Unilever Vietnam reasserts the pioneer role in plastic waste management in Vietnam as being the only business representative from Vietnam to attend the 16th Asia-Pacific Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production in Bangkok, Thailand last November. The company also participates in EuroCham's Green Economy Forum and Exhibition to share about Circular Economy. Unilever Vietnam's efforts on plastic waste management in particular, and sustainable development in general, are recognised at CSR Awards by Saigon Times Groups.
The 16th Asia Pacific Roundtable is organised by the APRSCP, the Thai SCP Association, and regional partners.
This programme has three primary objectives towards promoting bests practices programs, local initiatives and lessons learned on SCP, Circular Economy and Net Zero Emission related projects in Asia and the Pacific region; identifying synergies and build cooperation to engage actively in the development and implementation of the SCP, Circular Economy, and Net Zero Emission 2030 and 2050 targets; enhancing discussions and sharing experiences and lessons learned in scaling up existing and new SCP and Circular Economy technologies, strategies, tools and approaches through research and information awareness, capacity building, financing , and monitoring and evaluation.
Unilever Vietnam presented their experience in establishing and implementing the Public-Public Collaboration initiative to drive Circular Economy in Plastic Waste Management in Vietnam.
This is a collaboration programme that the company has coordinated with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and two partners, Dow Vietnam and SCG Vietnam, to initiate and promote over the past three years to share knowledge, transfer technology, raise public awareness, and promote innovation to solve plastic waste issue in Vietnam, particularly low-value and difficult-to-recycle plastic waste.
As a founding member of the Public-Private Collaboration program in Vietnam, Unilever has always been a pioneer in promoting the Circular Economy model by promoting the construction of the system of plasticwaste segregation at source, collecting and processing more plastic waste than packaging sold on the market. In addition, the company makes continuous efforts to halve virgin plastic use, increase post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic use, and ensure all packaging is recyclable.
To date, Unilever Vietnam has contributed to the results of the Public-Private Collaboration program with more than 17,000 tons of plastic waste collected, processed and recycled, 77% recyclability, and 55% virgin plastic reduction through absolute reduction and PCR plastic inclusion.
Consolidating the national leadership
Continuing the efforts towards and achievements in Circular Economy in Plastic Waste Management in Vietnam, Unilever recently participated in the panel discussion "Designed for Circular Economy - How Do We Make Products Circular?" at the Green Economy Forum and Exhibition (GEFE) organized by the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham).
Circular Economy model is usually analyzed under the business len. Unilever Vietnam made it different when bringing a new perspective to this panel about the benefits this model will offer consumers.
Today ’s consumers tend to favor businesses and brands whose missions are well aligned with theirs. And "green" initiatives are one of the major interests of consumers today, as environmental protection means protecting the living environment and enhancing the health of consumers and their families.
Furthermore, consumers can save cost when paying less for products as Circular Economy focuses on improving energy efficiency, extending the life cycle of materials, and minimizing waste management cost. The model also provides employment opportunities, as it requires several new professions, such as in the recycling, remanufacturing, and repairing.
In addition to the benefits that the Circular Economy will bring to consumers, Unilever Vietnam also shared the driving factors to promote and scale up the model.
Policy framework and legal corridor must be implemented parallelly with infrastructure building. In addition, cooperation among organizations and businesses underpins to establish an ecosystem for Circular Economy — a closed loop.
Next, a sustainable source of materials is a crucial driver to promote the Plastic Circular Economy. Infrastructure availability to collect and process plastic waste plays a significant role in this cycle.
In addition, it is important to raise consumers' awareness and encourage their action towards gradually transitioning to using sustainable products regarding product packaging to formulation. Besides, we als need the participation of the entire community to complete the plastic cycle, from reusing, reducing and recycling plastic .
"Unilever Vietnam has pursued the Circular Economy model for a number of years. We are committed to investing in the community and collaborating with partners in terms of policy to application practice, as well as sharing our knowledge and operational procedures with the business community and partners. In addition, we work together to close the plastic cycle by leveraging the expertise and strength of technical partners such as Dow, SCG, and recyclers like Duy Tan. Besides, Unilever brands are constantly driving innovation to create environmentally friendly products. We will continue to promote Circular Economy with numerous innovative projects on the horizon,” said Ms. Le Thi Hong Nhi, Head of Communications and Corporate Affairs at Unilever Vietnam.
Recognition for the relentless efforts
Unilever Vietnam was recognized at the CSR Awards 2022 by Saigon Times Group for its ongoing efforts in establishing and promoting Circular Economy, specifically for plastic waste management.
This year's award is an opportunity to recognize businesses whose activities contribute to the sustainable growth and prosperity of society.
In addition to its contributions to the environment through the development of Circular Economy model in Plastic Waste Management, Unilever Vietnam has promoted different programs to aim to build a carbon net zero value chain, improve health and hygiene for people, empower women, and create a fair, diverse, and inclusive workplace for its employees.
"Unilever's vision is to become a leader in sustainable business and sustainable development at large, achieving the mission of 'making sustainable living ’commonplace’ for millions of Vietnamese families. The Saigon Times Group’s CSR Award not only allows us to reflect our sustainable development journey, but also facilitates the business community to share and learn from one another's experiences, inspiring think-alike organizations and businesses to create combined power, thereby contributing to the development and improvement of sustainable values for the country’s economy, society, and environment,” said Ms. Le Thi Hong Nhi, Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs at Unilever Vietnam.