Build for Life aims at green & smart construction development

31-Oct-2018 Intellasia | The Saigon Times | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The “Build for Life” conference which focuses on large infrastructure developments has been recently hosted by INSEE Vietnam, attracting more than 300 local and international business leaders, government officials, developers, constructors, consultants, architects and association members. Philippe Richart, general director of INSEE Vietnam, elaborates on the outcomes of the conference and the corporate sector’s self-challenge to achieve sustainable development and provide long-term socio-economic benefits.

Please tell us what are the reasons in terms of macro outlook and corporate vision that prompted INSEE Vietnam to organise the Large Infrastructure Projects Conference?

Vietnam is one of the most rapidly urbanising countries in Asia, which leads to challenges for the infrastructure system and living space. GDP in 2017 achieved an estimated growth of 6.8 percent and we are confident that it will continue in the near future.

Despite the lower level of urbanisation, its growth rate is accelerating.

To be part of this rapid urbanisation, we position INSEE as a company that can facilitate sustainable and innovative construction and create a platform where the government, architects, developers, media all together find innovative and sustainable building solutions for urban areas, especially large infrastructure.

I heard that Large Infrastructure Project Conference was very successful, so can you please share us the outcomes of that conference?

The conference was successful beyond our expectation with the participations of 320 people coming from various aspects. Sixteen guest speakers raised curiosity about what is going to happen to economic performance as well as future building trends in the next five to 10 years. I am very pleased to receive good feedback from speakers and many of them expressed wishes to come back next year.

This conference is the first and has the aim of becoming an annual prestigious forum for leaders to connect, exchange, inspire and discuss opportunities and challenges in constructing future infrastructures. By fulfilling the gap for our like-minded partners to meet and share their thoughts, we raised awareness about sustainable trends and solutions for Vietnam’s infrastructure demand.

Green building is now a sustainable solution for megacities all over the world. So what can building material companies like INSEE contribute to further development of sustainable construction?

The number of green buildings in Vietnam is too modest while new urban areas are booming. According to one speaker from the “Build for Life” conference, there are only 17 certified green buildings in Vietnam. With available materials and technology, I believe that all projects can become green building.

Green construction development therefore remains a problem for all concerned parties: government, developers, material companies and end users. However, I am optimistic about sustainable construction in Vietnam since people have started talking about it and customers began to ask for more efficient, energy-saving products. Once the customer recognises, the market will soon flourish.

As a building material company, we strictly follow environmental standards and mitigate any bad impacts on the biodiversity. We developed a large scale system with modern technology which can make all the production processes, from operation to products and waste management, become greener.

Could you please give detailed specifications for the solutions INSEE is offering?

We are proud to be the first and only cement and concrete manufacturer to achieve certified “Green Label” for all of solutions we are providing in Vietnam. The Green Label is the recognition of our environmental friendly cement and concrete recorded in the Green Database of the Vietnam Green Building Council but also a Green Label certification from the Singapore Green Building Council. With these cement and concrete, we are aiming to build a greener future of Vietnam, as well as contribute more to the sustainable construction landscape.

We also keep an eye on logistic by avoiding trucking. For instance, in Sri Lanka, the carriage is performed by rail instead of trucks in an effort to reduce our carbon footprint on the road.

On the other hand, we are working with the developers and architects to provide more environmentally friendly product. CONWOOD, a decorative building material made from cement and recycled cellulose fibers that help sustain the environment and reduce real wood consumption, is one of the products like this.

Last but not least, we provide safe waste management solution called INSEE Ecocycle to customers by co-processing in cement kiln technology, leaving no residue and reducing CO2 emission. We are proud to be a partner of over 250 major corporations in various industries in Vietnam, such as FMCG, Shoes, Pharmaceuticals, Pesticides… During the 10 years of operation, we safely co-processed more than 690,000 tonnes of hazardous and non-hazardous waste, minimising over 1,000,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. We are going to increase volume of investment in INSEE Ecocycle which can offer other environment solutions such as water treatment.

Besides providing such helpful solutions, what are INSEE’s social activities which promote sustainable development?

At the stakeholder meetings with primary communities around our five plants organised twice a year, we have discussion about how we can best engage in social activities, which projects and initiatives we can support to the community where we operate in. We are cooperating closely with local authorities to promote sustainable development by organising events such as charity health-care for 2,000 people in Kien Giang, green summer programme in Ben Tre or joint training in mechanical engineering technology with Kien Giang College and so on.

A contest called INSEE Prize with the purpose of raising awareness among students about sustainable construction has been well organised annually since 2009. Last year, among 250 entries from 30 universities, we chose the most feasible ones to support the implementation. A green dormitory for students in Thong Linh High school, Dong Thap Province that won the contest in 2018 is now being put into construction; and the implementation of another project named “Green Toilet” in Thi Vai is in progress.

Many reports from the Vietnam National Cement Association say that the cement industry is facing an oversupply in the recent years. So, what is INSEE’s strategy to deal with such challenging condition?

There is an oversupply in the north of Vietnam but in the south, there is a deficit and the market now achieves a stable growth rate of 6-7 percent per year.

In the past 10 years, many factories have been built in north Vietnam. China meanwhile has been closing down many cement factories that failed to meet environmental standards for controlling air pollution. I believe that it is time to keep an eye on less environmentally friendly plants. Aside from upgrading the old ones with new technology, the Vietnamese government should take into careful consideration the need for investing in new production lines, especially in the north.

What are INSEE initiatives for improving living standard in Vietnam?

We approach every business challenge with enthusiasm and strive to deliver innovative solutions beyond expectations. Is there a better way? Is there a safer way? Is there a more environmental way? I believe that by asking those questions together with speeding up the process of innovation, we are contributing to the sustainable development of the nation.

We have a wide range of innovative solutions that helps construction building more durable and more sustainable. Our solutions are used in lots of iconic projects in Vietnam for example: Cao Lanh Bridge, Long Thanh Dau Giay Highway, East-West Highway and a lot of Green and Beautiful Buildings and Residential Areas to transform the living standard better.

Moreover, INSEE Ecocycle is our innovative waste management business to support our partners achieve Zero Waste Landfill and reduce CO2 Emission progress for the greener future of Vietnam.

It sounds very amazing from your sharing about INSEE’s activities, so now we are going to talk about the future. What is your direction for INSEE Vietnam’s business plan in upcoming years?

In the next two years, we plan to increase investment in our production capacity to meet market demand. We plan to double grinding capacity in Thi Vai plant and expand our integrated plant in Hon Chong.

We also aim to provide more innovative products like CONWOOD and dry mix mortar along with developing faster in waste management. We desire to be a leading waste management company in Vietnam that provides the best waste management solution to customers. From the ability to absorb and process 80 percent of waste of our industrial clients, we are developing solutions to answer 100 percent of our customer needs.

Environmental protection and promotion is always a vital part of INSEE’s sustainable development strategy. Green and smart production, compliance with environmental regulations, raising awareness about environmental protection and developing greener solutions for our customer are our top priority. We at INSEE, together with all of partners, want to unify with the belief that the world would be a better place if everything we build could always make life worth living.


Category: Business, Vietnam

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