This month, Rich Brubaker hosted a sustainable business session at the China Europe International Business School in Shanghai. Robert Duguay, VP & GM of Ecolab’s Water Division, David Nieh, Head of Lend Lease China, and Patrick Riley, China GM for Interface were the keynote speakers to the latest MBA class.
Robert Duguay spoke about the importance of water as part of the food-water-energy nexus issue; that by 2030 it is estimated that the world will need 30% more water, 40% more energy and 50% more food. Industries that require large volumes of water in their operations, such as food and beverage, energy, and textiles, are therefore at high risk as they have the greatest exposure to water prices and availability. Robert then explained how Ecolab is working with their clients to provide products and services to improve water management in their processes, reducing their risks and costs.
David Nieh talked about urban development in China, and how all three parts of sustainability: economic, social, and environmental, need to be taken into account from the start when planning a development. David drew on his experiences in China while at Shui On and now Lend Lease in creating the new urban landscape for human scale: how architects and urban planners must incorporate environmental solutions inside and outside of buildings, that social equity means mixed-use spaces and community engagement, and how integrating these elements can lead to improved economic sustainability.
Finally, Patrick Riley spoke about how the founder of Interface, Ray Anderson, and his visionary leadership, revolutionised Interface’s business model by incorporating sustainability into all parts of their products and processes. While Interface remains one of the largest carpet manufacturers globally, it continues to search for innovations to reach their ambitious targets, and uses sustainability successfully as a competitive advantage – especially as indoor air quality is becoming a major health issue in homes and offices.