Appendix A: Past Challenges
Challenges from 2008 to 2012
NBS started identifying Canadian companies’ sustainability challenges in 2008. To date, our Leadership Council has identified 43 Challenges; the Challenges have been mostly internally focused (72 per cent) (i.e. focused on their organizations rather than on society), and the majority have focused on how to implement sustainability (63 per cent) as opposed to how to define sustainability and its importance or how to measure it.
Since 2008, NBS has investigated the two (or three, in 2010) Challenges every year that the companies identified as being most important and that represented questions academia could answer. These investigations spawned valuable reports, webinars, workshops, presentations and planning exercises for business leaders and sustainability managers worldwide. To date, NBS has researched the following issues.
- How sustainability can drive innovation (and vice-versa) within companies. Executive Report
- How companies can mobilize citizens to take more sustainable actions – i.e. to create social change. Executive Report
- The outcome-based government policies that effectively address sustainability issues. Executive Report
- How individuals make decisions regarding social and environmental issues. Executive Report
- How to measure and value a firm’s ecological impacts (e.g. ecological footprint). Executive Report
- How companies can build a durable, enduring corporate culture of sustainability. Executive Report
- How to promote and ensure sustainability within supply chains. Executive Report
- Building adaptation to climate change into business strategy. Executive Report
- Determining whether consumers consider social or environmental attributes when making purchases. Executive Report
- Tools to help managers make the business case for sustainability. Executive Report
- Best practices for community engagement. Executive Report
Appendix B: Progress Report on 2012 Projects
In 2012, NBS conducted “systematic reviews” of the two most important Challenges: Innovating for Sustainability and How Business Can Drive Social Change. Systematic reviews are comprehensive literature reviews that synthesize the existing body of research. First popularized in evidenced-based medicine, systematic reviews observe a rigorous methodology designed to eliminate researcher bias and promote transparency and replicability.
The final reports for the Innovation and Social Change systematic reviews are available in Fall 2012 and Winter 2013, respectively. They will be complemented by a series of executive reports, workshops, webinars, slide decks and other resources for managers. NBS also continues to scour management journals for new research on each of the past Challenges, layering these updates onto the systematic review findings and disseminating them bi-weekly to our more than 3,000 subscribers.