Three representatives of partners in the VB4E alliance (from left TH Group, IUCN and the ISPONRE). — Photo courtesy of the IUCN
HÀ NỘI — For the first time in Việt Nam, an alliance of business enterprises for environmental protection has been launched to tackle environmental issues in Việt Nam.
The Việt Nam Business for Environment (VB4E), a joint initiative of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in collaboration with the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the TH Group Joint Stock Company (TH Group), is a business environment platform to strengthen the role of companies in environmental protection and biodiversity conservation in the country.
The alliance will focus on development of a concept data bank, policy advocacy, and capacity building.
Its flagship is the concept data bank whereby NGOs, businesses and other stakeholders will co-operate on conservation projects, according to a report from the IUCN.
Collaborative projects can embrace the following thematic areas: biodiversity conservation, plastic waste management, sustainable tourism development, marine and coastal conservation, forest landscape restoration, water and wetland conservation, renewable energy and climate change, the report said.
Joining VB4E, member companies can improve their environmental performance through field projects, showcasing and replicating sustainable business practices, being part of the policy advocacy and enhancing business reputation.
Participants at the workshop kicking off the VB4E initiative take a photo on Wednesday. — Photo courtesy of the IUCN
Speaking at a workshop held on Wednesday to kick off the VB4E alliance, Jake Brunner, head of IUCN Indo-Burma Group, highlighted the role of the alliance in the urgent context of environmental protection.
“Present in Việt Nam since 1993, IUCN has worked closely with the Government. Increasingly, we work with NGOs and businesses, as well as the Government, to make real change,” said Jake Brunner.
The IUCN official pledged to closely work with enterprises in all of their activities against environmental pollution.
“We will expand our relationship with businesses, especially large Vietnamese ones with an environmental footprint. We are therefore particularly excited to partner with TH Group, which has such a strong focus on natural products and is keen on environmental protection,” according to Brunner.
Meanwhile, Hoàng Thị Thanh Thủy, head of Sustainable Coordination of TH Group, expected the initiative to effectively contribute to the common goal of environmental protection.
“For the past few years, TH has developed a sustainable development strategy and promoted innovative ideas, used environmentally-friendly materials in production lines to reduce negative impacts on the environment. We hold the view that this partnership will offer opportunities for us to meaningfully contribute to environmental protection, bringing benefits to the consumer community in Việt Nam,” she said.
“It is our strong hope that VB4E will be the platform supporting environment initiatives of enterprises in the most practical and efficient way, in which ‘sustainability’ is not merely a word,” the TH representative added.
Meanwhile, an ISPONRE expert reaffirmed the role of VB4E saying that it was a practical, action-oriented platform that drives biodiversity conservation, healthy ecosystems and environmental protection.
“ISPONRE considers enhanced collaboration between businesses, social organisations and the Government a strategic objective. ISPONRE has been assigned by MONRE as the Government agency that directly supports business investment through the MONRE Business and Environment Supporting Team (MBEST) programme,” said Dương Thanh An, vice president of ISPONRE.
“We have received strong support from MONRE to establish VB4E with full commitment from our side and it is expected that both IUCN and TH Group will share efforts with us to nurture this young collaboration for years to come,” An said.
VB4E is open to any company in any sector that commits to environmental protection to join without a membership fee.
Experts are calling for any ideas and thoughts from business members to contribute to the “Call for Action" alliance saying they will be turned into action.
“By joining VB4E, businesses can advance their cause and add their collective strength in addressing Việt Nam’s environmental and sustainable development challenges. It makes business sense!” the experts said.
In October 2019, IUCN, ISPONRE and TH Group signed an MoU to collaborate and establish VB4E. The purpose of VB4E is to match businesses (supply) with environmental social organisations (demand) in the implementation of nature conservation projects across Việt Nam and provide businesses with opportunities to network and exchange sustainable business practices. — VNS