10×10 Takes: Getting Down to Business at GxC with Mokwateh’s JP Gladu

Our upcoming event, GLOBExCHANGE (Feb. 27-Mar. 1, 2023) builds on our recently published 10×10 Matrix, which identifies the 10 areas where we need to take action in the next 10 years to get to net zero.

In our 10×10 Takes video series we’re talking with climate leaders who are working to advance these action areas. Watch this installment as we get down to business on Accelerating the Clean Energy Transition and Centering Indigenous Leadership, Engagement and Ways of Knowing with Mokwateh’s Principal and Founder, JP Gladu.


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10×10 Takes: Getting Down to Business at GxC with MaRS Discovery District’s Tyler Hamilton

Our upcoming event, GLOBExCHANGE (Feb. 27-Mar. 1, 2023) builds on our recently published 10×10 Matrix, which identifies the 10 areas where we need to take action in the next 10 years to get to net zero.

In our 10×10 Takes video series we’re talking with climate leaders who are working to advance these action areas. First up, let’s get down to business on Unlocking Innovation with MaRS Discovery District’s Senior Director of Cleantech, Tyler Hamilton.


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The Path to Net Zero: 10×10 Matrix

GLOBE Series Certified B.Corp

The Top Four Lessons We Learned During Our B Corp Journey

1. Move from practice to policy
After the initial assessment eight years ago, we realized that we were doing a lot of things in practice but we didn’t have formal policies in place that communicated to staff how we make decisions. As a result of going through the certification process, we documented things like our green procurement policy, people-related policies such as overtime, and our Code of Ethics. We became much more conscious of explicitly spelling out how we do things and what we stand for.

2. Engage staff in the results – and the actions
Our team is made up of some of the most committed sustainability and climate experts around, so they really care about these issues. This week we held a Town Hall with our team to walk through the certification process, our results, and how they can help us go even further in our B Corp journey. They have been a critical part of our improvements to date: after the first certification, we pulled together a green team who have been instrumental in developing strategies and suggestions. More recently, we convened a justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) committee, who are helping us shape our actions in these critical areas.

3. Focus on impact, impact, impact
Assessing impact is a huge part of the certification process. Qualifying and quantifying impact can be challenging for services organizations like GLOBE Series and The Delphi Group. We were able to find plenty of stories about how we have helped our clients abate their GHG emissions and/or environmental impact, often after years of working with them.

We want to go further when it comes to quantifying our impact. To that end, we are updating the way we track and measure our progress towards each entity’s mission and our shared vision and look forward to sharing more on this soon.

4. Pace yourself
The certification process is intense – they really make sure you’re doing what you say you’re doing. Count on at least a day for the initial assessment, and that is if you know where most of the information is (such as your HR manual, code of conduct, staffing and associated salaries, your governance structure, GHG emissions data, etc.). The subsequent verification stage can take weeks, as the B Corp team takes a deep dive on your application and requests more information on key issues.

After that, you have a verification call to go through any clarifying questions, and then a final assessment. Once you have the green light, you need to amend your articles of incorporation and then let the world know you’re certified!


If you have any questions about the B Corp certification process or how you can do more, don’t hesitate to reach out to our group of organization’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Ted Ferguson, and for additional resources, check out the B Impact Assessment and the list of B Corps.


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Top 5 tips for running sustainability events during COVID-19 (and beyond)

By Elizabeth Shirt, Managing Director – GLOBE Series


When I joined GLOBE Series as Managing Director in early 2020, I was super excited. I knew GLOBE had been producing sustainability and climate events for over three decades, and I wanted to be part of the next chapter. After all, we have no time to lose on the road to creating a net-zero, equitable future. I knew that GLOBE events would be where critical conversations and collaboration took root.  

What I couldn’t have predicted was a global pandemic that shook the event industry – among many others – to its core. We quickly pivoted to offering virtual events, and were pleasantly surprised to find that many partners and clients were keen to engage us on everything from programming to technical platforms. Our event services are now a permanent part of what we offer.

