Vietnam

Project title Sector SCP practice
BioTrade VN Chemical sector Sustainable Supply Chain Management
CSR Vietnam Textile and leather industry Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Management
Efficient Air Conditioners / ASEAN SHINE Electrical equipment industry Eco-labels, Product design for sustainability
Get Green Cross cutting issues Creating Demand for Better Products
MEET-BIS Vietnam Machinery industry Environmental Management Systems
Shrimp Value Chain Food and beverage Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Management
SPIN-VCL Textile and leather industry Product design for sustainability
SUPA Food and beverage Sustainable Supply Chain Management
Sustainable Freight and Logistics Sustainable Supply Chain Management
Sustainable Rattan Wood-based industry Cleaner Production, Product design for sustainability
Wood Processing and Trade Wood-based industry Eco-labels, Sustainable Supply Chain Management

Focal point

Ms. Nguyen Thien Phuong

Deputy Director

Department of International Cooperation

Vietnam Environmental Administration (VEA), MONRE

SWITCH-Asia RPSC

Under SWITCH-Asia’s Regional Policy Support Component, UNEP is implementing a range of coordinated SCP activities in Viet Nam.  For this policy support, UNEP’s main partner in Viet Nam is the Viet Nam Environmental Administration of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE).

Based on the SCP policy needs assessment, Viet Nam has decided to start their SCP policy support with the following activities:

  • Finalizing the draft of National Action Plan on SCP including expert and ministerial consultations
  • Organizing the 6th National Roundtable on SCP
  • Undertaking a feasibility study on SCP indicators for Viet Nam.

The following areas have been identified as additional areas for capacity building and policy support on SCP after a comprehensive needs’ analysis in the country and currently, discussions are underway to broaden policy support activities in 2015 and 2016. 

Investment and Finance

  • In terms of policy support issues in relation to finance and investment, a main focus should be on instruments to support implementation of SCP and CP initiatives and whether or not this would require access to special low interest loans or special green investment criteria.
  • A second important issue for making SCP and CP central to business is enhancing the capacity of business to invest in greener and cleaner technologies. 
  • A range of instruments could be supported including tax and pricing policies, and incentives for green investment 

Partnerships between Government, Research and Industry

  • The main support required in this area is the need to create better partnerships between government, research and development and the market.  The aim is not only to mobilize funding for research and implementation, but also to ensure greater implementation of new SCP designs and SCP technologies.  Mobilizing funding in a partnership with business would also increase the possibility of commercialization of SCP innovations. 

Education and Training

  • Raising awareness of SCP (a major capacity gap), among consumers, business and ministries will require a big national campaign on SCP with many elements.  For instance, this may require guidelines for consumers to help them in their buying decisions, but also guidelines covering investments by business and government. 
  • This might be coordinate with the development of a National Action Plan on SCP education to promote SCP principles and practice, at all levels from consumer, business to Government, across the country were advocated.
  • There is an additional need for increased SCP technical expertise to assist in SCP implementation and to demonstrate the benefits of SCP for businesses and specifically for SMEs 

Regulations and Laws on SCP

  • A variety of laws and regulations have been identified as potential instruments to support SCP.  Green public procurement and environmental tax reform are two big priorities. 
  • These could be complimented with guidelines for different sectors of the economy on SCP skills and best practice and setting policy priorities to support green investment. 
  • Other tools could include regulations on implementing energy audits, recycling construction materials and promoting new technologies for processing waste.

Status of SCP policy framework

Following successful economic policy reform in the 1980s, Viet Nam has developed rapidly over the last two decades reaching high GDP rates between 2001 and 2010. These consistently high rates of economic growth mean that Viet Nam officially graduated to middle-income country status in 2010.  Viet Nam is undergoing a fundamental structural shift in its economy, away from the agricultural, forestry and fisheries sector towards industry and services (Dore et al., 2008). A policy of rapid industrialization is being pursued by the government as a means of achieving socio-economic objectives.

