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BAEMIN Vietnam: When small CSR initiatives matter

By Hoang Khang

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It is valuable when a company makes big contributions to create sweeping changes in society; and it is also valuable when a company, through its work-a-day activities, introduces corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives for the betterment of the community. BAEMIN Vietnam, a young food delivery platform, has pursued this philosophy since its inception more than three years ago.

Environmental protection

In August 2022, BAEMIN Vietnam collaborated with Piktina, a secondhand fashion application, to organize the clothes exchange day “Dare 2 Rewear”, which can be deemed an original initiative to protect the environment. The event in HCMC aimed to urge BAEMIN employees to take concrete action to protect the environment as well as to embrace a greener lifestyle.

The clothes exchange day “Dare 2 Rewear” was open for all employees of BAEMIN in offices across the country. This initiative, with a focus on the concept of “it’s old for him but new for me”, helps BAEMIN employees exchange clothes and fashion items with their colleagues to refresh their look while contributing to the reduction of fashion waste.

According to the organizer, the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world after oil and gas. Making a pair of jeans, for example, requires 7,500 liters of water.

The “Dare 2 Rewear” event organizer cited apparel market research to show that on a global perspective, a consumer will discard approximately 31.75 kg of old or no-longer-used clothes on average each year. Every second sees the equivalent of a truckload of clothes being discarded.

As such, each year the environment suffers from more than 500 million tons of textile waste, 84% of which is burned, resulting in 12% of greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the research, the average life cycle of a fashion product is 5.4 years. If each person could prolong the use of a product for just three more months, they could reduce the amount of gas, water, and waste released into the environment by 5%–10%.

Jinwoo Song, CEO of BAEMIN, said that sustainable development lies at the heart of whatever BAEMIN does, and “we will constantly seek to provide better eco-friendly consumer solutions as well as invest in awareness-raising activities to protect the environment… This clothes exchange day “Dare 2 Rewear” is another testimonial that shows our serious commitment to levitating the greener lifestyles.”

Raising awareness about the environment has constantly been central to BAEMIN business.

At a talk show titled “Plastic Reduction Initiatives in Retail & Services” hosted in Hanoi in late June, the CEO of BAEMIN Vietnam highlighted BAEMIN’s initiatives to promote eco-friendly practices across its ecosystem.

“While the recent discussion often revolves around the plastic waste only, I think it’s equally important to review other aspects of environmental challenges posed by the food technology industry that are food waste and the increase of carbon footprint,” said Jinwoo Song.

The CEO noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has bolstered the use of single-use, disposable food packaging as consumers believe single-use packaging was safer and more hygienic. Even though they have become more environmentally conscious, it’s unlikely that they will think to reuse the meal boxes, plastic bags, and containers to protect the environment.

Jinwoo Song related at the talk show how the parent firm BAEMIN in South Korea has successfully implemented a number of green projects to influence the stakeholders and help them change their behaviours since the very early days.

BAEMIN has installed collection robots in South Korea to collect plastic container lids and used AI technology to determine if they can be recycled and transformed to some higher value materials, and idea the CEO said could be applied to Vietnam.

“We kickstarted our sustainability agenda by turning our colleagues into green ambassadors through a series of training sessions and interactive activities in partnership with government officials to raise their awareness and promote greener lifestyles across our operations,” he said.

BAEMIN also plans to introduce a B2B mall for their merchants so that they can conveniently find and purchase eco-friendly packaging materials to sustain their operations.

“We will do our best in the coming time to show to our stakeholders that sustainability if done in the right way will greatly benefit all relevant stakeholders,” he said.

Support for the disadvantaged

Besides environmental protection initiatives in practice as well as in the offing, BAEMIN Vietnam has also launched other CSR activities to support the community, especially disadvantaged people.

On September 8, BAEMIN Vietnam launched the campaign named “Full moon invites happiness” on the occasion of the Mid-Autumn Festival, with an aim to extend gratitude to users who are children and students as well as to support the community. On the day, representatives of BAEMIN and the Youth Union of the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade also paid a visit to present scholarships to disadvantaged children in Hoa Sen Home in Hoc Mon Town and the neighborhoods.

On the occasion, the company also collaborated with the SOS Children’s Village to organize internal painting auction programs called “Love Drawn By Moonlight”. In this program, the children took turns to draw pictures under the theme of Mid-Autumn Festival. Then, the selective paintings will be put to auction so the employees can bid for fundraising purposes. This is the second time BAEMIN has done this initiative and in two years, the program raised more than VND70 million in cash for children in SOS Children’s Village. Besides,  BAEMIN also often collaborated with Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation to raise funds for them through the online charity concert as well as hosted careers orientation sessions for them in Hanoi last June.

In it also noteworthy that during the social distancing induced by the pandemic, Kim Bongjin, founder of the parent firm BAEMIN in South Korea, donated VND20 billion to Vietnam’s Covid-19 Vaccine Fund, while BAEMIN Vietnam also donated over 6,000 free meals and 1,000 relief bags to poor people in HCMC.

At the talk show in Hanoi, commenting on BAEMIN initiatives to contribute to the community, the CEO of BAEMIN Vietnam said it is important to rally support from all stakeholders for the sustainable development goal in Vietnam.

“The buy-in and joining hands from all stakeholders would be the biggest challenge yet also a success factor of sustainable development,” Jinwoo Song said.

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