After two years of virtual events, I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised by what came next: a huge pent-up demand for getting together in person. GLOBE Forum, which has happened every two years for the past 30, sold out for the first time in its history. We had thousands of people register for in-person and virtual programming. With all that behind us and a huge amount of work to do in the next decade, I’d like to offer our top learnings that you can apply to your own sustainability and climate events.


#1: In-person events aren’t dead

After two years of Zoom meetings from our home offices, I guess we shouldn’t have been surprised at the tremendous interest in getting together in person at GLOBE Forum. People REALLY wanted to see each other after all that time, and the importance of human connection really came through in both our ticket sales and the vibe at the event itself.

How do you make the most of this desire to connect, which in turn fuels more collaboration and innovation? When you’re creating your program, don’t just think about who’s on the stage, think about who is in the room. Consider how you can help your attendees connect with each other – not only in your official programming, but outside of it.

For example, at GLOBE Forum we offered recharge lounges, meeting pods, and multiple networking events. These are where the magic happens…where else can a Chief Sustainability Officer of a multinational company get the opportunity to talk policy with a federal or provincial policymaker? Or a small company with big ambitions become part of the climate conversation? There were so many instances just like this at Forum.

For the first time ever, we also hosted an in-demand “Meet the experts” session with our colleagues from The Delphi Group. This was another way that we leveraged our own connections to help other companies make connections that will help them do what they do even better.

#2: If you’re not thinking about equity and access, start now

You can’t get away with all-white manels anymore. We will and should be held accountable for the people on stage, virtual or otherwise. Plus, if we’re going to build a better future, we need to have all the voices at the table – taking into account age, racial and gender identity, and differently abled perspectives.

At GLOBE Forum, we set and met speaker diversity targets. We considered what it really means to acknowledge the land we are gathering on. We also made sure to create space for First Nations leaders — who represent peoples who called Vancouver home well before any of us lived, worked or played here — to open the event, welcome us to their traditional territories, and talk about why sustainability is fundamental to their communities (and has been for centuries).

Could we do better? Absolutely, and we will keep the pressure on ourselves to ensure all our events are as inclusive as possible. If you’re considering an event, we encourage you to do the same.

In terms of event accessibility, providing virtual and hybrid options was definitely a huge step forward for us at Forum. Fortunately, we were able to leverage the expertise we’d gleaned during two years of the pandemic. We also ensured our event was accessible to a broad and diverse audience by providing targeted discounts for students, not-for-profits and under-represented groups.


#3: It’s not easy being green….but do it anyway

Ensuring your in-person event is sustainable is more and more important to your stakeholders – and is even more important if your audience lives and breathes sustainability, as ours does. There are a bunch of things you can do to work towards net zero, such as:

  • Select a green venue. For example, GLOBE Forum takes place in the Vancouver Convention Centre, which is the world’s first double LEED Platinum certified convention centre.
  • Ensure your badges are recyclable.
  • Offer catering linked to sustainable food sources and local suppliers.
  • Consider going paper-free by offering your program online only.
  • Consider a fully virtual event OR partner with a credible offsets provider to mitigate the emissions associated with in-person events. We partnered with Ostrom Climate at GLOBE Forum to mitigate our event-related emissions.

Our mission is to provide events that are as green and sustainable as possible. We still have some work to do, but asking the right questions from the start is key to making progress.

#4: Go beyond a chatfest…link your event to outcomes and action

The learnings and best practices that people can glean from speakers and fellow attendees at events have a lot of value. However, with less than a decade to make urgent progress towards a net-zero future, we need to go beyond talk to action and impact. This is also what will make your event that much more compelling than another Zoom webinar.

At GLOBE Forum, we not only offered GLOBE Advances – deep-dive workshops on our key themes – but very intentionally built our program around the 10×10 Action Plan: the 10 actions in 10 years we need to take to get to net zero. The 10×10 will be developed out of the discussions that took place at GLOBE Forum and will specify WHAT needs to happen and WHO needs to do it on the road to net zero. These actions will be unpacked at future GLOBE events with the goal of ensuring accountability and impact. Read more about the 10×10 here.

