Only the best for SABECO’s sustainability direction

November 23, 2023 | 15:01
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Following the trends of sustainable development in the Vietnam and around the world, Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation, known as SABECO, is implementing related targets and campaigns not only for the business but also for the whole of society.

Together with the long-term vision of developing SABECO to become the leading beverage group in Vietnam with a firm foothold in regional and international markets, the company has committed to implementing the principles of sustainable development through environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations.

Only the best for SABECO’s sustainability direction

SABECO’s approach towards sustainable growth brings out the best of Vietnam. The company is determined to take initiatives to produce the best image of Vietnam by proactively creating a positive impact in multiple aspects, working with others to drive talent and help the community to become stronger and well-established.

The company is striving for this through four specific areas, known as the best beer, best sustainable brewing, best talent, and best community.

The best beer aims to deliver consistent quality beers of international standard, and provide the best authentic experiences to both domestic and international consumers. Domestic and international expansion remains pivotal to SABECO’s business sustenance.

“Bia Saigon was born in Vietnam and grew up here. The company has a 148-year history in this country and we are proud to produce a Vietnamese beer with good quality that can compete globally,” said Dinh Nguyen Thi Huong, head of Corporate Communications at SABECO, at last week’s conference on sustainable development 2023 held by VIR in Hanoi.

Meanwhile, the best sustainable brewing implements impactful ESG solutions and initiatives that support SABECO’s commitment to strengthening its sustainable business operations in accordance with Vietnam’s extended producer responsibility (EPR) regulation and the National Green Growth Strategy.

“We develop in parallel with the country’s green growth goals. In the process of carrying out our production and business activities, we not only comply with Vietnamese laws, but also with environmental regulations, and those on EPR to ensure that all of our activities do not have a negative impact on the surrounding environment,” Huong said.

Moreover, to contribute to the company’s net-zero emissions target by 2050, by the end of 2023, 17 of 26 breweries will have solar energy installed to save 25 million kWh of electricity per year, equivalent to 18,000 tonnes of carbon annually.

Finding the best talent

For the company, seeking out the best talent means building and promoting an admirable and safe working environment for all, and being committed to being an active partner with the government and social organisations to unlock the potential of Vietnamese talent and entrepreneurs.

SABECO has 13,000 Vietnamese employees, and 4-6-fold more than that in indirect labour. During the development process, the company not only invests in developing its own staff but also in developing a team of young Vietnamese talents through a series of community activities.

In October, the company was recognised as an outstanding enterprise for labour for the first time by the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, in conjunction with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, for its exceptional efforts in caring for its employees’ wellbeing and improving their capacities.

The company prioritises training and development programmes, surpassing legal requirements with a total of nearly 2,960 training hours. This emphasises the importance of skill development and promotes an active and healthy lifestyle among its workforce, encouraging physical activities and camaraderie.

Lester Tan, general director of SABECO, highlighted the importance of employees in the company’s success and its journey towards sustainability.

“We pledge to invest in its workforce to enhance internal strength and competitiveness, creating sustainable value for stakeholders, customers, and communities,” he emphasised.

For the fourth pillar, ensuring the best community means fostering a sustainable and safe environment by adopting green-based initiatives both inside and outside the business, as well as promoting the healthy lifestyle and responsible drinking of Vietnamese people.

“We have built a three-party cooperative relationship of localities at government level, social organisations, and businesses, that all accompany SABECO through sustainable development programmes that we are carrying out,” explained corporate communications head Huong.

To promote a healthy lifestyle, SABECO engages in and supports sporting activities in Vietnam. The Fostering Sports initiative has helped to upgrade 30 community sports playgrounds in 30 provinces to encourage young people to do more exercise. In addition, the SABECO Sports Day for the company’s employees took place in five locations across the country and attracted thousands of participants.

“We would like to tell society that SABECO not only sells beer, but is also paying a lot of attention to the health of local people. We are aware that SABECO’s sustainably must depend on the surrounding community. If SABECO wants to develop sustainably, the community must do the same. That’s why we’re committed to growing the community in the most sustainable manner,” Huong said.

On a wider level, SABECO consistently invests in the development of Vietnam’s sports. Over the last three years, the brewer has sponsored the 7-a-side Bia Saigon Cup to help discover young talent, help them train, and help them maintain their sporting desires.

SABECO also supports the national women’s football team. In 2022, when Vietnam hosted the SEA Games, the company launched a fund for outstanding athletes to support such talent.

Only the best for SABECO’s sustainability direction
SABECO has been driving environmental awareness across the country in creative ways

Encouraging solutions

Numerous campaigns under the chair and support of SABECO have been organised to promote the image and culture of Vietnam via strategic partnerships like the Vietnamese Culture and Culinary Festival in the central province of Quang Tri, and the Michelin Guide ceremony.

In 2022, recognising the importance of community development, the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU) and SABECO started a strategic three-year cooperation, focusing on national development activities, cultural preservation, healthy lifestyle advocacy, and sustainable development.

Notably, the Light Up the Rural and Fostering Sports schemes have emerged as pivotal initiatives that seek to bolster Vietnam’s green growth targets, as well support the national programme on new-style rural area development.

In tandem, SABECO has been building solar-powered street lights in rural areas over the last two years. As of end-2023, there will be 63km of solar street lights across all cities and provinces, and 10km of such lights for 10 local community sports playgrounds.

To drive environmental awareness, HCYU and SABECO will also launch a contest encouraging creative solutions on how to use energy wisely, safely, and effectively among the youth community nationwide. The most outstanding ideas will be considered for implementation in future environmental projects in 2024.

The company also focuses on empowering and supporting young entrepreneurs in rural areas through coaching and mentoring programmes. The Luong Dinh Cua Award, an honour initiated by the HCYU in 2006 to honour talented young individuals excelling in doing business in rural areas, now enjoys SABECO’s support.

In 2023, SABECO has continued with a series of coaching and mentoring programmes with the HCYU in Can Tho city, Ha Nam, and Khanh Hoa provinces, imparting practical knowledge about entrepreneurship and digital transformation to more than 300 young talents. By doing so, the partnership aims to enhance their competitiveness and contribution to local economic development.

These programmes also provide valuable networking opportunities for new startups to explore cooperation prospects and growth possibilities.

“We believe that young people will continue to bring pride to Vietnam. They can also help to build a famous Vietnamese brand like ours in the international arena. That is why SABECO pays a lot of attention to developing society and community,” Huong said.

With a commitment to investing in business development along with sustainable development, SABECO strives to create positive changes to enhance the position of the Vietnamese brand, while promoting positive development for the community.

“We continue creating a positive socioeconomic impact in the communities where we operate, and for Vietnam,” added general director Tan.

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By Nguyen Huong

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