Circular economy is vital to sustainable business growth

  • While our natural resources become increasingly exhausted, the circular economy is the formula for sustainable business growth that Vietnamese enterprises cannot afford to miss -  is the key message from a workshop organized by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) – Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD)
  • Local businesses do not need to reinvent the wheel, there are plenty of circular economy best practices that they can utilize and adapt with an innovative mindset to suit their own business needs

Ho Chi Minh City, July 24, 2019 – Sustainability has become a key development priority in Vietnam to ensure the country’s long-term socio-economic success as well as enhance national competitiveness. The Vietnam Government has demonstrated solid commitment to sustainable development and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) by taking concrete actions to follow the 2030 National Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Understanding the vital role of the business community in implementing the Government’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) – Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD) together with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) organized a workshop titled “Circular Economy plays an efficient role in supporting intersectional growth”. The workshop took place today in Ho Chi Minh City with the participation of the leadership of Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment – MONRE, VCCI – VBCSD and over 60 businesses.

The workshop centered around the concept of circular economy and how to apply this model into business operations. While a traditional linear economy allows manufacturers to take natural resources to make products and services, then production and consumption waste simply ends up in landfill or natural systems such as the ocean; a circular economy is a sustainable alternative to this model. In a circular economy, manufacturers keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life. Applying circular economy practices helps to minimize waste, drive greater resource productivity, address resource security/scarcity issues and supports a more competitive economy for Vietnam. 

According to Accenture Strategy research, a circular economy can unlock up to USD 4.5 trillion of value and millions of jobs in the global economy by 2030.

“While the idea of circular economy has started to become popular in Vietnam, its practical application is still very limited, especially for small and medium enterprises,” said Mr. Nguyen Quang Vinh, Secretary General of VCCI & Vice Chairman cum Secretary General of VBCSD, “I hope that the workshop today will help the business community in Vietnam understand the vital role of circular economy and encourage them to apply this model to their operations. Best practices of other businesses such as the ones shared today by HEINEKEN Vietnam can be good examples for those who are still wondering where and how they should get started to be circular.”

At the workshop, HEINEKEN Vietnam – the Most Sustainable Company in Vietnam (in manufacturing sector) in 2017 and 2018 – shared their circular economy practices and how the company not only reduces but also seeks to create value from waste to benefit society and the environment. This includes:

  • Moving towards zero waste to landfill with almost 99% of waste and by-products being re-used or recycled: 
    • - Other materials like glass, cardboard, aluminum, plastic and paper are re-used or recycled. Nearly 100% of HEINEKEN Vietnam’s bottles are returned for reuse before eventually being recycled;
      - Reating 100% of its wastewater to Grade A standards so it can be returned safely to the environment;
  • Four out of its six breweries already source all of their thermal energy needs from carbon neutral, biomass-generated steam. Biomass is the use of agricultural by-products such as rice husk, wood chips (which would otherwise have become unused waste) to generate thermal energy; and
  • Reducing 2,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions from its logistic operations alone in 2018 by optimizing its fleet and making other improvements.

HEINEKEN Vietnam shared a prime example of how a circular economy approach can create value for the society and environment while at the same time supporting business growth. In 2018, HEINEKEN Vietnam pioneered a program to recycle over one ton of Tiger Beer bottle caps and to use those caps to create the iron to build a new bridge for the community in the Tien Giang province. This program not only helps to encourage recycling and reducing waste, but also provides vital infrastructure for the community and is beneficial to Tiger Beer, one of the leading beers in Vietnam.

Following the success of the project in Tien Giang, this campaign has been expanded across Vietnam with another bridge being completed in An Giang province this September and Ho Chi Minh City at the beginning of 2020.

“We hope that our best practices will show other businesses how circular economy principles can be applied to any business with an innovation mindset. Moreover, our own experience has proved that a circular economy model is not only a great way to optimize our operations but also to enhance our competitiveness,” said Mr. Matt Wilson, Corporate Affairs Director, HEINEKEN Vietnam.

In 2018, HEINEKEN Vietnam proactively promoted the circular economy approach amongst the business community in Vietnam by holding circular economy workshops for 20 VBCSD members and providing sustainability workshops for 100 of its suppliers.


VBCSD was approved for establishment by the Government at the Official Letter No.6334/VPCP-KGVX dated 8th September 2010 and was officially launched on 17th December 2010 as a business-led organization with the mandate to promote the active role and strong advocate of business community on the implementation of the Strategic Orientations for Sustainable Development in Vietnam, to facilitate the sharing of experience and good practices, and to strengthen the close coordination and dialogue among business community, the Government and civil organizations for sustainable development. VBCSD is a partner in the global network of World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). For more information, please visit or follow @VBC4SD on Facebook.

About HEINEKEN Vietnam 

HEINEKEN Vietnam is a subsidiary of HEINEKEN, the world’s most international brewer. Originated in the Netherlands, this family-owned business with a history of over 150 years brews and distributes over 300 beer & cider brands in more than 190 countries.

HEINEKEN Vietnam was established in 1991 and operates six breweries in Hanoi, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Ho Chi Minh City, Vung Tau, Tien Giang and nine sales offices across Vietnam.

From humble beginnings with only 20 employees in Vietnam, HEINEKEN Vietnam is now the second largest brewer in Vietnam with more than 3,500 employees. HEINEKEN Vietnam makes a significant annual economic contribution to Vietnam, amounting to approximately 0.9% of the nation’s total GDP.

In Vietnam, HEINEKEN produces and distributes Heineken, Tiger, Amstel, Larue, BIVINA, Sol, Desperados, Affligem and Strongbow cider.

In 2017 and 2018, HEINEKEN Vietnam was recognized as the most sustainable company in Vietnam by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and as a best place to work in Asia by HR Asia Magazine, one of Asia’s leading publications for HR professionals.

More information about HEINEKEN Vietnam is available on HEINEKEN Vietnam’s website:

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Nguyen Van Anh                                       
Head of Communications                 
Heineken Vietnam Brewery Limited Company
Telephone: +84 28 3822 2755

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