#5: Take 5 after your event is over

There is nothing quite like putting on an event. It’s a high-intensity and high-stress undertaking. It’s really important to acknowledge that and to build it into your calendar in a way that won’t over-tax your team – such as ensuring they can take a breather when the event is over. Think about what’s going to be your best quarter for planning, your best quarter for implementation, and your best quarter for recovery.

It’s also important to define rules of engagement when things get stressful and so that you can stay true to your culture and values. This can really sustain you when the team is going a million miles an hour in a high-intensity environment.


Are you thinking about offering an in-person, hybrid or virtual event, workshop or presentation? We can help!

For more information about how we can partner with you to deliver your next sustainability event, reach out to our Senior Manager, Event Partnerships, Caroline Vanesse, directly at caroline.vanesse@globeseries.com.


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Net Zero Insights hosted by John Stackhouse from RBC – Feat. Don Iveson, Co-operators


Recorded at GLOBE Forum 2022, this Net Zero Insights video features host John Stackhouse, Senior Vice-President, Office of the CEO from RBC in conversation with Don Iveson, Executive Advisor for Climate Investing and Community Resilience at Co-operators and the former Mayor of Edmonton.


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Day Three Highlights from GLOBE Forum 2022, with Mike Gerbis

That’s a wrap! It’s been our great pleasure to connect and collaborate with the incredible community at GLOBE Forum over these past three days. As we look back on our last day together, hear about why we’re excited for what lies ahead on the road to Destination Net Zero from the Chief Executive Officer of GLOBE Series, The Delphi Group, Leading Change, and CBSR, Mike Gerbis.


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Day Two Highlights from GLOBE Forum 2022, with Carol-Ann Brown

From the Opening Bell at Marketplace, to Innovation Challenges and Reverse Pitches, to interactive programming both on-stage and online, the second day of GLOBE Forum 2022 blew us away! Catch up with The Delphi Group’s President, Carol-Ann Brown, for more highlights from Destination Net Zero.


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Bo Simango and Alan Sharpio Leading Change

Water in Canada: A Vision for 2050

By Alan Shapiro, Director of Foresight Canada’s waterNEXT network and Bo Simango, CEO and Co-Founder of Aquafort

It’s been said that if climate change is the shark, then water is its teeth. From flooding and drought to ocean acidification and coastal erosion, we are already seeing these impacts unfold across Canada and around the world. Inevitably, impacts are never isolated to a single Earth system. The complex web of relationships that defines our water, energy, and food systems–known as the water-energy-food nexus–means that the security of one cannot be achieved without also investing in the other two. The collective health of these systems provides a necessary foundation for community well-being, economic prosperity, and reconciliation.

What does a net-zero 2050 mean for water in Canada? In its simplest form, the future we envision for water is sustainable, secure, and equitable. In a world where Canada has achieved its 2050 goals, that future should include:

  • Ensuring every water system across Canada, in particular rural, remote, and Indigenous communities, provides safe, clean drinking water.
  • Strong data and research around the water issues we face, both in 2050 and beyond.
  • A commitment to necessary funding, developing strong regulations, and enacting proactive measures to address these issues in real-time.
  • Support for technological and social innovation ecosystems that cultivate climate solutions.
  • A global leadership role in water technology, innovation, and conservation, with recognition of Canada’s privileged position as a developed economy.
  • Viewing all water-related policy, investment, and action through the lens of sustainability, equity, and reconciliation.

We are not alone in imagining this future. Our Living Waters, a national network of freshwater organizations, has set the ambitious goal of seeing all waters in Canada in good health by 2030. This means that water in Canada is safe for swimming and drinking and contaminant-free; fish are flourishing and are healthy to eat; the flow of water in rivers and lakes supports life, recreation, and a healthy environment; and aquatic bugs that form the base of the food chain are thriving in all of the waterways in Canada.

