VCCI launches sustainable business assessment program 2022 hinh anh 1Kick-off ceremony for the programme on benchmarking and announcing sustainable companies in Vietnam 2022 (Photo: Vietnamplus)

The Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD) under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) coordinated with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour to launch the Program on Benchmarking and Announcing Sustainable Companies in 2022 (CSI 2022) on May 26th.

Sustainable development – inevitable trend

Speaking at the kick-off ceremony, Nguyen Quang Vinh, VCCI Vice Executive Chairman and VBCSD Chairman, said the persistent pandemic over the past two years has taught the business community about the value of a sustainability-oriented production and business model.

“Sustainable development is not only a lodestar for businesses to stand firm but also an anchor to enhance their adaptation and resilience when facing crisis.”

Vinh added that aside from the compliance with legal policies and regulations of authorities, the pursuit and implementation of responsible business is now driven by actual market demands.

“Vietnamese consumers have had higher awareness and responsibility in selecting green products and services. Therefore, pursuing sustainable business is to fulfill the customers’ demand, thus, bringing long-term benefits to businesses.”

VCCI launches sustainable business assessment program 2022 hinh anh 2Nguyen Quang Vinh, VCCI Vice Executive Chairman and VBCSD Chairman, speaks at the event (Photo: Vietnam Plus) 

Robyn Mudie, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, asserted that businesses can play a key role in advancing and promoting human rights within their organizations and the wider community, which is essential to creating an effective, inclusive and stable business environment.

Labour-related indicators supplemented

Nguyen Tien Huy, Director of the Office for Sustainable Development Business, introduced the Program and the 2022 Corporate Sustainability Index (CSI).

According to Huy, the index continues to be used as a basis for benchmarking the sustainability of enterprises participating in the Program.

With 130 indicators, the CSI 2022 Index is divided into five parts: enterprise overview; main results of the economic-environment-labor and social activities; governance indicators; environmental index; and labor-social index.

With 68% of indicators related to legal compliance requirements and 32% of indicators related to sustainable business initiatives, the CSI Index is considered a practical tool to support the business community in sustainable corporate governance, Huy said.

“Specifically, the CSI Index can effectively support strategic and business planning, reviewing gaps in production and business activities, thereby helping businesses operate more efficiently and promptly seize new business opportunities.”

This year’s program will accept applications from businesses of all sizes and fields through online applications. Applicants will not have to pay any fees. This is also a difference compared to previous years. Facilitating online application also helps increase transparency and objectivity for both businesses and the judging panel in the declaration and judging process. The deadline for application is August 31st, 2022.

In addition to benchmarking and announcing 100 sustainable businesses, the CSI 2022 Program also builds award categories to honor businesses with good achievements in promoting the implementation of the circular economy model, responding to climate change; enhancing women empowerment and gender equality in the workplace; and responsible business for human rights and children's rights.

Nicole D’Souza, Senior Program Officer - International Engagement, Australian Human Rights Commission shared that the Australian Human Rights Commission provided technical assistance to VCCI in the review of the Corporate Sustainability Index for 2022, concerning the inclusion of new indicators on business respect for human rights.

Dinh Thi Thu Hoai, Executive Director of Vietnam Business Coalition for Women’s Empowerment (VBCWE), recognized new indicators related to the flexible working regime, equal income policy, childcare support for employees.

“This is an important step that demonstrates the efforts of both VBCSD and VBCWE in supporting Vietnamese businesses to get closer to global labor standards, thereby attracting and retaining talents and developing sustainably.”

The CSI 2022 will also be launched in Ho Chi Minh City on May 30. Following the kick-off ceremony, the program’s organizing committee will organize face-to-face/online training courses on corporate governance in general and applying for the CSI Index in corporate governance in particular from June to August 2022./.