations around the country.

VCCI President Loc said, chosen solutions must further promote the role of more than 400 VCCI member associations, business associations in 63 provinces and hundreds of sector-specific business associations. This will be the basis for forming a network of sustainable enterprises across the country. Every sustainability-certified company will become a member of this network.

VCCI General Secretary and VBCSD Vice Chair Vinh said VBCSD has organised the Vietnam Corporate Sustainability Forum (VCSF) and Programme on Benchmarking and Announcing Sustainable Companies in Vietnam every year. Especially since 2018, the VCSF will be replaced by the National Conference on Sustainable Development. These events are no longer activities gathering hundreds of attending enterprises but have become places to incubate, actualise and spread many business initiatives developed towards sustainable development and public-private partnership models.

In 2018, the Corporate Sustainability Index (CSI) is revised to reduce complexity to better engage small and medium businesses, and even microenterprises. Especially, this year, VBCSD-VCCI in collaboration with experts to work out a “standard on sustainable development”. Hence, besides honoring 100 best players in delivering sustainable development, businesses meeting the mentioned standard will also be certified “sustainable business”. This is the way VCCI encourages the business community to pursue sustainable development because not being ranked in Top 100 does not mean that they are out of the game.

Particularly, VBCSD has established the Advisory Group on Sustainable Development and Digitalisation Evolution. The mission of the Advisory Group is to propose to Government policies and action plans relating to the digital revolution and to support the business community to meet demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Advisory Group conducted a quick survey on perception of enterprises and impacts of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to produce the most accurate report and put forth appropriate proposals to the Government and the business community.

In the coming time, VBCSD will have many regular, frank and constructive dialogues. Businesses should be encouraged to innovate and apply new technologies, use less energy, not pollute the environment, and have social responsibility to enable all people to enjoy development results.

In addition, raising awareness, fostering social entrepreneurship among young people and developing small and medium enterprises is also defined to be further promoted and encouraged.

Thu Ha

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