However, as a recent article from MakeWay makes abundantly clear, we’ve got a lot of work to do:

“There are more than 200 federal departments and agencies in Canada, with more than 20 of these departments having freshwater responsibilities and over 75 interacting with water in one way or another. Canada has specific agencies for fish, agriculture, and natural resources – all of which impact and rely upon water – yet we do not yet have one for our most abundant resource.”

Two new high-profile federal initiatives–the Canada Water Agency and Blue Economy Strategy–offer opportunities to advance national conversations around the future of Canada’s freshwater and ocean resources. Likewise, multiple funding announcements over the past year, including for land and water conservation, Indigenous protected areas, and First Nations drinking water bring much needed resources to water systems that have historically been under-funded and under-supported. These commitments are steps in the right direction, but more action is needed to draw on the full range of economic and policy tools at our disposal in Canada.

In addition to stewarding and restoring the health of our waters, Canada also has an important opportunity to play a global leadership role in water technology and innovation. These tools are only one part of the solution to the complex challenges presented by climate change, but they can serve to advance our central values of sustainability, security, and equity.

Water innovation can offer a range of environmental benefits, and the connection between water technologies and net-zero should not be overlooked. Freshwater and oceans represent a significant and largely untapped opportunity for energy savings, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and renewable energy generation.

The technologies of tomorrow are already in development and aquaculture offers just one example. As the fastest-growing food sector in the world and burgeoning industry in Canada, aquaculture has seen significant technological advancements from Canadian companies that support environmentally conscious fish production. Aquaculture is a resource-intensive industry, and these innovative technologies can be the difference between the expansion of ocean-based fish farming that can be harmful to aquatic environments and the transition to sustainable, land-based fish farming. Canadian start-ups such as Aquafort AI are meeting challenges in acute production through a combination of artificial intelligence, sensor data integration, and predictive analytics to help land-based farmers maintain fish and ecosystem health.

As we head into a federal election where climate is taking center stage for the first time, we have an opportunity to chart the course for a net-zero future by 2050, and beyond.

Alan Shapiro is the director of Foresight Canada’s waterNEXT network and principal at water and sustainability consultancy Shapiro & Company. You can find him on Twitter @watercomm.

Bo Simango is the CEO and Co-Founder of Aquafort, a technology startup serving the aquaculture industry and board member with Sierra Club Canada Foundation. You can find him on Twitter @BoSimango.

GLOBE Capital Q&A: The Future of Accounting—Making the True Value of Business Comparable


The world is undergoing a paradigm shift from profit maximization to value optimization. To deliver long-term value, companies need to manage potentially conflicting targets and trade-offs. Companies are reporting not just on financial returns, but also on environmental and social targets. 

The Value Balancing Alliance (VBA) was founded to further standardize existing approaches in sustainability accounting. The objective is to arm decision-makers with consistent and robust information to make more informed decisions and steer companies towards sustainable and inclusive business models. The VBA membersinternational companies from various sectorshave successfully tested the first version of the methodology. The results will enable stakeholders to have a better understanding of the true value of a company. 

Leaders from VBA and its member organization and founding member in Canada, BASF, joined GLOBE Capital to challenge Canadian business leaders to spearhead economic transformation in the Americas. 

To learn more about what makes VBA different and how Canadian companies can get involved, we spoke with VBA CEO Christian Heller and Thilo Birkenheier, BASF Canada CFO and Director of Business Services. 


How is VBA redefining the concept of creating value for businesses around the world? 

Christian Heller: Contrary to the current international landscape which focuses on reporting and disclosure, VBA focuses on developing methodologies and tools to integrate sustainability into decision-making. The concept of ‘double materiality’ is growing in dominance around the globe. It requires companies to assess two things. 

Firstly, how do sustainability aspects inform and influence enterprise value? For example, climate patterns may impact where a company builds a new site. Sustainability can also affect enterprise value through intangible aspects like diversity or reputation. 

