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CEIBS Becomes 1st Business School in Asia to Achieve “Carbon Neutral” Status

May 28, 2011

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May 28, 2011. Shanghai -- The China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), the largest, longest running, and top-ranked business school in mainland China, today announced successfully becoming the first b-school in Asia, and one of the very few around the globe, to become “carbon neutral” and minimize its contribution to climate change.

The announcement came at the culmination of a nine-month long project to measure the carbon footprint of the school’s Shanghai campus, then determine the opportunities to reduce and offset emissions of greenhouse gases.

In an announcement made during CEIBS 6th annual Being Globally Responsible Conference (BGRC), CEIBS Executive President Zhu Xiaoming told the 250-strong audience of academics, students, and media: “At CEIBS, not only are CSR topics fully integrated into our core curriculum but CEIBS is also putting its vision into action… This afternoon, in a ceremony during the BGRC, CEIBS will become the first business school in Asia and one of the first worldwide to achieve carbon neutral status. …At CEIBS, we don’t just talk, we walk the talk!”

During today's press conference.

Initiated by a group of MBA 2010 students calling themselves “The Decarbonators,” the ambitious project to achieve carbon neutrality resulted from a 50-page business plan written as a required project within the MBA curriculum. The report detailed the campus waste streams and calculated its greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in a final calculation of the school’s carbon footprint at 4,500 tons of CO2 equivalents per annum.

SGS, the world’s largest carbon auditor, served as an advisor on the project, assisting the student group with China-specific emission factors while measuring and calculating the carbon footprint. In addition, SGS is now in the process of auditing CEIBS' carbon footprint.

With the carbon footprint calculated, the Decarbonators next outlined a plan to reduce and offset the school’s greenhouse gas emissions -- through reducing waste streams and cutting electricity usage on campus, and through absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere by planting trees. From April 22 to 25, two of the students joined an annual tree-planting effort arranged by international NGO Roots & Shoots in Kulun Qi, Inner Mongolia. The students started the plantation of the CEIBS Forest with the first 1000 trees, which not only absorb green house gases but also help local farmers to reclaim arable land for farming.

While planting the CEIBS Forest was a good start, fully offsetting the Shanghai campus residual emissions required a larger effort. The students worked with carbon credit broker Evolution Markets to identify two worthy projects in China to support through the purchase of carbon credits.

A donation was made in support of two emission reduction projects under the internationally accepted Verified Carbon Standard.

On May 28, the CEIBS management made a donation in support of two emission reduction projects under the internationally accepted Verified Carbon Standard. The donation will support Xinjiang Tianfeng Wind Power Co, a wind power facility in Xinjiang; and a hydropower project operated by Guizhou Honor Carbon Asset Management Co.  The purchase of these carbon credits, and the corresponding retirement of related VERs (Voluntary Emission Reductions) for these projects, effectively secures carbon neutral status for CEIBS Shanghai campus for the time period of May 28, 2011 to May 27, 2012.

“We are extremely proud of the students, and delighted that we have successfully achieved this important goal,” said CEIBS MBA Academic Director Lydia Price. “The Carbon Neutral Project is a perfect blend of several things we value at CEIBS: academic excellence, practical applications of theoretical knowledge, and commitment to responsible leadership.  Our student team has demonstrated real leadership, passion and innovation in achieving this target.  Moreover, they were highly adept at managing the internal coordination of CEIBS departments that was required to get this project off the ground.   This is a proud moment for the current MBA class, and a real milestone for CEIBS.”

Speaking on behalf of the Decarbonators, MBA 2010 student and president of the CEIBS Energy & Environment Club Robert Seiler said, “My teammates and I are grateful to CEIBS for supporting us in this project, which required efforts from so many people at the school, from the Logistics to Marcom to the Dean’s Office. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to contribute to the global fight against climate change! It's a strong signal to other educational institutions and to the whole world that CEIBS and China are walking in the right direction.” Seiler, who holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry from MIT and ETH, and spent several years consulting on carbon emissions in Europe before enrolling at CEIBS, used his expertise to ensure the professionalism of the project.

“Now comes the hard part -- making sure we continue carbon neutrality permanently, and working to reduce our carbon emissions,” added teammate Eric Seidner. “We have to create a legacy to pass down to future CEIBS students.” Added fellow Decarbonator Alex Song:  “Carbon neutralization is not a one-year project. We need to integrate the practice into CEIBS’ blood!”

China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), launched in 1994, is the longest running, largest, and top-ranked business school in mainland China, with all 3 programmes -- MBA, EMBA, and Executive Education -- ranked in the Top 30 by the 2011 Financial Times. Established as a joint venture between the European Commission and the Chinese government, the school maintains close ties with Europe. The school’s unique positioning is its combination of China expertise and international knowledge, characterized by “China Depth, Global Breadth”.