1. Introduction: People are living an age of fast-paced development. People nowadays have a high standard of living, high quality of education and high demand of having a good environment. Especially, people live in developed nations, so that there are a lot of countries who want to develop as quickly as possible. They focus mainly on growing economy, and pay no attention to society and environment. However, according to Strange & Bayley (2008), a country will develop sustainably if they focus on three aspects economy, society and environment. 2. Issue:
Vietnam is one of most developing countries in the south-east of Asia, and Vietnamese government has concentrated on altering its economy, and attracting foreign investments to try to become a developed nation since 1990s. Therefore, many companies have been established, and they have contributed to Vietnamese economy. Moreover they have damaged Vietnamese environment a lot since they were established, especially Vedan Vietnam. “Vedan Vietnam Enterprise Corporation Limited (Vedan Vietnam) was established in 1991 in Phuoc Thai Commune, Long Thanh district, Dong Nai Province”. Vedan, n. d). Since Vedan operated, it has created about 2. 000 jobs with an average salary 2. 1 million VND/month, However, they have also destroyed the local environment especially Thi Vai river. (Pham, n. d. ). Du? ng (2008) reported that the Environmental Police Department (C36) and the Ministry of Public Security cooperated with an interdisciplinary inspection team of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment caught Vedan Vietnam Enterprise Corporation Limited red-handed discharging a large amount of wastewater which was not treated into the Thi Vai River.
According to Thai in 2008, Vedan Vietnam have installed and operated a secret waste pipe system to discharge waste water into Thi Vai River since 1994. Since Vedan Vietnam was established, many people have sued them for polluting the Thi Vai River and asked for compensating. For example, Minh (2008) revealed that residents live in Nhon Trach District, Dong Nai Province asked for 40 billion VND as compensation. Vedan Vietnam has been fined for the crime of polluting environment since then; however they seemed to delay to pay for fines and compensations because of lack of evidences.
Because they built a secret waste pipe which is very sophisticated, they have escaped many investigations. Finally, On Sep. 13, 2008. The Environmental Police department caught Vedan red-handed discharging waste water into the Thi Vai River, after three months of reconnaissance and ambushing. Thai (2008) said that Vedan has been charged for committing the article 183 of Vietnamese penal code. Bao Moi (n,d) estimated that Vedan has secretly discharged waste water into the Thi Vai River for more than 14 years. They polluted 10 kilometers of the Thi Vai River, and directly damaged more than 10. 00 residents who live in Nhon Trach and Long Thanh (Dong Nai Province), Tan Thanh (Ba Ria-Vung Tau City) and Can Gio (Ho Chi Minh City). They have to pay around 400 million VND as fines, and take responsibility to compensate for the losses of local people including 120 billion VND for Dong Nai residents, 107 billion VND for Ho Chi Minh residents and 53 billion VND for Ba Ria-Vung Tau residents. 3. 1 Impacts on Economy: According to Nguyen report in 2009, the amount of waste water that Vedan discharged into the Thi Vai River was extremely large. It was about 105. 00m3/month. He also claimed that Vedan caused 90% of the pollution in the Thi Vai River. That was the cause of deaths of fishes, crabs and other creatures. It lessened the amount of marine creatures that people could fish and collect, and many fishermen went bankrupt; it led to a huge decrease in marine products. At a result, it caused a big damage to Vietnamese fishery in particular and a big loss to its entire economy in general. Moreover the dirty water also spread out and penetrated deeply into the ground. In other words, the land has been destroyed heavily.
Therefore, farmers could not grow trees and crops. Consequently, agricultural and forestry industry have been affected badly. Most importantly, Vietnamese economy has been down because we had to spend a lot of money enhancing and healing the local environment. 3. 2 Impacts on society: Vedan has secretly discharged lots of waste water which had a high level of poison for many years. It has affected to local residents’ health. Many people have suffered skin allergies, psoriasis and other diseases. They have also breathed in smelly smells from the Thi Vai River for a long time.
It led to lots of respiratory diseases. The Thi Vai River had been a living source of local residents before Vedan destroyed it. Many people lost their businesses, and they also had to spend money treating their diseases. It estimated local residents have lost billions of VND. That created many conflicts and altered their social conduct. Instead of building a real waste water treatment system, Vedan has directly discharged waste water into the Thi Vai River for 14 years illegally. This action violated the code of ethics. It has destroyed people’s trust in justice and fairness since it came into view.
At a bad result, it suppressed and discouraged compliant businesses who have done legally. 3. 3 Impacts on environment: Since Vedan operated their factories, they have destroyed the Thi Vai River heavily. They poisoned the water. It killed many aquatic creatures which caused aquatic ecological imbalance. It led to the death of the Thi Vai River. Vedan also damaged the land. Local people could not use land to grow plants or use water to water their fields. Consequently, the local landscape has become dirtier and dirtier. Many people were leaving their hometown not only because of their losses, but also because of bad environment. . Stakeholders: a. Benefits for Vedan’s stock holders, employees and suppliers: • Vedan’s stock holders: For more than 20 years, Vedan has increased profits a lot. They have installed a fake waste water treatment system which cost them a little to mislead people and government into thinking that Vedan has done legally. So that they have received many certificates of merit. Nguyen (2009) said that the amount of waste water that Vedan discharged into the Thi Vai River was about 105. 600m3/month. They saved a huge amount of money from treating that 105. 600m3 of waste water.