Secondly, what value does this business create for society, the environment, and the wider economy? This is called an externality assessment and requires you to examine how your business affects third parties. To this effect, we’re currently developing new methodologies to assess companies’ true value to society across the complete value chain. For example, VBA is reassessing how to account for wages and taxes. These have traditionally been seen as deductions from profits. However, if you consider the value contribution to society, wages are our purchasing power and taxes enable the government to provide infrastructure that supports our business, including streets, legal systems, healthcare, and education. By introducing this more holistic perspective, it can transform our understanding of a company’s value. 

Thilo Birkenheier: You asked how VBA is redefining the concept of creating value. I would say it’s significantly broadening it. As Christian said, historically, companies have really focused on financial value creation, e.g. maximizing EBITDA. Now with VBA, we can consider environmental and social contributions as well. 


What is the greater problem that VBA is aiming to solve? 

CH: It’s a bit political. The broader challenges in our society—climate change, biodiversity, and social insecurity to name a few—affect businesses directly. The political framework in recent years has failed to address these concerns. We need to find smart solutions to integrate climate change and social challenges into a broader political framework. Net-zero commitments and the Sustainable Development Goals are a good start. 

However, at VBA, we’re convinced the market economy is the best system to increase wealth and innovation in order to find solutions for these challenges. As we adopt new regulation, we need to ensure we’re employing a market-based logic. This is where VBA comes in. Alongside our partners, we’re providing a methodology to measure performance that takes society’s broader challenges into account. 

TB: For BASF, we rely on VBA to help us make environmental and social impacts measurable in a way that is comparative to financial impacts. It’s tough to compare financial targets to emission reductions calculated in tonnes of CO2. Without adequate comparison, you can’t maximize the whole system. VBA provides a framework to make all targets comparable in US dollars. 

To give a very concrete example, imagine you have the option to adopt a new technology that will change your feedstock from conventional to renewable, which will reduce your carbon footprint, but also increase your land use. How do you make a decision? VBA gives you a framework where you can compare finances, carbon emissions, and land use, allowing you to make a decision that maximizes your impact on society and not just financial returns. 


How does VBA relate to other sustainability accounting frameworks, e.g. TCFD, SASB, etc.? 

CH: We need to differentiate reporting frameworks and performance measurement methodologies. 

In terms of reporting, the IFRS Foundation has established an International Sustainability Standards Board. The content for this board will be provided by the Value Reporting Foundation, which is a merger of SASB and IRCC that took place in June. We also expect to see the more climate-related reporting frameworks like CDP and CDSB moving in this direction. In short, the reporting landscape is consolidating. It’s also growing rapidly through the global adoption of taxonomies—classification systems that assess the impact of business activities on sustainability performance. 

VBA is working on another layer—how to measure performance. We’ve got top notch partners on our side including the Volt Business Council, CERES, Harvard, and Oxford. To give a practical example, the reporting frameworks may require companies to report about human capital. This will likely mean considering training, but the frameworks may not go into detail on how to report or measure the impact of training. Without consistency, you can’t compare. If your performance isn’t comparable, your stakeholders can’t really use the information you’re providing. 


What are the business rewards of adopting VBA? 

TB: It’s clear that sustainability is at the core of the future of business. That is why we believe that, in order to be successful in the long term, BASF has to be able to show our stakeholders that we have a positive contribution to environment, society, and the economy. As Christian illustrated, we need to develop transparent language to assess that contribution. 

The other business reward for us is direction on resource allocation. BASF is a complex global company and determining which resources to use across different projects and countries is challenging. We know how to solve this problem by focusing on financial returns, but we want to broaden our assessment to include society and the environment and VBA helps us do that. 

CH: To add to what Thilo said, the VBA methodology is a brand-new approach to materiality metrics. It allows companies to identify both where they have the highest risk exposure and where they have the biggest business opportunities. In the past, companies have relied on stakeholder interviews, which can be biased. VBA provides a measurement framework that is more objective. 

