by Tom Bosschaert

Feb. 1, 2022

Tom Bosschaert

ViCo is Vietnam's first national center for sustainability in Ho Chi Minh City. In a time of great demand for sustainable solutions, ViCo supports and connects socially and environmentally-driven businesses, entrepreneurs, and policymakers to bolster Vietnam's sustainability and potential as a regional leader in Southeast Asia. ViCo offers global connectivity, knowledge sharing, inspiring workplaces, supporting resources, and attracts like-minded clients and projects to organizations focused on Vietnam's development and long-term sustainability.

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ViCo aims to facilitate and support the growing demand for more interdisciplinary and collaborative business models in Vietnam.
  • The ViCo sustainability center seeks members, sponsors, and development partners to bolster the connectivity of sustainability-driven organizations in Vietnam.

Update: ViCo Crowdfunding is now open. Check here for details.

Now is the time for a sustainable Asia to emerge

As sustainable development is becoming a central pillar of policy, investment, and innovation in Southeast Asia, the need for knowledge, experience, and partnerships is growing.

A diverse and resilient nation, Vietnam has achieved spectacular economic growth and progress over the past few decades. Not without a host of challenges, the government is now taking bold steps with its "National Green Growth Strategy for the 2021-2030 period, vision towards 2050."

Considering unique geographic, cultural, and historical factors and dedication to accelerating sustainable development, Vietnam is ideally situated to emerge as a sustainability leader in enhancing industry, urban environments, food production, water management, energy, resilience, and social harmony.

ViCo supports Vietnam in becoming a regional leader

The future looks bright, though many organizations and individuals seek professional support in their journey toward sustainability. ViCo, Vietnam’s first sustainability and innovation center, helps to connect all those dedicated to working on this better future.

By facilitating and enhancing the growth of such a professional community to exchange knowledge, spur innovation, and develop new collaborative business models, ViCo aims to become one of Southeast Asia's leading centers for sustainable development.

ViCo's core activities:

  • Strengthening sustainability partnerships and global networks
  • Enabling access to world-class knowledge, training, and innovation
  • Supporting sustainability innovation development and promotion
  • Connecting organizations for sustainable industry, urban development, and policy

Become part of a pioneering community

ViCo's collaborative community is to be housed in a circular, self-supporting, and inspirational building. The center will host various sustainability-focused activities and training to promote awareness, knowledge, and collaboration among those beyond its walls.

Besides office space for members, ViCo's space will host events, media rooms, exhibition spaces, sustainability-focused retail, and entertainment programs. Additionally, ViCo will cater to regular visitors, from business relations to policymakers and the general public, to partake in the city's development, innovations, and progress toward sustainability.

Benefits to ViCo members:

  • Connect to and be part of the national center and its professional community
  • Exemplary sustainable, inspiring workspace in the form of offices, dedicated desk, and flex spaces
  • Shared sustainable facilities (media & meeting rooms, café, library, event spaces)
  • Access to training and knowledge resources
  • Admission to regular events, workshops, and performances
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ViCo will house sustainably and cooperative-minded businesses and entrepreneurs and regularly host events and performances to enhance networks, knowledge, and innovation.

Heritage preservation: an exemplary sustainable building

The ViCo sustainability hub is to be located in the center of Ho Chi Minh City. The search is currently underway for a suitable disused and, ideally, heritage building to be renovated into an example of pioneering sustainable urban redevelopment.

Similarly to UCo (Utrecht Community), our headquarters in the Netherlands, the center will be sustainably designed using a host of passive features, innovative cooling, rooftop solar, waste-water reuse, circular and non-toxic materials, and lush indoor ecosystems.

The redevelopment will help showcase how adaptive reuse and restoration can protect and preserve the environmental, economic, and long-term social impacts of preserving such culturally significant structures.

With mixed-use shared work spaces, event areas and private offices, ViCo will ensure a comfortable, healthy, and inspirational work environment to inspire collaborative action on innovations to Vietnam's shift to a more sustainable future.

ViCo in numbers

  • Provides a total floor area of 3000 m2
  • Offers space for 300 workers
  • Provides 600 memberships
  • Supports 100 flex offices
  • Ensures space for over 60 internal and remote organizations

ViCo will feature the following to ensure the highest sustainability performance of any building in Vietnam:

  • 100% energy efficient with solar energy
  • 100% bio-based and circular materials, use of social workshops for production
  • 100% natural light & zero toxic materials, healthy environments with 500+ plants and trees
  • 100% flexible floor plan, resilient to future function change
  • Up to 4x increase in building's value
  • Designed, engineered, managed, and operated by Except
  • ViCo is a collaborative workplace to mobilize a network of organizations and experts to attract global investment, knowledge, and innovation to enhance the development of a sustainable Vietnam.

