Sustainable Business Examples from Around the World – Australia, Malaysia and Ukraine

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 Australia, Malaysia and Ukraine.

 

Nicola Pless, University of South Australia, Australia

Jurlique, an international luxury cosmetics company based in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia, has been pursuing an entirely sustainable production process based on biodynamic agriculture and an anthroposophic philosophy from its start. The company was founded by Ulrike Klein and her husband in the early eighties and is built on a vision to inspire people to well-being, through purity, integrity and care (for self, others, and the planet) – based on awareness and passion. 95% of their pure-plant based ingredients are grown on their certified biodynamic farms in the Adelaide Hills providing the basis for the purest and natural skin care for customers to enjoy.

 

Haigh’s chocolates was founded in May 1915 and is a boutique-style, high-end and iconic chocolate maker from Adelaide that grows sustainably with a vision to delight chocolate lovers around the world. Haigh’s is the only Australian bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer to have achieved UTZ certification, which stands for sustainable farming of coffee, cocoa and tea with better opportunities for farmers, their families and the planet.

 

Priya Sharma, Monash University Malaysia, Malaysia

Earth Heir is a social enterprise, that began with the desire to reduce the exploitation of craftspeople and help them prosper directly from their labour. Bringing humanity to business, Earth Heir helps vulnerable communities such as the Orang Asli (natives) sell their craft works fairly and ethically so that they may achieve sustainable livelihoods.

 

Biji-Biji Initiative is a pioneering social enterprise in Malaysia that champions sustainability. The organisation maintains a sharp focus on operational efficiency, people development, investment analysis, and building, partnerships across public, corporate and NGO sectors. It focuses on building valuable products from waste, such as bags from discarded seatbelts and championing sustainable living.

 

Svitlana Kyrylchuk, Lviv Business School of Ukrainian Catholic University, Ukraine

Walnut House is a social enterprise started by one of our alumni. The company offers catering services and a bakery and gives 40% of the income to the social projects of the Walnut House Fund and to support the Center of Integral Care for Women in Crisis. Over 90 women have found shelter in the «Walnut House», with over 80% managing to recover and make a new start in life.

 

Kormotec the a leading company of Ukrainian market of prepared animal feeds. Social responsibility is one of their core values. Since 2013, the company has implemented projects that teach humane attitude towards animals among schoolchildren and adults; provided support to shelters in different regions; promote professional development of Ukrainian veterinary healthcare system. Kormotech also develops infrastructure of the local communities around its production facilities.

Laska Store is a charity shop that sells clothes made by Kyiv designers as well as selling clothes given for charity by friends and friends’ friends. You can give any item of clothing driven by the idea of conscious charity. Laska was acknowledged as “The Best Ukrainian Social Project” in 2015. Also this project is in the top-ten business-ideas for sustainable development “STALO”.

 

Sustainable Business Examples from Around the World – Australia, Malaysia, South Africa

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 Australia, Malaysia and South Africa.

Nicola Pless, University of South Australia, Australia

Jurlique is an international luxury cosmetics company based in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. It has been pursuing an entirely sustainable production process based on biodynamic agriculture and an anthroposophic philosophy from its start. The company was founded by Ulrike Klein and her husband in the early eighties and is built on a vision to inspire people to well-being, through purity, integrity and care (for self, others, and the planet) – based on awareness and passion. 95% of their pure-plant based ingredients are grown on their certified biodynamic farms in the Adelaide Hills providing the basis for the purest and natural skin care.

Haigh’s chocolates was founded in May 1915 and is a boutique-style, high-end and iconic chocolate maker from Adelaide (SA) that grows sustainably with a vision to delight chocolate lovers around the world. Haigh’s is the only Australian bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer to have achieved UTZ certification, which stands for sustainable farming of coffee, cocoa and tea with better opportunities for farmers, their families and the planet.

 

Priya Sharma, Monash University Malaysia, Malaysia

Earth Heir is a social enterprise that begun with the desire to reduce the exploitation of craftspeople and help them prosper directly from their labour. Bringing humanity to business, Earth Heir helps vulnerable communities such as the Orang Asli (natives) sell their craft works fairly and ethically so that they may achieve sustainable livelihoods.

Biji-Biji Initiative is a pioneering social enterprise in Malaysia that champions sustainability. The organisation maintains a sharp focus on operational efficiency, people development, investment analysis, and building, partnerships across public, corporate and NGO sectors. They focuses on building valuable products from waste, such as bags from discarded seatbelts.