SCP is still relatively a new concept in Viet Nam.  Early efforts focussed on cleaner production, but now MONRE is supporting a more holistic perspective that takes into account consumption side policies.  The government is currently in the process of finalising a National Action Plan on SCP that aims to coordinate efforts.  In addition, SCP-related objectives are integrated into several national policies and regulations, including the new National Action Plan on Green Growth, the Socio-Economic Development Strategy and Plan, and the National Strategy on Cleaner Production. 

Viet Nam National Action Plan on SCP 

Vietnam released on 11 January, 2016 a National Action Plan on SCP which sets goals for 2020 and a vision for up to 2030. The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) is the national focal point for this Action Plan and has responsibility to organise and cooperate with relevant ministries and agencies to implement it. In the Plan, the Vietnam Government sets out 9 main priority activities:

  1. Develop and improve legal framework and policies to implement sustainable production and consumption
  2. Raise awareness and implementing capacity of sustainable production and  consumption to all stakeholders
  3. Ecological Innovation
  4. Develop sustainable products production
  5. Develop sustainable distribution systems
  6. Develop sustainable supply chain
  7. Promote sustainable exports and improve sustainable export competitiveness capacity to enterprises in key export products
  8. Green public procurement
  9. Waste Reduce, Recycle and Reuse Program (3R)

The Vietnam Government is currently mobilizing funding from donors, including UNEP, for the implementation of both technical and financial assistance.

The Action Plan links to the following key established policies, plans, and laws in the country, among others cited in the 2011 UNEP policy needs assessment, as well: 

  • The 10-year Socio-Economic Development Strategy (SEDS) and the 5-year Socio-Economic Development Plan (SEDP).  Viet Nam’s SEDS places greater emphasis on sustainable development and includes more determined steps toward the establishment of a low-carbon economy.  SEDP does not explicitly mention SCP, however an important SCP-related objective included in SEDP states that “ harmony between population growth, urbanization, socio-economic development and environmental protection’ is sought to be achieved. 
  • National Strategy on Cleaner Production until 2020.  This strategy was adopted in 2009, it seeks to achieve the wide application of SCP in industrial enterprises to improve the efficient use of natural resources while reducing waste and pollution, improving environmental quality and human health, and ensuring sustainable development. 
  • In 2010, the government adopted a regulatory instrument to foment governance on consumer protection. The “Law On Protection Of Consumer's Rights”  in Article 9 explicitly mentions the linkages of consumer purchasing on the environment, but squarely places the responsibility of consumption impacts on consumers only, as a consumer obligation. Further, inclusion of the role of producers or “sellers” as having obligations to ensure products sold do not negatively impact the environment is also needed. However, the law does provide a comprehensive linkage to health and environmental impacts of unsustainable consumption already.

    (Source: Article 9 on Obligations of Consumers “1. Checking before receiving the goods; selecting and consume goods and/or services with clear origin or source, without cause harm to the environment, contrary to the fine customs and social morals, not causing harm to their lives or health and that of others; observing precisely and fully the manual of goods and/or services.” Available here.)
  • National Green Growth Strategy & National Action Plan (NAP) on Green Growth 2014-2020. This strategy was adopted in March 2014 and is undergoing translation and final publication. The strategy especially promotes Sustainable consumption (Theme 04: Greening lifestyle and promoting sustainable consumption) with 13 activities. In addition, it promotes other linked activities such as consumer information (eco-labelling) for energy conservation practices. All SCP activities undertaken in Viet Nam are cross-referenced and linked to ensure the NAP on Green Growth is complementary to SCP activities. 

The following are also policies which can or are already advancing SCP practically in the country’s governance framework:

  • General Management Strategy on Solid waste to 2015, vision to 2050 (2009) 
  • National Eco-innovation Policy (under development with support by UNEP) 
  • National Strategy on Environment protection to 2020 and orientation to 2030 (2012); 
  • Energy: Law on Energy efficiency and conservation (2010) 
  • Environment Protection law (2014). The law in article 5, Item 5, explicitly mentions the need for special support in finance and land for activities relating to environment protection, for environmentally friendly manufacturing units and businesses and in article 151 the need for support for environmental protection activities.

