Spreading Sustainability Value to Businesses

1:18:47 PM | 25/6/2020

The Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD-VCCI) successfully hosted the VBCSD Executive Board Meeting (2020-2023 tenure) on June 23.

Toward MSMEs

Speaking at the meeting, Dr. Vu Tien Loc, President of VCCI, Chair of VBCSD, said, the sustainable development approach is not only a matter for giant corporations but also an issue for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The  post-Covid-19 world will see economic restructuring and corporate restructuring towards sustainability values, he said. The conundrum for each business now is “To be or not to be, to grow sustainably or to be left behind”. Each business needs to develop sustainably, balance economic benefits with social development and environmental protection in the long term to control the home market, rise to a higher level on the international playfield and take advantage of FTA opportunities. Every country needs a strong business community to increase its resilience, independence and freedom.”


1. VBCSD Chair

- Dr. Vu Tien Loc - Chairman & President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)

2.VBCSD Co-chair

- Mr. Binu Jacob - Managing Director, Nestle Vietnam Co. Ltd

3. VBCSD Vice Chair cum General Secretary

- Mr. Nguyen Quang Vinh - General Secretary of VCCI

4. VBCSD Vice Chairs

- Ms. Doan Thi Mai Huong - General Director, Southern Airports Services Joint Stock Company (SASCO)

-  Ms. Le Tu Cam Ly - Legal & Foreign Affairs Director, Indochina Region, Coca-Cola

- Mr. Piyapong Jriyasetapong - Country Director, SCG Vietnam

- Mr. Denis Brunetti - President, Ericsson Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos

- Mr. Do Thai Vuong - Vice President of Sustainable Business and Communications, Unilever Vietnam International Co., Ltd

- Ms. Cao Thi Ngoc Dung - Chairwoman, Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company (PNJ)

- Ms. Ha Thi Thu Thanh - Chairwoman, Deloitte Vietnam Co., Ltd

- Mr. Matt Wilson - Corporate Relations Director, Heineken Vietnam Brewery Limited Company

- Mr. Nguyen Duc Thuan - President, TBS Group

5. Members of the Executive Board

- Mr. Nguyen Hoai Son - Manager of Public Affairs and Government Affairs, Dow Chemical Vietnam LLC

- Ms. Bui Thu Huong - Regulatory & Corporate Affairs Manager, FrieslandCampina Vietnam Co., Ltd

- Ms. Nguyen Thi Dan Phuong - Director of Marketing & Digital Customer Experience, Cluster Countries Vietnam and the Philippines, Schneider Electric

- Mr. Do Quoc Thinh - Director of Sustainable Development Department, PAN Group Joint Stock Company

- Mr. David Stone - Managing Director, AES TKV Mong Duong Power Co., Ltd

- Ms. Tran Thi Phuong Thao - Deputy General Director of Strategy and Business Development, Prudential Vietnam Assurance Private Ltd

- Ms. Le Thi Hong Nhi - Senior Manager of Sustainability and Foreign Affairs, Unilever Vietnam Co., Ltd

- Mr. Bui Hong Minh - Corporate Affairs Manager, Suntory Pepsico Vietnam Beverage Company

- Ms. Nguyen Thanh Hoa - Brand Communications Director, Baoviet Holdings

“In the past five years, VCCI has implemented the Corporate Sustainability Index (CSI), very practicable, not abstract at all,” said Dr. Loc. The CSI includes 127 indicators, based on three pillars, namely economic, social, and environmental, to guide the sustainability for the business community. However, the CSI is suitable for large enterprises rather than small and micro enterprises.

“MSMEs cannot fulfil all 127 indicators. Some indicators are neither appropriate nor necessary for micro and small businesses. How to make a roadside noodles stall able to take part in sustainable development,” said the VCCI President. Therefore, he believed that at least three sets of indicators are needed for three different types of business.

The Government is making an effort to reform institutions and create a level and favorable playing field for businesses, added Dr. Loc. The country is transformational. VBCSD-VCCI also needs to transform itself stronger. VBCSD needs new breakthrough ideas and promotes the role and mission of a leading guiding sustainability agency in the business community.