The Starfish Project the program focuses on reintegrating the destitute, homeless, urban poor and poor families by restoring their dignity and enhancing their self-esteem through jobs placements and finding a sense of purpose in life.

 

Willem Fourie, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Spier Wine Farm in South Africa is known for its exceptional work in this regard. They support local industry and communities and are FSSC 2200 certified. They also support a number of projects around wastewater treatment, the arts, social justice and natural heritage including the Tree-preneur project which encourages people in impoverished communities to grow trees in exchange for essential goods.

Massmart is a retail chain with over 412 stores across Africa. It’s Corporate Accountability proposition is to achieve commercial success by adopting a mass distribution business model that proactively incorporates the input of our stakeholders to effectively integrate commerciality and accountability. Their accountability initiatives are wide ranging and extend from integrating small holder farmers into our supply chain, rationalising private label product packaging and improving store energy efficiency to championing black economic empowerment and increasing employee access to affordable private healthcare benefits.

Sustainable Business Examples from Around the World – Canada, South Africa and the UK

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 Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Georgina Gough, UWE Bristol, UK

Triodos Bank is a global pioneer in sustainable banking, using the power of finance to support projects that benefit people and the planet. They act as a sustainable service provider, have a range of innovative banking products and also aim to stimulate and lead public debate on issues including quality of life, social and environmental development and sustainable banking.

Bordeaux Quay is an award-winning restaurant and cookery school founded and run as a sustainable enterprise. They are focused on buying local, seasonal, organic, using ethically sourced ingredients, reducing consumption of fossil fuels and agrichemicals. Their building also represents their sustainability focus: a repurposed docks warehouse, with the restaurant reusing as many original materials as possible.

Resource Futures is a national organisation founded in Bristol enhancing practice in resource utilisation and supporting the move to a circular economy.

Low Carbon SW is a trade organisation covering Southwest England supporting the business development of the regional low carbon sector.

Eunomia is a highly-respected Bristol based environment and sustainability consultancy.

 

Aunnie Patton Power, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Zoona is a mobile money operator that is facilitating money transfers in Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi and planning to grow to additional markets.  They are employing thousands of young women as tellers in their Zoona booths and lowering the cost to send, save and soon borrow money in Africa.

AllLife Insurance offers affordable life insurance and disability cover for HIV-positive and diabetic people in South Africa. Their model essentially took a segment of the population that insurers saw as a liability and built a business model around providing value for individuals and helping them improve their lives.  They work closely with their patients to ensure they have longer life expectancies and maintain healthy lifestyles.  They’ve been so successful they are expanding up to the UK.

GreenCape is a special purpose vehicle, which was established by the Western Cape Government to support businesses and investors in the green economy by removing barriers to establishment and growth. They also support local, provincial and national government efforts to build a resilient green economy.  As a quasi-governmental entity, Green Cape has been able to facilitate deals, growth and opportunities in the green space in the Western Cape.

 

Georgia Atkin, Sobey School of Business, Canada

Telus, a Canadian telecommunications company, has been doing impressive work in the area of green buildings: in 2015, TELUS opened its new LEED Platinum certified head office, the TELUS Garden. The TELUS Garden uses solar panels to generate 65,000 kWh annually, and utilizes a District Energy System to recover waste energy from neighbouring buildings, reducing reliance on conventional energy sources by 80 per cent.

Stantec, an international design and consultation company, has some great ongoing sustainability initiatives. Alongside donating funds to community arts, education, health, and environmental projects, the company also holds an annual ‘Stantec in the Community Day’, where company employees are encouraged to volunteer their time at community initiatives. In 2016, 8000 Stantec employees contributed 16,000 hours of volunteer work at 250 locations.

Nova Scotia designer Tabitha Osler recently launched a company called Faire Child, which is preparing to manufacture sustainably-made waterproof outerwear for children. Her products promise to be innovative in their low environmental impact: the clothing uses a polyester fabric made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, and every piece of clothing is designed to be recycled again at the end of its lifespan.

Sustainable Business Examples from Around the World – Canada and Nigeria

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 Canada and Nigeria:

Oreva Agajere, Lagos Business School, Nigeria

Wecyclers is a social enterprise in Lagos Nigeria with an interesting business model for combating pollution and encouraging recycling. Wecyclers offers convenient household recycling service using a fleet of low-cost cargo bikes. They are powering social change using the environment by allowing people in low-income communities to capture value from their waste.

