National Film Board, Canada

The National Film Board is a federal agency with a mandate to produce and distribute distinct and challenging Canadian films at an international level. From April to October 2008, The Natural Step helped NFB create an institutional framework for sustainability. The Natural Step worked with the NFB’s Green Committee to undertake a systematic analysis of NFB operations, create a vision for a sustainable NFB, and a set of strategic actions to help the organization achieve its vision. Their vision for 2008-2013 is to make the NFB an industry leader in implementing environmentally sustainable practices. In order to focus the vision into something more tangible, the Green Committee developed seven sub-committees, with each responsible for one of the following specific goals: communication and education, transportation, health and living environment, zero waste, packaging and promotional material, purchasing policy, and going virtual. While working on its long term sustainability strategy, the NFB has already achieved a number of effective and cost-efficient early wins that are helping them build broader support among staff. These include: Paper-saving initiatives include: NFB study guides now come in electronic format only (PDF); a guide for printing on both sides of the page has been prepared and made available; and program committees and workshops now receive scripts via email rather than on paper. Travel-related green house gases are being reduced by providing access to video conferencing to reduce travel and promoting the use of trains and carpooling (rather than flights) for business trips when possible. Mail is collected once a day instead of twice, and supply deliveries occur once a week instead of daily to reduce greenhouse gas...

Working with Emerging Leaders at the University of Western Ontario

The Natural Step partnered with the University of Western Ontario’s Masters in Environment and Sustainability program to provide sustainability training to students in preparation for their spring 2009 consulting course. The TNS training and coaching allowed students to develop expertise on sustainability planning and the TNS Framework and gave them real-life experience in acting as a sustainability change agent within an organization. The 26 students worked in small teams with clients that included the university itself, the city, a neighbouring First Nation community, multi-stakeholder regional watershed groups in Canada and Kenya, a local community organization, and local businesses. During the six-week project, students analyzed and documented clients’ current practices and presented recommendations for them to become more sustainable using The Natural Step Framework. Following the consulting course, six of the UWO students started co-op placements with organizations using The Natural Step Framework in their work. The students prepared for their placements through a two-day TNS training course and received ongoing coaching calls and feedback on their work from TNS advisors. Students conducted preliminary assessments of their organizations, gauging client readiness for change toward sustainability through surveys, interviews and background research.  This analysis informed the scope of their work and the development of project plans. Students then conducted briefings to build greater internal awareness and understanding for sustainability, developed a high-level strategy for their organizations’ sustainability journeys, and identified early wins to build momentum and buy-in for the process. Jennifer Reid applied The Natural Step Framework to her summer placement at a local hot tub and spa company. She said the mentorship provided by TNS staff helped give her the...