So that they could decrease the price of their products and made them have more comparative advantage. Consequently they gained market shares a lot. • Vedan’s employees: They have received benefits since they worked for Vedan’s factories. When Vedan gained more money, it led to a likely increase in their salary, bonus and allowance. Their working environment had much improvement. They have turned a blind eye to Vedan’s crime because they have got many benefits. • As Vedan’s employees, suppliers received many benefits. When Vedan expanded their business, it would lead to more orders from Vedan.
At a result, they would increase their profit. So they also ignored Vedan’s crime. b. Government and local communities suffered the losses. • Government: ASEM (2012) said that Vietnamese government schedule has focused mainly on expanding and diversifying its market to increase its economy so far. Vedan and many other companies have also contributed to develop Vietnamese economy. However, the damage that Vedan caused was more than its contribution. * Firstly, it undermined attempts by government to improve the entire wealth of the country. At a result, Government would lose their image and prestige.
More seriously, they would lose residents’ trust. *Finally, the action of Vedan was obviously a crime. Although they have done illegally for many years, they are still operating and gaining a lot of profits many years. It demonstrates that Government is very weak and passive. In other words, Vedan have harmed and broken Vietnamese laws. It would lead to disrupting and undermining fairness and justice. • Local community: As mentioned before, the pollution of the Thi Vai River has had a bad effect on their health, their living and working environment.
They lost their businesses, and they also had to spend money curing their health and purifying the river. c. Local committee, governing party and competent authority organizations have to be more active to protect people’s right: • Pham (n,d) said that Dong Nai Committee seemed to hesitate to sue Vedan and help residents to estimate their losses. They also accepted 15 billion VND while their residents asked 119 billion VND as compensation. Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment fined Vedan. However, they seemed to evade responsibility and pass the bulk then.
More importantly, there is a gap in Vietnamese laws about the Vedan’s crime. So Vedan has broken Vietnamese laws, and local people have suffered the losses since then. d. Media agencies, journalists and retailers played their role very well. • Vedan retailers: They have also received benefits from the cheap price. At a good result, their profit would increase. If they keep operating with Vedan, they will get a good return. However they have played their role very well. M. T (2010) released that Co. opmart, Citimart, Maximark and Big C have threatened to boycott Vedan.
They would not receive Vedan’s products unless Vedan compensate for the losses of people fairly. • Many journalists and media agencies have reported Vedan’s crime; they have helped to protect people’s right and benefits by pressuring, stressing and harming Vedan’s image. 5. Recommendations: Thanks to Vedan, we realize that our laws are still weak and lenient and government is still passive and irresolute. So that we firstly need to enact strict laws about destroying environment to force companies care more about “corporate social responsibilities”. Government has to know and realize clearly about “corporate social responsibilities”.
We also need to increase the fines and level of punishments, especially Vedan have to be punished seriously, so that others will not follow in Vedan’s footsteps. According to Quan Tri (n,d) the concept “corporate social responsibilities” is vey strange and unknown to Vietnamese people. At a result, people don’t really care about that, Therefore, Government has to educate people that concept to help them have a better understanding. By doing so, it will increase people awareness. People then will pay more attention to it, and they will be more active to report and help to catch those crimes.
We need to establish more organizations which have a responsibility to educate, communicate, and celebrate events, meetings and workshops to motivate and inform people and corporations about “corporate social responsibilities; they also play a part in protecting innocent people from who harms their rights and benefits. Last but not least, In Vedan’s case we can see that employees, retailers, media agencies, journalists and many other people and organizations. Some of them played their role very well. We need to motivate and encourage them more, so that they will always play their role well.
For people who took no notice of Vedan’s crime or hesitated to help innocent people. We also need to motivate them much more than ever. More importantly, we need to educate them about “corporate social responsibilities”. So that they will not evade their responsibilities or hesitate to help us to protect innocent people’s benefits. 6. Conclusion: In conclusion, Vietnam will develop sustainably if Vietnamese government always keeps in mind that they have to focus on three aspects economy, society and environment. Although it may take a long time, it is worth to do slowly but surely.
Vietnamese government has to take the case of Vedan as a lesson. They need to plan clearly and carefully to have a good future prospect so that Vietnam will not waste its time to redo or restore the damage. References ASEM Labour and Employment Ministers’ Conference. (8/14/2012) . M? t s? net kinh t? Vi? t Nam . Retrieved from http://lemc4. molisa. gov. vn/NewsDetail. aspx? lg=89&ID=148 Cong Thuong Quang Tri. (n,d. ). T? VEDAN NGHI V? TRACH NHI? M XA H? I C? A DN. Retrieved from http://www. congthuong-quangtri. gov. vn/include/default. asp? option=2&ChitietID=78&MenuID=133&MenuChaID=1&hienthivanban=0
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