Dutch companies at the forefront of the Vietnam Corporate Sustainability Forum 2017
Heineken and Unilever were recognized as excellent examples of applying sustainable practices in their operations and having a positive impact on people, the planet, and prosperity at the 4th Vietnam Corporate Sustainability Forum (VCSF) on October 10 in Hanoi.
Image: ©Heineken Vietnam
The VCSF was held to promote sustainability and inspire companies in Vietnam to follow the footsteps of well-performing companies. The theme “Scaling-up business solutions to sustainability challenges” formed a perfect summary of the forum’s goal. At the forum, both Heineken Vietnam and Unilever Vietnam shared their success story on how driving the sustainability agenda has helped its business and the community grow hand-in-hand. Key to this is creating an inclusive value chain, such as circular economy ideas, and transparency and integrity in business and sustainability reporting.
Circular economics is best demonstrated via its application of biomass and biogas. Four of the six Heineken’s breweries in Vietnam brewed using 100 per cent carbon-neutral biomass energy this year. It therefore cut its CO2 emissions by 50 per cent against the 2014-2016 period, providing a steady source of income to the local rice farmers it buys the “waste” rice husks from and significantly reducing its costs while avoiding oil price volatilities. Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr. Vo Tuan Nhan, said the use of biomass and biogas in the daily operations of Heineken’s breweries is a practical and breakthrough initiative that brings benefits to many stakeholders, including the community.
Accordingly, Unilever Vietnam has committed to support the Vietnamese community by enhancing the livelihoods of many. Next to its diverse range of products proving health and well-being, approximately 1.3 million women received training in capability building and nutrition and over 44,000 households received micro finance loans worth 300 bln Vietnamese Dong.
Both companies are also part of the very few pioneers in Vietnam to adopt sustainability reporting using the global reporting initiative (GRI) standard. It involves continuously publishing a GRI-accredited comprehensive annual sustainability report in Vietnam, announcing the company’s achievements and future directions for sustainable development as well as its challenges. For its continuous sustainability efforts, Unilever Vietnam was ranked number one Most Sustainable Company and Heineken Vietnam was recognised as the third in Vietnam in the 2016 Corporate Sustainability Index published by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.