Starbucks Takes Care of China’s elderly

When speaking to firms about starting to develop their sustainability strategy, we push firms to start with having a much deeper understanding of the challenges that their customer, communities, and wider stakeholders face. To understand the issues, at the local level, that are faced on a daily basis by those that you are looking to engage (positively) and build off it. It is a tough request for m…

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Training day: Target Hackathon Targets Left-Behind Children in China

Last Saturday, we kicked off the first phase of our upcoming Target hackathon this June 2-3 where five student teams from leading Chinese, and one from the US, will spend 24 hours working to design an APP that will help migrant worker parents to stay better connected to their left-behind children. These training sessions act to engage the students in the challenge and to get them thinking more…

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Action Over Regulation: The Economics of China’s Recycled Paper & Cardboard

In a prior article in our ongoing series of waste management in China, we pointed out that rebranding waste as a resource can provide an alternative lens when discussing waste. As a valued resource, recycled paper and cardboard in China offer a unique case of how global market mechanisms and government regulation impact the role of waste in society. From foreign imports to sharp spikes in domes…

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China’s Emissions & Economic Growth: A Tradeoff No Longer Justified

While some might consider a tradeoff between a country's economic development and the resulting socio-environmental burdens to be "justifiable," China has reached the tipping point at which the air crisis is significantly impacting economic development as well. The well-being of China's market is beginning to suffer, with stakeholders reluctant to engage with a country in the middle of an emiss…

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The Nitty-Gritty: A Rundown of China’s Emissions Issue

While the rest of the world debates the impact of carbon emissions and the need to create binding agreements, China’s battle with air pollution has grown tangible enough to effectively catalyze stakeholders into action. With only six of China’s cities meeting the second tier of the National Environmental Air Quality Standards (NEAQS) in 2015, air pollution has become one of the biggest challenges…

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Getting It Right: IKEA and the Power of Consumer Behavior

None can deny the critical importance of China’s market to global corporations and their leadership. With a population of over 1 billion consumers, China has become a proving ground for CEOs, an integral influencer in the international stock market, and the country where corporations learn to prototype innovate products for a massive, diverse base of customers and clients. Above all, China's hi…

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衣食住行 – New Innovation in China’s Basic Needs

Globally, China is often portrayed as the bad guy when it comes to environmental degradation and harm. While this is not without substance, and in many areas China is lacking far behind the world leaders, a growing public consciousness and the identification of opportunity is leading innovators to tackle the problems with business solutions. In this post, we outline areas of development and innova…

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Sustainability and the Five Year Plan

Given the recent commitments to curb coal consumption, and the signature of carbon agreements in Paris, it should come as no surprise that the recently announced 5th-year plan would heavily emphasize sustainability and the continued need to address China’s mounting environmental and social challenges. Within the recent plan, which you can access here, there are a lot of measures for corpora…

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Building CSR Programs with Impact and Engaging Stakeholders

This past Wednesday, Canadian Consulate General and Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai organized a CSR Roundtable Workshop at Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on the Bund where guests representing a wide range of industries, and charities, were invited to learn about the event. As part of this event, Charlie Mathews, Director of Corporate Advisory at Collective Responsibility, spoke about sustainabi…

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5 Insights of Engaging University Students on Sustainability

Over the last month, we brought in eight industry experts to five leading Chinese universities across Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang, where they shared their experiences and had discussions with over 160 students on a variety of sustainability-related topics. At East China Normal University thirty Bachelor, Master and Ph.D. students majoring in environmental engineering joined a discussion with s…

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Why Business Needs to Embrace Externalities?

At the first minute of this clip, Christopher Meyer of Monitor Talent states that: In my mind, this clip leads to the discussion of whether or not CSR is little more than window dressing that diverts the attention (of external stakeholders) away but ultimately does not serve the firm over the long run. That, instead of donating money to causes whose only direct link would be one of market d…

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Don’t Be “That” Donor

Are you the type of person who is looking to donate money to a good cause it is unsure where you should begin? You have heard that there are a lot of organizations that "spend too much money" on overhead, and you want to make sure that ALL "your money" goes to the "cause." If so, I'd like to ask you to not be "that donor." A donor whose only concern is the efficiency of "your money," and not the i…

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The Impulses to Recalibrate Grow Stronger

Over the last few months, I have begun to sense a change in the way that firms view sustainability at the strategic level. It is a sense that comes from the firms that I have been speaking with, but also in the depth of conversations that we have begun to have about how to move their firms forward in the face of the challenges they face. To give you an example, I received the following email fr…

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Lack of Tangibility Allows Apathy

When speaking in front of large groups, particularly those where future leaders are in the room, I often go out of my way to point out that no CEO on the planet is going to recalibrate their firm to save the polar bears. Even if the, as many would, feel strongly that they are an important icon. And it is not because they don't care, or that they are evil. It is just a simple matter of fact tha…

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Plugging the Sustainability Gap

Tweaking the graphics that I have come to rely on for many of my presentations, I decided it was time to take a crack at developing a visual representation of what I feel has become the gap between economic performance and social and environmental sustainability. And the above was what I have come up with. For me, where this simple visual I believe does the job is that the sustainability gap…

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