By Perrine Rozec, CSR Manager, French Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CCIFV) and Carlota Leite, Trade Commissioner at the Consulate of Portugal. Founders of SDGs Vietnam –
Launching SDGs Vietnam: A new community in Ho Chi Minh City aims to share good initiatives towards sustainability and encourage change.
The expression “SDGs” relates to the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations in 2015. They are 17 goals aiming to initiate a sustainable development for all organizations (institutions, companies, schools, etc.) by 2030.
As CSR Manager for the Chamber, these are tools that I use on a regular basis. These SDGs allow companies to take measurable actions to have a better impact on our planet and the societies we live in.
Carlota and I are very proactive in our daily life: participating in non-profit activities, reducing plastic in our life as much as possible, adapting our eating habits, using a bicycle, buying locally, etc. I even have the chance to work in a sector which allows me to talk about what I am passionate about: sustainable development, climate change, social issues, etc.
But it wasn’t enough and I felt the need to do something more. I work with businesses and I explain every day that sustainability is based on the engagement of different stakeholders.
This is why I felt that I had to bring people from civil society into my actions. If I encourage people to make small changes in their daily life, maybe they’ll bring those small changes to their companies. And imagine how big and positive the impact can be when we start to have 50, 500 or 5000 persons participating.
This was the starting point of SDGs Vietnam: organizing free conferences and events for everyone in order to inspire people, discover initiatives in Vietnam and share actions we can take easily.
First Engagement – SDG 3: Good Health & Well-Being
The first conference of SDGs Vietnam was about SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being.
We wished to understand the challenges linked to health and well-being in Vietnam; and what solutions can be found locally. We were pleased to count on 3 incredible speakers:
- Ms. Pascale Fioretti, co-owner of La Holista: Pascale chose to talk about the health, environmental and ethical dilemmas of industrial food in society. With her presentation we clearly identified factors that influence our health and the environment in our eating habits. Did you know for example that 80% of the antibiotics used in the US (over 13 million kilos per annum) is delivered into the food chain?
- Mr. Robin Durivault, head of engineering at Vulcan Augmetics: Robin presented their vision for supporting the amputee community. Vulcan Augmetics is a Vietnamese startup developing robotic-themed arm prosthetic, at no cost for the end user. To this end, they closely work with businesses on Corporate Social Responsibility partnerships to sponsor the fitting of their arms. They intend to empower amputees with a strong identity and pride as well as facilitating their integration in the Vietnamese society through professional opportunities.
- Mr. Ricky Sahni, personal trainer and professional MMA fighter: Ricky talked about the importance of doing exercise to be healthy. He gave advice to first-timers to encourage them to start any sportive activity they like. Ricky also gave recommendations to help them to keep going with attainable goals in order to develop a habit and pleasure in their practice.
Two Part Conference
This conference was held in two parts as we wanted to change the format slightly to ensure focus for each session:
- First: short presentations from each speaker about their commitment in Vietnam.
- Second: discussion time and debate around 3 questions related to this SDG.
The goal of SDGs Vietnam is to create a community that shares solutions, contacts and recommendations in order to promote and defend sustainable development in Vietnam.
Allowing two separate sessions, ensured a significant focus time and underscoring of sharing and additional discussion was greatly appreciated.
This launch event was a success and we are already working on the next one!
Join us! Action Matters
We aim to inspire people and convince them that every action matters. You may feel isolated or useless at your own scale but it’s not true. Everyone has an essential role to play in the protection of our planet and our people.
In these difficult times it’s even more important to support each other and focus on positive changes that depend on us.
If you wish to share your engagement regarding one of the following SDGs, feel free to contact us at SDGsVietnam@gmail.com. We’ll be glad to hear from you and support your engagement.
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