Forum looks to scale up business solutions to sustainability challenges

10:28 | 13/10/2017 Companies

The Vietnam Corporate Sustainability Forum 2017 took place in Hanoi on October 10, seeking to scale up business solutions to sustainability challenges.

Opening the event, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc said that as one of the 193 UN member countries adopting the 2030 Agenda with 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), Vietnam has asserted its vision and resolve, together with the world, to follow the path to green growth.

The Government has issued a national programme on sustainable development and set up the National Council for Sustainable Development.

VCCI also established the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development, which gathers hundreds of enterprises volunteering to act as the core of sustainable business models in the country.

Loc cited the “Better Business, Better World” report issued by the Business and Sustainable Development Commission as saying that sustainable business opportunities to realise the Global Goals in the four surveyed economic systems could create a market worth an estimated US$12 trillion by 2030. Achieving the Global Goals in these four systems could create 380 million new jobs by 2030, almost 90 percent of them in developing countries.

The report also states that Asia will have the most business opportunities created by sustainable development, he noted, describing this as a wonderful momentum for Vietnamese firms to follow a more sustainable and humane development path.

Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam, said the business community should be considered an important part of the economy, not just a channel to mobilise capital.

It is necessary to boost financial sources, improve manpower quality and devise cooperation solutions to promote the development of private businesses. Meanwhile, the private economic sector needs to have joint plans and actions on corporate rights and obligations, he added.

Nguyen Quang Vinh, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development, said the achievement of the 17 SDGs depends much on the actions of business. He noted that the number of companies making sustainability reports has doubled over the last five years.

However, Vinh admitted that most enterprises have trouble in their approach to the SDGs while the global awareness of sustainable development remains low. Business influence in the sustainable development process is still modest.

To do better business for a better world, it is crucial to support enterprises in combining the SDGs with their development strategies and to gear the financial system towards sustainable investment orientations, Vinh said.