Closing out a challenging year of pandemic recovery with great fluctuations on the global market, sustainability has become a must in today’s business environment.
Businesses find solutions to surmount difficulties following the pandemic
During the post-pandemic recovery, economies around the world are bracing themselves against worldwide challenges such as market fluctuations, armed conflicts in Europe, and climate change. Due to its deep integration into the global economy, Vietnam is correspondingly affected by the aforementioned challenges. According to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), it is anticipated that without effective adaptation and mitigation measures, climate change will cost Vietnam between 12% and 14% of its GDP annually up to 2050 and may cause up to one million people to live in extreme poverty. Businesses in Vietnam are directly impacted by these broader movements and have to deal with those challenging issues to stand firm against these oscillations.
At the Vietnam Corporate Sustainability Forum 2022, experts once again confirmed that sustainable goals should be placed at the core of businesses to help them navigate toward long-term profits. ESG was also suggested as a practical toolset for reducing business risks, boosting shareholder position, opening doors to long-term funding, and enhancing operational effectiveness and company reputation.
Speaking at the event, VCCI President Pham Tan Cong commented, “Sustainable development has become an inevitable trend and corporate sustainable development strategies must be built on ESG pillars.”
Meanwhile, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development suggested that the letter S – Social – should not simply relate to charitable works or corporate responsibility, but rather, it should be associated with a new concept – Product Responsibility. This means that inputs such as clean energy, carbon emission reduction, and public health care should be taken seriously to build a competitive business.
SCG – an example of a business that stands firm thanks to ESG guidelines
Known as the pioneer in sustainable development in the ASEAN region, SCG has proved itself as a role model of ESG framework application in all of its three main operating industries: Cement and Building Materials, Packaging, and Chemicals.
Accordingly, all business units under SCG focus on environmentally-friendly and resource-efficient production processes according to the ESG 4 Plus guidelines which focus on Set Net-Zero – Go Green – Reduce Inequality – Embrace Collaboration, Fairness, and Transparency in all Operations.
SCG’s chemicals business SCGC has continuously improved the ecological efficiency of materials by upcycling and building a new plastic life cycle. The Southern Petrochemicals complex project – LSP – is SCGC’s flagship project that is going to reach commercial operations in 2023, simultaneously assisting Vietnam in improving governance capability and attracting green finance resources.
Meanwhile, the packaging business SCGP has developed a full-scale circular economy action plan towards net-zero around five core directions including process optimization and energy efficiency, increasing the ratio of renewable energy, using low-carbon fuel, applying carbon offset solutions, and optimizing in-house carbon pricing to promote low-carbon projects.
Additionally, SCG Cement and Building Materials has actively promoted the adoption of SCG’s Green Choice Products. These are innovative market-ready services that help conserve energy and resources, extend building life, and minimize greenhouse gas emissions.
According to Mr. Roongrote Rangsiyopash, president and CEO of SCG, by sharing knowledge, expertise, experience, and technological innovation, businesses will better respond to crises.
“Nevertheless, SCG cannot untangle the issues alone. We urge every sector to jointly care for a better world to pass on to the next generations,” the president stated.
In Vietnam, SCG’s ESG strategy is manifested throughout its business units. As a result, two companies in the group, namely Vina Kraft Paper Co., Ltd. (VKPC) one of the companies in SCGP and SCG Vietnam Concrete Tile Co., Ltd., are listed in the top 100 sustainable companies in Vietnam in the CSI 2022 awards.
This is the fourth consecutive year that SCG Vietnam Concrete Tile Co., Ltd. has been on the list. VKPC also became the only enterprise to maintain the Gender equality criterion for two consecutive years and was honoured to receive an additional gender equality award for its working environment. The title was reviewed according to 130 criteria and coordinated by the Vietnam Business Network for the Development of Women’s Empowerment.
ESG is arguably a powerful key to helping businesses stay strong, resilient, and sustainable, especially in today’s volatile market. Through many years of efforts in pursuing and applying ESG principles, SCG is reaffirming its position as a role model sharing knowledge and expertise to help the general community and other businesses to develop sustainably for a brighter future.