Business leaders from major economic sectors in Canada have put forth what they see as the key challenges facing business community with regards to sustainability.
The Network for Business Sustainability‘s Leadership Council said that, no matter how you look at the challenges, it’s important for academic experts and business leaders to find common ground to collaborate.
“Organizations are realizing that sustainability issues are complex and require different perspectives to produce innovative solutions,” said Tima Bansal, Executive Director of the Network for Business Sustainability.
Here are the seven challenges identified by the network.
1. Measuring and assigning value to a firm’s ecological impacts (i.e. its ecological footprint). Is the carbon footprint the end-all be-all?
2. Building an enduring corporate culture of sustainability. If key sustainability leaders leave a company, how does it pick up the pieces?
3. Promoting and ensuring sustainability within supply chains. Should suppliers in developing countries be treated differently than those in developed countries?
4. Incorporating sustainability into employee incentives. Can existing employee incentive plans be connected to sustainability goals?
5. Identifying business risks associated with water quality and water shortage. If water is the next “climate change,” does your company have in place tools to evaluate water risks?
6. Identifying the aboriginal perspective on business sustainability, and determining the best approaches for constructively engaging aboriginal communities. Because aboriginal groups may be more closely tied to sustainable ways of life, can they teach corporations anything?
7. Measuring the economic impact of NIMBY (“not in my backyard”)-ism. Are NIMBY claims valid or justified? Can an economic value be assigned to NIMBY claims?
Organizations represented by The Network for Business Sustainability’s Leadership Council are:
– Canadian Pacific Railway
– Environment Canada
– Holcim (Canada) Inc.
– Industry Canada
– International Institute for Sustainable Development
– Ontario Power Generation Inc.
– Pembina Institute
– Research In Motion
– Suncor Energy Inc.
– Syngenta Crop Protection Inc.
– Telus Corporation
– Tembec Inc.
– Toronto-Dominion Bank Financial Group