Competing amongst 38 nominees offering best practices in various CSR areas, Green Initiatives was the non-profit winner for the Innovation Award, while the corporate winner was given to Coca-Cola China. The winners for this category were decided through a public voting in which people participated from all across China. Other winners included Accenture China for the Leadership Award and Shanghai Disney Resort for the Engagement Award.
Green Initiatives (GI), founded as Green Drinks China in 2009, is an organisation raising awareness on key environmental issues and connecting people to available solutions. A major factor that contributed to GI’s selection for this award was the ability to implement innovative and impact-focused community projects that are scalable, transparent and affordable.
Over the last 2 years GI has worked with over 30 companies on their clothing and e-waste recycling projects, which have provided waste-related education to corporate employees and students, not just saving large quantities of waste from ending up in landfills but also ensuring they were transparently recycled.
Nitin Dani, founder and director of Green Initiatives, says there is good reason to reduce entry barriers for corporate engagement in environmental and social projects. “We believe CSR should not be limited to the largest enterprises. When you make it easy for hundreds of small and medium-sized companies to contribute, even if it’s just for relatively small amounts, more companies and employees can participate in innovative local projects and make an impact,” Nitin says.
GI has launched a series of impact projects designed to empower communities to make a difference:
- [WE] Project: Launched in collaboration with Netspring Social Enterprise in May 2016, the project provides safe, convenient, accessible and reliable electronic waste (e-waste) recycling system to the Shanghai community. China produces over 6 million tons of e-waste each year and less than 30% of that is safely recycled. The project offers individuals, corporates, schools, hotels and manufacturing units the opportunity to safely and responsibly dispose their e-waste, thus reducing their environmental impact and risk to human health.
- RE:FORM: Due for launch in January 2017 in collaboration with River of Hearts, a charity managed and operated by the Community Center Shanghai, the project aims to steer consumers towards conscious fashion by encouraging purchase of better quality clothing, maximizing reuse and ensuring transparent recycling. China, where over 70,000 tons of textile items are produced each day, is the manufacturing hub of the world, but is also suffering from severe environmental degradation as a result of it.
- Know Your Air: At a time when we spend over 90% of our time indoors - a large portion of that in our offices - it is natural that the indoor environment of our workplaces contribute significantly to our health and wellness. Further, the fact that outdoor air pollution often surpasses dangerous levels and most buildings are not airtight, workspaces end up becoming heavily polluted and unhealthy for the very people they are built to protect. This project aims to monitor workplace air quality and connecting it with international health metrics for indoor air quality (IAQ), leading the way towards healthy workplaces and employees.
Green Initiatives’ projects offer companies an easy way to be a part of local projects that align with their core values without high upfront costs and be able to scale their impact.
To find out more about getting involved in Green Initiatives projects, meet the team at its community event at URBN Hotel Shanghai on 6th January 2017.
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