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 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, the USA, and Serbia.
Jurgen Volkert, Professor of Economics, Ethics and Sustainable Development, Pforzheim University, Germany
Schmalz Vacuum Technology (Glatten) is one of the hidden SME champions in our region, committed to sustainable development for many years, and successful in implementation: “We think in the long term. Our philosophy is based on the principle of sustainability and economic success, while respecting our environmental and social responsibilities.” Hansgrohe (Schiltach) is one of the eco-pioneers in the Northern Black Forest, with a focus on water and energy saving. “Our passion for water continually spurs us on to extend our range of energy and water-saving products, and to set global trends using innovative technologies.”
Marie Di Virgilio, Administrative Director, Center for Values-Driven Leadership, Benedictine University College of Business, USA
Interface is committed to becoming a restorative company (beyond zero net impact on the environment) by 2020 in the traditionally petro-intensive industry of commercial carpets. Another example I would point to is the Small Giants Community, made up of entrepreneurial firms in the US that drive profitable growth by investing heavily in their employees, customers, and communities. At Benedictine University’s Center for Values-Driven Leadership, we’ve recently turned our attention to the sustainability issue of food waste, which is a $250 billion global problem, annually, that results in wasted resources and increased greenhouse gases. Three companies working aggressively to tackle this problem are MGM Resorts International (Las Vegas, NV), Zingerman’s Deli (Ann Arbor, MI) and Tasty Catering (Chicago, IL).
Natasa Papic Blagojevic, Principal Assistant for International Cooperation, Novi Sad Business School, Serbia
The Ecological Association of Novi Sad was founded in 1990 as a social organisation for the protection of the environment and spiritual heritage. Their main activity is raising awareness of the importance of sustainability. They are actively promoting sustainable development, environmental campaigns, eco-tourism destinations, etc. The Camping Association of Serbia (CAS) is the association of Serbian camping sites, camp service providers, and tourist organisations from Serbian cities, which actively promotes awareness of sustainable camping tourism opportunities.
What are your favourite local companies engaged in sustainability? Share them in the comments section below.