Beyond Copenhagen: Top Seven Business Sustainability Challenges for 2010

LONDON, ON, Dec. 16 /CNW/ - While Canada's government leaders are discussing carbon emissions in Copenhagen, Canada's business leaders are considering issues broader than just climate change.

Having acknowledged in 2008 that adaptation to climate change was a priority, a group of business leaders from each of Canada's major economic sectors today released the "2010 Knowledge Priorities for Business Sustainability," an annual report identifying the key challenges facing the business community.

This year's report demonstrates that businesses are looking beyond measuring their own carbon footprint to understanding their wider environmental and social impacts.

"Our industry's impacts are direct, therefore potential social and environmental impacts must be assessed, well-managed and mitigated. Furthermore, in our business we must also seek out sustainable opportunities," said Carmen Turner, Leader, Sustainability and Community Engagement at Teck. "To achieve that goal, we need non-partisan, credible information that can inform our practices and guide our decision-making."

Teck is a member of the Network for Business Sustainability's "Leadership Council," a group of business, government, and non-profit leaders from across Canada's major economic sectors.

According to the report, the top seven challenges facing businesses in 2010 are:

    1.  How can we measure and value a firm's ecological impacts (i.e. its
        ecological footprint)?
    2.  How can we build an enduring corporate culture of sustainability?
    3.  How can we promote and ensure sustainability within our supply
    4.  How can we incorporate sustainability into employee incentives?
    5.  What business risks are associated with water quality and water
    6.  What is the aboriginal perspective on business sustainability, and
        what are the best approaches for constructively engaging aboriginal
    7.  How do we measure the economic impact of NIMBY ("not in my

With the release of the Leadership Council's top seven sustainability challenges, the Network for Business Sustainability is poised to engage leading academic experts to conduct investigations into the issues.

"The collaboration between academic experts and business leaders is critically important," said Tima Bansal, Executive Director of the Network for Business Sustainability. "Organizations are realizing that sustainability issues are complex and require different perspectives to produce innovative solutions."

The research inspired by the Leadership Council's top challenges will be made available to any organization seeking to establish benchmarks, conduct measurements, or implement new operating practices related to sustainability.

"Businesses recognize that everything from fair trade practices to environmental degradation affects their operations, and they're looking to us for useful and reliable information," said Bansal, who is also a professor and Director of the Centre for Building Sustainable Value at the Richard Ivey School of Business.

View the Network for Business Sustainability's complete Knowledge Priorities report, outlining the top seven business challenges for 2010:

Organizations represented by The Network for Business Sustainability's Leadership Council:

    -   Canadian Pacific Railway
    -   Environment Canada
    -   Holcim (Canada) Inc.
    -   Industry Canada
    -   International Institute for Sustainable Development
    -   Ontario Power Generation Inc.
    -   Pembina Institute
    -   Research In Motion
    -   Suncor Energy Inc.
    -   Syngenta Crop Protection Inc.
    -   Teck
    -   Telus Corporation
    -   Tembec Inc.
    -   Toronto-Dominion Bank Financial Group

About the Network for Business Sustainability

The Network for Business Sustainability ( delivers credible environmental, societal and financial research into the hands of business leaders. The Network's 300 researchers and 1,000 business managers share the same vision of a global economy in which organizations contribute to healthy ecosystems, strong communities and prosperous economies.


For further information: For further information: Tima Bansal and Tom Ewart, Managing Director of the Network for Business Sustainability, are available for interviews at (519) 661-2111, ext.80094; Carmen Turner is available for interviews at (604) 671-9016

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