SABECO realising ESG ambitions

February 14, 2024 | 23:10
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Business activities from Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corporation, known as SABECO, are associated with and promote the implementation of environmental, social, and governance goals and related responsibilities, contributing to building a prosperous and sustainable Vietnamese community.
SABECO realising ESG ambitions

In the last days of the year, while enterprises are rushing to push production and sales, SABECO workers and volunteers of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU) have been busy organising Lunar New Year-themed activities and delivering more than 10,400 gifts to fishermen, border guards, and coastal soldiers in 25 cities and provinces across the country.

Nguyen Thuy Linh, a worker in an industrial zone in the northern province of Hai Duong, said, “We believe in the Party and government’s policies in ensuring social security for all. The support activities of SABECO and the HCYU reaffirm they are working to support us and ensure no-one is left behind.”

The “Tet to Share a Hopeful Year” programme ran from January 6 to February 5 with the participation of SABECO employees across the country. With a total contribution of $310,000, each gift comprises a bag of festive essentials valued at $17 and a cash envelope of $12.50. Additionally, traditional game booths are being set up at select locations to bring a festive touch and entertainment for local communities in the final days of the year.

This is an integral part of the broader “Welcome the Dragon Year – Multiple Prosperity” campaign which is initiated by SABECO through its beer brand Bia Saigon. It seeks to honour Vietnam’s rich Lunar New Year culture, which emphasises family values and the spirit of unity as well as togetherness.

“Through this community initiative, we aim to state our dedication to bring the best for Vietnam. Our commitment translates into tangible and meaningful actions as we join the Vietnamese community in welcoming the Year of the Dragon with positivity, brighter hope, and a stronger spirit of unity to work towards a better year,” said Lester Tan, CEO of SABECO.

Last year, SABECO delivered a warm holiday to workers in many provinces and cities with 8,000 gifts including cash and essentials given out in the programme “Together We Make Tet”.

The company has been consistently implementing various initiatives and community support programmes every year, and since 2020 has channelled over $1.8 million to almost 28,000 beneficiaries across all provinces and cities through essential gifts, lucky money envelopes, and transport tickets, aiming to ensure that workers and disadvantaged individuals can enjoy a warm and joyous Lunar New Year.

A positive lifestyle

Besides taking care of workers’ lives, youth support is also a part of SABECO’s sustainable development strategies, to create conditions for the development of young talent and youth startups, promote sporting and cultural activities, highlight the need for healthy lifestyles, and encourage young people to play an active role in environmental protection.

Over the past two years, SABECO has teamed up with the HCYU to expedite a series of activities to train young talent, provide knowledge on startups and digital transformation, and enable more than 500 rural youths to start businesses and contribute to local economic development. This has been launched across the country and opened up opportunities for startups to meet, connect, and look for business deals.

SABECO also supports the Luong Dinh Cua Award initiated by the HCYU to honour young examples with excellent achievements in doing business. Last year, 42 young farmers received the award for their outstanding achievements in business, entrepreneurship, and production, contributing to creating numerous jobs and boosting socioeconomic development. Nine excellent projects from the 2023 Rural Youth Startup Project competition were also named and honoured.

To cultivate sportsmanship and promote healthy lifestyles in the community, especially in young people, SABECO and the HCYU developed the Fostering Sports project to upgrade 30 community sports playgrounds across 30 cities and provinces since 2022. To date, 10 playgrounds have been built. Besides that, a Bia Saigon youth football tournament was held last year with the participation of football teams from 10 cities and provinces.

Meanwhile, contributing to the National Green Growth Strategy targets, the project “Lighting up the Countryside” by the HCYU in collaboration with SABECO has already installed 34km of solar street lights in 34 rural areas across 34 cities and provinces, boosting environmental sustainability and safety for local people. It is expected that an additional 39km will be installed in the next phase, contributing to spreading the application of renewable energy, and raising awareness of green lifestyles.

In sports, SABECO also accompanied the Vietnamese sports delegation at SEA Games 32 in Cambodia to award VND2.89 billion ($122,000) to athletes who won gold medals.

SABECO realising ESG ambitions

Sustainable production

Sustainable development efforts carried out from business to community are part of SABECO’s commitment to sustainable development revolving around its four pillars of country, culture, conservation, and consumption.

This model was developed with four main elements that encourage consumers to consume beer responsibly; business and production activities with the principles of conservation and environmental protection; and contribute to the sustainable development of the country, and promote traditional Vietnamese cultural values.

Starting the transformation plan began in 2018, SABECO has not only promoted green initiatives within the business but has also strengthened cooperation with state agencies and social organisations to implement many initiatives in the community. These include installing solar lights in localities, which contributed to raising awareness about renewable energy and protecting the environment.

To realise the goal of green growth and bring net emissions to zero, the government has taken stronger measures for businesses, such as changing the Law on Environmental Protection, an increase in the environmental protection tax rate, and the latest issuance of the extended manufacturer responsibility regulations, which requires businesses to be responsible for the life cycle of each product that is sold.

In SABECO, instead of using fossil fuels to power its boilers, it has switched to plant-based biomass fuel made from rice husks, sawdust, cashew shells, and leaves, implemented a wastewater treatment system, used sustainable packaging by down-gauging cans and light-weighting cardboard boxes and bottles, and reused beer glasses and bottles.

The company has also made some additional steps to reduce its environmental effect. These include pushing continual improvements in water consumption, where the amount utilised per litre of beer produced has been lowered from five litres in 2018 to less than three litres last year.

In 2023, SABECO implemented the second phase of a rooftop solar power project in the production system. A total of 17 of 26 plants have been using renewable energy sources, saving 25 million kWh of electricity per year. It is estimated that 18,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide will also be reduced each year, contributing to the company’s net-zero emissions target by 2050, while also helping to support the National Green Growth Strategy for this decade.

So as to contribute to building a more prosperous Vietnamese community and country, SABECO will continue to carry out community activities and strengthen initiatives on green growth, making a strong contribution to the national goals and also gradually improving the business’ competitiveness.

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By Hara Nguyen

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