VRG: Sustainability Associated with Social Responsibility

3:40:46 PM | 11/21/2018

This was shared by Mr Tran Ngoc Thuan, Chairman of the Board of Members of Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG) ahead of the Announcement Ceremony of Sustainable Businesses in Vietnam 2018. He said sustainable development is an inevitable development trend of the world and Vietnam, that is harmonious development of economic growth, environmental protection and responsibility to the community and society. These are also basic business principles of Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG) and rubber companies. Hoang Tham reports.

VCCI President Vu Tien Loc said that, for sustainable development, enterprises, besides pursuing profit objective, must be environmentally friendly and socially responsible. What do you think about sustainable development?
Vietnam Rubber Group recognises that sustainable development is an indispensable development trend of the world and Vietnam. It is the harmonious development of economic growth, environmental protection and responsibility to community and society. These are also basic business principles of Vietnam Rubber Group and rubber companies.

Despite undergoing twists and turns of price and market since 1975, as a leading State-owned enterprise that plays a core role in Vietnam's rubber industry development, Vietnam Rubber Group and its member companies have always integrated their business missions in the interrelation of economic development with environmental protection and social responsibility.

VRG and all-level trade unions in its member companies always ensure employee interests in line with the law, carry out many employee care policies, launch skills training programmes, and improve income for employees. The corporate social responsibility of the Group has been highly appreciated by local authorities for its contributions to infrastructure construction such as power grid, traffic roads, schools, medical clinics, cultural and belief activities in rubber growing areas.

In addition, environmental protection, emission reduction, tree planting on vacant land, land and resource efficiency and fuel efficiency are always improved by the group. Specifically, production processes are applied uniformly within the group, thus enabling many members to be appraised and certified to national and international standards by relevant authorities.

So, could you please tell us about how Vietnam Rubber Group built its operating principle to secure sustainable development, increase brand value and proceed with successful integration?
Immediately after being transformed into a joint stock company in early 2018, Vietnam Rubber Group ratified a resolution on continued effective business and sustainable development.

Following the group’s sustainability strategy and commitment announcement on mass media, annual reports on social responsibility and environmental protection are integrated into business reports of every member unit.

Currently, the group and its members are carrying out the VRG branding programme coupled with Vietnam Rubber branding programme initiated by the Vietnam Rubber Association towards effective business criteria and international environmental criteria for social community and sustainable development. These are practical and effective solutions for the group to develop its brand and international integration successfully.

How do labour and environment affect the enterprise and business performance as well?
Labour is a core element of the group's growth and success. In addition to further ensuring employee rights and interest in accordance with the law, the group has strengthened recruitment policies like increasing incomes by production expansion and accelerating mass activities to improve the spiritual life of employees. Besides, the group focuses on long-term personnel training and development to meet current and future tasks in line with the group's objectives and strategy.

Some of the group's activities have inspired the staff and the leadership to improve business efficiency. The “Golden Hand” Contest, held every two years, honours and discovers excellent workers seeking to improve latex harvesting techniques. Launched in 2007, the “Two-Tonne Club” Programme, has continuously developed, gathering 58 well-performing rubber farms from 10 companies as of 2017.

At present, the responsibility of ensuring legal requirements and customer requirements on environmental protection is the goal of group members. Apart from meeting ISO 9001: 2000 quality management standards, many VRG members have achieved the ISO 14001 certificate for international environmental management standards, helping enhance their reputation and competitiveness in the context of international integration. In branding plans of the Vietnam Rubber Group and the Vietnam Rubber Association, international environmental protection standards are encouraged to move forward for sustainability certification.

What do you think about the Programme on Benchmarking and Announcing Sustainable Companies by VCCI? What else should we do to promote corporate social responsibility towards sustainable development?
The Programme on Benchmarking and Announcing Sustainable Companies in Vietnam is launched right in time to raise the business awareness of sustainable development and provide specific instructive criteria for enterprises to review the current state of affairs and develop plans and roadmaps for sustainable development.

To help enterprises understand right and perform well their social responsibility towards sustainable development, authorities should have legal provisions on corporate social responsibility, making it a must-do task. Authorities also necessarily have policies to support and encourage good corporate social responsibility such as tax exemption, incentives in credit access for construction of community and labour facilities, training personnel in charge of social responsibility.

Furthermore, relevant organisations and industry associations should support enterprises to develop brands in association with social responsibility action plans, cares for workers' lives and contributions to social community development.

For their parts, enterprises need to have social responsibility construction and implementation strategies specified with appropriate and active roadmaps and encouragements. This is considered one of the most effective solutions to build a friendly business image in the process of global integration.

Thank you very much!