As businesses become 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 repeatedly hear the same examples from the same international companies.
In an attempt to share some new examples of good practise, 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 Kosovo, Argentina, and Scotland.
Alejtin Berisha, Executive Director, Universum University College, Kosovo
Meridian Corporation is a family-owned group comprised of food, beverage, and retail companies. As a founding member of the Kosovo Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) network, the group is dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of CSR activities throughout the nation. Though involved in many CSR initiatives, Meridian Corporation maintains strong connections with SOS Village, Down Syndrome Kosovo, and National Association of Autism in Kosovo. Meridian Corporation has dedicated an annual budget to CSR activities and is open to contribute wherever they can, with a special focus on the continuation and growth of programmes that support children’s well-being in order to ensure future generations of happy, healthy, and successful Kosovars.
Sharrcem, a cement company is also active in sustainability in Kosovo. They have a Local Community Advisory Board designed to serve as a liaison between the Community and Sharrcem in order to streamline the company’s support activities with the local society. The board is made up of different community stakeholders as well as two Sharrcem employees of middle management level and residents of Hani i Elezit. The board is responsible for understanding the needs and proposals filed by local stakeholders for financial support by the company, as well as the fair distribution of Sharrcem funds dedicated to Community Development.
Miguel Angel Gardetti and Ana Laura Torres, Directors, Sustainable Textil Centre, IESC, Argentina
Cúbreme is a small textile company created by designer Alejandra Gottelli. The company is closer to a sustainable model; the brand is likewise committed to social welfare promotion and environmental preservation. The company works based on cooperativism as a labour inclusion model and fair trade as a way to contribute to improving the quality of life of local communities.
Alec Wersun, Senior Lecturer, Glasgow School for Business and Society, Scotland
Scottish Business in the Community, a Prince of Wales business-led charity, pulls together the efforts of Scotland’s business community to contribute to a more sustainable future. The Iglu restaurant promotes sustainability; 90% of the restaurant’s fresh vegetables and farmed meat is organic and sourced from Scotland, reducing the restaurant’s carbon footprint. Organic farming works with the soil, and meat comes with the highest of animal welfare standards. This all serves to sustain rural community life. Auchentoshan (Whisky) Distillery is working to reduce waste and ensure that any waste is used (e.g. spent grain is used as animal food or for bio fuel). Biosafe provides eco-friendly solutions for a range of individuals and businesses looking for safe cleaning products or industrial chemicals.