The case demonstrates how Ant Financial, the leading Fintech company in China, carried out an innovative CSR project—Ant Forest and how the project creatively integrates social goals with business practices to create a significant social impact as well as strategic values. Ant Forest is an exemplar showcasing how an environmental initiative can synergize with the core competence of a Fintech company. For undergraduate or master students, the instructor can stimulate discussion on popular CSR practices and on how to improve their effectiveness by introducing creative designs such as gamification. For an in-depth discussion, the instructor can introduce the strategic thinking behind CSR activities and the implicit competition between firms and nonprofit organizations in delivering social goods.
To provide students with a holistic and strategic view of CSR.
To motivate students to examine CSR initiatives and evaluate their effectiveness by analyzing internal firm resources and external institutional environments.
To provide students with a framework to categorize different CSR practices based on their innovativeness and relationship to a firm’s core competence.
- To inspire critical thinking on CSR, particularly when compared with projects initiated by nonprofit organizations in terms of social impact and economic efficiency.