Echoes of the Forum


Key takeaways

Collaboration is key to achieving the SDGs and opening new opportunities
When businesses share ideas and collaborate, they can make huge strides towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDGs offer a useful opportunity to frame and communicate a broad range of CSR activities that companies are undertaking. They also represent a huge opportunity in terms of potential new products and markets.  

Educating corporate boards on the long-term value of sustainability will be transformative
Many board directors don’t have the background or expertise to assess the long-term risks or the new opportunities associated with environmental and social issues, such as climate change. This is an issue when you consider that, of the top 10 global risks the World Economic Forum has identified in terms of their likelihood and impact, 70 percent were associated with environmental and social risks. As more companies and boards focus on the risks and rewards associated with environmental and social considerations, the more sustainable their business models will be in the long term.

Unlocking carbon in the supply chain is an opportunity to reduce costs and increase efficiency
According to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), supply chain emissions are around four times the operational emissions for most companies. Many large companies are acting to reduce the carbon in their supply chains, setting out performance and carbon reduction targets for their suppliers. In turn, they are reaping the rewards of reduced costs, increased efficiency, and more satisfied customers. They are also better prepared for potential future regulations.

Disclosure is valuable in communicating and planning for climate resilience
The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) has developed voluntary guidance for consistent climate-related financial risk disclosures for use by companies in providing information to investors, lenders, insurers, and other stakeholders. Climate disclosure is a quickly evolving tool that can be valuable for companies in communicating the steps they are taking to protect asset value and demonstrate resilience. It can be used to discuss how companies are managing climate risks and taking advantage of opportunities.

Corporations are a key driver of the low-carbon transition
Vision, leadership, action, and change from governments, businesses, and citizens are required for us to transition to a low-carbon economy. Corporate organizations are driving change not only out of corporate interest, but out of dollars and cents outcomes. The regulatory process is a way to unlock and deploy renewable technology faster, but we need the large corporate voice to drive innovation and employ short and long-term solutions in the low-carbon transition.

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Business and Competitiveness

In part two of our “Echoes of the Forum” series, we dive deeper into another track from GLOBE Forum 2018: Business and Competitiveness. International corporations discussed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), some of Canada’s most prominent CEOs talked about the importance of educating corporate boards about sustainability, and others explored how partnerships in empowering corporate energy systems and supply chains are drivers in the clean energy transition.    

Here you will find:
 
 
     

Key takeaways  

Full session videos

4 ways industry can transform their organizations and the economy

A closer look: Speaker interviews, reports, and more


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4 ways industry can transform their organizations and the economy 

Corporations can incorporate the SDGs at all levels to enhance buy-in
The SDGs can act as a common sustainability framework across a company, from boards and directors, to employees and investors. Using language that reflects the goals of each of these groups is helpful for multi-level integration. Linking performance to the SDGs through an agreed set of sustainability indicators also serves to integrate sustainability throughout a company, and opens opportunities for increased compensation of employees. These elements can enhance buy-in and lead to greater low-carbon action.
 
 

Guidelines for executives when speaking to the board/C-Suite about sustainability:  

  • Understand the level of sustainability knowledge among your board directors.  
  • Link sustainability-related initiatives to the corporate strategic plan, identifying where sustainability will enable and support existing priorities.   
  • Focus on risk and compliance to create a sense of urgency.   
  • Ensure proposed solutions are measurable and offer to follow up with a progress report at the next meeting.  

Boards must lead the call for sustainable supply chains
A company’s sustainable thinking must be thoughtfully designed to guide purchasing teams towards successful communication with suppliers. The more ingrained the efforts, the better. If the call for a highly-resilient supply chain comes from the Board/CEO/CFO, purchasing will follow. Until that is the case, metric-based engagement with suppliers is imperative.
 
 

Companies must engage young talent
Loss of entrepreneurial spirit is a risk to most businesses. Companies can foster this spirit by engaging youth. Through intergenerational collaboration, young and experienced business professionals and entrepreneurs can learn from each other and drive innovation. Solutions-based “labs,” such as those Hootsuite uses to develop new product offerings, as well as mentorship programs, are good first steps to foster a culture of innovation.
   

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Session videos

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John Izzo, Author, Patsy Doerr, Thomson Reuters,
Liz Maw, Net Impact, Lynelle Cameron, Autodesk - (left to right)

Dee Poon, Esquel Group

“Talent are asking the questions – 8/10 millennials are choosing companies that are having a social impact.” 

Patsy Doerr, Global Head, Corporate Responsibility and Inclusion, Thomson Reuters

"In our experience, we need partners to help us understand the complexity. That’s how we can accelerate innovation."

Roxanna Benoit, Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications, Enbridge


A closer look

Take a deeper dive into the conversations that took place at GLOBE Forum.

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“Sustainable Development Goals provide a common denominator and language that everyone can relate to.”

Marcelo Lu, President, BASF Canada

Heard at GLOBE Forum

SPEAKER INTERVIEW

PARTNER REPORT

INDUSTRY TIPS

Businesses making a head start in implementing the SDGs are carving out a distinct advantage, says Kevin Moss of the World Resources Institute (WRI).

Get ideas from industry leaders on how to drive a responsible culture within the workplace.

The Global Compact Network Canada has released their 3rd SDG survey results analyzing organization’s perspectives on the SDGs.

The Sustainable Development Goals: An opportunity for business?

Creating a purposeful corporate culture.

How are Canadian organizations tackling the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals?

PARTNER REPORT

What happens when you bring 150 of Canada’s brightest young sustainability leaders together?

Leading Change – a Canadian movement of young environmental leaders and sustainability professionals – has shared key learnings and outcomes from their 2018 Forum.

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