Clean and Green Cambodia: Sustainable Business Practices
What is sustainability and how can you create a more sustainable business strategy?
Business sustainability is becoming more and more important for all companies, across all industries. It is at the very core of their business operations. The goal is to minimize the carbon footprint and its negative impacts on the global and local environment, community and society.
What Can Businesses Do to Alleviate Waste?
The Cambodian government is putting in a lot of effort in its vision for a progressive, inclusive, and sustainable society. Just this year, the country has launched a two-year project which aspires to provide innovative solutions for addressing environmental degradation, growing waste, and access to affordable, sustainable and clean energy. With its rapid economic growth, all businesses/foreign investors are encouraged to support the government’s numerous efforts in developing a framework that outlines the green growth roadmap for Cambodia.
There are many sustainable projects that you can do to help alleviate waste in the country. Other than putting your waste on segregated bins, there are other activities you can join that have an impact on sustainable development. As a business owner, you play the most significant role in promoting and employing clean and green practices.
✓ USE BIODEGRADABLE ITEMS – Ditch materials like styrofoam cups and plastic utensils. Some companies produce restaurant supplies like biodegradable cutlery, food packaging, and straws. Although these items are a little more expensive than usual, it ensures than it doesn’t leave plastic waste that won’t stay on earth for the next 500 years.
✓ REUSE AND RECYCLE – Reuse means putting the item to the same or similar function after the first use. Recycle is the process of transforming the original product into a new thing for similar or different use. Both methods significantly reduce waste. Reusable items include straws, eco-bags, travel kits, food packaging, cutleries, and bottles.
✓ WASTE SEGREGATION – Properly labeled bins are necessary when segregating. Some will still not put their trash in the correct bin. However, there is enough environmental awareness that almost 90% of people will follow the labels. It also wouldn’t hurt to display a few colorful or catchy reminders in public areas to raise awareness.
✓ SUPPORT ECO-FRIENDLY INITIATIVES OF OTHER COMPANIES – The most significant contribution that you, as a business owner, can bring is to support local businesses in their quest for a cleaner and greener Cambodia. Use eco-friendly items, buy supplies from companies that promote clean and green initiatives, and do your part in helping zero-waste programs.
Clean and Green Initiatives in Cambodia
There’s quite a number of organizations in the Kingdom that promote responsible and sustainable business practices and resources. Among them are the following:
CLEAN AND GREEN CAMBODIA » Clean and Green Cambodia was established in 2017 to assist businesses and Non-Government Organizations in the Kingdom to be more sustainable. They provide companies with access to sustainable business models and toolkits that can reduce environmental footprint. They also bring together like-minded individuals, businesses, and institutions to leverage each other’s efforts in making the country clean and green.
GO GREEN CAMBODIA » GoGreen Cambodia is a volunteering effort started in 2016 for people living in Cambodia. The group created an app that enables people to rate the cleanliness of specific places around the country. It allows the government and civic groups to pinpoint the areas that they need to focus more efforts in terms of cleanliness. The app also serves as encouragement to the youth, which is the highest mobile phone users. Rating their areas makes them more aware of their environment.
KHMER GREEN CHARCOAL » Previously called the Sustainable Green Fuel Enterprise, the Cambodia KGC (Khmer Green Charcoal) is an NGO project in 2018. It aims to alleviate poverty, reduce deforestation, and improve waste management. KGC manufactures char briquettes, high-quality charcoal made of organic waste.
GERES CAMBODIA » The Group for Environment, Renewable Energy and Solidarity Cambodia is an independent non-profit organization that has been working in the Kingdom since 1994 on projects that enhance the sustainability of renewable energy sources. They provide support to companies and organizations geared towards developing environmentally safe fuel and energy supplies.
SEVEA CONSULTING » Sevea is a Cambodian-based Consulting Company that specializes in providing support to NGOs and companies in the water and energy sector. They partner with upcoming businesses and provide support to these companies in building their strategy and operational models.
Cambodia Eco-Friendly Businesses
If you are one of the business owners who want to support eco-friendly businesses and decide to use reusable products, these are the companies that sell environmental-friendly items and supplies.
✓ SUNSAI NATURE – Sunsai Nature is a company that stood against single-use plastics items used by the hospitality and tourism industry. They sell products including bamboo toiletries, biodegradable items like cutlery and straws, and reusable things like bottles, straws, and toiletries, and eco-friendly homecare.
✓ KAMBIO NATURE – Kambio Nature was established in 2013 by a French family who fell in love with the Kingdom. The company sells products like refillable shampoo, conditioner, essential oil, mosquito repellent, massage oil, and body lotion. Eco-products like bamboo toothbrushes, bamboo combs, washable slippers, cotton laundry bags, wooden cutlery, reusable bags, reusable metal, silicon, glass, and wheat straws, biodegradable plates can be ordered with customized logos.
✓ SONAS – is a social enterprise business that partners with organizations like the Cambodian Weaving Village and Taeko. They co-create self-sustaining, self-supporting empowered communities. These communities manufacture eco-friendly cloth and accessories. They create reusable items like bags, toiletries, refillable soap, detergent, shampoo, mosquito repellent, virgin coconut oil, handmade scarves, shorts, and many others.
✓ MAMA JUNGLE – Mama Jungle sells products that are earth-friendly alternatives to plastic products. Items include reusable bottles in bamboo, reusable glass bottles with a bamboo lid, and bamboo straw of different sizes.
✓ DAI KHMER REFILL STATION AND ECO-SHOP – Dai Khmer empowers women by training them to manufacture eco-friendly products like banana paper, coconut oil, cream, and natural soap. They also sell reusable bags, bottles, and straws. Other items are refillable soap, detergent, shampoo, toiletries, and homecare.
✓ REHASH TRASH – Rehash Trash is an organization that employs disadvantaged Khmer women to create accessories, clothes, reusable items, and reusable bags. They also offer 2-hour recycling workshops where create keyrings or bracelets for $8.
✓ ONLY ONE PLANET – Only One Planet is an eco-business that sells alternatives to plastic products. Their range of products includes 100% natural sugarcane bagasse food boxes, plates, and cups (FDA Certified), and 100% natural wooden cutlery (FDA & FSC Certified). They also have bamboo cutlery set and silicone collapsible items like lunch boxes, coffee cups, water bottles, straws, storage bags, and stretch lids.
✓ BABEL ECO-SHOP – Babel Eco-Shop is Cambodia’s first zero-waste shop. They sell eco-friendly shampoo, detergent, mosquito repellent, coconut oil, charcoal, and bamboo travel kits (bamboo cutleries, bamboo straws).
✓ MADE IN CAMBODIA MARKET – Made in Cambodia Market is a community market located at the heart of Siem Reap. They support local businesses and sell eco-friendly items like cloth, decoration items, coconut oil, soaps, and accessories produced locally from Ammo, Rehash Trash, Friends International, Sombai Liqueur, and other local manufacturers.
There are many more ways to help the environment and promote sustainable business strategy. Buying from suppliers that use eco-friendly materials can significantly lessen the negative environmental impact of the country’s fast-growing economy. Cambodia will benefit from the income it will generate, without having to suffer from its negative effect on the environment.