Monthly Archives: December 2011

Culture of Sustainability Pays Dividends – 18 yr. Study Provides Proof

TSSS is excited to have the authors’ permission to publish a link to a new Harvard Business School working paper, which will soon be published in a top academic journal. It will provide much support to all of us out there who are trying to get corporations to go beyond greenwashing and PR and get serious about creating what the authors call “a culture of sustainability”.   A special thank-you to executive leadership consultant, Louise Macdonald, for summarizing the high points of the article.

Improved Financial Performance

I just read some great new research to support “business case for sustainability” which many participants of the TSSS community continue to refine in order to become more effective as sustainability change agents.  The working paper is called “The Impact of a Corporate Culture of Sustainability on Corporate Behavior and Performance”, by Robert G. Eccles and George Serafeim of the Harvard Business School, and Ioannis Ioannou of the London Business School. It is not exactly light bedtime reading, especially if you get into the elements of scientific inquiry that are detailed throughout, but it is compelling in that it provides evidence that creating a culture of sustainability leads to improved corporate financial performance in the long-term. Perhaps those of us who are passionate about sustainability knew that already, but here is a study spanning 18 years and involving 180 companies that clinches it and provides more food for discussion about the cost-benefit equation of shifting the corporate mindset.

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The Future of Corporate Sustainability: McKinsey, PwC

According to the findings in the 2011 McKinsey survey “The Business of Sustainability” (PDF), businesses are moving from merely managing reputations to recording and reporting impact and finally to action and engagement. In this article, I will first divide corporate sustainability initiatives into three versions, based on maturity. Then I will present the key challenges for the future of corporate sustainability.

Sustainability version 1.0

Building a responsible corporate image was one of the first business cases for sustainability initiatives. Managing reputation of a company amongst customers and other stakeholders was the mandate of Sustainability 1.0.

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Big brands take climate action but…

Led by Unilever, Astra Zeneca and Nike, consumer brands are taking climate change more seriously than ever, says a new report from Climate Counts, a nonprofit that rates some of the world’s largest companies on their climate impact.

Big companies are reporting emissions, committing to targets and becoming more vocal in the policy arena, according to the report.

“There’s evidence to suggest we have reached a remarkable tipping point,” says Mike Bellamente, project director of Climate Counts. “Global corporations are increasingly acknowledging climate change as reality and are adopting measures to reduce their emissions and environmental impact.”

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Sustainability Workshop: Overcome challenges, obstacles, resistance and barriers

Bob Willard

Bob Willard

Objection Handling Workshop for Sustainability Professionals
A unique opportunity for business professionals to come together and share challenges, successes and best practices with regard to moving sustainability forward in an organization.

Course Leader: Bob Willard

DATE: Thursday, February 16, 2012
TIME: 4:00 – 8:00 EST
LOCATION: Bennett Jones, 1st Canadian Place, 100 King St. W. (King & Bay), 34th Floor, Toronto

Breakout session facilitators:

Register Now

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Revolutionizing an Industry – Engaging Shareholders, Suppliers and Consumers (November 1, 2011)

This event summary is a collaborative effort by Brad Zarnett and Venkat S. Somasundaram

On November 1st, over 100 people gathered for the Toronto Sustainability Speaker Series event, Engage with the Game Changers.  Three top industry influencers, Paul Uys, VP Sustainable Seafood, Loblaw, Hadley Archer, VP Strategic Partnerships, WWF and Tom Janes, Director, Sustainability, Janes Family Foods, explored the business opportunities and challenges of working with new and existing stakeholders (NGOs and suppliers) to create a more sustainable economy.  While the panel’s focus was the story of how Loblaw and its stakeholders worked to source and deliver Sustainable Seafood to customers, the lessons learned are applicable to any business undergoing a sustainability journey.  I’d like to extend a warm thank-you to Pamela Divinsky (moderator) and Peter Ter Weeme for you help in organizing this event!

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