Viet Nam News
Đỗ Thanh Bái, deputy chairman and general secretary of the Vietnam Responsible Care Council (VRCC) of Chemical Enterpirses, talks to Việt Nam News about chemical enterprises with sustainable development
What is the concept of Vietnamese enterprises in general and Vietnamese chemical enterprises in particular, along with sustainable development?
A sustainable development enterprise is a business that achieves its growth goals but with higher resource efficiency, less adverse impacts on the environment and a greater contribution to strengthening equity and social welfare.
The chemical industry is an extremely important sector in development and industry. However, it is also an industry with high levels of polluting resource consumption and emissions. There are also many risks not only causing pollution but can lead to catastrophes, such as threatening human life and health and environment quality. Chemical enterprises will continue to maximise their strengths to ensure Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including creating products and technologies. Chemical services must minimise negative impacts on the environment and human health.
How do you assess the situation of chemical enterprises associated with sustainable development of our country today?
During the past decade, the sustainable development approach has been gradually integrated by the Government and especially the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The chemical industry has also gradually approached and integrated SDGs into its development process. First and foremost in activities to improve the efficiency of resource use in the production of industrial products such as fertilisers, basic chemicals and create more environmentally friendly products including paint, plant protection chemicals, chemical power sources and plastic. Many chemical enterprises work with the community through volunteer programs and social security.
Nearly 10 years ago, the organisation Vietnam Responsible Care Council (VRCC) of Chemical Enterprises was established with the aim of supporting chemical businesses to perform better and meet environmental protection targets, safety for the community and social justice. Many large multinational chemical companies in Việt Nam such as BASF, Dupont, AVG, Bayer and LG Chemical are part of the council. However, the proportion of Vietnamese chemical enterprises that are properly aware of sustainable development and developing their businesses according to the sustainable development trend in Việt Nam is still modest.
Việt Nam has been facing challenges in economic development but still ensuring it does not affect the environment. What difficulties does the chemical industry face?
Creating economic growth and environmental protection at the same time is difficult. This is the biggest challenge in implementing sustainable development not only in Việt Nam but also in all other countries, including developed countries.
Firstly, the chemical industry must rely on science and technology to innovate the industry in the direction of "green chemicals". Green chemistry is to increase the efficiency of renewable resources, water, energy, and labour to create products and improve quality of life. The second is to minimise the use and emissions of hazardous chemicals and waste. In fact, the application of science and technology components in green chemistry in many multinational chemical companies in the past has demonstrated the ability to achieve harmony between economic and environmental goals.
Việt Nam’s participation in global integration also means increasing requirements for ensuring international policies and standards What should chemical enterprises pay attention to, to achieve this?
To comply with regional and world requirements, information is extremely important. Vietnamese enterprises, especially SMEs, must improve their capabilities first in their ability to access information to update, exploit, understand and apply these standards. The Government of Vietnam is committed to supporting small and medium enterprises not only financially but also offer advice on how to apply these standards. We have to innovate ourselves in the mode of production and business, that is our own responsibility for human health, the environment and the community rules of sustainable development.
For chemical enterprises, this principle is expressed through the implementation of the rules "Responsibilities of natural society – Responsible care codes”. The VRCC is formed with the criteria to support sustainable chemical enterprises and integrate with the region in the chemical field. — VNS