In the era of industrial development, it can be said that the environment is a factor that is greatly influenced by development. Due to many factors, especially the strongest influence from humans, there are many conflicts between the evolution of nature and the development goals of human society.

The development will, without doubt, change the environment, but how can the environment still fulfill its functions: ensure living space with good quality for people, provide people with necessary resources, recycle wastes of human activities, reduce adverse effects of natural disasters, maintain historical, cultural and scientific values, etc.? In other words, it is sustainable development.

1/ What is sustainable development?

Currently, there are many concepts and definitions of sustainable development, but in general, we can understand according to an approach as follow:

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present generation without injuring the ability of future generations to meet those needs on the basis of a close and harmonious combination of economic growth, social problems solution and environment protection.

For example, when we cut trees in a controlled manner, as long as the planting of trees is adapted, then sustainable development can be guaranteed. We can increase economic and social development and, besides, ensure that the natural environment is not unduly affected.

2/ How is this trend in the world now?

Sustainable development is a development direction that countries in the world today are aiming for, which is the great hope of human.

Currently, enterprises around the world are gradually renewing their development strategies toward sustainability to adapt to the difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the tightness of new laws and policies of each country. Specifically, companies in the world have 4 typical sustainable development trends as follows:

2.1 Companies lead with strong climate commitments

Companies in many sectors care about the call to action against climate change by limiting average global temperature rise within 1.5 degrees Celsius and achieving zero net emission by 2050.

Many companies are setting and meeting ambitious goals to invest in clean energy or transportation, promote sustainable solutions in their own businesses and global supply chains. 

2.2 Global investors adopt green investment

Today’s investment community experiences a growing wave of interest in sustainable companies that demonstrate progress towards a green world. Some CEOs of large corporations said their companies would avoid investing in companies that “have high risk related to sustainability”.

With the trend of green economic development, many countries around the world have made great strides in developing a green economic model, according to which, countries such as Korea, Japan, China, … in Asia; Germany, UK, France, Holland … in Europe have been pioneers in promoting green growth with many important contents showing strong commitment towards green economy.

– Korea – Promoting green consumption

– USA – Improving green production techniques towards the use of renewable energy

– EU – Saying no to fossil materials

– China – Deploying green industrial revolution simultaneously

– Denmark – Towards giving up using fossil fuels

2.3. The circular economy

More and more enterprises start to identify possible opportunities in adopting circular business models. Unlike the main linear model, the circular model adopts recycling and product life extension strategies. In the past, such initiatives have mainly focused on reducing and recycling plastics and packaging, as public concern over the ocean plastic crisis has spurred both consumers and goverment to action.

2.4. Action of supply chain becomes a mainstream trend

Many companies focus on reducing carbon in their supply chains. Specifically, these companies can proactively set up green business goals; collect renewable energy supply partners; take part in R&D innovative to eliminate using-much-carbon technologies.

Along with that are campaigns of marketing, raising customers’ awareness of the environment problem, increasing the prestige and spread of product and brand.

3/ Why does Vietnam need to develop this trend, or in other words, what benefits does the trend of sustainable development bring?

Sustainable development is a positive direction that any business wants to go. In fact, the benefits of sustainable development for businesses must be mentioned as follows:

3.1 Sustainability improves brand and competitive advantage

Showing that the enterprise cares and respects environmental and social factors helps itself improve the prestige of the brand, increase trust with partners as well as the social community. Through a sustainable development strategy, enterprise will have many opportunities to attract capital and human resources to expand business, contribute to green economy.

3.2. Sustainable development helps effectively exploit resources, improve productivity and reduce costs.

Enterprises pursuing sustainable development goal always have specific strategies and plans in the usage of resources, conservation of resources,… In the long term, sustainable business helps enterprises save costs for inputs such as electricity, water, etc. to fix systemic problems while improving the quality of the working environment as well as employee’s productivity.

3.3. Sustainable development promotes enterprise’s responsibility for environmental and social issues.

In order to cope with and reduce the impact of the economy on the environment, many countries and regions have been promulgating and renewing policies and laws related to environmental protection in business. The early pursuit of a sustainable business model will help enterprise proactively plan their development strategies, flexibly adapt to the changes of the law and actively integrate and go further in the international market. 

4/ Dat Foods applies this trend: Story and the value.

For enterprises, sustainable development means applying strategies to business operation, meeting the needs of enterprise and current stakeholders such as customers, employees; while protecting, maintaining and enhancing human and natural resources that will be needed in the future.

In the past, Dat Foods was established with the mission of accompanying with farmers to cultivate products in the direction of nature, in order to bring a stable income for farmers to improve their lives. Making clean products is an inevitable trend of the current farming process. How to do business without affecting the natural environment, without destroying nature, preserving and promoting good values for future, which is also the concern of Dat Foods, like many other enterprises.

To give back to nature what is inherent to it, Dat Foods has implemented a farming model in accordance with nature, taking only what needs to be taken, the rest is returned to the land.

Up to now, Dat Foods has connected 17 farmer households in Cu Chi, Hoa Binh and Ha Tinh. In which, it must be mentioned that Co Hai household in Cu Chi – a farmer who has been with Dat Foods since the first days, now has a stable life and income thanks to cooperation with Dat Foods to implement farming in the direction of nature: Properly using natural resources without harming the ecosystem and the environment; increasing productivity; structuring and reorganizing the humane eco-zones so that people’s lifestyles and quality of life are all changed in a positive direction.

Thereby, the trends in sustainable development of each country are based on different approaches to promote green growth, such as the sector-by-sector approach of the economy or the interdisciplinary approach. However, with any approach, the content of sustainable development mainly includes issues of efficient usage of resources, sustainable production and consumption. Therefore, sustainable development towards a green – sustainable economy is an effective solution for the world to overcome the serious challenges of economic recession, population explosion, depletion of natural resources, biodiversity loss, environmental pollution and climate change.