Local firms lack awaness of circular economy

By Hoai Phuong - Jan 06, 2023 | 08:00 AM GMT+7

TheLEADERVietnamese enterprises’ knowledge about circular business is limited, with only 20 – 30 per cent clear and 3 – 6 per cent very clear, according to CIEM’s survey.

Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) in its report revealed that the notion of circular economy is new to Vietnam’s business community.

While 60 – 70 per cent of responses saw that the circular economy plays an important role, their knowledge about circular business is limited. Only 20 – 30 per cent of them are partly aware of new notion, and just 3 to 6 per cent of them are fully aware of it.

The survey also shows 18 – 20 per cent of firms asked think Vietnam lacks the existing legal framework for circular business. In addition, only 2 – 15 per cent have received governmental support in some form, including preferential credits.

However, in fact, in recent years, Vietnam has been increasingly embracing the green transition and circular economy to boost economic growth in more sustainable way, said Nguyen Hoa Cuong, deputy director of CIEM, at launching workshop report on the circular business model.

The ten-year socioeconomic development strategy for 2021 – 2030 has set out the orientation to build a green, circular, and environmentally friendly economy, and to promote the circular economy for production.

Since then, Vietnam government approved the National green growth strategy in October 202, issued Decision No.687/QD-TTg, approving the project of circular economy development. It also approved Scheme for circular economy to commit itself to the green path.

Cuong stated that there are lots of companies transforming their business models on the basis of regulations and policies on sustainable development, and building their own circular business models to get sustainable results.

These include Vinamilk, Nestlé Vietnam, Coca-Cola, Lagom Vietnam, and Duc Giang Chemical, and others.

For example, to contribute to environmental sustainability, Coca-Cola continues to work towards its vision of a ‘World Without Waste’ with a goal of collecting and recycling every bottle and can it sells globally by 2030. It is also rolling out packaging innovations to promote a circular economy model.

In September 2022, it took another meaningful step towards advancing a circular economy by introducing bottles made from 100% recycled PET plastic (rPET), except for the caps and labels, across the country. The move is helping the company reduce new plastic usage by over 2,000 tonnes a year in Vietnam.

Vinamilk, a big player in domestic dairy market, said that the company has invested in equipment early, applied modern and environmentally friendly technology, practiced regenerative agriculture.

Biogas waste treatment system was applied in its dairy farms, helping turn waste into resources. Specifically, the amount of methane collected from the biogas system will be used to dry grass as food for calves, pasteurize milk for calves, and heat water for farm operations.

Waste is treated to become fertilizer for grasslands, corn, and serves to improve the soil, thereby, helping to save costs on electricity, fertilizer.

Previously, in 2019, when circular economy notion was not mention in Vietnam’s legal and policy framework, Nestlé Vietnam, Coca-Cola and other leading businesses in consuming goods, retailing and packaging established Packaging Recycling Organization Vietnam (PRO Vietnam).

Its aspiration and vision are that all of the products produced and distributed in Vietnam by their members will be completely recycled and restored in Vietnam by 2030.

PRO Vietnam is set to achieve this objective by enhancing public awareness and accessibility to recycling in Vietnam, working in public venues, increasing the number of collecting points, improving the collecting process, as well as ensuring recycling capacity to readily process what have been consumed.