Below is the list of interview questions I used to guide each one of my factory interviews. As much as possible, I tried to conduct the interviews in the spirit of inquisitive, friendly conversation, as opposed to detached observation.

Thus, the interview questions were not asked in a scientifically rigorous manner: at times I did not ask certain questions depending on my rapport with the interviewee and the sensitivity of the question. I took liberty to reword questions as I saw fit.

I tried to use the interview questions more as a point of discussion than a survey.

Warmup personal questions

Personal background

What were your childhood influences, goals, aspirations?

Did you go to college or receive any post-secondary education?

What jobs did you have in the past before the current one?

How long have you worked at your current job?

What was your career path to your current job?

Warmup factory questions

Some non environmental-related questions

What is the unique selling point of your factory? Why is better than others in  the same industry?

Why is your factory located in <current city>?

Relationship with government

How does the local environmental protection bureau manage your factory?

Do you interact with the central or provincial government at all?

Relationship with customers

Do customers care about the environmental impact of your factory and manufacturing process? If so, what do they care about?

Do customers care about environmental and health/safety aspects of your product? If so, what do they care about?

Relationship with suppliers

What factors do you care about when you look for suppliers?

How do environmental factors rank in that list?

Relationship with other factories

Does your factory interact with other factories in your vicinity or industry? If so, how so?

how do other companies in your industry work? How are they different than you? How are they similar to you?

Motivations, try 1 (ask in hypothetical way)

Say your factory is deciding between buying machine A and machine B for a new production line. Machine A costs x% more, but saves y% money in the long term of z years and is less polluting than machine B. At what point do you buy machine A over machine B?

Circular economy questions

Have you heard of the circular economy concept? How about the circular economy law?

Do you think your factory implements some aspect of circular economy?

Deeper personal questions

Personal views on environmental protection

What are your views on environmental protection?

In China right now, what is  the relationship environmental protection vs economy development?

What is your viewpoint on what the relationship should be?

How do you think the Chinese government is doing on environmental protection?

In what ways can the government do a better job on this?

Do you think environmental problems are reversible? That is, with sufficient money, can they be mitigated and fixed in the future?

How did you arrive at your viewpoint on environmental question?

How do you think other Chinese would answer the question "What are your views on environmental protection"?

Deeper factory questions

Motivations, try 2 (ask in direct way)

What's your motivating factors for being Huanbao?

Self assessment of their own factory

Overall, how do you think your factory is doing with respect to environmental impact?