Circular economy benefits Vietnamese business, environment

08:54 | 31/07/2018 Economy- Society

(VEN) - A circular economy (make-use-return) will help minimize risks due to the scarcity of resources, resolve environmental problems and achieve sustainable gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Building a circular economy is a common goal of many countries, including Vietnam.

circular economy benefits vietnamese business environment
Waste from cement plants is used to manufacture artificial corals for sea-fish tanks

According to Peter Bakker, President and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, in a linear economy, raw materials are used to make products, and after their use, any waste is thrown away. In a circular economy, wastes are recycled for reuse, and, instead of owning materials, people look towards sharing or leasing.

Roongrote Rangsiyopash, President and CEO of SCG (Thailand), said that ASEAN has faced numerous challenges because economies in the region are developing to improve people’s lives, but as a global manufacturing hub, the bloc also lacks sufficient resources. Successful development of circular economic models is expected to help ASEAN nations promote the use of high-tech products and services in order to optimize the utilization of resources, and enable businesses to reduce management costs and enhance competitiveness. Circular economic models are also believed to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, improving the quality of life worldwide in accordance with the Paris Agreement and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Roongrote Rangsiyopash said SCG has developed circular business models in Vietnam and other countries in the region. In the packaging sector, for example, wastepaper is used instead of natural pulp as material for paper production. Lime mud from paper mills is used as fertilizer for eucalyptus gardens, which provide materials for paper production.

The waste heat recovery (WHR) technology enables SCG to recover waste heat during the cement production process to create steam for turbines to generate electricity for cement plants. SCG applies this technology at all cement plants in Vietnam and other countries in the region, which has enabled the group to save about US$60 million annually by reducing energy consumption by more than 30 percent. The WHR technology has also helped SCG prevent the emission of 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. Under the Vietnamese cement industry’s development plan until 2020, with a vision towards 2030, all cement plants with a capacity of 2,500 tonnes of clinker per day must be equipped with WHR systems to reduce power consumption by at least 20 percent.

Apart from paper and construction materials, circular business models have also been developed in other sectors of the Vietnamese economy, such as plastics, textiles and garments, leather, footwear and seafood.

Thanh Thanh