Resource consumption and production

Main Resource Consumption and Resource Efficiency Indicators (2010)

Population (millions) 89.047
GDP (billion USD) 78.282
GDP is in USD exchange rate based on year 2005 and deflated.
Source: UNSD database
Subject Area Total Per person Per USD$ of GDP
Domestic Material Consumption, DMC
(tonnes, tonnes per capita, kgr per 1USD$)
729,413,658 8.19 9.32
GHG emissions
(kilotonnes,tonnes per capita, kgr per 1USD$) )
278,994 3.13 3.56
Total Primary Energy Supply, TPES
(Petajoules, Gigajoules per capita, Megajoules per 1USD$)
2,466 28.37 31.51
Water Use
(Trillion litres, Kilolitres per capita, Litres per 1USD$)
82.03 921.20 1,047.88
Subject Area Indicator
Population density 2015 (UNESA 2012 revision), population per sq.km 282
GDP per capita (USD), 2013 WB 1910.5
HDI Rank (2013) UNDP 0.638
Arable land (hectares per person) WB 2012 0.07
Forest cover in % (2010), UNSTATS 44
Material intensity (2010)UNEP 9.32
Per-capita energy use (kg of oil equivalent per capita) 2011, WB NA
Energy intensity (total primary energy consumption per USD of GDP) 2011, EIA 28,269.17
GHG intensity (2010) UNEP 3.56
CO2 emissions (metric tone per capita), 2010, WB 1.7
Number of Middle Class consumers % (2010), ADB 17
Number of people with income < 2USD/day (PPP, USD, %), 2010, ADB 83

Trends in Resource Consumption and Resource Efficiency Indicators (1970-2010)

DE: Domestic Extraction;
MI: Material Intensity of the economy;
MF: Material Footprint.
All other abbreviations explained in the table above

Panel a) shows Viet Nam’s DMC increasing by a factor of eleven, closely followed by GDP. Increases in TPES and GHGs were less than half this, while population which doubled. Panel b) shows a strong and consistent increase in DE per capita beginning in the late 1980s, contemporaneous with the start of the period of economic reforms under Doi Moi. In Viet Nam’s case, growth in DE is roughly in proportion to economic growth since the 1990s, and growth in the non-biomass categories has outstripped growth in GDP. Comparing DE to the MF per capita in panel c) shows an unusually close match between both measures, such that Viet Nam appears notionally largely self-sufficient both in gross terms, but also within the four specific materials subcategories. Panels d), e) and f) show per capita consumption and GHG emissions have increased strongly on all measures. Panel d) shows a strong increase in both MI and adjusted MI from 1990 to 2010, indicating economic growth is becoming less eco-efficient with regard to raw materials. Panel e) presents conflicting data on energy intensities, with substantial improvement on conventional measures, but a major deterioration (increase) on the adjusted EI measure. Another interesting feature of panel e) is the degree to which footprint based and conventional measures are converging over time. Panel f) indicates that GHG emissions intensity have decreased on both footprint based and conventional measures. Conventional indicators appear to overstate materials and energy consumption, and understate GHG emissions, relative to footprint based measures.

(Source: UNEP CSIRO Indicators for a Resource Efficient and Green Asia and the Pacific, 2015).

Key references relevant to SCP

  • SWITCH-Asia RPSC SCP Policy Needs Assessment, 2011. 
  • National Green Growth Strategy (NGGS)
  • Viet Nam One Plan (2012-2016)
  • Sustainable Product Innovation (SPIN) Policy Review and Assessment.
  • Viet Nam towards Low Carbon Development, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Presentation. (Chung, L.D., 2011)
  • Viet Nam Fact Sheet, Asia Development Bank, Manila, Philippines, ADB, 2011.
  • Integrated Solid Waste Management: Viet Nam Country Report, MONROE, 2010.
  • The Five-Year Socio-Economic Development Plan 2006-2010, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Viet Nam.
  • Viet Nam Development Report, Natural Resources Management, World Bank, 2011.

UNEP's relevant activities

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