Two months after launching, how has the CSI 2022 Program been implemented? What are your initial assessments of businesses participating in this year's program?
2022 is the 7th consecutive year that the Program on Benchmarking and Announcing Sustainable Companies in Vietnam is hosted by VCCI in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, and the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor. Since the Launching Ceremony in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in May, we have actively implemented business training and communication activities about the program through many channels. In early July, we organized two training courses on sustainable corporate governance and the application of the CSI Index specifically designed for Rubber Associations and Groups and for businesses in general which attracted more than 200 representatives of different enterprises.
According to the Organizing Committee’s statistics, although there is still one month left until the deadline for the final submission of businesses, up to now, the system has recorded the participation of nearly 200 applications, including many businesses submitting for the first time. Companies participating in the program have different sizes and operate in many fields, focusing on key industries and services of the Vietnamese economy, such as financial services, logistics, real estate, production, agro-forestry processing, textiles, consumer goods production.
Can you tell us about VCBSD's support activities for participating businesses before, during and after the CSI 2022 Program?
During the process of receiving applications, the Organizing Committee always supports businesses both in terms of expertise and procedures to participate. In the training courses, we fully answered the questions of businesses about the benefits of participating in the program, the rules of participation, the contents of the Index, and the correct and effective way to fill out the online application form. Enterprises participating in the training could acquire experiences from representatives of companies with good sustainable development practices in general, as well as being honored as Sustainable Enterprises for many years in particular. In the coming time, we will continue to organize a training course combining face-to-face and online forms– to support more businesses.
A new feature of the CSI 2022 Program is that this year, the Organizing Committee only accepts applications via online form. Therefore, we also receive many questions and requests for technical support so that businesses can declare documents on the system timely and accurately.
According to the practice of previous CSI editions, after the Announcement Ceremony, the Organizing Committee will send the enterprises an assessment of the profile, noting the good points and the ones that need to be improved in their dossier. This assessment not only helps enterprises "upgrade" their profile in the following years, but also provides a new objective perspective on the enterprise's governance, production and business operations, through which the enterprises can promote their strengths and promptly overcome their own "gaps".
After six years of implementation, how has the Program on Benchmarking and Announcing Sustainable Companies in Vietnam impacted the business community, sir?
It should be noted that the CSI Program is more than just an assessment and award program for businesses. Above all, the CSI Program aims to promote the business community to "think differently, do differently". Enterprises need to change from a profit-oriented business mindset to a responsible business. To survive and stand on a fiercely competitive playing field like today, companies are forced to apply a methodical, scientific and transparent corporate governance system to be able to better retain and attract investors. Raising awareness and promoting corporate governance and sustainable business is the ultimate goal of the CSI Program.
After six editions of CSI, we have noticed that the number of Vietnamese enterprises participating in the Program is gradually increasing. Most recently, in 2021, the percentages of Vietnamese and foreign enterprises achieving the title of top 10 sustainable development were 55% and 45%, respectively; in the top 100, the percentages were 63% and 27% respectively. This shows that the readiness, transformation trend and ability of Vietnamese enterprises to respond to sustainable business are increasingly strong and progressive.
We have also received a lot of feedback from businesses over the past two years, through the four outbreaks of the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies implementing sustainable development strategies in general and applying the CSI Index in particular have shown a much better resilience than those that don’t. These businesses have more resilience, so their recovery capability is also higher. That is a very good signal, reinforcing the confidence of businesses implementing sustainable development. Sustainable development is certainly not an easy path, but it will bring many "sweet fruits" worthy of the enterprise's efforts.
The Program on Benchmarking and Announcing Sustainable Companies in Vietnam in 2022 accepts applications from businesses in all fields, regardless of size. The program does not collect any fees from businesses.
The deadline for receiving business applications is August 31, 2022. Interested businesses can refer to the CSI 2022 Program information at the website https://vbcsd.vn/csi/