The Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs, led by prominent Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun, was a small non-profit organization with an outsized mission. The Beijing-based group aimed to “green” China’s manufacturing facilities. The IPE operated a public, online databases of air and water violations by factories throughout China, creating a groundbreaking “blacklist” of polluters. By mid-2009, IPE had compiled databases with more than 47,000 air and water violations. To get off the list, 22 multinational corporations took corrective actions and accepted IPE-supervised environmental audits of their Chinese factories. Ma was a champion of increasing access to environmental information, which he believed could bring public pressure on companies to operate more responsibly. Ma also was a well-respected voice on China’s environment and a leading advocate of public participation in managing China’s environment. IPE's story presents the surprising contributions that a non-governmental organization can make in bringing about environmental change, and highlights the role that information transparency and supply chain improvements can play in reducing pollution.
GSB Faculty, Students and Staff only may view PDF document, authorization required.