Date:             08.30, Thursday, 31 October 2019
Location:        Melia Hotel, Ly Thuong Kiet Str., Ha Noi
Host:             by MOC/Viet Nam Institute of Building Material
Event:           The International Conference on Building Materials “Science and Technology of Building Materials for Sustainable Development”

Your Excellency, Mr. Nguyen Van Sinh, Vice Minister of Construction;

Mr. Le Trung Thanh, Director General of the Viet Nam Institute for Building Materials;

Mr. Nguyen Dinh Hau, Director General of Science and Technology Department, Ministry of Science and Technology;

Distinguished representatives from Viet Nam and abroad, from government agencies, institutions, academia, industry associations and enterprises;

A very warm welcome to all of you today;

I am very honoured and privileged to join Vice Minister Sinh in welcoming you to this important event to highlight the importance of the science and technology of building materials for achieving Sustainable Development.

Rapid urbanization and a growing population require a sustainable construction sector and building materials, to meet increasing high living standards while ensuring protecting the environment. The construction sector is crucial for economic growth as it accounts for 5 to 15 percent of the GDP and provides 5 to 10 percent of employment.

However, the traditional development of the sector accounts for about one-third of global final energy use, generates approximately 35 to 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emission and is responsible for more than a third of global material resource use. These negative impacts are becoming more apparent in developing countries, where urbanization and building stock are expected to more than double by 2030.

In the context of climate change, there is a need to shift to new development pathways for the construction sector. At global level, greenhouse gas emissions from building material use accounts for 28 percent of all CO2 emissions of the building sector.  The manufacturing of cement, steel, aluminium, glass and insulation materials[1] are the key contributors to CO2 emissions.  

There have been many positive developments of innovative practices in the development of sustainable building materials, such as in the recycling and reuse of materials. For example, ash by-products from coal power plants are used for non-fired bricks production. In the context of ever-increasing resource scarcity and growing building material demand, the application of circular economy principles will also important to promote sustainable building materials as it has been highlighted already by the Vice Minister.

In this connection, I would like to congratulate the Government of Viet Nam for commendable efforts in adopting key regulatory and policy framework and here I would like to highlight three key policies:

1.      the Decree 24A on management of construction materials, which encourages the development of new environmentally friendly materials;

2.      the National Non-fire Building Materials Development Programme of non-fired building materials, with target of 30-40 percent of non-fired building materials by 2020, and

3.      the National Building Energy Efficiency Code, which sets out requirement for energy efficient building materials;

These actions are making important contributions to Viet Nam’s commitment to achieve its climate targets in the Nationally Determined Contributions and National Actions Plan for the Sustainable Development Goals.

UNDP is proud of having made significant contributions to these positive developments in the construction sector and we highly appreciate the strong partnership with the Ministry of Construction, Ministry of Science and Technology and other stakeholders, including building materials and construction companies.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To promote sustainable building materials, concerted efforts are required from all stakeholders, the state and the government to create an enabling policy framework and to shape the markets in which the businesses and the private sector generate sustainable materials and importantly to encourage the design, use and demand by end-users for sustainable construction products.

High quality and sustainable building materials and products are essential for the sustainable development of the buildings sector and for gaining the trust of consumer. Government plays important role in providing incentives and law enforcement to eliminate inadequate-quality products. To this end, the introduction of product standards and labelling schemes will not only help to remove low-quality products on the market but will also make it easier for practitioners in manufacturing, to identify, select and eventually requiring sustainable building materials.

Close cooperation and strong partnership material producers, construction owners, contractors, designers, and building developers along the value chain will offer the best solutions toward sustainable production and consumption of building materials.

The mindset and behaviour of consumers are also key drivers for the success of the development of sustainable building sector. It is encouraging to see the growing trends of an increasingly eco-conscious consumer base that is shifting to new consumption patterns by demanding and using environmentally friendly products to support environmental protection. In this connection, the building materials producers and suppliers need to understand end-users’ preferences and their changing requirements for the use of more sustainable products.

Finally, international collaboration and exchanges like this conference today are essential to share the best technologies and best industry practices. During these 2-days, we will share, discuss, and learn about many best practices, and innovative solutions on sustainable resource use and energy efficiency, sustainable building materials development, and market promotions, that will inspire the further development of a sustainable building material industry in Viet Nam and beyond. In this regard, UNDP has strong partnership with more than 50 countries worldwide, and we are committed to continue and further advance these efforts in both building material production and construction for sustainable development.

Before I conclude, on the special occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Viet Nam Institute of Building Materials – on November 4th, I would like to wish the Institution continued success in its scientific and technological researches on sustainable construction materials that will contribute to the sustainable development of Viet Nam.  

I look forward to the fruitful discussions and exchanges today and tomorrow and wish you all good health, happiness and success.

Thank you! Xin Cam on.

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