Sustainable development in business benefits VN

Thursday, May 12, 2016 09:06

Piet Hilarides
Viet Nam is in the first stages of implementing sustainable development. Many large companies in Viet Nam, especially foreign firms, are leading enterprises to implement sustainable development models.

Piet Hilarides, chief operating officer of FrieslandCampina CPA (Consumer Product Asia) told Viet Nam News about experiences in sustainable development of the Netherlands and implementation of green growth by his company in Viet Nam.

What are the interests of green growth in sustainable development of the economy? Tell us something about Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC).

Sustainable development will create better business, increase of turnover for a long time.

FrieslandCampina is one of the eight initiators of Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition (DSGC). The DSGC aims to drive sustainable growth by connecting economic profitability with environmental and social progress by integrated sustainable growth business models. The coalition will aim for joint advocacy of sustainable growth business models both internationally and nationally and influence policy debate on enabling sustainable growth to find solutions to environmental and social challenges.

The DSGC member companies have committed to optimise business strategies towards sustainable growth, meet specific, transparent and measurable targets, commit to peer learning through sharing good practices, play a catalyst's role in ensuring long-term sustainability and inspire transition to sustainable growth.

It also identifies national and international platforms to advocate best practices among Dutch and international enterprises, including businesses, government, consumers, and investors, in addition to civil society, NGOs and universities.

The coalition will develop policy recommendations to influence government policies to create conditions for sustainable growth.

FrieslandCampina has always stated its commitment towards sustainable investment. In your opinion, how has the company implemented these commitments in Viet Nam?

Our company is guided by a clear purpose: Nourishing by Nature. We are committed to providing better nutrition for the world and a good living for our farmers, now and for generations to come.

In recent years FrieslandCampina has performed well in a number of attractive market positions. To remain successful our focus must remain on sustainable growth and value creation. In 2015, FrieslandCampina's route2020 strategy was updated based on developments in the world, in dairy farming and within FrieslandCampina.

Be financially healthy and in harmony with nature and society in the short term, and in 20 years' time also create value for the following generations of dairy farmers. As part of route2020, we also focus on creating a way of working that revolves around alignment, accountability and action. Our employees are the foundations of our success. We recognise that in order to be successful we need to create an environment whereby our employees are highly engaged and are able to work effectively together.

The same motto has been implemented across all our operating countries including Viet Nam. "Nourishing by Nature" is at the heart of everything we do, and it is about creating shared value throughout our operations as well as for our consumers to support our ‘social licence to operate'.

We control the entire chain – from grass to glass – to provide high quality nutritional products to all our consumers in Viet Nam.

Measures are also in place to address environmental factors in the supply chain, aiming to reduce environmental impacts such as CO2 emissions, water usage, and water wastage.

The company is helping Viet Nam develop a sustainable dairy industry. In what ways is this programme unique and creative? How have you been working with farmers for higher level of sustainability?

FrieslandCampina is contributing towards the further development of local dairy farming in Indonesia, Viet Nam, Thailand, and Malaysia, in addition to Nigeria, through its Dairy Development Programme. This is an exchange programme, in which dairy farmers work with local co-operatives to improve local dairy farming, while improving the quality and volume of their milk.

An important element of our Dairy Development Programme is the Farmer2Farmer project. A group of 15 Dutch dairy farmers were selected for the project, to train and advise dairy farmers in Asia, including Viet Nam, on aspects of dairy farming, such as feeding and watering, calf-rearing, milking and hygiene and practice, in addition to milking machine maintenance, hoof care, and housing and barn design. The main goal of the Farmer2Farmer programme is to improve milk quality and increase milk production on farms in the Asian countries.

In Viet Nam, the 3-Access method (Access to knowledge, Access to finance, Access to market) provides smallholder dairy farmers with support to run their businesses optimally and raise the quality and quantity of their dairy production. The programme also aims to make dairy farming more attractive to the next generation of farmers, thereby making the sector more sustainable in Viet Nam and providing nutritious foods for the growing population.

Our Dairy Development Programme has been recognised as a best practice of shared value creation in Viet Nam to support policies and practices around sustainable development that benefits both smallholder farmers and the nation.

How is environmental sustainability promoted during your company's development over the past 20 years in Viet Nam?

The company wants to contribute towards feeding the world's growing population through the provision of safe and healthy food that has a low environmental impact by reducing its own environmental impact and by investing in innovative and sustainable solutions.

We run our business in an environmentally sound manner and contribute to sustainable development for the benefits of present and future generations. This means we seek a balance between our need to perform as a business and our commitment to society and the environment.

FrieslandCampina Viet Nam received the Viet Nam Environmental Award for excellent achievements in environmental protection from 2011 to 2015.

We also signed a collaboration agreement with Viet Nam Environment Administration to develop a three-year education program through "Green Innovation Award" aiming to raise awareness for environmental protection in Viet Nam through organising contests and extracurricular activities.

What are FrieslandCampina plans for the sustainable future and a green growth as well?

We will produce our dairy in an increasingly sustainable way by continuing to make all our actions sustainable throughout the dairy chain, from grass to the glass, to achieve an efficient and sustainable production chain. This starts with sustainable dairy farms, the purchase of sustainable (agricultural) raw materials and the reduction of energy and water consumption by the production facilities, contributing towards the achievement of the company's green growth ambition.

To achieve the goals, FrieslandCampina will also work on accelerating the implementation of innovations. The basis for further innovation and development, stringent safeguarding of quality throughout the chain and improved performance in the field of sustainability we have laid down in recent times is extremely valuable. — VNS

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