Adcem Healthcare is an indigenous technology and innovation driven healthcare company which builds kidney dialysis centres in public and private hospitals in Nigeria. Adcem also supports the hospitals in running the centres effectively. They have created a unique niche in Nigeria’s health sector by innovatively leveraged partnerships with private organisations to bring healthcare services to those who ordinarily cannot afford it.

Doreo Partner’s Babban Gona is an impact investment firm focused on early stage businesses that improve the livelihoods of Nigerian smallholder farmers. Their farmers’ initiative ‘Babban Gona’ (“Great Farm” in Hausa language) is an agricultural franchise that enables hardworking smallholder farmers reach their full potential by providing end-to-end services that optimise yields and labor productivity, while simultaneously improving market access.

Frank Ulbrich, University of the Fraser Valley, Canada

Net Zero waste is committed to closing the loop on the food cycle. They have a unique system for utilising the organic waste produced in households and commercial operations, transforming this nutrient rich material into supercharged soil for use for gardens and farms. As food waste is such a huge problem in North America, finding local companies who are taking action, while limiting the amount of pollution released in the conversion process, is worthy of note.

EcoDairy is an authentic farm experience that simultaneously showcases innovations in dairy sustainability and efficiency. As agriculture is a major cornerstone of the economy in the Fraser Valley, it is important for these organisations to also do everything they can to embrace sustainable practices. EcoDairy is phenomenal in that not only are they inspiring young minds to develop an active interest in farming, but also in innovation for the food and agriculture industry and other facets of science and technology.

Nature’s Path Foods is a local organic, fair trade and non-GMO food producer with products ranging from cereal to grains and granola bars. They are also the largest independent manufacturer of organic breakfast and snack foods in North America. They have signed the Sustainable Food Trade Association’s declaration of sustainability and work to keep their customers healthy as well as their business operations. Their social responsibility includes accomplishments such as: diverting 92% of their waste from landfills, and keeping 204,000 lbs of chemical pesticides out of the soil. Nature’s Path Foods was named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers in 2015.

Dr. Wendy Cukier , Ryerson University, Canada

Magnet is an online career matching platform currently serving 90,000 job seekers and over 9,000 employers that helps to combat discrimination in hiring processes through skills-based employment connections. The platform allows job seekers to privately and securely self-identify as a member of any employment equity group, promoting diversity and supporting bias-free recruitment strategies.

Starbucks Canada has partnered with Hire Immigrants on a refugee employment initiative that will recruit, train and retain 1,000 refugee employees through its local community networks in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton. This initiative sends a strong message to other employers of the value of diversity to their company and the importance of building bridges for successful refugee resettlement.

Scadding Court Community Centre (SCCC) uses income from social innovations to reduce its reliance on government grants and increase the sustainability of its local economic and social development in downtown Toronto. SCCC’s innovative initiatives include Business Out of the Box (BoB), which uses shipping containers to provide affordable commercial spaces to low income and newcomer business owners; and Aquaponics 707, which uses closed-loop urban farming systems to train and employ under-educated youths in new urban farming technology while selling affordable organic fish and produce.

 

Sustainable Business Examples from Around the World – Poland, Australia and Colombia

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.

Sustainable Business Examples from Around the World – Sweden, India and Brazil

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 Sweden, India and Brazil

Elizabeth Mary Barratt, Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden

Filippa K has developed a new business model based on sustainability which includes integrating circular economies in their value chain as well as their “Lease the Look” trial where they are testing the sharing economy trend by leasing out their clothes.

Max Hamburgers are nudging their customers with information to choose the most sustainable burger alternative, along with significantly expanding their vegetarian alternatives.

Axel Johnson AB has set a measurable target that their management will have at least 50% women in their companies, along with at least 20% with an international now-Swedish passport.

Dr Kasturi Das, Institute of Management Technology, India

Jayaashree Industries provides low cost sanitary napkins to rural women who cannot afford them because they are sold at a premium price as well as l sanitary napkins making machines which can produce the napkins at low cost to encourage the development of local entrepreneurs.

Goonj recycles discarded clothes and household goods into useful products for the poor. It collects and delivers 1,000 tons of materials a year through a network of hundreds of volunteers and partners. It also runs local development projects in villages and slum areas.

Julio Cesar Borges, FEA-RP/USP, Brazil

Votorantim Cimentos, a Brazilian cement company, is working with one of our alumnus on embedding sustainability into large projects taking place in an extremely poor region of the country.

CPFL, a Brazilian energy company, has been working with some of our professors to develop sustainable solutions for the energy sector. They outline their targets and progress of the targets on their website.

