"Sustainable development is not only something that should be done, but something we need to do if we can afford it. This is also what we must do if we want to be successful. Let's get started as soon as possible," said Binu Jacob, managing director of Nestlé Vietnam, and co-chairman of the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development.
The statement was made at the ASEAN ++ Bridge Forum "Connecting for sustainable development” in Ho Chi Minh City.
Jacob said that to achieve sustainable development goals, business leaders should have faith and a commitment to action. The sustainable development of enterprises must create value and bring benefits to society.
“Although Vietnamese consumers are aware of sustainable development, the common belief is that enterprises, not consumers, are responsible for sustainable development. Therefore, businesses need to take more drastic action and join hands with the community to achieve sustainable development,” he said.
Cao Thi Ngoc Dung, vice president of the Vietnam Women Entrepreneurs Association, said that modern consumers tend to prioritise products from businesses with strong commitments to sustainable development.
"Sustainable development is currently an important buzzword for all businesses with the desire for strong and long-term development," Dung affirmed.
During the panel, Jacob stressed Nestlé's commitment to making a difference across three impact areas – individuals and families, communities, and the planet. He emphasised the importance of regenerative agriculture as an approach to minimise negative impacts on the environment and restore ecosystems.
Jacob shared the story of the NESCAFÉ Plan programme. Through this scheme, Nestlé Vietnam has accompanied Vietnamese coffee farmers to transform to sustainable farming models, improve the quality of Vietnamese coffee beans, and raise farmer incomes.
The programme not only benefits the environment by conserving resources but also raises awareness and creates jobs for farmers. The project also helps improve the status of women in rural economies.
In 2021, Nestlé Vietnam was named the most sustainable business in the manufacturing sector by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
As a pioneer in sustainable development, and a member of Packaging Recycling Organization Vietnam (PRO Vietnam), the company consistently participates in sharing initiatives and practical experiences to inspire other businesses, contributing to sustainable development in Vietnam.