Sustainability-driven innovation and the Climate Savers’ programme: Experience of international companies in China
Purpose – This study aims to explore the experience of eight international companies, focusing on their strategies in sustainable innovations in China.
Design/methodology/approach – This investigation is accomplished using a case study methodology. The research is based on the companies’ secondary data and 47 semi-structured face-to-face interviews carried out in Chinese (Mandarin) between September 2010 and March 2012. Access to the selected companies was supported by WWF China.
Findings – The findings of this study are summarised in a theoretical framework suggesting four different levels of multinational corporations’ (MNCs’) sustainability-driven innovations in China.
Research limitations/implications – The paper is based on the research population of MNCs being WWF Climate Savers partners in China. The research sample has no Chinese-only companies.
Originality/value – From the academic perspective this research is a qualitative analysis of the best practices in sustainable innovation of MNCs in China and an attempt to map them to a theoretical framework. From a policy-making perspective, this paper is a report on existing practices and positive experience in responsible industry leadership. For practitioners this study shows how to create profitable growth in harmony with environmental sustainability and good corporate citizenship.