Sustainable Business Examples from Around the World – Italy, Australia, and New Zealand

Barilla

Barilla

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 Italy, Australia, and New Zealand.

Manuela Brusoni and Veronica Vecchi, SDA Bocconi School of Management, Italy

Consumer banking sector Intesa Sanpaolo: Within the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, Banca Prossima is the bank with the mission of serving non-profit organisations, with a specific service model, products and consulting services dedicated to this type of customers. The Bank has developed a rating model for social businesses that integrates the traditional methods of bank analysis with elements peculiar to the third sector, such as the ability in fundraising. Furthermore, Banca Prossima launched in 2011 “Terzo Valore”, a crowdfunding portal which allows anyone to lend or donate money to non-profit organisation projects directly, without intermediaries and with principal repayment guaranteed by the Bank.

Food sector Barilla: Barilla is the top quality and leading pasta producer in the world, which promotes the mediterranean diet as the best and healthiest solution for the people and the planet. Barilla founded the Barilla Centre for Food and Nutrition (BCFN) to informs not only policy makers and insiders of the agri-food chain, but all the people on the big topics linked to food and nutrition with regards to climate change and the world’s paradoxes. Barilla has been considered the most sustainable pasta supplier by the “Sustainability Index Programme” of Walmart.

Fashion Brunello Cucinelli: The core mission of the company is based on a contemporary form of humanism that over the years the international press has identified as a “humanistic” capitalism, where profit can be sought without damaging mankind. Its clients view Brunello Cucinelli as an expression of a sophisticated concept of contemporary lifestyle and the brand is firmly rooted in quality excellence, Italian craftsmanship and creativity; these pillars are considered the foundations on which sustainable growth can be built in the long run.

Learn more about how SDA Bocconi is engaging students in impact investing.

Suzanne Young, La Trobe Business School, Australia

Yarra Valley Water which has mapped their practices against the SDGs based on understanding what issues the organisation can influence.. These included clean water and sanitation, industry innovation and infrastructure and gender equality.

As another example, the National Australia Bank has a focus on working towards a more inclusive society, including financial inclusion. They are using the SDGs as a way to mobilise innovation to drive business and societal success. The Bank is supporting agribusiness customers to value natural capital for instance. The SDG of Decent Work and Economic Growth and No Poverty provide a lens for their work, especially in impact investing.

Learn more about La Trobe’s participation in the CR3+ Network.

Christian Schott, Victoria Business School, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

The youth hostel association of NZ is one of the largest accommodation providers for budget conscious travellers in NZ and have set sustainability as a guiding principle for the entire organisation.  Their efforts to integrate economic, environmental and social sustainability have been exemplary and they are willing to take calculated risks to trial new or innovative ideas that have the potential to enhance their sustainability ambitions.  I have been working closely with YHA Wellington which is an exemplar of the broader YHA NZ network.

Whale Watch Kaikoura An inspirational Maori owned and Maori operated tourism business that carefully balances the need for environmental and economic sustainability with a strong commitment to social and cultural sustainability. Both Maori cultural interpretation and environmental protection are core principles of this whale watching business.

Learn more about how Christian Schott is bringing technology into the classroom to teach sustainability.

 

Sustainable Business Examples from Around the World – Hong Kong, Kenya, and Canada

img_4721As 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 Kenya, Hong Kong, and Canada.

Jessica Vaghi, E4Impact Foundation, ALTIS Postgraduate School of Business and Society, Italy (examples from Kenya)

Continental Renewable Energy (Corec) is a Kenyan based company that recycles waste plastic into eco-friendly building material and sell the hardware to developers whose problem is high material cost by providing affordable and durable construction products. It prevented 700 tons of waste from landfills, made 26,000 posts and signed orders over 10.000 roofing tiles by customers across Kenya in 2 years of operations.

Stamp Investment is a Kenyan enterprise that distributes briquettes and multitasking fuel efficient stoves, which enables schools and households to have access to safe drinking water with a reduction of 75 % in water borne diseases. The business won the Grand Challenges Africa “pitching your innovation” competition in 2016 and has been national winner of the most innovative business idea during Enablis Chase bank, ILO business launch pad competition in 2011.

NUCAFE – National Union of Coffee Agribusiness and Farm Enterprises is a sustainable market-driven system of coffee farmer organisations empowered to increase their household incomes through enhanced entrepreneurship and innovation in 19 districts of Uganda. NUCAFE Contributed in influencing the development of a National Coffee Policy and to improve gender relations among coffee farming households and was nominated by AGRA best Africa farmer organisation of 2013 in income diversity category.

