The press urged to raise public awareness of sustainability reports

A workshop was held in Hanoi on May 29 to help the press learn about sustainable development issues for businesses, calling for their help in raising public awareness of enterprises’ sustainable development reports.

Jonas Grunder, deputy head of cooperation at the Swiss Embassy in Vietnam, said in 1992, the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, listed 27 principles of sustainable development. In 2012, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro decided to establish a global high-level political forum for sustainable development.

Sustainable development is being integrated into activities of many international organisations such as the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO), he noted.

Nguyen Cong Minh Bao, from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Vietnam, said in December 2010, the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development was established. It currently has 47 members which are groups, corporations, domestic companies and multinational firms operating in various fields and committing to promoting sustainable development in the country.

He noted that sustainable development has become an important development trend in the world and Vietnam, and businesses have played a growing role in this issue. However, as sustainable development consists of many areas, the measurement of businesses’ efforts is a problem for all relevant parties, Bao added.

Some businesses have built and applied sustainable development reports in their operations as a tool to carry out measurement and manage changes to become more sustainable. These reports show companies’ positive or negative impacts on the environment, society and economy, so they not only help ensure information transparency but are also a management tool for businesses and a monitoring tool for state agencies.

In Vietnam, conducting sustainable development reports is relatively new among local businesses. It has been carried out mainly by multinational or major companies like Bao Viet or Vinamilk.

At the meeting, reporters were provided with an overview of sustainable development reports and information about businesses’ attitude, the press’s coverage of enterprises’ sustainable development reports and the press’s role in improving public awareness of this issue.

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