Approach of action

The VBCSD Executive Board Meeting (2020-2023 term) elected members for the new term. The board is chaired by VCCI President Vu Tien Loc and co-chaired by Mr. Binu Jacob, Managing Director of Nestle Vietnam Co., Ltd.

Organized once every three years, the Executive Board Meeting is of great importance and significance to orient operations in the new term. The year 2020 marked the 10th year of operation of VBCSD-VCCI, which have brought many outstanding achievements in advancing sustainable business development. Especially in the 2017-2020 term, the council has obtained specific milestones like admitting 25 more new members; advancing sustainable corporate governance through the Program on Benchmarking and Announcing Sustainable Companies in Vietnam and the Corporate Sustainability Index (CSI). In furtherance of the Prime Minister's Decision 1362/QD-TTg dated October 11, 2019 on ratification of sustainable private sector development to 2025, with a vision to 2030, VBCSD-VCCI will also submit to the Prime Minister a project on scaling up the CSI in the business community in 2020.

Fostering dialogues on sustainable development through major forums and conferences such as the National Corporate Sustainability Forum (2017) and the National Conference on Sustainable Development (2018 and 2019). Highlights of these activities are reflected in a sustainable development directive issued in 2020; a resolution on sustainable development expected to be issued in 2020; the partnership for circular economy, sustainable energy and sustainable SMEs; and a series of policy recommendations on sustainable business development. Besides, VBCSD-VCCI has carried out many programs and activities on its four core pillars: awareness raising, research, training and international cooperation.

In the 2020-2023 term, VBCSD-VCCI will focus on: Supporting businesses to carry out the circular economy; supporting public-private partnership for sustainable development; completing Vietnam's sustainability reporting standards based on the CSI Index; and putting forth policy recommendations for a sustainable business environment.

On June 23, the VBCSD Executive Board and representatives of VBCSD official members had a working meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, Chairman of the National Council on Sustainable Development and Competitiveness Improvement. Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam highly appreciated the persistent efforts, creative thinking and active spirit of VBCSD-VCCI for many years and suggested that VBCSD should further promote existing advantages to join hands with the government to build a sustainable business community. Vietnam Business Forum would like to excerpt some opinions of attending delegates.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam

I want the business community, including VBCSD, to strongly spread sustainability values throughout the society. Many businesses are still operating sustainably towards circular economy, emission reduction and social security but they are not aware of their responsibility to spread good things.

All government policies are geared towards sustainable development. Recent successes of Covid-19 disease prevention and control are showing that if we want to overcome great challenges, we must have the effort and consensus of the whole society. So do sustainable enterprises. To proliferate these values, we most importantly need consensus, from environmental protection to participation in addressing social issues and human issues among other things.

In the coming time, in order to disseminate sustainability values more strongly, VCCI needs to build sustainability criteria for all 150,000 member enterprises to self-assess. Awards and honors need to be integrated with sustainability criteria.

Spreading sustainability values means connecting and supporting businesses as much as possible, not necessarily expanding the network. To that end, sustainability values ​​and activities must be easily understood for all to join and apply.

Mr. Binu Jacob - Managing Director, Nestle Vietnam Co. Ltd

Sustainable development is a very important matter and Nestle has committed to using 100% recyclable materials. We are currently a big purchaser of agricultural products in Vietnam, with 20-30% of coffee output, expected to rise to 40% in the near future. We also have established cooperation with 230,000 coffee farmers in Vietnam. Joining VCBSD will create many opportunities for us to achieve sustainable development goals as this is a forum for businesses to connect and cooperate on sustainable development. We are also willing to share experiences consistent with best international practices for sustainable development

Ms. Ha Thi Thu Thanh - Chairwoman of the Board of Members, Deloitte Vietnam Co., Ltd

Deloitte has joined VCCI and VCBSD in sustainable development programs with three main roles: Building the CSI (80% of compliance indicators, including transparency and governance); enhancing the identity and understanding of sustainable development model is the competitiveness of each business (the business is regarded as a value and an investment, not cost); and training businesses to take the lead in applying sustainable development models in the future.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the stock market but I find that the number of listed businesses that incorporate sustainability into their operation plans is quite a few. If listed companies adopt sustainable development, the financial market and the capital market will be further developed.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum