CKGSB Honored for Achievements in Social Innovation
March 29, 2016

CKGSB has been recognized by both the American and British Chambers of Commerce in China for its achievements in social innovation. 

Yan Wen (center), Manager of Social Responsibility Affairs at CKGSB, poses on stage with Steven Lynch, Events Director at the China-Britain Business Council and Clare Pearson, chair of the British Chamber in China and International Development Director of DLA Piper

At the inaugural China CSR Awards held on March 23 at the Opposite House hotel in Beijing, companies that have made significant contributions to China in various philanthropic fields were celebrated, with the judges commenting on the high level of entries from organizations which included Coca-Cola, Starbucks, PricewaterCoopers, IBM, Standard Chartered and the NBA.

CKGSB’s entry to the awards highlighted the Goji berry project, led by Professor of Marketing Juliet Zhu and several CKGSB alumni, which enabled locals in Yinhe village in Gansu province to sell their unique local fruit to a wider audience (see video below). By using innovative business strategies to design, market, distribute and sell the product, the annual income of those in the community was raised by nearly 35%, helping to lift them out of poverty in a dignified way.

CKGSB Professor of Marketing Juliet Zhu discusses various philanthropic initiatives,

including the Goji berry project, at a recent TEDx event in Beijing.


Judges at the ceremony also praised CKGSB for the contribution of the CKGSB Philanthropy Fund, which has raised over 50 million RMB to date.

Keynote speaker Carma Elliot CMG OBE, China Director for the British Council, said she was pleasantly surprised to find such dedicated, prestigious companies presenting worthy projects in the first iteration of what will become an annual tradition.

Ira Zaka, Mark Dreyer, Yan Wen and Tomoko Oue represented CKGSB

at the inaugural China CSR Awards held on March 23 in Beijing.

Elliot was joined on the judging panel by some experienced British, US and Chinese names, including Clare Pearson, chair of the British Chamber in China and international development director of DLA Piper, Wang Liwei, CEO of the China Development Foundation, and Anke Schrader, Senior Researcher at The Conference Board and chair of the AmCham CSR Forum. 

“In a company culture where the attitude of the boss dictates the culture of the firm, the CEO must be seen to be leading from the front,” Pearson said. “He or she needs to ideally select a topic of focus in line with the 13th Five Year Plan; set up a corporate foundation to fund the cause; and then proactively encourage staff members to spend time on the project by connecting it to their performance target and pay.” 

All the winners pose for the media at the end of the awards ceremony.

13 companies received awards in front of Chinese and overseas media, with a further 10 receiving honorable mentions for their contributions to China’s social evolution. Entries were judged based on a combination of the following criteria: impact, scalability, sustainability, ability to leverage resources and the overall professionalism of the CSR project.

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