VCCI and UNDP join together to promoteCorporate Social Responsibility in Viet Nam

17 Dec 2008

HA NOI – The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at a signing ceremony today announced a USD 2.5 million initiative aimed at encouraging socially and environmentally responsible business behavior among enterprises in Viet Nam.

The two-year project (Catalyzing the business community’s role towards greater corporate social responsibility through global compact principles) will contribute to inclusive growth in Viet Nam and will support the adaptation of a number of international agreements and conventions that relate directly to business operations.

“With Viet Nam’s rapid economic growth and move towards middle-income status, responsible business behavior is becoming an area of growing need,” said UNDP Deputy Country Director, Christophe Bahuet. “In  order for  all  Vietnamese to benefit from the  impressive growth the country has  witnessed it  is imperative that businesses themselves are aware of and embrace sustainable and responsible business practices,” he continued.

Philanthropic activities remain a part of corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies. However, the VCCI-UNDP project will focus on a more tactical definition of  CSR –  working to ensure that CSR strategies become a core part of any business strategy and that enterprises take steps to mitigate and improve the social and environmental impact of their business practices.

“It is important to raise the level of understanding of corporate social responsibility in Viet Nam and make sure that it is seen as a strategic management tool.” said VCCI Vice-Executive President, Doan Duy Khuong. “An embedded corporate social responsibility strategy helps to strengthen brand awareness, engages employees and can show the way to unexpected new markets. It brings not just positive benefits to the companies themselves but also to the Vietnamese society as a whole,” he added.

The project focuses on three specific outcomes. Firstly, it will promote CSR in Viet Nam through the local UN Global Compact network, launched in Viet Nam last year. The Global Compact is the world’s largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative with some 4,000 organizations from 116 countries. It calls on companies to embrace ten universal principles in the areas of Human Rights, labour standards, environment and anti-corruption, asking companies to integrate these into their core business strategy and everyday business practices.

Secondly, the project will seek to embed CSR in Viet Nam through research, training and curriculum development. The project will develop undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum on responsible management, thereby training future business leaders on the business case for CSR.

Finally, the project aims to engage in strategic partnerships with specialized stakeholders. The focus will be on developing CSR best practices, facilitating and evaluating the case for responsible business and providing practical tools, such as access to national and international networks and specialists, to help businesses develop their CSR strategies.

Contact Information

UNDP: Ms. Pernille Goodall, UN Communications Unit,
email:  pernille.goodall@undp.org, Tel: 84-4-3822 4383 ext. 123

VCCI: Ms. Nguyen Thi Phan Chung, SD4B,
email: chungnp@vcci.com.vn, Tel: 84-4-35743492