Unilever Vietnam has been awarded a certificate by the Prime Minister for its outstanding achievements in environmental protection from 2005-10.

The prestigious award was presented to JV Raman, chairman of Unilever Vietnam , in Hanoi on March 29.

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong said Unilever Viet Nam is the first to have received the award so far.

The company's environmental activities include its efficient energy use to save natural resources, such as its solar energy system to heat water. Unilever's office is designed to maximise natural light, reducing the need for office lights, Raman said.

"All waste water is treated by a state-of-the-art treatment plant before discharge. Solid waste is collected and treated separately. Noise is limited to ease the impact on the surrounding area," he said.

Biological sludge from waste water treatment plants are collected separately to make fertiliser, treated waste water that reaches standard type B is used to irrigate the grass, and all packaging materials are returned to the supplier for recycling, Raman said. /.