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 across the USA and Morocco.
Mahja NAIT BARKA, ESCA Ecole de Management, Morocco
BMCE Bank, a leading Moroccan bank present in more than thirty countries in Africa, Europe and Asia, stands out as a model in Corporate Social Responsibility. BMCE Bank was the 1st bank in the Maghreb region to join the Equator Principles, and the 1st bank in the MENA Region to be certified ISO14001 in environmental management. Four percent of the bank’s gross income is devoted to the BMCE Bank Foundation, which operates the Medersat.com programme, bringing together schooling and community development in rural areas of Morocco, Mali, Senegal, and Congo Brazzaville. To date, approximately 400 teachers have been recruited and trained, and 192 schools and pre-school units were built and equipped for more than 15,000 pupils. Six thousand adults have benefited from literacy training (80% of which are women and girls).
Maroc Telecom, the main telecommunications company in Morocco and signatory to the UN Global Compact, obtained the highest score in the VIGEO ratings, in the areas of business ethics and anti-corruption initiatives. VIGEO, the European leading supplier of extra-financial analysis, rated eight Moroccan Companies listed on Casablanca Stock Exchange, evaluated on twenty-two dimensions. In 2006, Maroc Telecom adopted a Code of Ethics that requires all employees not to accept “gifts, benefits, invitations and bribes, to preserve the integrity and reputation of Maroc Telecom.”
Centrale Laitière is another one of Morocco’s top performers in sustainability. Created in 1940, Centrale Laitière is a group of companies specialising in the milk and dairy product industry, in partnership with Danone group. The group is a signatory to the UN Global Compact, and is committed to respect its fundamental Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and the fight against corruption. Centrale Laitière is at the origin of a nutritional charter to promote local producers and provide a ‘Buyer’s Code of Ethics’ to stimulate appropriate governance and environmental responsibility (characterised by reducing carbon emissions and waste).
Michael Chmura, Babson College, USA
Preserve, a certified B Corporation founded by a Babson alumnus, is the leading maker of performance driven and stylish 100% recycled household products. Preserve is powered by the recycling efforts of individuals and companies collecting #5 plastic—such as yogurt cups and other common household containers—via Preserve’s Gimme 5 programme. The Gimme 5 programme collects and transforms #5 plastics into new Preserve products. All recycling and manufacturing is done in the USA.
Another good example is GreenerU, a mission driven company that collaborates with educational institutions to engineer sustainable solutions to energy and engagement challenges. Their unique approach integrates building system improvements with behavioural programmes to meet campus-wide sustainability goals. (Disclosure: The Sustainability Office at Babson College is staffed and operated by two GreenerU employees under contract at Babson)
Mayur Mehta, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programmes, McCoy College of Business Administration, USA
Founded in 2008, Sustainable San Marcos is dedicated to helping the San Marcos community move towards a more sustainable future. Their focus for sustainability is in five areas: food, water, waste, energy and transportation acted on through our committees. They host initiatives such as composting workshops, rainwater harvesting tours, relevant book review articles, blog posts, and more, in an effort to educate the San Marcos community.
The San Marcos Farmer’s Market Association provides an outlet for Central Texas farmers to market their crops, and a source of fresh, homegrown and homemade products for local consumers. Daily operations of each market are conducted under the supervision of the Market Manager, who is authorised by and responsible directly to the Board of Directors. Membership in the association is available to Central Texas producers who meet the criteria established in the association by-laws, and who have been approved for membership by the Board of Directors.
The mission of the City of Austin’s Resource Recovery Programme is to be the national Zero Waste leader in the transformation from traditional integrated waste collection to sustainable resource recovery. The Resource Recovery includes many programmes that are aimed at sustainability and protecting the environment. The Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility is open to customers to safely dispose hazardous waste such as household chemicals, paint, automotive fluids, etc. The facility then recycles and makes new products available to whoever can use them. For example, Austin ReBlend is a 100 percent post-consumer, reblended flat paint (with low VOCs) made from paint collected at the HHW facility