Canada’s Sustainability Heroes: the Clean 50
Earlier this month, Delta Managementannounced the inaugural Clean 50, a group of committed individuals who have made significant contributions to sustainability or “clean capitalism” in Canada in recent years. These 50, either individually or, often, as leaders of a team, have been unrelenting advocates for sustainability in their organizations, their sectors, and their communities, collectively elevating the level of dialogue in Canada around environmental and social performance and innovation. This group of talented and inspiring leaders epitomizes the drive and dedication that characterizes the sustainability field in Canada today. And so it was with enthusiasm and excitement that I took part in the Clean 50 Summit held this week in Toronto.
The Summit brought together as many of the 50 as possible, the Clean 50 Advisory Board(of which I was a member), delegates of Clean 50 honourees who could not themselves attend, and a small number of other sustainability practitioners and advocates. Indeed, it was from the idea of bringing sustainability thought-leaders together for collaborative and creative problem-solving that the Clean 50 initiative was born.
The Clean 50 were drawn from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors, which facilitated cross-pollination of ideas and the creation of new networks during the Summit. Throughout the day, participants brainstormed, filtered, debated, and refined ideas for business, government, and individuals to advance sustainability in Canada in the next three years. Ease of implementation was mapped against degree of impact, and the ideas with the greatest traction among participants were highlighted through a “dotmocracy” process. Flipchart sheets about rethinking the business mission, increasing collaboration, and shifting regulation away from prescription bloomed with colour, as participants added their votes to ideas that resonated and held promise. Encouragingly, some participants also added their names as a commitment to take ideas back to their organizations or to share expertise with others.