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Ha Noi, 31 March 2021 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Viet Nam Chemicals Agency, Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) jointly organised a workshop named “Raising awareness and sharing experiences in experiences on Green Chemistry in businesses and universities”. The workshop welcomed nearly 60 participants who were experts from Viet Nam Chemicals Agency, Vietnamese Chemical Association, UNDP, leaders of Ha Noi University of Science and Technology (HUST), Phenikaa University, and big chemicals companies such as Plato Viet Nam JSC, Akzonobel Coatings Vietnam, TPC Vina Plastic & Chemicals Corp., Vietnam Paper Corporate, Viet Tri Chemical JSC, and DAP-VINACHEM JSC.

Currently, some universities include Green Chemistry (GC) as a separate course in their curriculum. For example, Ha Noi University of Industry is offering 30 periods, equivalent to two credits, of GC to third-year students in the Chemicals Technology Faculty, majoring in Chemical Engineering, Petrochemical Technology, Environmental Chemical Technology, and Food Technology. Meanwhile, most universities integrate GC in other courses, instead of teaching GC as a separate one. This is the result of a survey on the level of understanding and current teaching situation of GC in 44 universities in Viet Nam, conducted by the project entitled “Application of Green Chemistry in Viet Nam to support green growth and reduction in the use and release of POPs/harmful chemicals”.

GC is a sustainable trend for the chemicals industry in all countries. Applying GC in production helps to reduce soil and water pollution, and so to minimize the harmful impact of toxic chemicals on people’s health. It is estimated that the chemicals industry in Viet Nam produces about three million tonnes of solid waste each year, of which 30% are toxic waste. Therefore, it is crucial to improve the practicality of teaching GC at universities and applying it to the production process.

Mr. Luu Hoang Ngoc, Deputy Director-General of Vietnam Chemicals Agency, MOIT stressed in his opening remarks: “All chemical activities aim to develop Viet Nam's chemical industry sustainably and to protect the environment. We hope that students majoring in chemistry will also be equipped with knowledge and experience of sustainable development and green chemistry."

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vu Dinh Tien, Vice Dean of School of Chemical Engineering, HUST, shared: “We have started to make Green Chemistry an official subject for the students enrolling in 2020. However, to make this subject relevant to business practice, we need support from the project and international experts.”

Mr. Hoang Thanh Vinh, Programme Analyst of UNDP Viet Nam, said “We have several small funding for activities related to environmental protection, green chemistry and sustainable development for businesses." He also emphasized that within the framework of the project, UNDP was ready to mobilize experts to consult and assist the universities, businesses in applying green chemistry, designing wastewater treatment systems or advanced technical solutions”.

At the workshop, the universities' representatives also had an opportunity to listen to sharing from the big businesses in Viet Nam about their current practice in applying GC in Viet Nam.

"Our company is developing many technical solutions in paper production processes such as a change in washing technology, water recirculation, applying new materials, investing in renovation and upgrade of motors and lighting systems," Mr. Ngo Tien Luan, Head of Technical Department, Vietnam Paper Corporation, said. “For a business that wants to develop to protect the environment, in addition to using completely new technologies or replacing the entire production line, we also need to make use of available resources, promote technical innovation initiatives, with priority given to energy-saving solutions and application of technical advances in production."

Businesses representatives also shared that they were willing to cooperate with the project and the universities to share their practice and create a chance for students to learn their practical experiences in applying GC.

The project entitled “Application of Green Chemistry in Viet Nam to support green growth and reduction in the use and release of POPs/harmful chemicals” is supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UNDP. Its main objective is to create a favorable environment for introducing GC and applications to the production industry in Viet Nam and reduce the use and release of chemicals controlled under the Stockholm and Minamata Conventions..

Contact information for media:

Phan Huong Giang, CCE Media and Communications Analyst
UNDP Viet Nam
Email: phan.huong.giang@undp.org     Tel: 0948466688

Hoang Thanh Vinh, Programme Analyst
UNDP Viet Nam
Email hoang.thanh.vinh@undp.org

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