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Sustainable Champions

How International Companies are Changing the Face of Business in China

In the face of strong competitive pressure and a dynamic market, multinational companies in China are forced to innovate with extraordinary pace and inventiveness. Environmental sustainability is a vital benchmark, and is a key driver for the best companies in each sector – many of them allied with the WWF Climate Savers programme.

Sustainable Champions shows how nine leading multinational companies – including Nestlé, HP, Tetra Pak and Sony – are dealing with environmental, supply chain and ethical challenges in China. The book illuminates some of their transformative practices, and the impact this is having on business in China and beyond. The concluding cross-case analysis of supply chain and environmental challenges faced by leading international firms presents key lessons for business and for sustainability champions.

Sustainable Champions: How International Companies are Changing the Face of Business in China is essential reading for researchers and course leaders seeking on-the-ground examples of local environmental challenges, and any company doing business in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

With a Foreword by Simon Zadek, Distinguished Fellow, Academy of Business in Society, Visiting Scholar, Tsinghua School of Economics and Management.

A comprehensive analysis of sustainable supply chains and companies which are causing a paradigm shift in green thinking in China. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in gaining a better understand of how multinationals are attempting to reduce their carbon footprint in China.

Clare Pearson, International Development Director, Asia Chair British Chamber of Commerce, China

[Provides] a rich and fresh testimonial from a diverse group of multinational companies; each of them operating in different sectors, embedded in different corporate cultures, facing different challenges, but all joined by the quest for sustainability in one of the most dynamic, vibrant and unique markets: China.

Alberto Carrillo Pineda, Head of Climate Business Engagement, WWF International

This book and its cases provide good examples of the argument for the importance of networks and business leadership as key ingredients in the pathway to sustainable enterprise.

Steve Waddell, Principal, NetworkingAction

It is timely that the role of multinationals in this context is explored and better understood. The leadership experiences set out in such practical and compelling fashion in this book illuminate this role, highlighting how practice has been shaped by a combination of international and domestic drivers, together with personal leadership and determined managerial actions. The book’s blend of practical storytelling and evidence-based analysis should inspire and provide a rich source of lessons for students and managers and also policy-makers seeking to enhance the role of business in society, in China and internationally.

Dr Simon Zadek, Distinguished Fellow, Academy of Business in Society, Visiting Scholar, Tsinghua School of Economics and Management

This important book shows that some important shifts are happening: consumers, civilians and bottom up movements will define the future of brands. The days of marketeers or PR people are gone. As a company you have to do earn your license to operate by behaving truly responsibly. And in order to get there, new leadership is needed. The good news is that leading companies are becoming rapidly aware of this. This book shows some great examples and case studies in a land that is nowhere near the country is was twenty years ago. Is China showing us the way forward?

Jan van Betten, Founder of Nudge.nl, a platform for bottom-up change, and former CEO Reed Elsevier, Germany

Illuminates the twin topics of sustainable leadership and leadership of sustainability with up-to-the-moment examples.

Max Landsberg, Senior Partner, Korn Ferry

Introduction

1. Responsible Tourism: Fairmont Hotels

2. Learning to Be Sustainable: Hewlett-Packard

3. Sourcing Strategy in China: Nestlé

4. Sustainable Practice in China: SKF

5. On the ‘Road to Zero’: Sony

6. One Step Ahead: Tetra Pak

7. Sustainable Supply Chain Strategy: Vanke

8. Towards Sustainable Mobility: Volvo

9. Sustainable Value Chain Strategy: Yingli

Conclusion

FU JIA is Senior Lecturer in Operations and Supply Management, University of Exeter, UK. JONATHAN GOSLING is Professor of Leadership Studies, University of Exeter, UK. MORGEN WITZEL is a writer and lecturer on management issues.

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