The second benefit I’d like to introduce is risk management. In our methodologies, as Thilo mentioned, we bring everything down to US dollars. But this dollar amount doesn’t signify market price. It’s the value we’re attributing to a tonne of CO2, for example. In that case, the amount would be derived from the total cost of climate change to society. We’re currently valuing a tonne of CO2 at $100 CAD. This cost is a risk indicator or an internalization of externalities. Canada is ahead of the world in implementing a carbon price, which can be a valuable tool for businesses. We expect the rest of the world to follow suit in the coming years. In the meantime, a global company like BASF needs to take the cost of carbon emissions into account at a global scale. VBA provides the tools to do that. 

Lastly, policymakers around the world are creating new standards, frameworks, and legislation. In response, business needs to provide and demonstrate solutions. Companies that engage in initiatives like VBA will be seen as front runners, and they’ll have insight into future standards, which will ultimately be a competitive advantage. 


To that point, Thilo, it seems that BASF’s support for VBA isn’t just risk management, but also a strategic move. Could you speak more to that? 

TB: Our VBA membership shows stakeholders that BASF is contributing to a sustainable future, which is one of our competitive advantages. Our customers want to work with companies that help them become more sustainable at the same time that regulators want to understand our contributions to society and the environment. VBA is the perfect tool to increase our transparency with both of these groups of stakeholders. As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you can’t measure.  

One other aspect that VBA contributes to is employee attraction and retention, because nowadays people want to work for companies that have a positive impact on the environment and society. In this sense, VBA allows us to showcase our achievements and, thus, increase employee engagement. 


Christian, for those unacquainted with VBA, where should they start? 

CH: First of all, I recommend that companies consider the current economic transformation. All businesses will need to find ways to cope with this. VBA can provide insights in this area. To learn more, individuals should feel free to reach out to us directly. 

VBA members get direct access to the methodologies we are developing. We are practitioner-led, so every member company has a say in the development of the methodologies. Secondly, membership isn’t just discussion-focused. We’re testing and piloting the methodologies by applying them to member businesses and members regularly share benefits and challenges with one another. This is much more efficient than trying to apply the methodologies in a vacuum or by working with a consultancy. 

TB: When you first look at this topic, it can be a bit overwhelming. The key is to start now. If you wait another 3-4 years, VBA and similar impact calculations will start becoming mandatory. Then, you’re in a catch-up game. 


Why is VBA critical in the race to net zero? 

CH: It goes beyond net zero. Businesses have optimized all decision-making processes along profit maximization. At the international level, we’re just starting to add climate into the equation. However, other concerns like biodiversity and social inequality are not broadly incorporated into business decisions. If you want to optimize a company’s value contribution to society, you need to consider many more indicators than just net zero. 

Why is that critical? Firstly, as Thilo mentioned, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Secondly, competition benefits everyone. Once the market has comparable data, it creates a race to be the best. If we have consistent data, companies will improve much more quickly than they do today. 

TB: I agree it goes beyond a net-zero target. VBA helps you to not make mistakes while racing to net zero. You could maximize that target alone and then have many negative ripple effects. The art of future business is to take a holistic approach—economic, social, and environmental. Companies need to find an optimum within all those aspects while reducing CO2 emissions. 


How did GLOBE Capital accelerate action? 

CH: VBA is currently working on enabling a fundamental transition of the economy. This can’t be done by one country, one policymaker, or by one alliance. We need to move the whole system. This means beginning with a broad stakeholder engagement that will eventually become collaboration. GLOBE Capital enabled VBA to position itself in the Canadian market and the financial market in particular. The finance sector will be a multiplier and enabler of the transition, allocating capital to certain trends and industries. If we can enable capital allocation to transformational technologies and companies, this is going to be the major step forward. 

TB: VBA will grow as standards are established, which requires broad buy-in. We need to generate public interest. I’m hopeful that Canadian companies will join VBA in order to impact its direction and also to adopt the methodologies, so we can define this language both internationally and within Canada, and ultimately maximize the benefit for society, the environment, and all of us.