Businesses accelerate ESG strategy

August 14, 2022 | 05:00 pm PT
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are identified as priorities for many business leaders to ensure sustainable operations.

ESG is a set of standards to measure factors related to sustainable development and the impact of businesses on the community, which consumers are paying more attention to. They want their shopping and consumption habits to leave the smallest environmental footprint possible.

Not only consumers, global investors are also placing emphasis on ESG. This trend is even more pronounced after the Covid-19 pandemic. According to a PWC's report, investors increasingly want to hear more from companies about their ESG-related commitments with 83 percent surveyed saying it is important that reports provide detailed information about progress toward ESG goals.

In Vietnam, the government has been taking important initial steps to catch up with the global trend. The Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress has determined the development plan for the 2021-2030 period, emphasizing the goal of ensuring social and human security, and managing resources effectively and sustainably.

On Feb. 8, the government continued to approve the program to support private enterprises in sustainable business development in the 2022-2025 period. The program aims to ensure harmony between economic efficiency and social responsibility of private enterprises with a focus on environmental protection, contributing to the accomplishment of Vietnam’s 17 sustainable development goals by 2030.

Many Vietnamese businesses have implemented sustainable development policies, such as Masan Group.

"Social development, environmental protection along with corporate governance are the pillars that Masan prioritizes in its journey to serve the daily necessities of 100 million consumers," a company representative said.

Masan conducts promotional programs to promote green consumption. Photo by Masan

Masan has conducted promotional programs to boost green consumption. Photo by Masan

Masan aims to provide innovative, healthy and affordable products that meet the strictest hygiene standards. In 2021, Masan Consumer had launched about 40 new innovations across all categories. The most notably products are home meal replacement solutions like pho, vermicelli, rice paper... which not only provide nutritious and convenient meals but also preserves and promotes Vietnamese cuisine.

Or in the retail segment, the network of 3,000 WinMart, WinMart+ supermarkets and stores of WinCommerce (WCM) has constantly applied new layout and store models like the multi-convenience store. WCM always maintains a ratio of more than 90% of domestic goods across its network, urging Vietnamese manufacturers to upgrade product quality and giving priority to domestic goods.

Masan Group has also implemented numerous community-oriented programs. Since 2021, the group has contributed more than VND500 billion to support residents and frontline workers in the fight against Covid-19, and to implement various community health and social security projects.

Recently, the group sponsored eye surgery for 1,000 people in the two provinces of Binh Thuan and Kien Giang and donated to the Ho Chi Minh City "For the National Sea and Islands - For the Fatherland Frontline" Fund 2022.

the group sponsored eye surgery for 1,000 people in 2 provinces of Binh Thuan and Kien Giang

Masan sponsored eye surgery for 1,000 people in Binh Thuan and Kien Giang. Photo by Masan

For its environmental footprint, Masan has implemented diversified activities to raise awareness toward environment protection, water preservation and renewable energy and resource optimization. The group invests heavily in advanced wastewater treatment systems and applies the most stringent standards to monitor the impact of operations on the surrounding environment.

In the retail sector, Masan promotes environmental protection by implementing a series of green solutions at WinMart supermarkets and WinMart+ mini-marts including: replacing 100% plastic with biodegradable bags, reducing or replacing single-use plastic materials with environmentally friendly options; providing promotional offers to customers who use their own multiple-use bags in order to encourage adoption of green consumer behaviors while shopping at WCM’s retail stores.

In 2021, Masan attracted $2.3 billion. In August 2022, the group was awarded Top 50 Corporate Sustainability Awards 2022, Top 50 Listed Companies in Vietnam in 2022.

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