Weekend reading: bribery & business, China in the Mekong, and food in the city

Welcome to my new blog space! And my first post written here is, because it’s Saturday, my online discoveries from the past week.

Bribery & business in China
Last week I spoke to a co-worker about CSR in China, and she mentioned that in her view corruption is one of the most difficult issues in China for foreign companies. And the FT is talking about this issue this week, following the bribery scandal at GlaxoSmithKline that broke recently as well. Bottom line: the line between what is business as usual and what is bribery is very blurred.

On environment and China in the Mekong
As usual, this section includes something on China and the environment. China Dialogue has posted several interesting articles this week. One of these talks about how to deal with companies who are heavy polluters.

The second article I’d like to highlight discusses China’s strategy in the Mekong region, mostly focused on infrastructure. But what consequences does this strategy have for topics such as the environment and food security?

To fly or not to fly?
The following article touches on a more general topic, but one which is a bit of a personal dilemma as well: flying. The Guardian’s Jo Confino asks whether it’s okay for sustainability professionals to be jetting all over the world – as many do, including myself (though not nearly as much as some others). For travel within Europe I try to stick to train travel. And I was recently a bit shocked that people from cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam think it very normal to fly to Paris, especially if your work is about promoting sustainable business. But what to do about the trips to Asia… travelling overland isn’t really an option. In a way, it’s even more of an incentive to really make those trips count.

Book recommendation
And not really an article that I found this week, but a recommendation if you’re looking for any books to take on holiday. I’m currently in the middle of Hungry City by Carolyn Steel. I’d heard a lot about it for the last few years or so, and finally got it last week. So good. Really recommended if you love food, but also when you are interested in how cities work, what impact food has on communities etc.

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