Vietnam’s CEOs asked to protect wildlife hinh anh 1 Illustrative photo. (
HCM City (VNA) - Over 60 Vietnamese entrepreneurs have convened in HCM City to hear about the benefits of corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies that integrate zero-tolerance towards threatened wildlife consumption.

In the event, the Global Entrepreneurship Network was launched by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and TRAFFIC.

GEN is a global network that helps people turn their ideas into promising new ventures - creating jobs, accelerating innovation and strengthening economic stability around the world. TRAFFIC is an international organisation monitoring wildlife trade.

Through GEN, TRAFFIC is hoping to target the most prolific consumers of rhino horns and other threatened wildlife: wealthy urban men between the ages of 35 and 55.

Many of these consumers are businessmen who use wildlife products such as rhino horn as a display of wealth and to strengthen professional and personal relationships.

“This network is a powerful platform to instil zero-tolerance towards threatened wildlife consumption in the Vietnamese business community,” Madelon Willemsen, head of TRAFFIC’s Vietnam office, said. “We are engaging key members of our target audience to show that CSR is not only an ethical practice, it can also benefit companies in the long run.”

A 2015 Nielsen global consumer study found that 86 percent of Vietnamese consumers—the highest number of socially conscious consumers in any of the countries surveyed—are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.

“Vietnam’s high percentage of socially conscious consumers is a vital piece of information that successful entrepreneurs need to know—being good to the environment is good for business too,” Willemsen said.

TRAFFIC is leveraging this progressive demand for sustainable business practices to nurture adoption of CSR practices in new and established companies.

At the launch event, participants learned about the opportunities for sustainable development and corporate image enhancement using CSR. Participants were encouraged to discuss their own experiences and the most effective ways to implement CSR policies and to sign pledges of zero-tolerance towards consumption of threatened wildlife.

"We want to show members of GEN that investment in socially and environmentally responsible practices can improve their reputation, attract foreign investment, and appeal to a broader audience,” Le Thi Thu Thuy, deputy director of VCCI’s Small and Medium Enterprise Development Centre, said.

TRAFFIC’s engagement of entrepreneurs through GEN is part of a nation-wide demand reduction strategy to encourage businesses to become champions of conservation by adopting CSR policies that reject the consumption of threatened wildlife.-VNA