Vietnam ranks 28th globally in green building construction

By Thy An   July 9, 2023 | 10:15 pm PT
With over 250 LEED-certified buildings constructed in the last decade, Vietnam is increasingly demonstrating the relevance of "green" aspect in construction.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green rating system in the world, and is administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

The criteria include site selection, level of energy and water efficiencies, waste management, carbon footprint, and health and well-being of occupants.

Over the past 10 years Vietnam has seen many projects across industry segments, and a slew of new projects have applied for LEED certification. To date, more than 400 projects have applied for it.

Data shows that ESG is no longer a trend only in business operations but also in building design.

At an event on July 5, USGBC, GBCI (Green Business Certification Inc.) and leading experts discussed and commented on the importance of building environment certification.

The event brought together a number of business leaders from various companies relevant to the green construction sector as well as this year's LEED-certified nominees.

In the panel discussion, Gopalakrishnan Padmanabhan, managing director of GBCI India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, and executives from GreenViet, CapitaLand Development Vietnam, Ardor Architects, Savills Vietnam, and Frasers Property Vietnam talked about the importance of LEED certification in business planning, design and operations of buildings and communities, Net Zero and the pathway to ESG.

Gopalakrishnan Padmanabhan, managing director of GBCI India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Photo courtesy of GBCI

Gopalakrishnan Padmanabhan, managing director of GBCI India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Photo courtesy of GBCI

The LEED certificate granted to green buildings is one of the factors that makes it easier for organizations and businesses to practice ESG.

According to Gopal, Vietnam is currently one of the fastest growing countries in the region.

Many leading domestic and international enterprises operating in Vietnam in the fields of commerce, residential planning, warehouse and industrial facilities, manufacturing industries, services, and healthcare are choosing LEED for greening their assets and also to set their Net Zero goals through LEED Zero, he said.

"The leading enterprises in the industry, by adopting LEED, are also creating a strong wave for green buildings by inspiring and motivating other domestic and foreign businesses to follow suit."

Vietnam is currently in the world's 28th position in terms of the number of LEED-certified green buildings. According to Gopal, this is a huge step forward and will catapult Vietnam into the top 10 countries within the next decade.

Garment and textile factories in Vietnam have started following LEED, and further pushing for more LEED adoption can ensure that international fashion brands make Vietnam their preferred sourcing destination, as seen in Bangladesh, which has close to 500 factories participating in LEED.

"The strong increase in demand for LEED certification is apositive sign that Vietnam is developing rapidly and becoming more aware of ESG and green buildings," Gopal said.

Agreeing with him, Do Huu Nhat Quang, co-founder of GreenViet, said Vietnam still has a lot of room to develop and increase the number of green buildings.

The green building certification specialist, with many years of experience, stated that Vietnamese organizations and enterprises face challenges in areas such as sourcing of green materials.

But Vietnam’s Net Zero commitment by 2050 should hopefully see the industry working closely with key stakeholders, including the government, and coming out with a holistic approach, including incentivizing investments in renewable energy and focusing on capacity building through education.

Do Huu Nhat Quang (R), co-founder of GreenViet. Photo courtesy of GBCI

(From L to R) Ling Foong, deputy GM of North Vietnam and head of cost & contract and sustainability of Frasers Property Vietnam; Vu Linh Quang, managing director of Ardor Architects; Gopalakrishnan Padmanabhan, managing director of GBCI India, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East; Neil MacGregor, managing director of Savills Vietnam; Le Khanh Ly, sustainability manager of CapitaLand Development Vietnam; and Do Huu Nhat Quang, co-founder and business development director of GreenViet. Photo courtesy of GBCI.

GBCI is the premier organization independently recognizing excellence in green business industry performance and practice globally.

Established in 2008, it exclusively administers project certification and professional credentials and certificates within the framework of the U.S. Green Building Council’s leadership in LEED green building rating systems, the PEER standard for power systems, WELL building standard, sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES), EDGE (Excellence in design for greater efficiencies), TRUE certification for zero waste, and the investor confidence project (ICP) for energy efficiency retrofits.

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