Sustainable practices can bring a wide range of benefits to companies, including financial, social, and environmental. In Vietnam, many companies are starting to adopt sustainable practices and are seeing the positive impacts on their operations and bottom line.
One of the biggest telecommunications firms in Vietnam, Viettel, is an example of a Vietnamese business that has effectively adopted sustainable practices. To reduce its impact upon the environment and improve its social responsibility, Viettel has undertaken a range of initiatives including:
Energy efficiency: Viettel uses solar power to produce electricity and has installed LED lighting as part of its energy-saving initiatives. These actions have assisted the company in lowering its energy usage and carbon emissions.
Reduction of waste: Viettel has reduced the quantity of waste it sends to landfills by implementing a waste segregation and recycling program. To lessen the usage of single-use plastics, the company also encourages its staff to utilize reusable water bottles and coffee cups.
Community involvement: Viettel has a strong focus on corporate social responsibility and has implemented a number of initiatives to support local communities. These include providing access to education and healthcare, as well as supporting small businesses and farmers through training and development programs.
The implementation of these sustainable practices has brought a range of benefits to Viettel. The company has seen financial savings from energy efficiency measures, as well as improved employee morale and engagement due to its focus on social responsibility. Viettel has also seen an increase in customer loyalty as consumers are more likely to support companies that are committed to sustainability.
Viettel is just one example of a Vietnamese company that has successfully implemented sustainable practices, and there are many others that are also seeing the positive impacts of sustainability on their operations and bottom line. If you are an SME that’s ready to start adopting sustainability practices, feel free to reach out to us for a discussion via the contact form.
Three examples of small businesses in Singapore that have implemented sustainability initiatives and the benefits they have reaped as a result.
Sustainability initiatives can bring a number of benefits to small businesses, including cost savings, increased competitiveness, a better reputation with customers and investors, and greater social and environmental impact. The specific benefits a small business in Singapore can achieve will depend on the specific sustainability initiatives it implements and the industry in which it operates.
The Hive: A small co-working space in Singapore, has implemented a number of sustainability initiatives, including the use of energy-efficient lighting and equipment, recycling and composting, and sourcing materials locally. This has enabled the co-working space to significantly reduce energy and resource consumption and has attracted a diverse group of businesses and individuals who appreciate the space's commitment to sustainability.
The Better Toy Store: A toy shop specialising in eco-friendly, non-toxic, and sustainable toys made from natural materials. By offering sustainable toys, the store has been able to stand out from the competition and attract environmentally conscious customers.
The Green Collective: The Green Collective, a small retail shop in Singapore, has implemented a number of sustainability initiatives, including using eco-friendly packaging, sourcing products locally and from sustainable sources, and reducing energy and water consumption in its operations. As a result, the shop has been able to significantly reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions and has gained a loyal customer base that appreciates the shop's sustainability efforts.
Overall, these examples show that sustainability initiatives can be successful for small businesses in Singapore and lead to a range of benefits, including cost savings, increased competitiveness, better reputation among customers and investors, and improved social and environmental impact.
Problem: Increased operation costs due to high electricity rates
Since October 2021, prices of electricity have gone up by more than 400%, and the new norm is as high as S$0.30 per kilowatt-hour (compare this to $0.07- 0.10 before Oct 2021). As a result, businesses have seen the impact of the spike in operating costs.
Solution: Switch to renewable energy
The rise in electricity prices has led to an increased demand for renewable energy. Renewable energy rates have always been less competitive in the past. Now, with the volatility of the electricity prices, renewable energy can be used by businesses as a long term solution to hedge against the uncertain electricity prices, hence cutting costs in the long run.
With carbon tax increasing to S$25 per tonne by 2023, electricity price is likely to increase further as power companies may pass down the increased cost to consumers, making renewable energy an attractive alternative.
For SMEs with sizable roof spaces, these are the feasible options:
1. Invest in Solar PV Systems
2. Allow third party Solar PV developers to construct Solar PV Systems and buy the renewable energy from the developers via a power purchasing agreement (PPA)
3. Roof leasing to third party Solar PV developers
In the long run, SMEs will benefit from the switch. If you wish to find out more on implementing the switch, feel free to reach out to us for a discussion.
SMEs are increasingly aware of making sustainability a key part of their business and the importance of doing so. Yet, many are hesitating because of the lack of knowledge and resources to take action. Chances are, it’s not their fault because oftentimes, there is a perception that pursuing sustainability is an additional cost rather than an advantage that SMEs can build due to the expected cost and resources needed to implement sustainability initiatives.
However, SMEs can take steps to get started on becoming a more sustainable business without incurring too much cost.
Step 1: Find out how much is the current emissions
SMEs can start by addressing scope 1 and 2 emissions of the company. Scope 1 emissions refer to the direct emissions resulting from the company’s operation. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions resulting from the generation of purchased energy.
This would require a third-party assessment of the operational emissions and from electricity used, using the guidelines from either GRI or ISO standards.
If this is impossible to achieve due to resource constraints, the SME can start with assessing the emissions resulting from events or specific operations. For example, measuring the emissions resulting from a networking event that the company hosts.
Step 2: Assign a Lead
Sustainability is a long journey. The SME can start off this journey by assigning a lead who would be accountable to ensure follow-up and purpose to continue this journey to reach carbon neutrality.
Step 3: Transition to Green Energy
Shifting from fossil fuel generated power to renewable energy sources is the quickest way to reduce emissions. Using renewable energy like solar photovoltaic will stop emissions from the generation of energy from natural gas. Emissions stemming from the use of purchased electricity is classified as Scope 2 emissions. So, switching to using renewable energy resources can be the first thing that SME can do in becoming a sustainable company.
Step 4: Continue to practise energy savings
Energy efficiency is a way to help companies reduce energy consumption and costs. Increasing energy efficiency will also lead to a reduction in overall emissions.
SMEs can continue to improve energy efficiency through different ways like replacing older chillers with a more technologically advanced version, or using LED lights as much as possible for all lightings as it uses less electricity than conventional lightings.
In summary, SMEs can start small when getting on its path of transition. If you know an SME that does not know which is the best action they can take, feel free to contact us. At Valores Global, we specialise in providing solutions to SMEs that are looking to kick start their journey to becoming green.