From policy to action
By Dinh Dung in HCMC
Going green would see no result if actions did not speak louder than words. This is not a one-day campaign but requires a long, hard-working process. For many enterprises, just seeking green values is necessary but not enough. Concrete actions are needed no matter how small they are. Understanding the fact, Song Be Golf Resort in the southern province of Binh Duong is on its track to achieve sustainable development by step by step through its energy saving and going green policy.
|Students plant a tree at the Song Be Golf Resort last Friday - Photo: Dinh Dung |
Joining hands for larger impact
Instead of doing alone, Song Be Golf Resort has this year invited companies, students and teachers from three high schools in the province to join its Environment Day 2010, which took place last Friday. The event marked different activities including a walk aimed at raising awareness of green values and the planting of trees to create more green spaces in the resort. In addition to its existing 24,500 trees, hundreds of young trees were planted to turn a part of the golf course into a destination for natural wildlife and foster growth of nature.
Joining the event, the bathroom facility provider American Standard brought to the event’s green exhibition with bathroom collections that highlight water saving features. Besides other booths introducing bio-products for waste water treatment, local firm Gia Nam showcased water heating facilities using solar energy, which has become trendy.
“The worldwide movement of going green and efforts seen in the media advertising sustainable development partly prompt us to organize the environment day,” says Richard Wong, general director of the Song Be Golf Resort.
Wong says the resort wants to translate the energy saving and environment protection into action by its own staff and “to let younger people understand that they are investing in their future.”
He says environment protection is not just a one-day campaign but a long process, so the effective way is education and examples. “We would like to show our young people examples,” he says. “We have to enforce laws and regulations to keep the environment green and clean constantly, as well as reinforce the idea by having a constant campaign.”
Le Quang Van, vice general director of Palm Song Be Golf Company, seconded Wong’s view, saying the company has been caring about the environment since it started business 18 years ago. Besides building a water and sewage treatment plant, a system of drain has been designed to collect natural water into 14 lakes to water grass and trees in the 104-hectare resort. To keep the grass green, the resort has used fallen leaves and mowed grass to create natural compost to fertilize its vegetable gardens and nursery, along with using approved chemical fertilizers.
Going along with environment activities, the resort has set up an energy saving plan by replacing petrol buggies with electric buggies or bicycles and electric-bikes. This helps reduce air and noise pollution.
For the lighting systems, the resort is able to cut energy use by 30% to 60% thanks to the replacement of fluorescent and incandescent bulbs with energy saving bulbs and ballasts. Some 2,000 bulbs have been changed with an estimated saving worth VND150 million per year. Also in the plan, the resort is looking into the use of solar power to heat up water heaters next year.
Talking about the cost for making business greener, Wong says the resort has yet to calculate the amount but “this is a commitment, so the cost is not important.”
The resort will next year introduce the going green program to its members, letting them know the impact rather than carrying out it as an internal activity, he says.
“We introduce the concept and policy by taking away plastic bags and hopefully members will participate,” Wong says, adding creating awareness sometimes needs to impose disciplines and fines.
Commenting on the resort’s activities, Tran Thanh Liem, chairman of the People’s Committee of Thuan An District, says there are some 1,000 enterprises active in the district and that to ensure sustainable economic development, the district has chosen eco-friendly investments and has annually screened companies to see whether they are environmentally friendly. Therefore, practical actions of the resort will contribute to the environment protection movement in the district.
He says these activities will attract the attention of the community and leave a positive impact on the people and other businesses.
“No environment protection can be successful without contributions from organizations, communities and companies,” Liem says.
The Saigon Times Daily