JED, Vol. 15, No.2, August 2013, pp. 54-78 | DOI: 10.33301/2013.15.02.04
Compliance of Leather Tanning Industry with Environmental Regulations in Vietnam
Abstract:Vietnam’s rapidly increasing leather and footwear export trade has made a significant contribution to the country’s economic development over recent years. However, the rapid growth of the leather industry causes considerable pollution, which poses increased risks to the environment and human health. A number of policies have been introduced by the government of Vietnam to mitigate the environmental pollution from the tanning industry. They include requirements for tanneries to (i) submit environmental impact assessment reports, (ii) install wastewater treatment systems, and (iii) pay wastewater fees. However, many tanneries in Vietnam did not comply with these regulations. This study aimed at investigating the compliance of Vietnam’s tanneries with environmental regulations and to explore policy recommendations for improving their compliance based on a survey of 54 tanneries in Hanoi, Quangnam and Hochiminh city. The results showed that medium-sized and large tanneries responded positively to environmental regulations while none of the small household tanneries surveyed were found to comply. The main reasons for the latter’s non-compliance were found to be the lack of technical and financial capacity. Nonetheless, the compliance rate of tanneries in general was found to be much higher than that of other industrial sectors in Vietnam. Inspections, production capacity, location of firms, and type of tannery were found to be significant factors affecting compliance. Raising the penalties for non-compliance, increasing monitoring activities to detect offenders, and employing a multi-stakeholder and collective action approach were seen as possible strategies to bring about the greening of the tanning industry.
Keywords:Leather tanning industry, environmental regulations, compliance, Vietnam