Guide to business climate action

Step 4: Implement solutions


Action on climate change and environmental impacts can take many forms, be it policy and behaviour changes, maintenance to existing building systems, or upgrades on equipment and fleet. With reaching your target in mind, work with your team to research industry best practices and identify project opportunities. Be sure to factor in costs, engagement needed, financial return on investment (ROI), and any other non-financial benefits that will be incurred from the project.

These guides and best practices will support your research and decision making on project options.

Tools & Resources


Purposeful Workplace Experiences (PWE) Podcast Series

Hosted by Carolyn Swora, a Workplace Culture Architect, the Purposeful Workplace Experiences (PWE) podcasts are designed to empower individuals and teams to transform workplace culture by becoming change agents and driving culture from the bottom up. Carolyn is on a mission to shift workplaces from transactional jobs to places where people can grow, transform and thrive while feeling energized, inspired and motivated to do their best work.

Author: Carolyn Swora Type: Video, Website

Purpose Governance: A New Role for Boards

Social purpose is business is fast replacing profit as the reason companies continue to exist. Purpose Governance is fast becoming essential to put organizations on a viable path that creates value for the company and the society on which it depends. This report is an introduction and discussion-starter on the emerging role of boards and governance professionals in providing leadership for  corporate social purpose.

Author: Coro Strandberg; Victoria Hurth; Peter ter Weeme; Dave Mowat; Shona McGlashan Type: Guide, Report

How to Form a Green Team

WWF green team guide provides practical tips on how to create and operate your green team to maximize potential for positive impact.

2019 Longitudinal study of the leadership of today and tomorrow

Leaders on Purpose conducts in-depth research with purpose-driven CEOs of multi-national corporations. The work sheds light on how these leaders and their organizations are leveraging their purpose to balance the dual ambitions of business success as well as social and planetary wellbeing.

Author: Leaders On Purpose Type: Report

Culture Gap Assessment using the Embedding Project

The Embedding Project helps to implement sustainable practices across company operations and decision-making. In June 2020, Kathryn Cooper from the Sustainability Learning Centre joined Sustainable Waterloo Region to educate businesses on how to implement the Sustainability Culture Gap Assessment using the Embedding Project. Kathryn covered what the Embedding Project is, how some companies use the information from the assessment to shape their sustainable operations and other useful tools. Interested in implementing the embedding assessment into your organization? Read on to learn more!

Author: Clarissa Charles, Sustainable Waterloo Region; Kathryn Cooper, Sustainability Learning Centre Type: Guide, Tool

The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste

The result of an in-depth, year-long research project undertaken, these unprecedented findings are proof of Canada’s hidden crisis of food waste. The total financial value of food lost or wasted somewhere along the supply chain is $49.46 billion. This report identifies the gaps in our food supply system and how we might combat this crisis to serve our communities and environments.

Author: Second Harvest, Value Chain Management International Type: Report

Low Impact Development Life Cycle Costing Tool

The Low Impact Development Life Cycle Costing Tool facilitates the process of accurately estimating the life cycle costs for low impact development (LID) practices and allows users to generate realistic, reasonably accurate costs estimates for LID practices and projects.

Author: Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program Type: Tool

Nature-Based Recovery: A path to a global green recovery

The pandemic has proven that our biggest global challenges cannot be seen or tackled in isolation, they are health, economic, social and environmental challenges all at once – and must be tackled systemically.  The panelists in this webinar explore how our natural world, biodiversity and conservation could hold the answers to a global green recovery. In our ‘business as usual’ scenario.

Discussion points included:

  • Delivering value for people, economies and nature through smarter policy and interventions
  • The role of nature-based solutions in creating a more resilient future
  • Smart policy and interventions for clean job creation
  • Accelerating ecosystem services as a tool for economic recover
Author: Climate Action, Oatly and Capitals Coalition Type: Video

How the B Impact Assessment and SDG Action Manager Can Help Businesses Plan and Measure Progress

Launched in January 2020, the SDG Action Manager incorporates B Lab’s B Impact Assessment to provide direction so businesses can lead by reshaping their practices and using their collective voice to make progress on the SDGs in the next decade. This FAQ article outlines where the B Impact Assessment and SDG Action Manager differ or overlap, and how businesses can best employ each tool.

Report on Flexible Work Arrangements Consultations

This report presents an overview of what was heard during the public consultations done by the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour in 2016. Based on qualitative and, where possible, quantitative analysis, it identifies key messages and provides additional information about the issues that Canadians and stakeholders raised and the experiences they shared in three areas: flexible work arrangements, the right to request and implementation. The last section of the report addresses next steps.

Mark Jaccard Speech at Bay Area Climate Change Forum 2020

Dr. Mark Jaccard, professor of sustainable energy in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University, speaks at the Bay Area Climate Change Forum 2020, on how to overcome human psychological traits that hinder our ability to act effectively on the global warming threat. (Start at 30:00 minutes).

