Brands go green

More than 90 percent of domestic enterprises have had activities to convert to the circular economy model in various degrees, according to the result of a survey by the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD) announced in early October this year, showing a positive signal in Vietnam's roadmap towards a circular economy.
Brands go green ảnh 1 Water bottles made from recycled plastic. (Photo: SGGP)

Zero-waste future

The survey by the VBCSD under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) was conducted from May to September on 100 medium and large-sized enterprises in the food and non-alcoholic beverage industry.

The representative of the VBCSD said that the circular economy is becoming an inevitable trend to meet the requirements of sustainable development in the context of increasingly degraded and depleted resources, polluted environment, and severe climate change. The circular economy contributes to minimizing the risks of overproduction crisis and resource scarcity, lowering production costs, and increasing the supply chain for businesses.

Mr. Fausto Tazzi, General Director of La Vie Company, Vice President of PRO Vietnam, said that La Vie Company and Nestlé Group members had committed to implementing plans to reduce the amount of virgin plastic in packaging, cut plastic waste at the source, and contribute initiatives to collect the same amount of packaging the company put on the market by 2025. This is one of the company's efforts to aim at a zero-waste future. At present, most of La Vie's products are fully recyclable. In early 2021, La Vie became the first mineral water brand in Vietnam to use bottles made from recycled plastic (rPET) that meets food packaging standards.

Similarly, Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Hang, Chief of Public Affairs, Communications, and Sustainability for Coca-Cola Vietnam, said that the company targeted to collect and recycle each plastic bottle or soft drink can that is sold and use at least 50 percent recyclable material in the packaging by 2030.

Previously, within the framework of the "World Without Waste" strategy, many enterprises in Vietnam joined hands to establish the Packaging Recycling Organization Vietnam (PRO Vietnam). Enterprises also cooperated with the Centre for Supporting Green Development (GreenHub) to carry out the action network project to reduce, reuse, or recycle plastic waste to improve local recycling activities, ensuring three safety and practical criteria. This model can be replicated for domestic waste-collecting units and individuals. The project was implemented in Ha Long City in Quang Ninh Province and lately, in Can Gio District in HCMC.

Promoting the waste recycling market

Mr. Huynh Minh Nhut, Director of HCMC Urban Environment Company Limited, shared that the company and PRO Vietnam signed a memorandum of understanding on building a network for the collection and process of recycled waste from the domestic solid waste sorting program at the source. Accordingly, the network built by the two parties will collect and process recyclable waste to create new resources from trash, helping to reduce the volume of waste going to landfills, as well as carbon emissions, improving efficiency in environmental protection. The implementation of the above project is the foundation for establishing a market for waste recovery and recycling to make use of resources from waste to serve economic development and the construction of a circular economy. More importantly, it also shows the responsibility of the business community in joining hands to protect the environment with HCMC in particular and the country in general.

Currently, only 8.6 percent of output participates in the cycle. With this ratio, the demand for resource consumption in 2060 will double that of 2015, putting pressure on the environmental ecology. “Therefore, enterprises need to build a roadmap for circular strategy from a senior management perspective, following steps such as improvement in the production process, product, and business model, to bring many benefits not only in saving resources and protecting the environment but also in promoting economic growth and social benefits”, affirmed Mr. Brendan Edgerton, Director of Circular Economy at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

The economy will achieve a closed cycle with the overall and comprehensive participation of industries, professions, and production fields through information sharing, application of new business models, and combination of the supply chain to achieve scientifically calculated goals with the support from the legal system and management regulations from the Government. At that time, enterprises no longer have to consume a large amount of resources to achieve positive economic growth figures. At the same time, they will gain positive environmental and social benefits to comprehensively transform the production and consumption system to a new orientation, helping to minimize climate change, natural resource degradation, and escalating inequality.