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 Kenya, Australia and Belgium.
Izael Da Silva, Director of Centre of Excellence in Renewable Energy, Strathmore University, Kenya
The Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC) is an incubator supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) dealing with climate change adaptation and mitigation. The SMEs have to be in the fields of Renewable Energy, Water Management and Agribusiness in order to qualify. The Centre is supported by the World Bank, UKaid and the Danish government. The website provides interesting profiles of the 90 plus companies it has been working with who are all doing fantastic work in this field here in Kenya.
The Green Steps Team, Monash University, Australia
Interface Flor, a global carpet company, took the bold move to make sure their carpet was made from recycled material, is completely recyclable and interchangeable, and creates new markets in third world countries by purchasing old fishing nets to use in their carpets.
Monash Oakleigh Legal Service is a partnership between Monash Law School and Victoria Legal Aid. Through the service, members of the community obtain free legal advice on a variety of legal matters. Monash business students have the opportunity to undertake Industry Based Learning at Monash-Oakleigh Legal Service and work in multidisciplinary teams under the supervision of a qualified financial practitioner.
Talia Stough, Sustainability Coordinator, KU Leuven Faculty of Economics and Business, Belgium
Colruyt Group is a Belgian company with 25,000 employees, active in all segments of the retail chain, Colruyt Group aims to conduct its business in a sustainable manner. The company values education for corporate social responsibility, and sponsors a KU Leuven Faculty of Economics and Business one-week student study trip to London to learn about CSR, as well as a prize for master theses on the topic of CSR.
Ecover is an environmentally friendly cleaning product company founded in Belgium. Some interesting initiatives of the company include: cradle-to-cradle certification, the ocean bottle (made from 10% recycled Ocean Plastic), ISO 14001 certification, a green factory.