What your IE professors didn’t tell you about CSR

I followed a discussion among Chinese sustainability professionals in a chat group about CSR and found one speaker’s comments especially refreshing because he spoke from his experience of working with corporations as a sustainability consultant. I found his area of expertise really intriguing, so I invited him for an interview to pick his brain. This blog post is a synthesis of that hour long conversation (Translated from Chinese).

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Circular Materials Conference #CircMatConf

A cool conference hosted by Nordic Publishing and Chalmers Competence Center Recycling right at Chalmers University, Gothenburg, Sweden.

The big takeaway in short: COMMUNICATION! Now it’s time to turn attention to really looking into details on how better communication can be done. First step could be: how to get a good overview of all the sectors in the entire economy/ sector/ city/ company in order to identify who should really start communicating with whom.

Here are some other interesting points from the talks and discussions in summary…

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Red meat tax: Pricing nature?

Danish Council of Ethics proposed to put a climate tax on red meat, aiming to both promote better public health and to reduce carbon emissions from animal farming. This proposal has triggered some controversies. Some argued that this measure won’t make a big difference to neither consumer behavior nor carbon emissions, some stood firmly against this “intrusion to freedom/lifestyle”, while some eager to see this happen for the well being of the planet…

In fact, using economic incentives as policy instruments is not uncommon: Carbon trading to cut emission; fines for untreated waste water to reduce pollution; charges for grocery bags to curb plastic waste … Even though sometimes less controversial and less obvious, the basic idea is similar: putting a price on activities that impose negative impact on the environment.

I had always been a big supporter on using economic incentives to make changes happen for a transition to sustainability because it seems to be the most straightforward and effective. However, listening to Michael Sandel’s talk on “the moral limits of the market” at IQ2 made me rethink my position…

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8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns (下)

“If we can get experts out of their silos and to understand the broad scope of what needs to be done, we can create cities that are multi-functional areas with the capacity to address their own needs.”                                                                                 —– Jeb Brugmann Continue reading