New Report Helps Municipal Organizations Become Sustainability Leaders

Nov 14, 2011

London, Ottawa, and Vancouver, November 15, 2011—A growing number of municipal governments across the country are aiming to become beacons of sustainability in their communities, but many are struggling to lead by example. A free new report released today, Embedding Sustainability into the Culture of Municipal Government, promises to help municipal change agents advance sustainability in their organizations and become role models for others in the community.

Developed as a collaboration between the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS), The Natural Step Canada, and Dr. Stephanie Bertels from the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University, the report is the result of a comprehensive review of municipal sustainability practices from across Canada. Based on leading research, the guide provides practical guidance for municipal practitioners and organizations to support a culture of sustainability in municipal governments.

Available for download and distribution for free, municipal change agents are encouraged to study this new resource, share it widely with their colleagues, and incorporate it into their municipal sustainability planning. Embedding Sustainability into the Culture of Municipal Government is available at

This new guide builds on a cutting-edge corporate-focused report published by NBS in 2010, which presented a portfolio of practices gleaned from a systematic review of the entire body of research on sustainability and organizational culture. In order to tailor this work for the municipal sector, The Natural Step Canada—in collaboration with Dr. Bertels and municipal leaders from coast to coast—updated this work for the municipal context and teased out municipal examples of the various practices.

“Municipal governments committed to sustainability now have a practical tool to help them integrate sustainability in their culture and make a deep shift toward sustainability in their organization,” said Kelly Hawke Baxter, Executive Director of The Natural Step Canada. “We’re excited to support this growing movement for change.”

The Natural Step Canada has also planned a series of 1-day, interactive workshops across Canada to introduce municipal practitioners to this important new resource. Participants will learn how to apply the tools outlined in the report to help their municipal government embed sustainability into their culture and move their organization toward sustainability. The workshop is currently being offered in Vaughan on November 17 and Vancouver on December 7.

The report was generously funded by HB Lanarc (A Member of the Golder Group of Companies), ISL Engineering and Land Services, and Enerkem. Municipalities that participated in the research included: the City of Calgary, the City of Charlottetown, the City of Fredericton, the City of Ottawa, the City of Pickering, the City of Vaughan, the District of North Vancouver, Halifax Regional Municipality, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Strathcona County, and the Town of Canmore.


About Network for Business Sustainability

Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) is a powerful and growing network of international academic experts and business leaders. NBS produces free executive tools and reports based on the best academic research, and brings academic and industry leaders together to spark new ideas about sustainable business practice. Equipped with credible, comprehensive insights, business leaders can confidently make informed decisions about their sustainability programs. Learn more:

About The Natural Step Canada

The Natural Step Canada is a dynamic non-profit organization with over a decade of experience helping organizations and individuals understand and make meaningful progress toward sustainability. The organization envisions a sustainable world in which individuals, communities, and businesses thrive within nature’s limits. They strive to inspire, educate, and connect Canadian leaders to accelerate the transformation toward a sustainable world. Through award-winning learning programs and a unique suite of advisory, coaching, training, and process facilitation services, The Natural Step Canada translates the fundamentals of sustainability into practical steps businesses and communities can take to achieve lasting change. Learn more:

About the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University

The Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University is a Canadian leader in research and industry impact in the areas of sustainability, business ethics, and corporate social responsibility. The school’s longstanding commitment to sustainability is underscored by being a signatory to the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Management Education, a member of the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative, and consistently included in Corporate Knights Magazine’s annual ranking of top business schools. The school’s prolific research environment—including its sustainability focus—has helped it emerge as one of the top 25 business schools in the world for management research, according to a University of Texas-Dallas ranking. Learn more:

For further information and media enquiries, please contact:

Josh Snider
Manager, Communications
The Natural Step Canada
613.748.3001 x230

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