BASF Moves Students From Inspiration to Action

  Last week, As part of BASF’s 150th anniversary program in Shanghai, BASF hosted a 24 hour sustainable transportation creatathon involving teams from 7 of Shanghai's universities. With the goal of the event to inspire the teams to create APP-based solution that would help urban residents make better transport decisions. With China’s struggle with smog, energy security, and traffic…

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Air Pollution in China – Daily and Seasonal Vulnerability

Earlier this week a report by Greenpeace revealed that levels of PM2.5 within China now contribute to more premature deaths than smoking. Figures state PM2.5 accounts for an average of 90 deaths per 100000 people, 20 more than smoking which stands at 70 per 100000. The studied incorporated a review of 31 cities and highlighted the relative danger present in each area. It was noted that despite the…

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Social Innovation as a Sustainable Business Model

Last week, we held the second in the Beyond Business As Usual events, Social Innovation as a Sustainable Business Model. Hosted by HK Polytech University, roughly 220 people showed up to learn about what social innovation was and how it is rolling out through organizations large and small. For my part, I focused on the fact that as "Business as Usual" moves from a model where profit maximizatio…

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Developing a Sustainable and Responsible Supply Chain

Developing the business case for sustainability is growing easier by the day, and many executives are now identifying areas where their firm is exposed. It is a process that for many, even those with seemingly small operations, can be a difficult and complex one, and in our recent series of articles for Supply Chain Magazine we have identified a number of areas where firms can take immediate act…

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IBM Technologies. Fixing China’s Fissures

Last year, Jack Ma said in an interview with Charlie Rose that the biggest business opportunities (in China) would be those that fix China's problems, and if you have been following IBM in china they are clearly showing an interest. going back 3 years ago, IBM began working with the city of Shenyang to monitor the city water supply, with the expectation that following the one year monitoring pr…

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Enough with the Band Aids. It’s Time for Solutions!

If the goal is to solve (or avert) the problems of business as usual, then it is going to take more than band aids to do it. That is a simple lesson that I teach my students every semester, and one that requires them to go through a series of exercises to identify the root factors causing the problems that emit the byproiducts we are seeing, who the stakeholders are of the key factors, and then h…

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The Problem With Endless Supplies of Resources is That They Don’t Really Exist

The other day, while making my way home I caught a glimpse of Toray's desalination advertisement. It was one of those moments that at first I was not sure what I was looking, or the greater meaning, until the very end where the advert cuts out with the ocean in the background and makes reference to it being an "endless resource". A message supported by on their website where they say the ocean…

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CSR and Social Media in China

One of the more popular topics in China these days is the impact of social media. It's popular (in my eyes) for two reasons. The first is that firms in China see the potential in the platform as a way to reach consumers, and develop loyalty. The other is the fact that social media has proven very powerful as a catalyst in civil society engagement. For firms, it is the combination of these tw…

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Empowering I.T. Departments to Create Responsible Systems

The morning while havinga  coffee with the CSR manager of a large retailer, he mentioned the fact that on a semi-frequent basis he would find himself going around the office shutting off computers.  After working hours. That while his firm, in his opinion, had done a good job of developing and communicating a framework for sustainabilty, there were still some (large) gaps. One of them being th…

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Walmart Drives CSR and Sustainability Into Their Core

One of the things about corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives is that the best programs are those that are part of the core operations of the firm, align to the greater goals, and do not require a constant champion.  It is simply embedded into the economics and actions of the firm, and while the firm certainly benefits, the overall benefits are far wider. The Walmart Direct Fa…

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