Green Thinking Webinar Series

Informational webinar series on best recycling practices and waste management.

Climate Change Toolkit for Health Professionals

Eight modules which have been prepared as stand-alone documents that can be read by themselves, but they have also been prepared to complement one another. It has been designed as a tool for health professionals and students in the health care and public health sectors who want to engage more directly on the issue of climate change as educators with their patients, peers and communities, and/or as advocates for the policies, programs and practices needed to mitigate climate change and/or prepare for climate change in their workplaces and communities.

Bob Willard’s Sustainability ROI Workbook

This free, open-sourced Excel workbook helps users identify, quantify and monetize all potential business benefits that may arise from a sustainability project. It also includes a Project Appraisal Tools that will help CFO’s make better informed decisions on sustainability projects.

Author: Bob Willard Type: Guide, Template, Tool, Website

Canada Green Building Council

The Canada Green Building Council is a not-for-profit, national organization that is working to advance green building and sustainable community development practices in Canada. The CaGBC Youtube channel hosts informative videos for green building standards, practices and LEED certification.

Author: Canada Green Building Council Type: Guide, Video

Raise the Hammer

“By the Numbers: Impacts of Paid Parking at Work on Commuter Modal Share” An analysis of “Transportation for Tomorrow” comprehensive survey of travel patterns in the GTA which revealed a very strong correlation between transit usage and whether employees had paid or free parking at work

Sense Home Energy Monitor

Sense installs in your home’s electrical panel and provides insight into your energy use and home activity through our iOS, Android, and web apps.

Type: Tool

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Compass

Provides guide and tools for organizations to: align their business strategies, identify indicators, and measure and manage their progress towards the realization of SDG goals.

Author: UN Global Compact and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Type: Guide, Template, Tool

SHB Policy Template – Reduction in Unnecessary Travel

SHB Policy Template Reduction in Unnecessary Travel

Author: Sustainable Hamilton Burlington Type: Template

SHB Policy Template – Virtual Work Policy

SHB Policy Template – Virtual Work

Author: Sustainable Hamilton Burlington Type: Template

Robo Energy Advisor (REA)

Cloud software platform to continually manage your energy consumption and equipment data to discover insights into your building that rapidly lead to energy reduction opportunities and low risk asset decisions.

Author: CoEng Advisors Inc. Type: Tool


RETScreen is a Clean Energy Management Software system for energy efficiency, renewable energy and cogeneration project feasibility analysis as well as ongoing energy performance analysis.

RETScreen empowers professionals and decision-makers to rapidly identify, assess and optimize the technical and financial viability of potential clean energy projects. This decision intelligence software platform also allows managers to easily measure and verify the actual performance of their facilities and helps find additional energy savings/production opportunities.

Author: Natural Resources Canada Type: Tool

Sustainable Procurement Webinar

CBSR hosted a webinar on Sustainable Procurement with Frances Edmonds, Head of Sustainability at HP Canada and Amy Castator, Specialist with WWF-Canada to discuss recent research, trends and a best practice case study.

Author: Canadian Business for Social Responsibility Type: Video

Go Green Hotels: Green Ideas for Hotels and Resorts

This page lists sustainable ideas for green hotels and resorts, covering topics such as staff engagement, water and energy, recycling and waste, building maintenance, food services, garden, gift shop, purchases, and guests guest rooms.

Author: Global Stewards Type: Article, Website

Solatube Commercial Daylighting

Unlike traditional skylights, our products capture the sun’s light and deliver it to indoor spaces where natural light was previously unheard of, like interior rooms, and rooms on lower floors. And only Solatube Daylighting Systems use breakthrough technology to transform virtually any room in only two hours—without the costs, leaks and hassles associated with traditional skylights.

Author: Solatube International, Inc. Type: Website

Sustainability How-to Guide: Measuring and Monitoring

This guide has been designed to assist FMs in understanding how to establish a measuring and monitoring program by discussing investigation and documentation processes used to ensure optimized efficiency and performance throughout an organization.

Author: International Facility Management Association Type: Case study, Guide

Sustainability ROI Workbook

This guided excel spreadsheet helps users to evaluate the return on investment and other financial metrics to build a case for sustainability related projects in the workplace

Author: Sustainability Advantage Type: Guide, Template, Tool

Structured Decision-Making (SDM) in a page

The PrOACT (Problem, Objectives and Measures, Alternatives, Consequences, and Trade-offs) Structured Decision-Making framework* is a method for creating a clear and concise summary of a problem and the possible solutions to it so that you—or a senior decision-maker—can clearly see the consequences of each choice.

