Indian Companies in the 21st Century (Report)

Role: Co-author with Mohmmed Saqib and Rajesh Sehgal

In a situation where the world requires innovative companies to address
the serious global challenges faced by humanity, including high resource consumption, pollution, population growth, demographic and geopolitical changes, India, with its rapidly changing business environment, may indeed prove to be one of the most important countries on the planet over the next several decades.5

This report shows that there exists significant interest within the Indian business sector in sustainable development and innovative solutions that can be applied to achieve this goal. The approaches utilised in this regard by lead- ers in the Indian corporate sector are well ahead of many of their western counterparts, which are often, and often erroneously, viewed as leaders in the eld of corporate social responsibility (CSR). A number of common denominators exist within the progressive approach of these Indian companies, and these have been collectively referred to by one Indian company as “third generation CSR”.

This third generation CSR is an approach where companies look to ensure that their core businesses deliver sustainable development results. This dif- fers from the rst generation of CSR, that looked at philanthropy as one way of using pro ts, and the second generation that was searching for ways of minimizing the negative impacts of the companies’ operations.

The most important element of the third generation CSR is that it examines the core activities of a company and determines means by which the company can evolve in order to ensure that it contributes to welfare, even if this does not translate into immediate returns. This approach means that environmental and social concerns are the starting point for the business activity, as opposed to being factored in at the end. Rather than compromising on pro t, companies provide information that allows government to proactively change business regulations in order to reward companies which deliver on social and environ- mental objectives, such as reducing the use of natural resources.

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Chinese Companies in the 21st Century (Report)


Role: Co-author with Peng Lei and Baijin Long

This report is based on a survey of 182 of the largest and most important Chinese companies. WWF would like to highlight the following summarized results and outline possible steps forward.

1. A significant minority (22%) of Chinese companies say they are going beyond current regulation and some (13%) are even suggesting tougher rules. Many of these companies also have concrete suggestions that could help China become a leader in the provision of sustainable goods and serv- ices, not only in China but also for the rest of the world, and thereby move beyond the existing CSR discussion.

2. While one group of companies takes environmental issues seriously and is proactive, a large group could be described as almost hostile to environ- mental issues and do not even want to engage in discussions. 39% of respondents said “many” or “very many” Chinese companies were breaking the law, and 57% said companies were trying to lower standards.

3. There is a need to develop domestic solutions that support export of prod- ucts and services that help the environment, according to 78% of the com- panies surveyed.

4. 85% think traditional Chinese philosophical concepts like “union of nature and man” could help both Chinese and foreign companies become more environmentally friendly. 96% thought that the “circular economy”, a modern concept used widely in China today, also could be of help.

5. 85% of the companies said there is a need for stronger rules for environ- mental reporting, transparency and monitoring for large companies. Only 2% said there wasn’t and 13% said they didn’t know.

6. 53% said they would be willing to engage with NGOs like WWF in discus- sion about how sustainable development can be promoted, even though NGOs are not yet key actors in China and for many Chinese companies the idea of policy work with NGOs is new.

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IT and sustainable development: Swedish Government established a Forum for IT and environmental issues (Report)

Role: co-author with Ewa Thorslund

In 2001, the Swedish Government established a Forum for IT and environmental issues with a mandate lasting until December 2003. The Forum’s purpose was to provide a natural platform for information and communication technology (ICT) and ecologically sustainable development. The Forum is run by a work group comprising representatives of the industrial and research sectors, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket), ministries and environmental organisations.

The Swedish Environment Minister, Lena Sommestad, was appointed Chairperson of the Forum. The Forum’s aim was to analyse how increased use can be made of IT applications to promote sustainable development, and how various actors can be encouraged to contribute to this goal. The group’s mandate included studying ways in which IT use can contribute to the development of new infrastructures and products and services with lower resource consumption and environmental impact. The Environmental Protection Agency was responsible for the Forum’s secretariat. The present document was written by Dennis Pamlin and Ewa Thorslund within the framework of the Forum.

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IT och en hållbar utveckling: Svenska regeringens forum för IT och miljö (Report)


Role: co-author with Ewa Thorslund

Jag tror detta var första gången som svenska regeringen tillsatte en grupp för att studera förhållandet mellan hållbarhet och ICT (men inte den sista). Jag var i slutet av skrivandet av "Sustainability at the speed of light" då processen påbörjades så jag tyckte det passade perfekt. Jag trodde att detta skulle bli ett politiskt genombrott för ICT/hållbarghet, men i princip inget hände. Jag har blivit allt mer försiktig att delta i processer där allt som händer är att människor möts och skriver en rapport som inte resulterar i något. Med tiden har jag förstått att det är en hel industri med grupper som försörjer sig på att stödja processer som inte är tänkta att resultera i något mer än att bekräfta dagens situation. 

Regeringen tillsatte under 2001 ett forum för IT och miljö med mandat till december 2003. Syftet med forumet var att skapa en naturlig plattform för informations- och kommunikationsteknik (ICT) och ekologiskt hållbar utveckling. Arbetet bedrivs genom en arbetsgrupp med företrädare för både industri, forskning, Naturvårdsverket, departement samt representanter från miljöorganisationer.

Miljöminister Lena Sommestad utsågs till ordförande i forumet. Målet för forumets arbete är att kartlägga hur IT-tillämpningar i högre grad kan utnyttjas för att minska miljöpåverkan och främja en hållbar utveckling, och hur man kan stimulera olika aktörer för att nå detta mål. I gruppens mandat ingick att särskilt studera de möjligheter som IT-användningen ger åt framväxten av ny infrastruktur samt produkter och tjänster som tär mindre på resurser och miljö. Naturvårdsverket ansvarade för forumets sekretariat. Följande dokument har utformats av Dennis Pamlin och Ewa Thorslund inom ramen för ovanstående forum.

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