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 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 Poland, Australia and Colombia
Anna Szelagowska, Warsaw School of Economics, Poland
IZODOM 2000 POLSKA Sp. z o.o.– the Polish company has specialised in developing new solutions for quick erection of energy efficient buildings. The Izodom products are widely used in modern passive and low-energy houses, greatly reducing the consumption of fossil fuels. Proprietary, legally protected solutions applied in the Izodom forms cause that their technology is perceived as one of the most advanced in Europe.
SOLARIS Bus & Coach SA – the Polish company is a major European producer of city, intercity and special-purpose buses as well as low-floor trams. Since the start of production in 1996, over 15 000 vehicles have already left the factory in Bolechowo near Poznań. They are running in 31 countries. Despite its young age, Solaris has become one of the trendsetting companies in its industry.
SEEDiA – the Polish start-up creating eco-friendly products powered by renewable energy sources. Their solar benches, stands and other products utilize the energy they gather for charging mobile devices (with USB ports and wireless chargers), Wi-Fi hotspots, heated seats, radio, LEDs and paper screens. Their furniture is being used in public spaces, shopping centres, airports and hotels.
Michaela Rankin, Monash Business School, Australia
Kindling is a fashion design company based in Melbourne who have their garments made in Vietnam. They adopt a sustainable and ethical approach to clothing manufacture and production. “All of our clothing is made carefully and skillfully by professional seamstresses we know personally in Vietnam. Each piece is cut then sewn by one person from beginning to end. While this may not be the fastest way to do things, it does mean that there is a certain hand finished quality and attention to detail across the whole garment and we feel this is worth paying extra and waiting longer for.”
‘Crepes for Change’ was started by a student at Monash University. It is a crepes food truck company that is run by volunteers. Profits go towards helping alleviate homelessness in Melbourne.
eWater Systems is an Australian owned company that supplies electrolysis units to generate simple, sustainable and highly effective alternatives to harmful packaged chemical cleaners and sanitisers. They are registered as a B Corp.
Maria Alejandra Gonzalez-Preez, EAFIT, Columbia
EPM is a provider of water, natural gas and energy in Colombia and has made sustainability a core part of their strategy. They were previously aligning their policies with the Millenium Development Goals and now with the Sustainabile Development Goals and have campaigns to engage the public and their customers in these issues. As part of that strategy they also joined the United Nations Global Compact.
Grupo Sura works in investment banking, asset management and insurance services internationally. They too are members of the Global Compact are are on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, the main index provider for companies performance evaluation that ocnsiders economic, enviornmental and social aspects.
ISA is an electric utility company also headquartered here. They aim to be as transparent as possible and have several programmes focused on stakeholders and contributing to the development of the societies in which they operate.