Enterprises enter into sustainable development

VCN- More and more businesses are interested in sustainable development, making this become an important core element in the development strategy of businesses.
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Meeting sustainable farming requirements will help improve product value and gain a solid position in high-end markets. Photo: N.H.

Derived from market pressures

At the end of last May, the Vietnam Rubber Industry Group (VRG) announced the Group's Sustainable Development Programme, and signed a Regulation on coordination with the General Department of Forestry, striving for a little in 2019. There are 2-3 units with about 10,000-12,000 ha of Vietnam forest certification or other certificates (PAFC). Along with that, another agreement was signed by VRG in cooperation with Oxfam andPanNature to train, advise, develop guidelines to connect communities, protect forests and support people. In particular, the threemember units of the group, Dau Tieng, Binh Long and Dong Nai, have signed a consultancy contract to implement forest certification with the Forestry Research Institute and the Institute for Tropical Forestry Research and Development under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

VRG's sustainable development programme was launched in the context of 2018, the 11 largest tire groups in the world (consuming about 65% of the world's rubber production) announced they needed suppliers of raw materials adhering to the principles of production and sustainable management. Besides, large interior corporations like IKEA (Sweden) andWilliam-Sonoma Inc (USA) also announced that they only seek to buy wood materials and sustainable products. This trend of the market creates opportunities but also a big challenge for businesses to grow and supply rubber materials as well as rubber wood.

In the face of competitive pressures following the above sustainable trend, the rubber industry has to change and have a clear strategy. Specifically, in its Sustainable Development Programme, the VRG will focus on successfully implementing FSC certification in the shortest time, recovering 20,000 hectares of forests associated with rubber areas, building a legal rubber wood explanation system; enhancingcorporate social responsibility to protect the environment; improvingeconomic efficiency; andensuringthe harmony of interests of stakeholders. Tran Ngoc Thuan, Chairman of the VRG, stated that the Government's goal is that from now to 2020, there will be 30% of planted forest areas nationwide with sustainable certification. The VRG will also follow this general roadmap, but the speed will be pushed faster. Accordingly, it is expected that from now to 2025, the entire rubber area of ​​the Group will be granted sustainable forest certificates by both domestic and international.

Inevitable trend

Sustainable development is becoming a concept that receives great attention worldwide. Since 2015, the 193 member countries of the United Nations have agreed to adopt the "Global Development Agenda to 2030 with 17 sustainable development goals". In Vietnam, the Government has issued a National Action Plan to implement the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. Therefore, the implementation and development of long-term sustainable development goals of enterprises are receiving a lot of support from the Vietnamese government and organisations, departments and sectors that contribute to creating a new wave on the development strategy perspective to many businesses that do not pay attention to the balance between economic development, environmental protection and previous social contributions. Sustainable development is becoming an important core element for the strategy of maintaining prosperity and long-term businesses.

At Century Fiber Corporation (STK), in 2018, the proportion of recycled yarn production on the company's revenue has increased to 16.2%, contributing to improving the added value for the company and minimising the impact on the environment. According to STK's medium-term sustainable development target of 2019-2023, the company will raise the proportion of recycled fibre to 30% by 2020. In addition, in 2018, the company has achieved great success in mastering research and developed new environmentally friendly colour yarn products through cooperation with strategic partners. Color fiber products help reduce the amount of water used for production and non-chemical use.

Similarly, at PAN Group Joint Stock Company, farms and farming areas in member companies have applied high-tech agriculture and certified sustainable agricultural standards such as Viet GAP, Global GAP andASC. According to PAN management, for export seafood products, the above standards are mandatory if they want to have a strong position in high-end and fastidious markets. However, in return for meeting the requirements of sustainable farming, traceability and product quality, the product value is very high and sustainable. In addition, the application of high technology in agriculture also ensures a safe production process, less affected by outside weather and natural impacts. Companies also apply many measures to control waste. Specifically, seafood waste products such as shrimp shells, fish heads and intestines andclam shells are used as animal feed, while excess fish sauce in producing fish sauce is used as fertiliser for plants.

The production process of PAN's member companies has also been improved, increasing efficiency and reducing waste and waste into the environment. For example, use of intermediate packaging types, self-destruct packaging, natural materials such as jute or non-woven bags that contribute to environmental protection. Bibica's confectionery packaging is currently about 80% using self-destructing materials after 1-2 years with the price higher than regular packages by 5-10%. In 2018, Bibica's smart packaging programme has been developed with the idea that the product cover after use can be cut and arranged into different shapes, as an educational toy for children. Currently confectionery products such as Hura and Orienko are being implemented this programme.

Meanwhile, An Phat Xanh Plastic Joint Stock Company (AAA) operates in plastic packaging production, the traditional plastic products themselves cause concerns about environmental issues. Being aware of that, AAA has made efforts to go "green" in the way businesses operate, and at the same time promoting the restructuring of products to environmentally friendly products by spreading green consumption habits in the country at businesses and all related parties.

According to AAA's management, the company's waste water treatment system is invested in a closed cycle according to international standards, the energy and material consumption norms are closely monitored; the factory’s campus is planned with open green spaces. At the same time, the company also promotes the development of environmentally friendly plastic products, especially in the domestic market, contributing to solving environmental pollution problems caused by plastic waste.

AAA is currently the only Vietnamese company that is a member of the European Society of Biological Plastics. This is the pioneering organisation in developing the bioplastic industry in Europe. The association is committed to contributing to the development of the plastics industry by raising stakeholder awareness of the benefits of bioplastics in reducing fossil-based material dependence, reducing economic effects and strengthening efficient use of renewable resources. Currently the association has more than 70 members who are involved in bioplastic supply chains around the world.

By Nguyen Hien/ HuuTuc

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