As businesses become more and more engaged in sustainability around the world, we are presented with an increasing range of examples of active companies. However, when I speak with students and faculty, they say that they often hear about the same examples from the same international companies over and over again.
In an attempt to share some new examples of good practice, I asked a handful of faculty members from around the world about their favourite classroom examples of local companies that are actively involved in sustainability. Below are some examples from Germany, USA, and India.
Marcus Kreikebaum at the European Business School in Germany
SAP, a large software company based in Walldorf, Germany, recently announced a partnership with a Danish social business called Specialisterne. This software “giant” plans to employ hundreds of people with autism as software specialists, as it has shown that people with autism have special competences that can be used in this labour market. The partnership with SAP allows Specialisterne to take this idea to scale.
Another example is Boehringer Ingelheim, a large pharma company in Germany that has just signed onto a three-year global initiative to improve health in communities around the world. The “Making more health” initiative promotes more health for individuals, families, and communities. Together with Ashoka, this initiative aims to identify and support the most promising solutions to challenging health problems
Dr. Jennifer Marrone, Albers School of Business and Economics, USA
Pacific Market International (PMI) is an interesting example. In addition to innovation and a commitment to excellence, PMI’s five strategic pillars include culture and people, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility. PMI’s “ethically made in China” tagline is based on the implementation of their code of conduct for suppliers, which includes guidelines on labour, wages, working conditions, and health and safety.
Costco Wholesale works with farmers to increase the sustainability (for farmers, communities, animals, and the environment) of organic eggs (US), green beans (Guatemala), and limited-resource commodities such as vanilla (Uganda), cashews (Africa), cacao (Western Africa), and shrimp (Thailand).
Alaska Air Group (AAG) pioneered a satellite-based system (Required Navigation Performance), adopted at airports across the country to streamline aircraft landings. This reduces carbon emissions (up to 14 million metric tons annually). AAG’s sustainability reports conform to Global Reporting Initiative standards.
Dr. Divya Singhal, Goa Institute of Management (GIM), India
The Centre for Innovation and Business Acceleration in Verna, Goa, (a unit of Agnel Charity), appears to be doing interesting work in the field of entrepreneurship. Since 2000, they have helped establish more than 3,500 micro-enterprises. They are actively promoting entrepreneurship among rural women and youth. GIM is will collaborate with them in the coming year to help women and youth in the villages to set up new and strengthen existing micro-enterprises.