Over the last decade, corporate sustainability has featured prominently as one of the topical issues of major concern for companies. As a result, businesses have made significant progress in recognizing the benefits of adopting sustainability programs as a core component of their strategies.
The 10th anniversary edition of the Sustainability Yearbook highlights the regions and sectors that have recorded significant improvements in the area of sustainability.
It evaluates the sustainability performance of over 2000 companies worldwide based on 58 sectors and determines the changes in criteria that have occurred over the years. The Yearbook offers insights into the sustainability trends targeted to gain more importance in the future.
Each of the reviewed sectors of the Sustainability Yearbook 2013 provides a summary of the associated sustainability opportunities and risks. The Yearbook also highlights the unique economic environment and social dimensions that are relevant to the sustainability analysis of each sector.
As a point of note nine US-based companies including Molson Coors, Alcoa, Sonoco Products, Herman Miller and UnitedHealth Group have been awarded gold medals for sustainability practices in the Yearbook. This places the US higher than any other country in the rankings.
Read the complete Sustainability Yearbook 2013 here.
In June 2012, Brazil announced it had achieved a 76% reduction in its deforestation rate against 1990 levels1 – an incredible achievement and close to their target of an 80% fall by 2020, eight years ahead of schedule. In terms of tons of carbon, this equates to a reduction greater than the total achieved by all 30 nations participating in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) over the same period. Further, a recent calculation by Dr Dan Nepstad of the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) has shown that, per ton of carbon saved by preventing deforestation, climate mitigation action in Brazil was 875 times cheaper than efforts to reduce emissions under the EU ETS.
These two facts clearly demonstrate the scale and value of the opportunity offered by halting deforestation in the fight against climate change. And for those who remain unsure that human-induced climate change presents a risk, the World Bank’s report “Turn Down the Heat – Why a 4°C warmer world must be avoided”, released at the UN Climate negotiations in Doha, should make for convincing reading.
But of course reducing rampant deforestation, the ultimate purpose of the Forest Footprint Disclosure Project (FFD), is not just about carbon. It is a global imperative in the move towards more responsible and sustainable use of natural capital. This underpins wealth creation in the world economy and the security of water, energy, food and health for millions of people.
Read the entire report here: Forest Footprint Disclosure
Canadian business leaders have reached a pivotal moment in their sustainability efforts. The period of low-hanging sustainability fruit is over. It is now time for leaders in the Canadian marketplace to raise the bar, reach high and wide, and create innovative sustainability opportunities.
NBS’s Leadership Council met in September 2012 to identify the issues inside their organizations, in their value chains, in the marketplace, in government and in society that limit sustainable development. In a one-day roundtable facilitated by management researcher and executive director of NBS Tima Bansal, these leaders identified 10 issues facing Canadian businesses and phrased them as questions for the research community and other members of the business community to start answering:
- How can businesses contribute to effective, integrated public policy on the right issues?
- How can companies best engage value chain, industry and NGO partners to achieve sustainability goals?
- How can businesses help Canadians become informed, inspired and engaged in a national dialogue about responsible consumption?
- What corporate structures enable companies to deliver on sustainability goals?
- How can companies keep their long-term sustainability agenda on track despite leadership changes?
- How should companies navigate issues regarding Aboriginal rights and entitlements?
- How can Canadian organizations become more innovative?
- How can companies embed social license to operate into their strategy?
- How can business and society prepare effectively for the impacts of climate change?
- How can companies respond to the proliferation of voluntary and mandatory reporting requirements?
Over the next year, NBS will conduct a systematic review (comprehensive research study) of Challenge #2: Collaboration. They will commission the best academic team in the world to review the existing body of knowledge, and from that review, they will produce a practical guide for business leaders to engage value chain, industry and NGO partners in sustainability. They will also convene a public forum to address Challenge #3: Civic Engagement. Bringing together researchers, business leaders and policymakers, the forum will start a national dialogue on sustainability.
At its Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the launch of the Green Building Information Gateway. Coined GBIG, the web-based tool will accelerate market transformation by providing greater transparency and understanding of the green dimensions of the built environment.
GBIG provides a transparent view of places, projects, collections and credits, detailing the actions and activities of LEED building owners and project teams over time. The tool provides maps, analytics and insights that reveal trends, patterns and processes in green building practice.
- GBIG is a global platform for innovation and insights.
- GBIG seeks to use data-driven insights to create value and competitive advantage for high performing green building projects around the world.
Users can search and explore green building activity around the world, analyze trends and patterns in green building practice and discover connections between projects, people, products and services.
India and the US, in a combined initiative to promote clean energy innovation, have initiated a center called Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the US (SERIIUS). It will create a bi-national network for fostering new ideas and collaborations to accelerate a sustainable industry focusing on solar energy. The consortium funded by two countries is co-led by the Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bangalore and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the USA. The center was officially launched by the consortium in Mumbai with around 30 participants from institutes and industries of both countries.
The vision of SERIIOUS is to create an innovative and cooperative environment without borders to develop revolutionary solar electricity technologies. IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IISC are some of the prominent institutes associated with the initiative while Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy(C-STEP); Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd are the significant industries. Institutes and industries from the US include Purdue University, Stanford University and RAND Corporation among others.
More details of SERIIUS and the work proposed to be done are available at