NBS is a growing network of more than 5000 researchers and managers committed to advancing sustainable business.
We believe businesses need access to rigorous, relevant research to support their decisions actions – and researchers need to understand real-world business challenges to ask relevant questions.
We aim to shape management practice and research with the resources we produce and the dialogue we facilitate.
From 2005-2015, we produced research on the Canadian business community's top sustainability challenges
. Our business partners came to consensus on their most pressing challenges, and we recruited globally renowned researchers to help study the issues.
We managed the research co-creation process, ensuring meaningful input from both research and practice, and rigorous, relevant outputs. We then translated the research into practical planning resources for business and disseminated them worldwide at no cost.
Partners are cross-sectoral sustainability leaders.
NBS has a history of deep, meaningful partnerships with a range of companies, from large firms to SMEs. We’ve also worked closely 15 industry associations, helping mobilize our work to more than 30,000 companies.
This deep engagement has been enabled by a public-private funding model. Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) provided $2.1 million from 2008-2015. Those funds were matched 1:1 by support from our corporate partners.
Many of our partners, including TD Bank, Suncor, Tim Hortons, Canadian Pacific Railway, Telus, Tembec, Unilever, and Holcim, have re-engaged with us year after year. They do so because the knowledge created at the nexus of research and practice pushes their thinking.
“NBS is really a conduit in terms of knowledge generation for other sectors and organizations,” explains Michael Gullo, Director of Policy, Economic & Environmental Affairs at the Railway Association of Canada.
Tim Faveri, Former Director of Sustainability and Responsibility at Tim Hortons, provides insight into his personal experience. “Working with NBS has helped me grow as a sustainability practitioner," explains Tim Faveri, "My involvement allowed me to stay informed on important and emerging sustainability issues and trends. I was able to see what other sustainability leaders were doing and learn from their experiences.”
International impact has always been important to us.
We believe that sourcing local knowledge and sharing it globally can support the development of innovative business solutions. Since 2013, NBS has worked closely with regional affiliates in Chile and South Africa. Affiliates advance the NBS mission by enabling collaboration between research and practice in their local communities.
The sustainability landscape is changing. So are we.
Business sustainability has evolved since 2005. Companies are more familiar with sustainability issues and many have reaped the low hanging fruit of operational efficiencies.
However, solutions to complex, systems-level problems, such as climate change and social inequality, remain elusive. Tackling these challenges will require innovative thought and action and new partnerships. In response to this evolving need, NBS is shifting its activities.