Ma Jun and the IPE: Using Information to Improve China's Environment
2009 | Case No. SI115
The Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs, founded and led by prominent Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun, was a small non-profit organization with an outsized mission. The Beijing-based group aimed to be a catalyst in “greening” China’s manufacturing facilities. The IPE operated 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. But the environmental entrepreneur was searching for ways his organization could make a bigger impact. The case presents the contributions that a non-governmental organization can make in bringing about environmental change. It focuses on the role that information transparency and supply chain improvements can play in reducing pollution.
This material is available for download by current Stanford GSB students, faculty, and staff, as well as Stanford GSB alumni. For inquires, contact the Case Writing Office. Download
Available for Purchase