More than 130 representatives of businesses, associations, and organizations attended the Workshop on Responsible and Sustainable Business!
Around 90% of attendees at the workshop, which was held on 22 October, 2014, came from Nghe An province, with the remaining 10% coming from Ha Tinh province.
The Workshop was conducted by the project “From Global Compact to Local Impact! - Promotion of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) among Vietnamese Business Community for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP)” is a joint initiative of the Office for Business Sustainable Development (SDforB) at the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and is funded by the UN One Plan Fund (OPF) co-organized with the Representative Office of VCCI Nghe An. The project also aims for synergies with the EU funded Switch Asia policy module on the development of a national SCP action plan lead by UNEP as well as with the UN Global Compact Vietnam Network under VCCI-SdforB.
Mr. Doan Duy Khuong, Vice Chairman of VCCI and Director of the VCCI Representative Office in Nghe An, stressed that “the workshop is one of the co-operation of VCCI and SdforB together with international organizations by utilizing activities intended to CSR - SCP. Currently, Vietnamese enterprises have interests in establishing and promoting good practises in environment, labour, fair operating, governance, and human rights. Thorough implementation of CSR standards leads to success. Enterprises should be aware of these issues; productivity as well the means of production implemented by businesses, need to respect and comply with laws and regulations, in order to create a moral business ethic…”
Mr. Florian Beranek - Chief Technical Adviser (CTA) of the Project Adapt–Adopt–Improve CSR and SCP in Vietnam said, “How well enterprises own their responsibility, and win trust from consumers and stakeholders, leads to their degree of success. The expectation of business is to know how to meet consumer demand for improved product quality. From doing so successfully, the quality of life will be changed and companies will be more successful. The final purpose of doing business is to gain profit, but in this process business also has to be responsible and to make sure that it includes sustainable development elements with future generations in mind.”
Mr. Ngo Si Hoai of Halotexco Garment Joint-Stock Company added that his company is working on improved standards in the Garment Industry that will guarantee environmental protection, occupational safety, increased hygiene, fire and explosion prevention, and protection of staff. His enterprise, he shared, is always developing its models of production to meet these ends as well as improving the quality of its products to meet consumer needs. When their high expectations and methods of enterprise meet, their business sees increased profit and success.
Regarding SCP issues, Ms. Nguyen Huong Giang - NE CSR Training introduced a “Draft Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production in Vietnam”. One of the main purposes of the Plan is to set up and release a National Plan on SCP by 2020, which will be relevant to the 10 Year UN Programme Framework. Specifically, UNEP plans to disseminate awareness material targeting the private sector of the participating countries to inform them about the governmental plans for SCP and Resource Efficiency as well as their opportunities, responsibilities and obligations according to these plans. UNEP will complement UNIDO’s business-sector profile to facilitate CSR in Vietnam.
Attendees were also interested in learning more about the Ten Principles of the UNGC Network, such as the clause that all enterprises will be required to eliminate all forms of forced and compulsory labour, the effective abolition of child labour, local business support of a precautionary approach to environmental challenges, the undertaking of initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility, etc.
All participants attended the Market Place, role-playing scenarios, and the discussions on current statistics as well as future CSR issues. Those issues were covered with a focus on six core topics of CSR, specifically: Environment, Labour, Fair-Operating, Community, Governance and Human Rights. The discussions covered many issues in greater focus, for instance: enterprises should comply with laws, provide accurate information about products, engage in environmentally-friendly practices, be accountable about warranty services, manufacture products and services of high quality, engage in fair competition, have a hot-line for convenient customer contact, and provide labour insurance.
According to Mr. Nguyen Xuan Thanh of the Nghe An Industry and Trade Department, this was a very useful workshop, with many activities that could be helpful to enterprises, administrators, and stakeholders. He said that it should be held more often in the future for all three parties (business administrators, the labour sector, and stakeholders) to facilitate more dialogue and discussion concerning the realities of enterprises, consumers, and management personnel.
“We will be sure to come back to this discussion soon with event calendars as well as some classes and in-house trainings on demand for enterprises,” CTA Florian Beranek reported.
After the workshop, on the 23rd and 24th of October 2014 CTA and CSR Consultants, together with a VCCI representative officer in Nghe An, visited 5 enterprises to collect more comments on producing, doing business to conduct forthcoming training courses relevant in Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces./.