On 27 August 2020, Mr. Olivier Do Ngoc Dung had joined in the Annual Cross-Sector Conference hosted by LIN Center and shared his views about the ongoing journey of EZLand to Strategic Sustainable Development.

Just returning to Vietnam after a few months overseas, Mr. Olivier felt proud of how successful Vietnam has handled the COVID crisis. Combining with the Vietnamese government’s efforts in suppressing the two COVID-19 outbreaks and supporting the society’s most vulnerable, Vietnam will continue to keep its people safe and make the economy resilient. Nevertheless, Mr. Olivier also raised his concern that the social and environmental issues now can no longer be separated from the country’s growth. Unless these issues are addressed, Vietnam’s financial system and the economy will fail.

As a country coming out of COVID-19 with positive results, Vietnam is expected more increased and accelerated foreign investment in Vietnam’s key sectors. Moreover, diplomatic foreign policies also affect the country’s trade process. As a foreign entrepreneur with a unique mindset who has experienced the COVID-19 situation all over the world, Mr. Olivier clearly stated that we, as businesses, should consider the social and economic impacts on the overall development strategy.

13 years in Vietnam and 6 years with EZLand, Mr. Olivier has seen the rising demand for high quality, environmentally sustainable, affordable housing for Vietnam’s Millennials. With the desire to ensure Vietnamese next generations could grow up in a thriving society and environment, Mr. Olivier decided to develop a Corporate Citizenship strategy based on the vision of sustainable development.

Since its establishment, EZLand has been aimed at creating more positive impacts beyond just physical buildings and profit for shareholders. With the Corporate Citizenship strategy, EZLand focuses on creating EDGE-certified housing projects that benefit the community at large. This framework is collective and comprehensive, including company core values, sustainability, benchmarking, and community activities. It defines us a legitimate role in society beyond the economic sphere. Many companies now use this framework to support society. Customers and investors are paying more attention to ESG and other benchmarks like GRESB to evaluate the risk and return of their investments. As a real estate development firm and an investment fund, EZLand’s Corporate Citizenship Strategy is built around the broader definitions of “development” and “investment.”

Thereby, good corporate citizenship policies will lead to employee commitment, more sustainable projects, strong customer loyalty, increased investment, and a more positive reputation, all of which have a direct impact on business performance.

According to Mr. Olivier, our process is to invest in and develop our employees, communities, and environment in or near our project areas, a more sustainable supply chain, and green construction. This will strengthen employee skills and morale, increase the project durability, and enhance the local economy and our communities. Ultimately, our corporate citizenship strategy can help us achieve long-term sustainability and growth of all of our investments.

EZLand is committed to bettering society and the environment in which our private equity fund commits 0.1% of our revenues each year to community development projects. Mr. Olivier said that he hoped to increase that number annually. For this, we need the buy-in of our investors and shareholders to increase the level of accountability and transparency.

Finally, he emphasized the importance of Strategic Corporate Citizenship and encouraged in changing the outdated dichotomy between businesses and civil society where sustainable businesses should no longer prioritize making profits. Only by partnering together, strategically, Mr. Olivier believes all of us can ensure a brighter future for all of our children and build a better future for Vietnam. 

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