Sustainability Through Partnerships: A Guide for Executives

Dec 3, 2013 4:45 PM ET

LONDON, ON, December 3, 2013 /3BL Media/ – Last year­­, Canadian businesses leading on sustainability came to a key conclusion: the low–hanging fruit from sustainability had been fully harvested. Partnerships would be increasingly critical to innovation, growth and sustainability. Despite the growing number of partnerships, one question remained unaddressed—what factors and processes produce the best partnerships?

New research released by the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS), a not-for-profit hosted at the Ivey Business School, sheds light. The latest Executive Report Sustainability through Partnerships: A Guide for Executives provides explicit guidance on how to select the right partner and how to manage the partnership process. It also includes a toolkit complete with a partnership checklist and case studies.

Led by Dr. Barbara Gray of Pennsylvania State University, the research is a direct response to the Top 10 Sustainability Challenges for Canadian Business in 2013 identified by the NBS Leadership Council – a group of 18 organizations representing major sectors in the Canadian economy and recognized for leadership in sustainability.

Effective collaboration is critical – and the research makes this message clear. “It is through collaboration, often involving the oddest bedfellows, that we vest this generation’s hope for addressing the challenges of poverty, inequality and environmental insecurity,” says Council member Simon Zadek of the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD).

In addition to the ready-to-use tools, the research helps classify and navigate different types of multi-sector partnerships to help partners elicit the greatest mutual benefit.

The full analysis is available freely online.


Sustainability through Partnerships: A Guide for Executives (22 pages)

Sustainability through Partnerships: Capitalizing on Collaboration (110 pages)


For more information, please contact Tara Hadler, Project Coordinator, NBS at 519-661-2111 x88107 or

About the Network for Business Sustainability
The Network for Business Sustainability is a Canadian not-for-profit organization that connects thousands of researchers and business leaders worldwide, with the goal of creating new, sustainable business models for the 21st century. NBS receives funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Ivey Business School at The University of Western Ontario, École des Sciences de la Gestion at the Université du Québec à Montréal and industry partners.

NBS Leadership Council Members
3M, BC Hydro, Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, Environment Canada, Home Depot of Canada Inc., Holcim (Canada) Inc., Industry Canada, International Institute of Sustainable Development, LoyaltyOne, Inc., Pembina Institute, Suncor Energy Inc., Target (Canada), TD Bank Group, Teck Resources Limited, Tembec Inc., Tim Hortons Inc., Unilever Canada Inc., Westport Innovations Inc.

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University encompasses 24 campuses, 17,000 faculty and staff, 100,000 students, a teaching hospital that provides care to more than a million patients a year, the largest student-run philanthropic organization on the planet and an online World Campus that empowers anyone to pursue an education.

For further information, please visit