In my bibliography at the end of The Sustainability Champion’s Guidebook, I list “20 Good Books on Transforming to a Sustainable Enterprise.” Happily, that list of resources for agents of transformation keeps growing. Here are three more excellent, free, downloadable resources that came out in the last year which I would welcome to my previous list of 20:
- Planning for Sustainability, from The Natural Step
- Making Your Impact at Work, from Net Impact
- Greening your Business, from the RBC Royal Bank
1. The Natural Step’s Planning for Sustainability: A Starter Guide
This excellent, step-by-step toolkit assists organizations through their sustainability journeys. It provides tools to create a transformational change, in a readable, inviting format. The guide contains 14 tasks, spread across six phases:
- Getting Ready
- Step A—Awareness
- Step B—Baseline Analysis
- Step C—Compelling Vision
- Step D—Down to Action
- Continuing the Journey
In the interests of full disclosure, I am on the board of The Natural Step (TNS) Canada. TNS is international nonprofit organization that has helped thousands of corporations, communities, educational facilities, and governments develop blueprints for sustainability.
I am a big TNS fan because it uses science-based frameworks to guide the profound changes needed to bring about a sustainable society. Planning for Sustainability is the premier Natural Step toolkits helping sustainability champions with its proven approach to organizational change.
In 2007, when I was first considering writing The Sustainability Champion’s Guidebook, I met with Josh Cleveland while on a visit to San Francisco. At that time, Josh was working with Net Impact which is an international, nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire, educate, and equip business leaders to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world. I have spoken at several events sponsored by Net Impact on university campuses around the world.Josh was considering writing a guidebook to help soon-to-be MBA graduates and Net Impact members be more effective change agents within their companies. His book sounded like it would be similar to mine.
We agreed to write companion documents and we exchanged drafts of our manuscripts as they developed. Making an Impact at Work summarizes the key themes and lessons learned by 15 Net Impact intrepreneurs. It provides a roadmap for change makers as they create a positive impact in their own corporations. It is very well written and provides good examples to support approaches advocated in my own book.
3. RBC Royal Bank’s Greening your Business: A Guide to Getting Started
Chock full of tips and tools, this 50-page guide provides businesses with:
- an understanding of what sustainability is
- a clear rationale for why it matters
- the business case for sustainability
- advice from experts on how to strategically plan when going green
- the steps for achieving buy-in and engagement from senior decision makers and employees
- a self-audit to get a clear picture of where the company is on its sustainability journey
It was written in early 2010 by my friend Caroline Nolan, founder of ThinkSustain© Consulting, following her graduation from the TNS-based Masters in Strategic Leadership for Sustainability program at the Blekinge Institute of Technology in Karlskrona, Sweden. RBC Royal Bank, Canada’s largest financial institution, engaged her to lead the development of a web site of resources that would assist small- and medium-sized businesses along their going-green journeys. The resulting comprehensive, online advice-centre has articles, videos, and whitepapers full of information on topics such as: managing carbon, conserving water, waste management, and energy retrofits. The Greening your Business guide is its featured document.
The titles of the above documents in the three section headings above are also hyperlinks to their download locations. I encourage you to tap into these very readable resources since they can only help to improve your effectiveness as sustainability champions. I learned a lot from all of them and I’m heartened that there are such great resources available to us all. Many thanks to their authors and the organizations which supported their creation.
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