Sustainability Talk: SMEs & SUSTAINABILITY: WHERE TO START?
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Sustainability Online Talk
SMEs & SUSTAINABILITY: WHERE TO START?
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a key role in the economies of all the countries in the world by their contribution to the national economic growth and employment. Nowadays, in a complex, competitive and volatile business environment, the adoption of Sustainability principles is of utmost importance for a steady and sustainable growth of the small and medium-sized enterprises and to a large extent their survival depends on it. Yet, the relationship between the SMEs and Sustainability is mutually interdependent and the success of the Sustainability agenda is very much conditioned by SMEs while the growth of SMEs cannot be achieved without the integration of Sustainability principles into their business strategies.
In the OECD area, SMEs account for approximately 99% of all firms. Moreover, they contribute to about 70% of total employment and the ‘’major contributors to value creation, generating between 50% and 60% of value added on average’’. In developing economies, SMEs contribute up to 45% of total employment and 33% of GDP. These facts clearly indicate that the role of SMEs in Sustainability is of tremendous importance for the Sustainability agenda to be realized and prove that the relationship between SMEs and Sustainability is irrevocably tied.
Although SMEs comprise an enormous large part of the national and global economies, their involvement in Sustainability is barely satisfactory since a very small number of them have adopted and integrated Sustainability principles in their business strategies and daily operations. According to GRI’s Sustainability Disclosure Database, sustainability reporting by SMEs in 2017 accounted for just 10.22% and in 2018 15% (with not many reports submitted yet) of the total number of sustainability reports captured during the year, and this figure has remained almost the same for over the last seven years. So, there is a question as to why Sustainability is not entrenched in SMEs. The reasons are numerous and vary by country and sector:
- Lack of awareness among employees about the importance of Sustainability
- Lack of awareness of business owners of the benefits of Sustainability practices
- Not available access to affordable financial resources
- Inadequate and insufficient skills and management developed practises
- Lack of information how to implement Sustainability
- The interference of intended sustainability initiatives with other business initiatives
There is no doubt that SMEs have the potential to become the foundation of the domestic and global Sustainability agenda. So, where and how to start? Join this webinar to learn more.
Mr. Minh Ton, Sustainability & CSR Practitioner
Minh Ton is an experienced expert in various fields of Engineering, Occupational Health and Safety ,Project Management , Process Improvement, Sustainability , Energy Management, Quality Management , Corporate Social Responsibility and Industrial Relations. He is also a Personal & Group Development Coach and an senior auditor in CSR , Quality and Energy Management. Driven by the vision of his idol, Ingvar Kamprad, the IKEA’s founder “ To create a better everyday life for the many people”, he takes pride in contributing for the best interest of the children, worker and environment . As a regional Sustainability Compliance Auditor, his goals include developing the resources and competence for enabling the local manufacturers toward excellent in operations. Empowering supplier to use Sustainability as the key change driver and business opportunities to become a strong business partner in global supply chain.Minh is an engaged person for community involvement. He is a partner of ACCA Mekong in the role of a Judging Panel member of the Sustainability Report Award (SRA), a part of the Vietnam Annual Report Award (ARA) , which was co-organized by the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE), Vietnam Investment Review, Dragon Capital Group and IFC. The Award is aimed to encourage the companies to publicize information on issues related to the environment and society, along with raising awareness of sustainable development associated with environmental social responsibility. He is also having a lot of energy in contributing his expertise to academically and University educational community by sharing the best practices in CSR and Industrial Relation. Minh has been honored with many International Awards likes ICI Paints Chairman‘s and Chief Executive’s Leadership Awards 2001 , ICI Paints Asia CEO’s SSHE Awards 2001, IKEA Spirit Award 2010, for his contributions and extraordinary commitment for creating a safer and healthier working environment for labors in Vietnam and other Asian countries includes Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. Minh holds degrees of Mechanical Engineer of Polytechnic University of HCMC (Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology), Electrical Engineering in Chemical Plant, CSR Auditor , Hazard Study Leader and currently resides in HCMC