What is the Network for Business Sustainability?
The Network for Business Sustainability is made up of 7,500 individuals dedicated to making business way more sustainable. We envision a world in which business activity results in thriving human communities that operate within planetary boundaries.
Business touches all corners of the globe. It can — and must — be a force for creating sustainable human societies. But “business as usual” is falling far short. We need new ways of thinking to propel us beyond the status quo.
The Network for Business Sustainability is uniquely positioned to create rigorous, relevant knowledge that pushes the frontier of sustainable business. Housed at the Ivey Business School, we have deep roots in both academia and practice. For more than a decade, our core team of faculty and staff has been creating space for members to co-create knowledge. The result is a huge collection of quality content, mobilized worldwide.
Our members drive impact
Our global membership is the engine the drives our impact. Members are knowledgeable in range of business areas. They share their insights and work together to create new solutions. Members are:
Researchers, including the directors of more than 150 business sustainability research centres
Managers from business, government and non-profits
Students from a range of post-secondary programs
Examples of our work
Here are some of the recent questions our members have addressed. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive monthly content and invitations to share your own questions and insights.
How can I get the most out of unlikely alliances?
Barbara Gray, emeritus professor at Smeal College of Business, and Gord Lambert, former sustainability and innovation lead for Suncor Energy, offer advice. Listen to their podcast.
Here’s an excerpt from Barbara: “Entrepreneurs often feel like they don’t have time for collaboration. But if they can find a partner who can sit down with them and spin scenarios for an hour once a month, they may really begin to see new opportunities for innovation.”
Here’s an excerpt from Gord: “You feel the difference of a collaborative table versus what I call a cooperative table....My definition of cooperative work is pursuit of individual interests jointly....whereas collaboration is this joint effort to achieve common goals, where there's shared accountability for the outcome.... When it works well…you get really two plus two equals five outcomes.”
How “successful” can social enterprise really be?
Jeremy Hockenstein, co-founder of Digital Divide Data, and Wendy Smith, professor at the University of Delaware, describe a case study. Listen to the podcast.
Here’s an excerpt from Wendy: It's hard to navigate the ongoing tension between social and financial goals. Sometimes one is taking priority, sometimes the other, and you're kind of navigating both at all times. In the long term, it's a big win win. In the moment, it feels like a lot of tradeoffs.
Here's a quote from Jeremy: We always heard, “Oh, if only the intelligent, competent managers from the for-profit sector came to the nonprofit sector, they’d revolutionize it.” It turns out there's a reason what we're doing has been tough. There's just much more challenge around resources and having to balance those goals.
Join us. It’s free. It’s valuable.
If you’re working to make business more sustainable, we hope you’ll join the network by subscribing to our newsletter. That’s where you’ll find the latest content and calls to contribute your own ideas. All geographies, disciplines and career stages are welcome.
Thoughts from current members
About our team
Want to learn more about the small but mighty team that facilitates this work? Check out our profiles.