    Tom Bosschaert

    CEO Except

How can you engage?

We are currently seeking to expand our current partner network. Those interested in enhancing innovation of sustainable development in Vietnam can become a part of ViCo in the following ways:

ViCo seeks a total of $4.2 million in funding, both debt and equity, and offering 10%+ yearly profits. Check the ViCo funding page for details on how to participate.

Core Membership
Core members rent office space in the building and become part of the core community of the sustainability center.

Core Sponsor
These partners associate their name with supporting sustainable development and gaining access to teams of their organization's public spaces, events, and training programs of ViCo.

Sustainability-minded contractors and service providers supporting ViCo's community and sustainability center in achieving shared goals.

Governmental agencies
Policymakers that use ViCo for events and meetings spread awareness and knowledge through the training center and help fulfill Vietnam's potential as a regional leader in sustainability.

Development partner
We seek partners interested in helping to realize, manage, and operate the center and connect to other organizations to strengthen the network.

Contact us to discuss any of these options in more detail.

Connected to other sustainability centers

ViCo follows the example of our other sustainability centers and will have close connections to those existing and other centers to be developed within Vietnam and across Asia. Three other sustainability centers currently showcase our vision and enhance connectivity across the globe:

  • UCo (Utrecht Community) - Netherlands

Housed in a heritage-listed warehouse and now one of Europe’s most sustainable buildings. Read about UCo here.

  • RoCo (Rotterdam Collective) - Netherlands

The precursor to UCo and the first of this type of sustainability-driven innovation community. Read more about RoCo here.

  • Japan’s first sustainability center - Tokyo

Two sister buildings in central Tokyo to become a national sustainability education and business center (currently under development)

Sustainable Vietnam

ViCo in the media

Sustainable Vietnam - click here to read the article
The first article in a three-part series for Sustainable Vietnam reveals insight into what innovation communities need to flourish and why they are so beneficial for sustainability.

Vietnam Investment Review (VIR) - click here to read the article
This article outlines details of ViCo's sustainability community and how the design of the center and shared working space to become one of Vietnam's most sustainable buildings will enhance collaboration, the emergence of new business models, and the sustainability of the entire region.

Developments in Sourcing a Building in HCMC

After more than a year of building partnerships and searching for the perfect location for ViCo in Ho Chi Minh City, we were offered a fantastic opportunity at the end of 2021 - the beautiful heritage-listed Vietnam Railways building.

Completed in 1914 in a classical French style, it lies at the city's very heart and was abandoned mid-renovation by the previous tenant. Such a space is ideal for ViCo to demonstrate adaptive reuse and sustainable heritage preservation, much like UCo, our sustainability center in the Netherlands. With approx. 2000sq meters GFA, it can house 300 experts and 30+ companies.

We developed a strong business and community model but needed to act fast to source initial funding to secure the lease. In early January 2023, we launched the "Family and Friends" initial funding round, allowing supporters to invest in the project to enhance sustainability in Southeast Asia and become an honorary members of ViCo.

Click here to learn more about ViCo's Family and Friends funding round.

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ViCo's current partners

  • Royal Haskoning DHV
  • Consulate General Netherlands
  • Eurocham - European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam
  • Dutch Business Association Vietnam (DBAV)
  • New Energy Nexus
  • Vietnam Sustainability Social Enterprise (VSSE)
  • CHANGE Vietnam
  • Institute for Circular Economy Development (ICED)
  • Except Integrated Sustainability
  • GSB systems project / IHCIC
  • Sunbytes
  • Earth Venture Capital
  • Vietnam Climate Change Association (VCCA)
  • Intescene Vietnam
  • Pondera
  • Ardor Group
  • Nedspice
  • Schoolab
  • Impact Investment Exchange
  • Lacàph
  • CL2B (Closed Loop To Balance)

Interested in becoming a part of ViCo?

Due to the nature of collaboration and innovation, we're always on the lookout for members, sponsors, and suppliers or manufacturers who want to join us in laying the foundations of Vietnam's first innovation community for sustainability.

Contact Chi Nguyen to find out how we can work together.

Feb. 1, 2022

Project team

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