Exploring ESG Practices: Insights From The 2024 Vietnam ESG Investor Conference | Vietcetera
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May 27, 2024

Exploring ESG Practices: Insights From The 2024 Vietnam ESG Investor Conference

The 2024 Vietnam ESG Investor Conference featured over 500 participants and 80 industry-leading expert speakers, centered around the theme “Building a Resilient Future for Vietnam.”
Exploring ESG Practices: Insights From The 2024 Vietnam ESG Investor Conference

Source: Khooa Nguyen for Vietcetera.


Held on May 16 and 17 at the New World Saigon Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, the 2024 Vietnam ESG Investor Conference is organized by Raise Partners and Vietnam Innovators by Vietcetera. The event aims to connect investors, business leaders, and both domestic and international research and non-governmental organizations.

The conference lasted 2 days, with the participation of more than 500 guests who are business owners and investors, and 80 speakers who are leading industry experts. Together, they discussed and proposed solutions to enhance the position of Vietnam's manufacturing industry in the value chain, while opening up investment opportunities to promote ESG practices and sustainable development in Vietnam.

Guests filled the auditorium at New World Saigon Hotel | Source: Bobby Vũ for Vietcetera.

With a commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, how have Vietnamese businesses been implementing sustainable initiatives?

Lower carbon cities development: Reducing greenhouse emissions across urban life

The concept of "Lower carbon cities" has become familiar in the context of the green transition trend. Essentially, this new form of smart urban development uses technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and minimize the environmental carbon footprint.

A lower carbon city model must minimize carbon emissions within the city. Ms. Ha Thu Thanh, Chair of the Vietnam Institute of Directors and Vice-Chair of VBCSD, emphasized the need to establish a robust investment infrastructure to attract significant capital flows into carbon emission reduction activities.

Networking outside the event | Source: Khooa Nguyen for Vietcetera.

What is the current demand for lower carbon cities?

Ms. Trang Vuong, Deputy CEO and Principal on Strategic Planning of enCity, stated, "Every city today requires a framework to decrease carbon emissions in various aspects of life. This might involve optimizing heating and cooling systems, transportation infrastructure, and industrial, commercial, and residential activities."

"With numerous infrastructure elements to address, strategic thinking and multi-dimensional solutions are necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the city, ultimately improving quality of life."

However, in densely populated cities like Ho Chi Minh City, with complex and overlapping development infrastructure, barriers arise when attempting to establish "low carbon urban areas." Transforming heavily developed areas poses challenges, but there is cause for optimism regarding government investment in green urban solutions," stated Mr. Jason Lusk, Managing Director of Clickable Impact Asia.

"Government funding is crucial for the initial establishment of an ideal 'low carbon city.' Currently, Vietnamese businesses are eagerly anticipating solutions from the government's Green Taxonomy," remarked Mr. Nam Nguyen, CEO and Climate Advisor of KLINOVA.

Discussion on Investing in Lower Carbon Cities & Urban Development on Day 1 of the event | Source: Khooa Nguyen for Vietcetera.

The International Capital Market Association (ICMA) defines Green Taxonomy as a classification system designed to identify economic and investment activities that contribute to a country's attainment of specific environmental objectives, such as achieving net emissions reduction to "zero" by 2050.

Green Taxonomy provides financiers with clear guidelines on investing in the green economy.

Enhancing business resilience and sustainability

The conference also underscored the ESG objective, focusing not only on fostering sustainable capabilities but also on ensuring the sustainability of businesses themselves.

Mr. Tim Evans, CEO of HSBC Vietnam, highlighted the importance of sustainability stemming from an energy transition roadmap and effective investment models from both the public and private sectors. Achieving the goal of net zero emissions necessitates collaborative efforts, leveraging strengths and resources from both sides.

Outdoor space outside the event hall | Source: Khooa Nguyen for Vietcetera.

Mr. Evans reaffirmed HSBC's commitment to supporting the Vietnamese government and businesses in their efforts to achieve the goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

Fostering ESG Practices among small and medium enterprises (SMEs)

During the seminar, a small and medium-sized company owner raised a question that garnered significant attention.

"We're still grappling with the day-to-day challenges of sustaining our business and ensuring timely employee compensation, let alone considering ESG. ESG standards seem out of reach due to the substantial resources they demand, and there's a lack of support mechanisms or straightforward access to capital," he expressed.

In the discussion session on Supporting SMEs to implement ESG practices, Ms. Rong Yu, Head of ESG Solutions, Greater China & ASEAN, S&P Global Sustainable1, offered strategic consulting insights to address these challenges.

She suggested solutions such as facilitating SMEs' connections with global investors, assisting them in capital mobilization, and implementing measurement indicators to enhance investor confidence. Additionally, S&P has developed a digital platform where SMEs can engage with over 1,400 investors.

Ms. Rong Yu, Head of ESG Solutions, Greater China & ASEAN, S&P Global Sustainable1, shares insights on supporting SMEs from a strategic consulting perspective | Source: Bobby Vũ for Vietcetera.

Ms. Yen Do, Investment Manager at Beacon Fund, emphasized her intention to seek out SMEs sharing similar social motivations (the "S" in ESG) and collaborate proactively with businesses aiming to contribute to societal betterment. By adopting this approach, Beacon can assist SMEs by offering a structured system and a tailored roadmap to guide them in incorporating social considerations into their ESG practices.

"As investors, when we assess a company, we evaluate them across 80 different ESG criteria," explained Craig Martin, Executive Chairman at Dynam Capital. "We focus on identifying one or two areas with notable strengths and areas for improvement, allowing both parties to collaborate in enhancing those aspects throughout the partnership phase."

Unlocking strategic partnerships: Networking opportunities at the event space

The 2-day event concludes with an Investor-Business Matching session, facilitating connections between investors and business owners. Businesses will be stationed at designated counters corresponding to 7 different fields to engage with potential partners. These areas include:

  • Circular Economy
  • Sustainable Agriculture/Aquaculture
  • Green Manufacturing
  • Climate Tech/Reducing Emissions
  • Gender-Lens Investing and Financial Inclusion
  • Fintech/ESG Innovation
  • Social Enterprises, NGOs
Investor-Business Matching activity on Day 2 of the event | Source: Bobby Vũ for Vietcetera.

ESG has become a fundamental aspect of business operations, investment strategies, and compliance with international due diligence regulations. The event serves as a platform for both large and small businesses to connect, collaborate, and capitalize on sustainable business prospects, positioning Vietnam as a leader in environmental management, social responsibility, local economic growth, and corporate governance.

The 2024 Vietnam ESG Investor Conference by Raise Partners and Vietnam Innovators by Vietcetera

Join us in the two-day conference to engage with investors and funds, business leaders, Vietnamese and international governments, start-ups, experts, academia, and the media to spark meaningful collaboration and accelerate green and inclusive growth in Vietnam.

When: 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM, 16-17th May 2024
Where: New World Saigon Hotel76 Le Lai Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Event details: find out more HERE

Thank you to our sponsors:Dynam Capital and Vietnam Holding (Title Sponsor), Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Leading Government Partner), British University Vietnam, HSBC Vietnam (Major Sponsor), New World Saigon Hotel (Venue Sponsor), Vero Asean (Official Communications Partner), Eurocham and Nordcham (Promotional Partner)