Air Products — Corporate Sustainability Assessment
In 2008, ESW launched a project with Air Product’s Corporate Council on Sustainability to develop the company’s sustainability strategy. In this role, ESW first utilized a proven framework (the Sustainable Value Portfolio) to frame the challenge of sustainability in the context of the company’s corporate and competitive strategy. We then worked to inventory Air Product’s current sustainability portfolio using the framework. Next, we worked to assess gaps in the company’s strategy and brainstorm new strategic initiatives for sustainability. Priority strategic initiatives were then developed and presented for discussion. The initiative concluded with a one-day retreat to finalize business initiatives and corporate goals, and to develop an Air Product’s sustainability vision.
Baxter Healthcare — BoP Readiness Assessment
A cohesive and compelling strategy for effectively reaching the ‘base of the pyramid’ should be guided by an objective analysis of the company’s current strengths, weaknesses and initiatives to serve the BoP. During 2011-12, ESW worked with Baxter to do an assessment of the perceptions of executives and employees throughout the company with regard to BoP. The initiative included the following steps: 1. Review Baxter’s current BOP initiatives; 2. Review Baxter’s technology portfolio with regard to BoP; 3. Interviews with executives and employees; 4. Strategic assessment of Baxter’s capabilities and positioning. The result was not only an assessment of Baxter’s current position and corporate readiness to serve the underserved, but also identification of existing resources and technologies that the company can leverage and proposed initiatives for building a Base of the Pyramid strategy.
Achieving sustainability is the biggest challenge – and opportunity – in the history of capitalism. While there are many universities that offer side-initiatives in sustainable enterprise and BoP, Stuart Hart, Director of ESW, sought to build an entire institute devoted to it.
Partnering with prominent academics and corporate leaders, the Emergent Institute was formed in Bangalore, India. The Emergent Institute Flagship Program focuses on the next-generation knowledge, skill, and capability crucial to success in incubating clean technologies in underserved communities at the base of the pyramid. . Additionally, the Emergent Institute helps stimulate ideas, create opportunity, mentor, fund, incubate and collaborate to launch ‘green leap’ ventures. ESW plays a critical role in providing on-going leadership, entrepreneurial training and management support to the Emergent Institute.
Green Leap Pilot Town — Shannxi, China
In 2011, a Green Leap Pilot Town initiative was launched through a collaboration between the government of Shannxi Fuping and the China Social Innovation Foundation (CSIF). Based on Stuart L. Hart’s groundbreaking work on Green Leap strategies, ESW is playing a major role in the research and development of a Green Leap community in the 47 sq. km of Dancun Town in Fuping County, near Xi’an. As the pilot project develops, capacities and resources will include decentralized clean technologies in key areas – sustainable agriculture and food, water, energy, green building, healthcare, transportation and education. Under the leadership of Xiaojian You, the project has successfully completed Phase One – survey and planning and is entering into Phase Two which includes planning and organizational building. Phase Three - Implementation is expected to be complete by 2015.
The Water Initiative
The Water Initiative (TWI) used the BoP Protocol as the foundation for their approach in the co-creation of a new business in Mexico that combined the knowledge and resources of the company with those of the local community. The people in the community not only wanted “healthy” water, but they also wanted water that was cold and tasted good. The result was the design of the “WATERCURA” purification product. The WATERCURA is a self-standing unit that operates without any external energy source, reducing both its cost and environmental footprint.
Ascension Health is a $9 billion health care company located in the United States, Flint, Michigan.
This, the first US-based implementation of the BoP Protocol, was focused on improving the health and/or healthcare of vulnerable and poor families and individuals. The Protocol team lived and worked side-by-side with the members of the community to learn first-hand their situation, build trust, co-identify unmet health needs and co-develop methods to meet those needs in a sustainable way. Interested entrepreneurs and business/agencies work with the Protocol team to co-create health-related “business” ideas. Pilots and testing of the models are underway to confirm the viability of proposed businesses.
A Base of the Pyramid Protocol project conducted in India included teams working in the Indiramma Nagar cluster of slums in Hyderabad and in the villages of Warangal District in the state of Andra Pradesh. The Protocol immersion took place over a 16-week period with the Protocol team living and working in each project site and conducting community meetings and workshops. Several potential business concepts were developed and refined with full participation of community members. One of these businesses was a food and cooking business that integrates Solae’s soy protein. Financial sustainability was achieved in one village cluster and two slums.
S. C. Johnson
A Base of the Pyramid Protocol was field tested in Kenya with local partners in the Nakuru District and the Kiberia slum of Nairobi. The Protocol pilot team facilitated the identification of several business opportunities for SC Johnson and local community groups in Kenya. One of the initiatives developed was a latrine cleaning business that integrates SC Johnson cleaning products and serves six slums across Nairobi.