Sustainable Business Examples from Around the World – US, France and Finland

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 16.21.58As 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 the US, France, and Finland.

Joe Lawless, Executive Director of the Center for Leadership & Social Responsibility, Milgard School of Business, USA
Theo Chocolates has done an exceptional job of creating a company based upon the belief that they can make the world a better place through a commitment to social and environmental justice. Their efforts to support farmers and farming communities in cocoa growing regions include supporting their ability to utilise sustainable growing practices without synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilisers. Theo was the first organic and Fair Trade chocolate factory in the country. They are successful in creating a sustainable product profitably, and it is really good!

Caroline Cazi, Director of Human Resources, Diversity and CSR, Montpellier Business School, France
In 2012, Dell launched a commitment to put technology and expertise to work where it can do the most good for people and the planet. It is a first step toward a new sustainability strategy for Dell. The Dell 2020 Legacy of Good Plan brings that strategy into focus and sets the trajectory for how social and environmental sustainability will become an accelerator for successful and sustainable customer and societal outcomes for years to come. Another example is Adecco. While the labor market should be opened to all, many men and women—handicapped, senior, without diplomas, from diverse cultural or socio-economic backgrounds—have no possibility of working. Since 2002, the mission of the Foundation of the Group Adecco is to favour the professional success of all, so that each individual is able to express their talent and aspiration, in their employment.

Minna Halme and Armi Temmes, Professors of Corporate Social Responsibility, Aalto University, School of Business, Finland
Kemira (water management) is an example of a large company, which has changed strategy, and oriented its practices towards corporate responsibility. Below, are other examples from small specialised companies, which have sustainability as the core of their strategy. Globe Hope is an innovative company that designs and manufactures ecological products from recycled and discarded materials. Greenriders is a socially rewarding service that helps users decrease the amount of carbon emissions created through person transportation. Finally, Sharetribe allows users to create a custom sharing, renting, or selling market place online, without having to have any coding experience.

What are your favourite local companies engaged in sustainability? Share them in the comments section below.


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