In the business world, the winds of change are blowing, and a new era has dawned—one where profit isn’t the sole focus, but the pursuit of a sustainable future is taking centre stage. In our recent thought-provoking conversation with Gricha Safarian, Managing Director of Puratos Grand Place Indochina, we embarked on a journey to explore the realms of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices and their profound implications for Vietnamese businesses.
Grisha’s approach centres on continuous improvement and fostering a culture of creative thinking within the organisation. Puratao’s Grand Place Indochina exemplifies ESG and sustainability principles. Grisha Safaryon fosters a culture of innovation and value creation. Their innovative cocoa fermentation, inspired by wine-making, alternatively, as they put it, the process of vertical integration minimises emissions from transportation and yields a unique premium product, benefiting cocoa farmers and the environment. Solar panels, reduced emissions, and carbon-neutral chocolate production showcase their commitment to sustainability.
In this article, we don’t just look at the principles of ESG in isolation; we delve into the vital roles of PR, marketing, and ethical communications in this transformative landscape.
A Creative Journey in Chocolate and Sustainability
Grisha’s journey exemplifies this transformative era. His passion for sustainability within the chocolate industry is a testament to the endless possibilities for creativity. In cocoa’s world, innovation beckons at every turn. ESG—Environmental, Social, and Governance—lies at the heart of this revolution. It challenges the age-old focus on shareholder enrichment at the cost of the environment and other stakeholders. ESG ushers in a new paradigm—stakeholder capitalism—where the well-being of suppliers, employees, the planet, and shareholders all share centre stage.
Effective PR and communications can amplify a company’s efforts, enhancing its brand reputation while educating consumers about the importance of sustainable choices. When ethical communications are interwoven into a company’s DNA, trust is built—an invaluable currency in today’s business landscape.
ESG: A Necessary Evolution, Not a Choice
Grisha draws a powerful parallel to the abolition of slavery in the United States, emphasising that progress often involves letting go of practices that no longer align with evolving societal values. Similarly, ESG demands that businesses reckon with the real cost of environmental resource depletion. Embracing ESG isn’t a burden; it’s a strategic investment in a sustainable future. Vietnamese consumers, especially younger ones, have become more discerning and conscious about their choices. They are increasingly demanding transparency and authenticity from companies. Those resisting change risk the same fate as Kodak—obsolescence in a rapidly transforming world. For instance, the European Union has introduced stringent regulations focusing on law enforcement, stipulating that any goods originating from regions plagued by deforestation are prohibited from entering its territory. This move will garner significant attention and scrutiny within the business realm.
Marketing plays a paramount role in this landscape. It’s the bridge between a company’s ESG commitment and its audience. A well-crafted ESG-focused PR strategy doesn’t just communicate values; it forges a connection based on shared ideals. It showcases a company’s dedication to the planet and its people, aligning seamlessly with the values of ESG-conscious consumers.
A Future Steered by Sustainability and Ethical Communications
Like many other emerging economies, Vietnam has witnessed rapid industrialisation and economic growth in recent years. Alongside this growth, there has been an increasing awareness of environmental and social issues. However, it has also seen instances where companies and organisations have engaged in greenwashing or superficial efforts to appear environmentally conscious without substantial commitment to sustainability.
PR, with its eloquent storytelling, and marketing, with its persuasive prowess, are not mere spectators but active enablers of change. It’s not about greenwashing or mere window dressing; it’s about narrating a compelling story of transformation and unwavering dedication to the planet and its people. When ingrained in a company’s DNA, ethical communications become the compass that keeps it on the right course, ensuring that actions align with words.
Contact us today at PReciousVN@preciouscomms.com to unlock a future where ethical communications guide companies towards a more responsible and conscientious path. For more information, visit PRecious Communications Vietnam.
Disclaimer: This blog post is based on an episode of the Leadership Talks podcast series featuring Gricha Safarian, Managing Director of Puratos Grand Place Indochina, in conversation with Lars Voedisch, Founder and Principal Consultant of PRecious Communications.