Food-Water-Energy Nexus in China: Challenges and Opportunities

Moving towards an ever increasing urban world and the pressure and strains that richer more expectant consumers place on the worlds resources put our ecosystem and ability to provide for the populations at risk. The food-water-energy nexus is at the centre of this considered development. The three areas are intrinsically linked and underpin almost all areas of human consumption and activity. Th…

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Ant & Rat Tribes: China’s lacks Affordable Housing

When 400 migrant workers were discovered living below an upscale apartment complex in Beijing last week, it was another sign of just how high housing costs have become in China's largest cities, and the lengths that some are driven to in finding a place called home. Known as shuzu or “rat tribes” by the locals, the discovery represents an estimated 1 million people living in a warren of Cold-Wa…

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Beijing Workshop: Closing the Loop on Waste

Last Thursday, Collective Responsibility hosted it’s Beijing session on “Closing the Loop on Waste” to look at how China is managing its growing supply of waste, the implications for business, and to share some best practices for how firms in the retail and manufacturing sector are closing the loop in China. Joining the session, we had Libo Ma, Director in Corporate Culture, Employee Engagement…

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New Report: Informal Waste Management in China

Most people can make money from waste … They start work at five in the morning and get off at 10 at night; they never rest and don’t spend much money. In one year, about 72,000 RMB. After a little over a year, you can really make that much money. 10 years down the road, you can save quite a lot.” – Owner, Large Collection Centre The latest addition to our publications series “Informal Waste…

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Looking for a Change of Scene | Hope & Opportunity

A family incident brought her to Shanghai, and she hopes to find a change of scene and some distraction that can help her out of the sadness.  Back at home, she owned a small convenience store, but now in Shanghai, she’s one of the millions of migrant workers bringing prosperity to the city. It is a change of scene that did not come easy, and may not have brought the better life…

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Bike Sharing: The Business Case for Sustainable Mobility

As millions of China’s growing middle class have become new car owners, China’s private car market has propelled it into be one of the most attractive car markets in the world. For automakers, this has been a boom as ownership over sharing was the norm, but the challenges of car ownership in the form of traffic and air pollution have also grown. To tackle the problems, China has…

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Informal Waste Collection in China: A People-Powered Economy

China's waste collection and management system has recently captured public attention. Much of that attention has focused on negative incidents – such as dumping scandals in Shanghai and Wuxi – or uncertainty about the future of waste treatment, with expected landfill closures in Shanghai for 2017. But how much do you really know about waste beyond the headlines? Collective's work on waste i…

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China’s Airpocalypse: Why London’s Playbook Won’t Work.

“Beijing’s pollution is bad, but they'll clean their air just like London did …” In 1952, the five-day Great Smog of London killed more than 12,000 people and made over 150,000 people ill. It was an environmental disaster that many people today consider both a cautionary tale and an instructive example of how to address and overcome an air crisis for areas in similar situations – in p…

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Real Estate Hackathon | Education Challenge in Urban China

We are really excited to announce our next hackathon, held on May 5th and 6th in Chengdu, where student teams will work with real estate and education executives to create an Education Hub business plan. For many Chinese families, it is believed that a good education is the best path for social mobility. It is closely related to one’s well-being, through higher income and social status, both of…

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Generosity & Philanthropy in China: It’s About Context

THE QUESTION: IS CHINA GENEROUS? Much of our work here at Collective centers on the business side of "social entrepreneurship" in China – going beyond business as usual to work towards the development of a better world. Yet, we also run into a certain question from the more philanthropic side of that mission: Is China generous? Answering such a loaded question risks overgeneralizing a country…

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Why a Chinese Government Lawsuit is an Opportunity for Sustainability

China has some of the largest and fastest-growing megacities in the world. And with 100 million more people moving to those cities by 2020, China will have to tackle critical urbanization issues years, even decades ahead of everyone else. One area that doesn't receive nearly enough attention is waste management. Through our ongoing research on waste in China, we've studied the realities of Shan…

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Smog in China: Wind Patterns and Pollution

Air pollution is on everyone's radar, not just in China, but throughout the world. Recent news pieces are beginning to expose the extent to which air pollution is becoming a truly global problem. From London, to Delhi, to Beijing, public consciousness of the issue is higher than ever, and politicians worldwide are being forced to act. Not a New Challenge Of course, this is nothing new for Chi…

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China’s Landfills Are Closing: Where Will The Waste Go?

In China, waste and waste management have attracted national concern. From environmental issues like toxic chemicals in sea water, to issues affecting urban centers – like Beijing's burdened landfills – waste has become a central part of public discourse. With this in mind, we thought we'd share insights from our past and recent work on waste in Shanghai, and shed light on major changes to waste m…

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[NEW WEBSERIES] #AskTheCollective: Episode 001

As a way to engage with you, our audience, we are happy to announce that Episode 001 of the #AskTheCollective video series is now live! This episode features topics ranging from food waste in China to the reality of China's pledge to become an "ecological civilization". Special thanks to our askers: Travis Opocensky, Hunter Lovins, John Dennis Liu, Ariel Muller, and Rob Watson. #AskTheCollectiv…

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From China to India: Scaling Sustainable Solutions

Early this year, I took a flight from Mumbai to Shanghai - which included a five-hour, pollution-related delay in Delhi. During the whole time in the air, it was only over the Himalayas that I saw the Asian continent getting a respite from the consequences of industrial activity, localized burning, and energy consumption. India: The Next "China" India is now well-documented to follow in Chin…

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