Plastic waste is a growing menace that urges relevant businesses to act and work together in the ultimate hope of thriving sustainably. At the talk show Plastic Reduction Initiatives in Retail & Services hosted by VIR on June 22, Jinwoo Song, CEO of BAEMIN Vietnam unveiled some insights into the overall environmental impacts caused by the food delivery industry as well as highlighted BAEMIN’s initiatives to promote eco-friendly practices across its ecosystem.
|Jinwoo Song, CEO of BAEMIN Vietnam |
As online food delivery platforms grow, one of the most pressing concerns is the volume of plastic waste generated throughout its operations and how it is tackled.
The effectiveness in which different countries are dealing with the plastic waste produced by online food delivery will be dependent on how well developed their recycling infrastructure is and the speed of online food delivery has grown.
“While the recent discussion often revolves around the plastic waste only, I think it’s equally important to review other aspects of environmental challenges posed by the food technology industry that is food waste and the increase of carbon footprint”, shared Jinwoo.
The pandemic has prompted the use of single-use, disposable food packaging as consumers believe single-use packaging was safer and more hygienic. Even though they have become more environmentally conscious, it’s unlikely that they will consider keeping leftover food for future meals or think to reuse the meal boxes, plastic bags, and containers to protect the environment.
According to Jinwoo, BAEMIN in South Korea is the first-ever delivery app to receive an AAA rating (the highest rating) following the United Nations Guidelines for Reducing Plastic Waste & Sustainable Ocean and Climate Action Acceleration.
BAEMIN has been successful in implementing a number of green projects to influence the stakeholders and help them change their behaviours since the very early days.
One of the highlight examples includes the in-app options “No disposable cutlery, please” and “No side dish, please” for users that aim to reduce food and plastic waste whilst saving costs for the merchants.
BAEMIN has also installed collection robots in Asan city to collect plastic container lids and used AI technology to determine if they can be recycled and transformed into some higher value materials.
Another highlight project is the close partnership with merchants to amplify outstanding case studies and the organisation of courses on eco-friendly practices. Public-private partnerships between BAEMIN and the local government have also been critical in helping find alternatives to plastic and conducting innovative pilot tests.
In spite of being the youngest player in the food tech industry, BAEMIN Vietnam has made it clear from the beginning that sustainability lies at the heart of everything it does.
Jinwoo shared, “We kickstarted our sustainability agenda by turning our colleagues into green ambassadors through a series of training sessions and interactive activities in partnership with the governmental officials to raise their awareness and promote greener lifestyles across our operations.”
BAEMIN has also worked very closely with its international counterparts and the professional environmental agency to launch the Carbon Footprint program in 2021.
In this way, BAEMIN can measure the carbon footprint left behind by the full cycle of operations (both delivery and corporate activities) and seek to offset them with environmental protection initiatives.
“The market report will become available at the end of this month,” added Jinwoo.
What’s more, BAEMIN plans to introduce a business-to-business mall for their merchants so that they can conveniently find and purchase eco-friendly packaging materials to sustain their operations. This will also come in handy as local regulations develop to promote green practices across industries.
|The talk show also saw the participation of general director of the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment and the representatives of leading brands in the retail and service industries |
Jinwoo also stressed that the buy-in from all stakeholders would be the biggest challenge yet also a success factor of sustainable development.
“There’s still a gap between thinking and acting, and it takes a lot of incentives and innovative educational content to change people’s behaviours to better tackle environmental challenges. We will do our best in the coming times to show to our stakeholders that sustainability if done in the right way will greatly benefit all relevant stakeholders,” said Jinwoo.
Government support and endorsement were also requested at the talk show as businesses will look to work together and learn from international practices to lead their own initiatives.
With a long-term commitment to sustainable development, BAEMIN seeks to constantly renovate itself and develop its product and service lines to help people lead happier and more convenient lifestyles through the BAEMIN app.
|BAEMIN hosts a series of training sessions and interactive activities in partnership with governmental officials to raise the awareness of its employees and promote greener lifestyles across its operations |