Morguard: Sustainably Developing the Real Estate Industry

The Opportunity Morguard, one of Canada’s largest integrated real estate companies, recognized the value of integrating sustainability into their operations for not only the social and ecological benefits but for the economic advantage gained through differentiating themselves amongst their competitors. The Response To integrate sustainability into their every-day practices, Morguard devised four phases of action: Phase 1: a sustainability assessment and identification of best practices Phase 2: the development of a sustainability strategy, vision and initiative prioritization Phase 3: strategy implementation and engagement Phase 4: communications and stakeholder reporting The Process Neil Pegram, the Morguard sustainability program lead, started with an internal review and an external analysis of best practices in the industry and then engaged The Natural Step Canada to help launch Phase 2 of their action plan. Subsequently, a 2.5 day sustainability training and strategic planning session was co-facilitated by Neil and Natural Step Principal Advisor Pong Leung to foster a common understanding of sustainability amongst senior management and to promote thinking about sustainability in a more strategic way. The workshop also focused on the development of a long-term vision to help move the company forward in its sustainability journey. One of the highlights of the planning session was the “world café” style discussion which afforded participants the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations in a less formal and more exploratory way. A range of employees and senior management, including Morguard’s president, were highly engaged in all sessions and a wide range of initiatives resulted. In particular Morguard’s Development team committed to developing only “green office buildings” that meet industry certifications in future engagements. Such a clear...

Interface and The Natural Step: how to implement a sustainability revolution

  Interface, Inc. is the world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpet. In 1994, Interface Founder Ray Anderson challenged his co-workers to pursue a bold new vision: “Be the first company that, by its deeds, shows the entire world what sustainability is in all its dimensions: people, process, product, place and profits – and in doing so, become restorative through the power of influence.” The Natural Step was there from the start, helping the company and its people to determine what true sustainability would look like for them, and giving them a strategic approach to make the journey in innovative, profitable steps. We are pleased to present this case study of the Interface sustainability success story–pulling back the curtain on how it was done. Click here to read the full case study  ...

Alcan: Clean solutions for today and tomorrow

(DISCLAIMER: The work portrayed in this document was undertaken with the former Alcan, prior to its acquisition by Rio Tinto in 2007.  Rio Tinto Alcan remains committed to sustainable development. As such, the work begun with The Natural Step as described below was folded into larger efforts centrally directed by Rio Tinto in London, UK. The specific partnership between The Natural Step and the former Alcan’s Bauxite & Alumina division was halted in 2007 within the above-mentioned context.) The Opportunity Committed to sustainability and increasingly reliant on projects based in lesser-industrialized countries, Alcan’s Bauxite & Alumina (B&A) division saw an opportunity to develop a sustainability vision that brought social and environmental concerns even more into focus for the business. The Response In 2007, The Natural Step principles and process were put into action at Alcan’s B&A sites in the Pacific Region to help reduce risks and increase the company’s competitive advantage in alignment with their sustainability vision. The Process In 2007, The Natural Step Canada advisors Chad Park and Joe Herbertson held a workshop with the Alcan management team in Montreal, Canada. The workshop had two main goals: To develop a sustainability vision that would guide Alcan’s B&A sustainability strategy moving forward. To align the management team with a shared definition and understanding of sustainability, and to build buy-in for the sustainability vision. Early in the workshop, participants identified Alcan’s top sustainability challenges, two of which were viewed as critical: meeting company growth expectations and addressing the issue of emissions associated with bauxite mining and alumina production. To address these challenges, the participants proceeded to develop a sustainability vision...

Beckers Industrial Coatings

The Natural Step is pleased to be collaborating with Beckers Industrial Coatings (BIC). BIC supplies coatings for the industrial finishing of metals and plastics, is the European market leader for coil coating paints and a key supplier of special coating systems for industry. We have worked with Beckers since 2008 to integrate sustainability principles into company thinking and practice. The collaboration started with engagement of the leadership team, Climate Analysis and product assessment using the Sustainability Life Cycle Assessment method. More recently we have been working together on sustainability programme development. Throughout 2011, key personnel from Beckers’s sustainability team also participated in the Leading Change for a Sustainable Chemical Industry course which combines professional competence development with project work related to the company. We look forward to supporting Beckers’ approach to sustainable business in the period ahead....

VinylPlus – the European PVC industry’s voluntary commitment to sustainable development

On 22 June 2011, the European Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) industry launched VinylPlus – a new voluntary commitment to enhance the sustainable production and use of PVC by 2020. It’s no secret that PVC is a controversial material that has both critics and supporters, so when an entire industry consortium mobilises around a voluntary commitment such as this, it is surely a positive sign that sustainable development is being taken seriously in the board rooms of major corporations. Lifting the level of ambition. On top of this, the VinylPlus initiative represents an expanded scope and level of ambition over prior efforts. Targets are derived from The Natural Step System Conditions for sustainability, and build on our previous work in the sector (see links below). Over the last two years, through a series of activities, The Natural Step has worked with the Board of the initiative to review and map out the challenges for PVC, offer capacity building workshops, gather stakeholder views and provide recommendations on the formulation of the new industry charter. Applying the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development We used the ABCD planning process to help industry leaders apply the framework and arrive at the priorities. We did this by first beginning with a vision of where the industry wants to head, identifying challenges that must be overcome, generating ideas on what needs to be done and finally arriving at priorities and targets for the period to 2020. Engaging stakeholders Before deciding on the priorities and actions to be undertaken we contacted 113 stakeholders across Europe on behalf of the board of Vinyl2010 with a briefing on the challenges we...