At the height of the global pandemic, single-use plastic was thought to be a safe way to ward off the coronavirus, or at least prevent its spread. Deliveries, especially food, usually use at least three plastic bags and containers. But come to think of it, one can finish his cơm gà and milk tea in less than two hours, but the containers they come with could be around for hundreds of years more.
Jinwoo Song, CEO of Baemin Vietnam, recently talked about 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 at the “Plastic Reduction Initiatives in Retail & Services” event hosted by Vietnam Investment Review (VIR) a week ago.
Jinwoo acknowledged that plastic waste is not the only pressing issue in the food delivery industry. “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,” he said.
Following the success of Baemin in South Korea in becoming the first-ever delivery app to receive an AAA rating (the highest one) from the United Nations Guidelines for Reducing Plastic Waste & Sustainable Ocean and Climate Action Acceleration (UN GRP), Baemin in Vietnam steps up to lead the green movements in the country.
Although BAEMIN in Vietnam is the youngest player in the national food tech industry, it has been consistent from the beginning that “sustainability lies at the heart of everything” they do.
“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,” their CEO told the VIR event attendees.
The online food delivery application operated by Woowa Brothers has been successful in implementing a number of green projects to influence the stakeholders and help them change their behaviors since the very early days.
On top of the internal efforts, Baemin plans to set up a B2B mall for their merchants. It will be a one-stop shop with eco-friendly packaging materials readily available. Their goal is to provide a convenient source of materials so their merchants can sustain their green operations. This will also come in handy as local regulations develop to promote green practices across industries.
A country’s effectiveness in dealing with the plastic waste produced by online food delivery will depend on how reliable its recycling infrastructure is. With the intention to boost sustainability efforts, Baemin works with environmental agencies to attain greater results.
Jinwoo emphasized they can’t do everything at once and they’re embracing all the help they can get to influence consumer behavior and see significant changes in the future.
“There’s still a gap between thinking and taking action, and it takes a lot of incentives and innovative educational content to change people’s behaviors to better tackle environmental challenges,” he said. “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.”