Canada a Global Leader in Deriving Profit From Sustainability: OfficeMax Grand&Toy Survey

However Canadian enterprise organizations are lagging behind global leaders when it comes to collaboration, strong CEO commitment

TORONTO, May 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada is outperforming many of its worldwide counterparts when it comes to capturing profitability derived from sustainability initiatives, according to the findings of OfficeMax Grand&Toy's 2013 Insights Report: Driving Sustainability in Canada and the Role of Supply Chain & Procurement, released today. OfficeMax Grand&Toy is Canada's leading office solutions provider and a division of OfficeMax®, Inc.

"Canadian enterprise organizations are showing a strong commitment to sustainability initiatives. They are using fully developed operational capabilities to drive profit from these actions," said Jeff Hayward, GM Marketing, OfficeMax Grand&Toy. "The report's findings point to a great opportunity for supply chain & procurement to play a leadership role in expanding sustainability initiatives throughout the organization."

While 50 per cent of Canadian enterprise organizations' decision makers said their sustainability-related actions and decisions have added to profits, less than one in three worldwide organizations (31 per cent) said the same thing. Almost nine in ten Canadian decision makers surveyed (87 per cent) said their organization has permanently placed sustainability on their management agendas. This compares to seven in 10 globally. Additionally, 76 per cent of the Canadian decision makers said sustainability is necessary for being competitive. This compares to a global average of 67 per cent.

Trailing the world's top organizations

While Canadian enterprise organizations appear to be well-positioned to continue as leaders in capturing profitability derived from sustainability initiatives, they are lagging behind the top global organizations in several key areas.

These top organizations (or Harvesters they are referred to in the report) are defined as those that are profiting from sustainability-related actions and decisions. Harvesters are far more likely to have strong CEO commitment to sustainability (85 per cent versus 61 per cent.) Canadian enterprise organizations, however, are far more likely to say they have a chief sustainability officer (46 per cent versus 26 per cent.) They are also more than twice as likely to have someone at the business unit level responsible for sustainability (47 per cent versus 22 per cent.)

"Due to our focus on deriving profit from sustainability initiatives it is not surprising that large Canadian organizations are taking a more grass-roots approach and showing strong commitment at the business unit level," Hayward said. "While this is a good place to start, these organizations need to get more commitment higher up if they want to create a culture of sustainability within the organization over the long term. The survey statistics point to us lagging behind top global organizations in this area."

Canadian enterprise organizations' bottom-line focus has also put them behind the Harvesters when it comes to collaboration, trailing in 9 of the ten categories surveyed.

  • Collaboration with customers:
    • Global Harvesters: 66 per cent
    • Canada: 44 per cent
  • Collaboration with suppliers:
    • Global Harvesters: 59 per cent
    • Canada: 38 per cent
  • Collaboration with industry associations:
    • Global Harvesters: 41 per cent
    • Canada: 20 per cent
  • Collaboration with government/policy makers:
    • Global Harvesters: 47 per cent
    • Canada: 28 per cent

Canada does lead in one category.

  • Collaboration with competitors:
    • Global Harvesters: 17 per cent
    • Canada: 23 per cent

"What we're seeing in Canada is a sustainability approach that emphasizes business efficiencies or cost reductions. The advantage to this is that enterprise Canadian organizations are among the global leaders in driving profitability from sustainability," said Warren Shiau, senior researcher and co-author of the report. "In the long term however, these organizations may face challenges as they try to extend sustainability adoption into other areas of the business where positive impact is harder to measure."

The report concludes that while Canadian enterprise organizations are doing a very good job of deriving tangible benefits from their sustainability initiatives, they are missing significant opportunities for sustainability development and adoption outside of the efficiency and cost reduction based approach they are focusing on today.

The full report can be found at

About OfficeMax Grand&Toy
OfficeMax Grand&Toy is a leading provider of workplace products and solutions serving business to business and retail customers in Canada for over 130 years. From the latest technology, interiors and furniture, everyday office supplies and facility resources to a wide range of print and document services, we provide workplace innovation that enables our customers to work better. A part of OfficeMax family since 1996, the company has the expertise and consolidated product and supply chain leadership to provide customers big and small with a range of superior products and services across North America. OfficeMax customers are served by approximately 29,000 associates and more than 900 retail stores globally. OfficeMax has been named one of the 2013 World's Most Ethical Companies, and is the only company in the office supply industry to receive Ethics Inside® Certification by the Ethisphere Institute.

About The Research
This research was conducted with senior Canadian supply chain, procurement, sustainability and operations executives at organizations with a minimum of 500 employees across all industries. It was conducted by Leger on behalf of OfficeMax Grand&Toy between October and December 2012.

SOURCE: Grand & Toy

For further information:

Media Contact:
Amanda Fearon
Environics Communications


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