Vietnam – VBCSD
What is your country’s government doing with respect to the SDGs and how have they engaged business around this agenda?
Vietnam is driving sustainable development through the following plans and processes: the Strategic Orientation for Sustainable Development (Vietnam Agenda 21), the Strategy for Sustainable Development 2011-2020, the National Strategy on Green Growth 2011-2020, the Vision 2050 and most recently the SDG National Action Plan (NAP) including the 17 SDGs and 115 specific targets aligned with national conditions and development priorities. One of the NAP’s main objective is to integrate the SDGs in the formulation of annual Socio-Economic Development Plans (SEDPs) in order to influence and change laws, policies, strategies and action plans by ministries, agencies and provinces.
In 2018, Vietnam presented its Voluntary National Review (VNR) on the implementation of the SDGs at the High–Level Political Forum in New York. The report assesses the level of implementation and achievements with regard to the 2030 Agenda, analyzes policy gaps and potential challenges and presents recommendations to accelerate future progress on the SDGs.
In addition, the National Council on Sustainable Development and Competitiveness Enhancement, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, created the Committee on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in 2018. The PPP Committee aims to advise the Chairman of the National Council on:
- Developing policies and PPP projects/programs for sustainable development and long-term national competitiveness enhancement,
- Mobilizing both domestic and foreign resources, and
- Encouraging businesses to present ideas and build PPP models/projects in a sustainable way.
Moreover, the Government will issue a directive on sustainable development which will outline a roadmap to implement the SDGs in Vietnam along with a system of SDG statistical indicators to monitor and evaluate national progress and achievements.
What are some of the key trends with regard to how business is engaging with the SDGs in your country?
More and more businesses in Vietnam are paying greater attention to sustainable development, especially with respect to circular economy, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, tourism, smart cities and public-private partnerships. In addition to this enhanced awareness, leading local businesses have been integrating or have started to integrate the SDGs into their strategy and operations; sustainability reporting has also become part of their corporate governance activities.
Some business associations, such as the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association and the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, have made pioneering moves by working with VBCSD-VCCI to develop the Corporate Sustainability Index (CSI) customized to their respective sectors.
According to the Digital Evolution Vietnam Survey 2017, co-implemented by VBCSD-VCCI and PwC Vietnam, an overwhelming majority of respondents (85%) believe that the Industry Revolution (IR) 4.0 will have a positive impact on many sustainable development areas, in particular clean water, innovation and infrastructure, sustainable resource use, sustainable cities, and affordable clean energy. Around 15% think that IR 4.0 will have negative impacts on sustainable land usage, health care jobs, economic growth, poverty and education.
What is your organization doing with respect to the SDGs?
At the VBCSD, we bring together and encourage the business community to exchange and scale up good practices and business models for sustainable development and we provide policy advice aimed at facilitating the implementation of sustainability measures by business.
Our core activities include awareness raising, communication, training, research, international cooperation and policy advocacy. In particular:
- We helped to develop the Corporate Sustainability Index (CSI), a set of social, economic, environmental criteria to support businesses to self-evaluate their level of sustainability and to inform and influence their corporate sustainability strategies. The CSI is seen as a valuable complement to the national business development indicators announced by the Government on an annual basis.
- We have organized the annual program on benchmarking which announces sustainable companies under the direction of the Government since 2016. This program coincides with the task “Carry out annual evaluation, classification of sustainable development businesses in Vietnam” under target 12.6 specified within the SDG National Action Plan. The program’s participants are benchmarked against the CSI, and the 100 best performers will be honored as Sustainable Businesses subsequently.
- We have organized the National Conference on Sustainable Development since 2018, which serves as a high-level platform where top leaders of the Government, ministries, local authorities, national and international organizations, and businesses gather to discuss and identify solutions to enhance competitiveness and promote sustainable development.
- We host the Initiative on Supporting Businesses to Implement Circular Economy in Vietnam. We join forces with our members and partners to deploy the Zero Waste to Nature project targeted to reduce negative impacts of flexible plastic wastes while building circular economy-oriented business models, and to run the Secondary Material Marketplace which aims to provide an online marketplace to help businesses sell and trade materials, thereby mitigating wasted materials and resources.
- We founded the Network of Press for Sustainable Development and organized the annual program of honoring best journalistic works on sustainable businesses in 2019. This program allows us to harness the influence of the media to raise awareness among the society and the business community with respect to sustainable development in Vietnam.