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Strandberg Consulting - Solutions for a Sustainable World

September 2013

Hello Friends:

Here’s a back-to-school question: how many people will live on this planet by mid-century?

The answer? Count the zeros – 9,000,000,000. In less than 40 years, you and I will share this earth with 9 billion people, all of whom deserve to live well. How will we manage it?

I’m convinced that a major player in the transformation to a more sustainable society is industry – industry working collaboratively. To survive, thrive and contribute to a more sustainable world, companies have to work together. They need to adapt, change and contribute in dramatically new ways. Some companies are leading the way, as is demonstrated by research I conducted last year for Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR) on the characteristics of a Transformational Company. But in order to respond well to global sustainability mega-trends, risks and opportunities they need to combine forces – to work collectively through their industry or professional associations. I address some of these issues in this video.

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In July I was delighted to work with Sonya Fiorini, of Loblaws, and Heather Mak, of Retail Council of Canada, on a Conference Board of Canada webinar on industry collaboration for sustainability. Sonya noted that she has seen a steady increase in industry interest in collaboration on sustainability over the past two years. I’m not surprised. The marketplace is far too complex for individual companies to become sustainable on their own. To be successful they need to collaborate up and down their value chain and with peers and competitors. This in turn, activates large-scale industrial change.

To fuel this movement, I have produced a guide to help industry associations develop sustainability programs for their members. If your company would like to nudge your industry association in this direction, email me. I’d be pleased to give you some tips.

Now here's more....


Sustainability and the Board
I continue to provide sustainability governance reviews for boards and executives. The good news is that the majority of the TSX 60 companies have sustainability committees and boards are becoming engaged. However, there are still dramatic governance gaps. For instance, sustainability often is not included in corporate strategy and too frequently there is no board oversight of sustainability performance or commitments. While most of the TSX 60 companies consider sustainability factors when setting executive compensation, only about 10% have explicit targets for the C-suite. I regularly update my CSR / Sustainability Governance and Management Guide if you would like a check-list for your organization.

Sustainable Pay Advice
Like sustainable governance, sustainable pay is a trending board and executive issue. I recently wrote an article for The Guardian on my research that analyzed TSX 60 and global sustainable pay practices. The top two take-aways:

1. Incentive compensation should be linked to creating value not just protecting it.
2. Incentive compensation should be tied to the company’s strategic sustainability goals and embedded in the corporate strategy.

Contact me if your board, executive or HR department would like advice on sustainable pay metrics.

Sustainable Sectors: Shipping
Much as there are leading and lagging companies on the CSR continuum, there are leading and lagging industry associations. Some industries – such as forestry, mining and chemicals – have operated mandatory sustainability programs for years, while other industries, retailing for example, are just formalizing their strategic approach. And many other sectors, shipping being one, have yet to move out of government relations and issues management when it comes to sustainability. For the past two years, I have worked with the Liu Institute for Global Issues to research and recommend best practice in CSR for the global shipping industry. Not surprisingly, leading CSR shipping companies and their customers desire a global voluntary standard while traditional players wrestle with the boundaries of CSR. Here’s the current draft CSR in Shipping framework if you are interested – it will be updated later this fall with new insights.

The Transformational Company in Action
You can now read global case studies of The Transformational Company Qualities on CBSR’s website. While I’m heartened to see these transformational efforts underway, there is still much work to be done. I’m working on transformational sustainability strategies with two B.C. colleges. I would be happy to advise other organizations on how they can enhance business value and play a transformational role in society.

I am speaking at the following events this fall. I hope you can join me.

Green Teams 2.0: Scaling Employee Engagement for Greater Impact
Conference Board of Canada webinar
Monday, September 30, 2013, 1 – 2 PM (EST) / 10 – 11 AM (PST)
*Register at this link for a $100 discount
Transformational Company Supply Chain and Industry Engagement
Canadian Business for Social Responsibility one hour webinar or in-person roundtable
Friday, October 11th, 2013, 1 PM - 3:30 PM (EST) / 10 AM – 12:30 PM (PST)
Social Sustainability Leadership: A Transformational Approach
Conference Board of Canada webinar
Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 1 – 2 pm (EST) / 10 – 11 am (PST)
*Register at this link for a $100 discount
How to Change Large Systems: Leading Strategies for Global Transformation
Vancouver dialogue
Thursday, October 17, 3:30 – 6 pm (PST)
The Transformational Company Applied
Canadian Business for Social Responsibility all day Summit
November 6, 2013, Toronto

A complete list of my current speaking engagements can be found on my website.

Recent Blog Posts

Since my last newsletter, I've added the following posts to my blog. I welcome your thoughts on:

7 reasons why sustainability programs are good for industry associations
Published September 6 2013.
The first in a series of six posts that detail how to build industry association sustainability programs including benefits, challenges, opportunities and critical success factors.

Sustainable Supply Chain Survey 2013
Published August 8, 2013
Guest blogger Tom Bowers, founding president of Virescent Consultants Ltd, a Toronto-based sustainability research and consulting company, shares the results of our joint collaboration, a sustainable supply chain survey. .

What motivates employees? Financial incentives or non-financial incentives?
Published July 10, 2013
A guest post by Ellen Weinreb, an executive search professional specializing in sustainability.

Sustainable pay metrics – a growing community and investor concern
Published June 26, 2013
What is best practice in sustainable pay metrics? Check out my article on The Guardian Sustainable Business blog: Sustainable Pay Should Be Linked to Creating Value Not Just Protecting It.

Strandberg Consulting - Solutions for a Sustainable World
Coro Strandberg - Principal
6336 Burns Street - Burnaby, BC V5E 1T2 | T 604.433.7339
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