“Building plastic pollution free communities” - The collaboration agreement between Prudential Vietnam and WWF
Due to plastic products’ great convenience and low production cost, plastic waste is now rising up as a global environmental problem, becoming a serious threat to the human life. According to the statistics of Dr. Jambeck and partners (2015), there are about 150 million tons of plastic waste in the oceans and an average of additional 8 million tons of plastic waste emitted per year. According to the study by the University of Georgia (2015), Vietnam ranks 4 out of 5 countries in Southeast Asia emitting 54% of the total annual plastic waste volume. By the year 2025, there will be nearly 1 ton of plastic waste for every 3 tons of fish in the ocean. More worryingly, by 2050, the amount of plastic in the ocean waste will outnumber the amount of fish (according to the World Economic Forum, 2016). Plastic waste takes a very long time, up to centuries just to reach the complete decomposition. This process will create methane and ethylene, which are the 2 greenhouse gases contributing to climate change. Therefore, the issues of plastic waste are demanding immediate actions from governments, organizations and individuals all over the world.
Understanding such urgent requirements, "Building plastic pollution free communities" project co-operated by Prudential and WWF, will starts in 2 major cities Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. These are places where exist the rapid economic development going with robust population growth and urbanisation, followed by many environmental implications. This signing ceremony has officially kicked off a series of operations aiming at changing the perception of Vietnamese people on plastic product consumption and its impact on the environment, ecosystem as well as human health. The decision to cooperate with WWF from Prudential stemmed from the shared vision for a better life and WWF’s efforts over the years to develop a future where people live in harmony with nature.
Prudential contribute up to VND 7 billions for this initiative in the first year along with the opportunity of expanding in the coming years. Therein, the investment for the collaboration agreement with WWF is approximately VND 5.5 billions, which aim for a shift in perception and communities’ behavior at the two big cities.
The project will engage teachers and students in developing a plastic reduction model according to their schools’ needs. Also, communities across the country, influencers, and Prudential’s customers will be connected through mass media and online and offline communication campaigns to raise voices for change. Social media platforms will be maximised to inspire communities’ practical involvement in giving up single-use plastic.
The crew of nearly 200,000 employees, agents and volunteers from more than 350 offices across the country will participate in “citizen science” through the waste assessment process as well as long-term planning on plastic waste reduction. Each member will become the project’s ambassador who is the change and inspiration in their family, in friend circle and in their community. Furthermore, with the advantage of being a role model pioneer in insurance industry, in this project, Prudential will spread out the positive inspiration to key influential individuals and organisations in our society, our millions of customers, institutions and communities nationwide, to join hand to promote the positive changes for the environment and the community.
Mr. Clive Baker, CEO of Prudential Vietnam: “For nearly two decades in companionship with Vietnamese people, Prudential has committed to build a sustainable Vietnam not only by business operations, but also by meaningful community activities. The signing ceremony today will also start Prudential Vietnam’s new CSR strategy about Climate Change Adaptation and Environment Protection. Prudential hopes to raise awareness among citizens and therefrom, they will change the habit of using plastic-made products, not only for a clean-living environment, but also for their own health. Prudential Vietnam will take on the companion with every citizen to do well and bring positive changes for the community, for a better life.”
Mr. Van Ngoc Thinh, Country Director of WWF-Vietnam: “Plastic waste reduction is one of the six priority objectives in the global WWF’s Conservation and Marine programme. To achieve this goal, one approach made by WWF is with our partners, to build plastic-free cities and communities. WWF-Vietnam believes that the cooperation with Prudential on this project will change community’s awareness and behaviour to create sustainable consumption habits, and minimise the amount of plastic waste used and discharged daily in residential areas, schools and offices. As a result, the environment and marine ecosystems will be protected and a safe environment for community’s’ well-being is created.”