Click here for more information about E4Impact Foundation and their work in Kenya.

Pamsy Hui, Hong Kong Polytechnic University Faculty of Business, Hong Kong

It is often a misconception that interesting work in the field of sustainability can only be done by companies with a lot of resources.  In Hong Kong, many small and medium enterprises are doing very interesting things with limited resources.  For instance, Diving Adventure Ltd., a company providing training services and products related to scuba diving, has always put the environment in the forefront of its business decisions.  They regularly collaborate with NGOs, the government, and other organisations on environment protection initiatives (e.g., underwater cleansing activities, reef check).  What is impressive is that for such a small operation, they go far beyond just caring about environmental sustainability.  They are also committed to create employment opportunities to minority groups, released prisoners, and reformed drug users, to help integrate them into the society.  On the service side, they regularly provide training to underprivileged children and individuals with disabilities, providing a sense of inclusiveness for people who are often overlooked, if not discriminated, by the society.

Another example is Baby-Kingdom.com, a parental online forum for parents to share information and experiences related to bringing up children.  In addition to donating to NGOs, they help NGOs advertise on their forum, bringing awareness among their large number of users. They set up the Baby Kingdom Environmental Protection Education Fund in 2008 to support programmes in primary schools to educate school children on concepts such as greenhouse gas reduction and green diet.  Consistent with its family-friendly image, Baby-Kingdom.com started family-friendly practices well before they became a trend in large corporations.  The well-being of children is central to its human resource practices, and the company is often recognised for being a socially responsible employer.

A third example of a company doing interesting things related to sustainability is 4M Industrial Development Limited, a toy design company specialising in educational toys.  In designing their products, 4M consciously favors sustainable materials and supply chains with lower carbon footprints.  In addition, 4M partners with NGOs in multiple ways.  With the Spastics Association of Hong Kong, they adapt part of their manufacturing process to support the disabled.  It also works with different NGOs to promote their causes.  Many of 4M’s products have a green message behind them (e.g., Paper Recycling Kit, Trash Robot Kit).  For each box of the Clean Water Science Kit, for example, 4M donates a portion of its profits to NGOs to fund water-purifying projects in the third world.  Meanwhile, children buying the kit would get a message about the project in the box.

Click here to read about the Interdisciplinary Wellness Clinic at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Deborah De Lange, Ryerson University, Canada

Our Horizon is a national not-for-profit organization led by Robert Shirkey that works with governments to require climate change labels on gas pumps. The idea is a low-cost, globally scalable intervention to communicate the hidden costs of fossil fuels to end users and drive change upstream.

ZooShare is a biogas plant led by Daniel Bida that turns animal waste from the Toronto Zoo and food waste from grocery stores into fertilizer and renwable power for the Ontario grid. The process aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10,000 tonnes of C02 each year. The biogas plant is starting construction now and will be operational in the summer of 2017.

Purpose Capital is an impact advisory firm that mobilises all forms of capital – financial, physical, human and social – to accelerate social progress. Alex Kjorven is the Director of Corporate Development and is a graduate student in the EnSciMan programme at Ryerson.

Click here to learn more about the interdisciplinary EnSciMan programme at Ryerson University.

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Sustainable Business Examples from Around the World – Russia, Canada, and Switzerland

Planet BeanAs 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 Russia, Canada, and Switzerland.

Natalia Bukhshtaber, Natalia Sharabarina and Nina Koryakina, Lomonosov Moscow State University Business School, Moscow, Russia
UtAir Aviation is a local corporation that supports and carries on a wide range of initiatives that focus on social responsibility and sustainability. They act as a sponsor of various events, provide free air transportation for various charity and volunteering projects, participated in clearing Lake Baikal area, promoted nationwide blood donation initiative. Their example is truly inspiring.

Another example is Megafon, one of the three telecommunication giants in Russia. Back in 2004, they were the first mobile company in Russia to introduce call centres with operators speaking the languages of ethnic minorities. In 2013, thanks to their social investment and a number of sustainability initiatives, they won the People Investor award. One of their most recent initiative is providing the volunteers for Liza Alert, one of the largest volunteer projects, with free mobile services (mobile phone and 3G/4G Internet). Liza Alert is an organisation that specialises in searching for missing people of all ages in various regions of Russia. Having stable mobile connection is of crucial importance for volunteer teams and it was an area that required constant funding. By providing free mobile services to hundreds of volunteers, Megafon ensured more sustainable budget and more reliable connection for Liza Alert operations.

