Aligning environmental protection with business, Central Retail Vietnam, which is a member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, is taking specific actions to reduce plastic waste at its retail store chains nationwide, including GO!, Big C and Tops Market, as a way to practice its corporate social responsibility (CSR) and steadfastly tread the sustainable development path.
Consumers, when shopping at Central Retail’s GO!, Big C and Tops Market hypermarkets or supermarkets, are encouraged to use reusable Lohas bags which are available at a non-profit price of VND8,900 per big bag or VND5,900 per small bag. GO!/Big C hypermarkets also stop selling plastic straws from shelves and pilot the use of biodegradable plastic bags made from cornmeal and potato flour.
Further, GO!/BigC hypermarkets also sell eco-friendly vegetable products that are wrapped in banana leaf, including celery, green asparagus, cilantro, basil, lettuce, herbs, dill and coriander among others, to encourage customers to join its environmental protection campaign. The stores have also worked with nearly 30 fresh food suppliers to replace plastic packaging with biodegradable materials.
Manufacturers of organic products such as rice and coffee also play a part by converting non-biodegradable plastic to paper-based packaging. Notably, Big C and Tops Market provide free carton boxes for consumers in order to limit the use of plastic bags.
“We not only work toward reducing plastic waste from our distribution and retail systems, but also aim to raise employees’ awareness of environmental protection by installing waste separation bins at our headquarters and offices. Our company always encourages employees to reduce plastic consumption, live green, save electricity and protect the environment,” says Nguyen Thi Hong, head of CSR at Central Retail in Vietnam.
With such efforts, Central Retail is recognized by the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) as one of the sustainable and responsible enterprises due to its sustainable initiative to reduce plastic waste by completely replacing single-use plastic bottles with a water filtration system and reusable and washable cups at all of its offices in Vietnam, she adds.
In addition, aiming to encourage people to reduce plastic waste, within the framework of the Danang Environment Festival 2019, Central Retail gave five huge whale-shaped plastics wastebaskets to the beaches of Danang City. The whale-shaped wastebaskets are expected to contribute to raising people’s awareness of changing the habit of discarding plastic waste improperly, which causes a great deal of harm to the marine ecosystem and human health.
Up to now, Central Retail has donated 35 whale-shaped plastics wastebaskets to Nam Dinh, Haiphong, Halong, Thanh Hoa, Vinh, Quy Nhon and Thua Thien Hue, where GO!/Big C hypermarkets operate, to raise public awareness of environmental protection.
Since Central Retail Vietnam was acknowledged as a member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste by the Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment at the Nationwide Commencement Ceremony of Anti-plastic Waste Movement on June 9, 2019 in Hanoi City, the firm has constantly been striving to fulfill its role of an active member of the alliance by implementing various meaningful environment-driven activities.
Throughout its nine-year operation in Vietnam, Central Retail has become one of the largest foreign retailers in the country, with over 290 stores and 38 malls across 39 of 63 provinces and cities nationwide, creating jobs for 15,000 workers in Vietnam. Considering food, home & entertainment, and property as three key drivers for its business strategy, Central Retail has provided customers with a diverse portfolio of retail brands, including GO! Mall, GO! Hypermarket, Tops Market, Big C, Go!, Lan Chi Mart, Nguyen Kim, Supersports, LookKool, Kubo, BIPBIP, and Robins.