The plenary session of Vietnam Green Building Week 2023 was held on 28 September at the Sheraton Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. Organized by the Ministry of Construction, the event brought together policymakers, industry leaders, and experts to discuss the future of sustainable construction in Vietnam.
The session was hosted by Nguyen Tuong Van, Deputy Minister of Construction, and Bui Xuan Cuong, Vice-Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee. Speakers included representatives from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the World Green Building Council, who emphasized Vietnam’s commitment to having 50% of new buildings certified as green by 2050.
Sérgio Silva, Head of the Sustainable Buildings Working Group of EuroCham’s Green Growth Sector Committee and Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Portugal-Vietnam (CCIPV), participated in a panel discussion on ways to accelerate Vietnam’s green growth.
Mr. Silva commended Vietnam’s commitment to having 50% of new buildings certified as green by 2050, describing it as ambitious yet achievable. He offered several recommendations for how the government can accelerate the green transition.
First, he emphasized the need to strike a harmonious balance between economic development and sustainability. The government should lead by example in greening all public buildings, setting the tone for the private sector.
He also called for a clear net zero roadmap for the building sector, with the end goal of net-zero whole life carbon emissions by 2050 and an interim target for 2030. This would provide an important signal to foreign investors looking to support Vietnam’s climate goals.
Mr. Silva highlighted the massive scale of Vietnam’s industrial parks, with over 90,000 hectares currently in operation. Greening these parks and their production lines is critical for mainstreaming green construction nationwide.
He noted that financial and non-financial incentives are already available to encourage eco-industrial park development. To fully realize their potential, he advised strengthening coordination between ministries on issues like renewable energy adoption and waste management. Integrating green solutions into the government’s socioeconomic plans is also key.
Looking beyond Vietnam, Mr. Silva referenced global principles for green buildings focused on carbon reduction, resilience, circularity, ecology, health, and equity. He suggested Vietnam incorporate these principles into its own sustainable building policies and programs.
For example, prioritizing renovation of existing buildings, promoting nature-based solutions, improving accessibility, and eliminating embodied carbon across the entire building lifecycle.
Finally, Mr. Silva outlined technological solutions for net-zero buildings including renewable energy systems, recycled and low-carbon materials, and energy efficiency. He set out short-term goals like training on energy simulation software and developing carbon credit markets. Longer-term priorities include research on new technologies to decarbonize cement and steel production.
Want to join the Green Growth Sector Committee? Contact Sector Committee Coordinator Ngoc Anh Pham at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.