Bruce McAdams, College of Business and Economics, University of Guelph
Neighborhood Group of Restaurants is a regional restaurant company based in Guelph, Ontario. Leaders in the promotion of ‘eating local’, the company has a goal towards moving to a zero carbon footprint. The company uses local building products and craftsmen, employs solar energy and has implemented an aggressive program to limit food waste.

Planet Bean Coffee is a worker co-operative modeled business that has several coffee houses in Guelph, Ontario. It is known as the regions’ fair trade coffee company because of its commitment to farmers rights. Planet Bean serves only certified organic coffee.

Lena Hornlein, PhD Fellow, Oikos, Switzerland
ResponsAbility is an asset manager for investments in developing and emerging economies. The company’s investment vehicles supply debt and equity financing to non-listed firms in sectors with potential to have a positive impact on low-income households and sustainable development: agriculture, education, energy, health and financial market development.

Globalance Bank is a private bank that wants to re-establish the connection of their client’s money with the real economy by disclosing all impacts and risks associated with a given investment – regarding the economy, society, and the environment. Globalance Bank is the pioneer of a new culture and total transparency in banking.

Sustainable Business Examples from Around the World – USA, India and Australia

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 11.34.06As 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 the USA, India and Australia.

Judy O’Neill, Associate Dean and Director of Admission, Atkinson Graduate School of Management, USA

Nike, Inc. supports sustainability in manufacturing and impact areas of waste, energy, climate, labour, chemistry, water and community. They are constantly looking for ways to drive “performance up and waste down.” Nike, Inc. is also committed to creating positive social change through the Nike Foundation and other engagements of social responsibility.

MercyCorps Northwest is a non-profit organisation located in Portland, Oregon. Its vision is that “everyone should have the opportunity to improve their life regardless of their background. By investing in those without ready access to resources, existing economic disparities will become more equitable and motivated, hard working individuals and families will have opportunities to break intergenerational cycles of poverty for good.” MercyCorps Northwest serves low-income populations by supporting entrepreneurship, small business development, community integration and transitions through microloans, classes, and counseling.

Oregon Environmental Council (OEC) is a non-partisan, membership based, non-profit organisation that works to support a healthy environment in Oregon. They work collaboratively with individuals, businesses, farmers, and elected officials to support and create innovative change. The OEC has created and implemented a unique “Emerging Leaders Board” of young professionals under the age of 40 who serve as an advisory board for the OEC.

Intel supports environmental, social and economic sustainability. Programmes include a pursuit of a conflict-free supply chain, designing products with the environment in mind, education and empowerment. Intel has been named the most philanthropic organisation in Oregon 5 times by the Portland Business Journal. The Portland Business Journal has also named the company the most admired large organisation in the state.

Click here to learn more about the MBA for Life Programme at Atkinson.
Arulsamy. S, General Manager of the Karma Yoga Leadership Experiential Project, Great Lakes Institution of Management, India

ITC TC is one of India’s foremost multi-business enterprises with a market capitalisation of US $45 billion and a turnover of US $7 billion. Under its CSR strategy, the company is engaged in affirmative action interventions such as skill building and vocational training to enhance employability and generate livelihoods for persons from disadvantaged sections of society.

Grundfos India is a 100% subsidiary of Grundfos – Denmark. Grundfos is a global leader in advanced pump solutions and a trendsetter in water technology. Grundfos runs its business in a responsible and ever more sustainable way. We make products and solutions that help our customers save natural resources and reduce climate impact.

Click here to learn more about the Great Lakes Institute of Management’s work with local communities.

Belinda Gibbons, Faculty of Business, University of Wollongong, Australia

The Flagstaff Group is a social enterprise, applying market-based strategies to achieve a social purpose for the good of the community. Formed in 1966 to provide employment for people with a disability, today, the organisation is located in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions, employing over 350 people, of whom 275 are people with disabilities. The Group invests in skills development and training programmes to ensure that all employees are given opportunities to develop to their full potential.

Westpac’s vision commits to taking a long-term view on the issues that will impact future prosperity at a local and national level. An example of this is a 10-year contract with CareerTrackers Indigenous Internship programme to recruit at least 40 Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander university student interns each year for the next decade. This is the largest commitment to the CareerTrackers programme by an Australian corporate. This initiative was part of the Group’s plans to create meaningful career opportunities for Indigenous Australians, as outlined in its 2014-17 Reconciliation Action Plan.

Click here to learn more about the work the University is merging two approaches to responsible management education

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