As businesses become more and 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 often hear about the same examples from the same international companies over and over again.
In an attempt to share some new best practice examples, 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. Here are some examples from Denmark, Iceland, and Malaysia.
Pernille Kallehave, Aarhus University School of Business and Social Sciences, Denmark
Karen Blixen Camp is an eco-friendly luxury camp along the Mara River in the Maasai Mara. The camp is committed to minimising their impact on the environment with the use of the latest green technologies, including solar panels to power the camp and heat water. They organise donations of material and financial support to community projects relating to water and sanitation, health, education and small-scale enterprise. Apart from incorporating CSR into daily operations, the Camp also established The Hospitality School to equip local Masai youth with various skills for mainstream tourism jobs. This includes a cooking school for youth wanting to become chefs, a forestry school, and a language school.
Grundfos Lifelink is working in Kenya to test groundbreaking technology focused on providing reliable access to water to local communities. Building on 60 years of experience in advanced pump solutions and linking to the strengths of mobile connectivity, the company has developed an automatic water dispenser with an integrated system for revenue collection, and an online water management platform for full transparency and remote management.
Hrefna Sigriour Briem, Director of the B.SC Programme at the School of Business, Reykjavik University, Iceland
Festa – Icelandic Center for Corporate Social Responsibility, is a non-profit organisation founded by six Icelandic companies in 2011. The mission of Festa is to be a knowledge centre for CSR in Iceland and to promote the discussion on CSR in Iceland. In addition it supports companies in implementing CSR strategies and provides a network of companies who want to implement CSR, as well as cooperating with universities by promoting research and teaching of CSR. Founding companies are Rio Tinto Alcan, Íslandsbanki, Landsbankinn, Landsvirkjun, Síminn and Össur. New members include, ÁTVR, Ölgerðin brewery, Capacent, Arion Bank, Innovation Center Iceland, Reykjagarður, ISS Iceland, 112 Iceland and CCP games. The centre is hosted by Reykjavik University.
Islandabanki is one of Iceland’s commercial banks (approximately 35% market share). The bank has made “building a sustainable future” a core of its strategy. A new social responsibility strategy was formulated and approved in 2014. The emphasis was on ensuring that employees have a comprehensive knowledge of the strategy and its sub-projects. The strategy is detailed in the bank’s annual report.
Vinbudin is the state liquor store (the state holds a monopoly on selling liquor in Iceland). The company has during the past few years made a point of promoting responsible use of alcoholic beverages, made substantial efforts in minimising environmental effects of their operations, and emphasised responsible management and human resource practices. The company thoroughly reports according to GRI standards and carefully monitors its progress. Their annual report carefully details their approach to these issues (available in Icelandic on their website).
Mehran Nejati Abjibisheh, Senior Lecturer, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
NTPM is a consumer goods and paper company that aims to enhance personal hygiene in every household. NTPM is working to reduce adverse environmental impacts through its production processes. With innovative recycling solutions, the company ensures that potential hazards to food safety are recognised, regulated, prevented, monitored and controlled. They also define objectives and targets and implement programmes to improve the environmental performance that benefit the company and community.
UMW is a leading industrial enterprise with diverse and global interests in the automotive, equipment, manufacturing and engineering, and oil and gas industries. UMW supports many worthy causes in the areas of education, environment and community. They are a Premium Member of PINTAR Foundation since 2007, which focuses on working with schools in particular from rural areas. Almost 14,000 students have benefited from the UMW-PINTAR Programme to date. The SL1M (Skim Latihan 1 Malaysia) is another CSR programme that UMW is actively involved in. SL1M provides an opportunity for young, unemployed and underemployed Malaysian university graduates to gain valuable on-the-job experience and exposure at UMW, while enhancing their soft skills and employability. From 2011 to 2013, 113 graduates have completed their trainings with UMW.