ErbWire: Global Initiatives

Thought in Action at The Erb Institute

Erb Institute builds China connections

bicycle transport in Beijing

Photo by Tom Lyon

China is of growing interest to Erb Institute faculty members and students working on climate change, renewable energy and sustainability.

Working with Erb Institute Managing Director Rick Bunch and colleague Jacob Park of Green Mountain College, Cynthia Koenig, Erb ’10, and Aparna Sundaram, Erb ’09, developed a William Davidson Institute-published teaching case study that focuses on China Mobile’s environmental business strategy.

View the China Mobile Case Study

Another student, Tina Tam, Erb ’11, is working as an intern this summer in Beijing on the Microcarbon Foundation Renewal Energy Project to reduce carbon emissions at the household level.  One of the project’s goals is to figure out how to generate enough carbon credits to make it financially possible to replace coal-burning stoves and furnaces with biogas generators in thousands of homes.

This spring, Yih-Wei Chien and Emily Dwinnells, both Erb ’12, and Ross MBA students Renata Gomide and Frank Lan spent several weeks in Shanghai studying China’s green building culture as part of their Multidisciplinary Action Project course.   The students met with green manufacturers and a member of Shanghai’s architecture and design community as part of their market research for the nonprofit research organization GIGA (Green Ideas, Green Actions), which seeks to drive market incentives to support and demand greener building materials.  The students will use the research to form a business strategy to guide the relaunch of GIGA’s Web-based green materials database using a Web 2.0 model.

Poster of Tom Lyon

Poster of Tom Lyon in Beijing

Thomas Lyon spent several weeks in China this spring working with the China Entrepreneur Club, which includes representatives of the largest green companies in China.  Lyon serves as a judge for the group’s annual China Green Company Award.  In addition to meeting with many academic and business leaders, Lyon spoke at the North China Electric Power University, one of the key universities affiliated with the Ministry of Education, and at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in China.

Memo from the CEO, Chinese coverAndrew Hoffman’s book Memo to the CEO: Climate Change, What’s Your Business Strategy? (with John Woody, Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business Press, 2008)  was recently published in Chinese.

Erb students seek to alleviate water crisis in developing countries

Hippo Water Carrier

Hippo Water Carrier

One only has to look at Erb Institute students and alumni to find hundreds who understand and care about the triple bottom line.  Colm Fay,  Erb ’12, Cynthia Koenig, Erb ’11,  and Chris Mueller MBA/MPP ’11 are among those who are working to create a more sustainable environment.  In their Dow Sustainability Innovation Challenge application, the trio unveiled their business plan for Hippo Water International.  Their goal is to make it easier and less time consuming for people in developing countries to get clean water.  A water transport tool called the Water Roller makes it possible to collect five times the amount of water possible using traditional methods, in less time, and much more easily, according to the Erb students.

MORE about Hippo Water International:

Thought in Action at The Erb Institute


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