Green business development is one of new, effective and sustainable business development directions, heard the Workshop on “Encouraging the Small and Medium Enterprises to Develop towards Green Growth” held by the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) in Hanoi.

Old technologies
According to CIEM’s research, it is alarming that up to 75 per cent of processing and manufacturing companies surveyed in Hanoi said that their energy consumption is larger than the world average as they mainly use old technologies. In 2015, only 14 per cent of respondents had technologies used less than three years backward, and 53 per cent used technologies from more than 6 years backward. Many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are not fully aware of the importance of using energy efficiently. Energy consumption of industrial companies remains high. The development of new energy sources, especially renewable energy sources, in SMEs is spontaneous and incomplete. Only a few companies carried out energy audits or made sustainability reports.

Mr Trinh Duc Chieu, Deputy Director of Enterprise Development and Reform Bureau, CIEM, said, green growth means enterprises increase their use of clean and efficient resources and strengthen their resilience to climate change. At present, the industry consumes up to 43 per cent of total energy consumed. However, low efficiency results to low business performance and environmental impacts.

Also according to CIEM’s research, green growth is facing barriers because the energy market, especially the competitive electricity retail market, has not yet to be formed. Energy prices and electricity prices are not attractive enough to draw funds for renewable energy development while State supports are still limited and ineffective.

He analysed that, in a flat world, as digital technology thrones, Vietnamese companies must change to keep up with global trends. New conditions necessitate them not to use only prices to compete but necessarily shift to sustainable competition. Foreign partners always have conditions and terms concerning environmental protection when they form cooperation with Vietnam. Therefore, SMEs in particular and Vietnamese enterprises in general cannot shrug off green growth.

Hence, Mr Chieu recommended the Government of Vietnam quickly launch specific programmes and make a greater effort to improve the legal framework on energy, especially the legal framework for incentive and support policies on energy efficiency; build specific programmes and plans for achievement of sustainable development goals, the 2030 Agenda adopted by the United Nations (UN).

Mr Nguyen Dinh Khuyen, Deputy Director General of Statistical Methodology and Information Technology Department, General Statistics Office (GSO), said that Vietnam needs to focus on building and operating energy information system effectively, establish a complete statistical database used as the basis for analysing, assessing and developing appropriate policies. Meanwhile, it also needs to use economic leverages such as tax, land and credit to stimulate the development and use of clean and renewable energy sources; and develop renewable energy resources for sustainable development.

“Although green growth is a popular concern of many localities and companies, they have not fully understood the importance of promoting green economic growth, particularly when most of Vietnamese companies are classified small and medium. In the coming time, Vietnam needs stricter regulations to engage enterprises and authorities in promoting green growth,” said Dr Tran Kim Chung.