In a recent episode of the Vietnam Innovators podcast, Mimi Vu and Van Ly, partners at Raise Partners, shared insights into their mission and the significance of ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) in Vietnam. Raise Partners, an ESG-focused consultancy is not confined to traditional consulting. Their work transcends boundaries, creating impact, forging partnerships, and nurturing community.
Summarizing their work in three words, Van distilled it as “Impact, partnership, community,” while Mimi highlighted “Impact, development, economics.” Their shared goal centers on understanding and addressing the complex interplay of challenges within Vietnam through multi-stakeholder partnerships.
Raise Partners excels at brokering collaborations between government, corporations, and civil society—a crucial approach to surmount the sizable development obstacles Vietnam faces. These challenges demand concerted efforts, and Raise Partners adeptly assembles innovative alliances to tackle them.
Their core belief is that effective ESG solutions must be comprehensive, encompassing not just environmental considerations but also social and economic dimensions. This holistic perspective is essential for addressing multifaceted issues that impact and influence each other. For instance, climate change isn’t just about environmental factors; it involves behavioral, governmental, and economic elements.
Mimi and Van stressed that their consultancy is tailored to the unique needs of each client. Their clientele spans from small and medium enterprises striving to amplify their positive impact to governments working on development projects and philanthropists seeking impactful partnerships.
A standout initiative discussed was the ESG Investor Conference—a brainchild that quickly transitioned from an idea to a reality. The conference’s inception was triggered by a conversation with an investor keen on learning about Vietnam’s comprehensive challenges, including climate, civil society, and economic issues. He lamented that existing conferences focused too narrowly, ignoring critical issues influencing investment decisions. This prompted the conception of an ESG conference that delved deep into Vietnam’s intricate developmental landscape.
The ESG Investor Conference aims to bridge the gap between investor expectations and the unique realities of Vietnam, fostering discussions on climate issues, economic development, and social challenges that shape the investment landscape. The goal is to elevate the discourse beyond surface-level engagement, encouraging meaningful conversations and partnerships.
As the conference gained traction, it became evident that ESG was emerging as a buzzword, albeit without a tailored context for Vietnam’s needs. Western ESG practices, while advanced, are distinct and must be adapted to Vietnam’s socio-economic and environmental landscape. Raise Partners seeks to redefine what ESG means within Vietnam, establishing the standard for ESG strategy, investment, and language.
The conference’s thematic organization successfully highlighted various financing opportunities and practical case studies. Attendees were exposed to diverse topics, from renewable energy transitions to gender equality, sparking conversations that led to actionable investment deals.
Looking ahead, the partners envision a deeper engagement with specific sectors such as energy and manufacturing. They believe that more sector-specific events are needed to explore the nuances of ESG integration in each industry. They emphasize that such events can foster in-depth discussions and strategies that move beyond superficial greenwashing to drive tangible change.
In the ever-evolving landscape of ESG, Mimi and Van predict a shift from perceiving ESG as a checkbox exercise to recognizing it as an integral business strategy. They anticipate a more profound understanding of the value ESG can bring to a company, shaping conversations and actions for a more sustainable and impactful future. While the expertise pool in Vietnam’s ESG field is nascent, Raise Partners aims to contribute to its growth by nurturing a community of local practitioners who understand Vietnam’s unique context.
Watch the full episode here