Trees Mean Business

Trees make city streets more beautiful. But are improved aesthetics the only benefits that trees provide in a community? Recent research shows that people’s reactions to trees can have positive effects on everything from the market value of homes to traffic safety. One of the most little-known facts about trees’ effects is the importance of their impact on central business districts. Downtown districts are the places where small businesses meet the everyday needs of nearby residents, and are the soul of a community. They significantly contribute to the local economy and provide jobs. Trees help make these places more welcoming and appealing.

Author: Invest from the Ground Up Type: Article

Canadian Food Loss + Waste Case Study Series, Campbell Company of Canada

A case study of Cambell Company of Canada’s food waste reduction program, outlining best practices and financial outcomes.

High Performance Buildings: Achieving Superior Performance for Life

Discussion of high-performance building approach that is holistically technology-enabled and knowledge-based, using proven processes, computer modeling, diagnostic testing and predictive technologies to optimize the triple bottom line.

Author: International Facility Management Association Type: White paper

Sustainability How-To Guide: A Comprehensive Guide to Water Conservation

This guide provides instructions to help facility managers benchmark, evaluate and reduce water consumption, defining domestic, processed and outdoor water types and explaining strategies to reduce each.

Author: International Facility Management Association Type: Case study, Guide

Sustainability How-To Guide: Commissioning Existing Buildings

This guide addresses sustainability implementation within existing structures. The commissioning process is described, including how to select a project, issue a request for qualifications and develop a current facility requirements document.

Author: International Facility Management Association Type: Guide

Sustainability How-To Guide: Global Green Cleaning

This guide outlines the steps to establish a comprehensive green cleaning program, covering key topics such as indoor air quality, green cleaning products and equipment, greenwashing, green cleaning service providers and performance measurements.

Author: International Facility Management Association Type: Guide

Sustainability How-To Guide: Green Building Rating Systems

This guide presents an unbiased evaluation of 15 prominent green building rating systems. Charts and graphics provide at-a-glance information, while subsections supply detailed cost analysis data and insight from facility management experts.

Author: International Facility Management Association Type: Guide

Sustainability How-to Guide: Engaging Occupants in Your Sustainability Program

This guide introduces facility professionals and sustainability managers to the opportunities and benefits of engaging occupants and tenants in their initiatives, and provides a step by step approach for designing, implementing and measuring the impact of an occupant engagement program to achieve positive behavior changes.

Author: International Facility Management Association Type: Guide

Sustainability How-To Guide: Lighting Solutions

This guide gathers knowledge from extensive research and lighting specialists to provide a complete description of sustainable lighting options, including basic lighting concepts and terms, lamp and ballast types, occupancy sensors and natural light.

Author: International Facility Management Association Type: Guide

Sustainability How-To Guide: No-Cost/Low-Cost Energy Savings Guide

The guide reveals the top four energy consumption pitfalls (equipment scheduling, sensor error, simultaneous heating and cooling and outside air usage) and provides instructions to combat each with varying no-cost/low-cost solutions.

Author: International Facility Management Association Type: Guide

Sustainability How-To Guide: Sustainability in the Food Service Environment

This guide teaches food service managers and facility managers how to introduce sustainable practices. It addresses local purchasing, waste management, energy conservation, green building design and provides practical directions for implementation.

Author: International Facility Management Association Type: Guide

Sustainability How-To Guide: Turning Data Centers Green

This guide discusses the major obstacles of improving energy efficiency in data centers, emphasizing the necessity of strong project leadership, executive support and strategy to increase data center modularization and sustainability.

Author: International Facility Management Association Type: Guide

Veriform Regional Carbon Initiative Case Study

A case study of Veriform, a metal fabrication plant that committed to zero carbon emissions and has subsequently saved over $160,000 a year in energy costs.

ISO 20400: Sustainable Procurement

Overview of the ISO 20400 standard for Sustainable Procurement.

Author: International Organization for Standardization Type: Article, Guide

Sustainable Procurement Guidance

An introduction for practitioners to sustainable procurement in World Bank IPF projects.

Cross-laminated timber could be low-carbon building material of the future

As more construction firms look to reduce their carbon footprint by sourcing alternative, low-carbon building materials, Europe’s largest forest-based products company Stora Enso has stepped up investment in its very sustainable cross-laminated timber (CLT) products. Many companies view CLT solutions as the ideal replacement for carbon-intensive concrete and steel structures.

Walmart – Saving Energy, Saving Money Through Comprehensive Retrofits, Commercial Building Energy Efficiency

In 2009, Walmart partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop and demonstrate energy retrofits for existing buildings. The goal was to reduce energy consumption by at least 30% versus ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 or versus pre-retrofit energy consumption as part of DOE’s Commercial Building Partnerships (CBP) Program.1 The project presented here is the retrofit of a 213,000-ft2 store in Centennial, Colorado, with energy efficiency measures (EEMs) across multiple building systems.

Author: US Department of Energy Type: Case study

Big Box Retail: Wood Saves Nearly $1 Million

While many U.S. apartments are wood-frame, wood structure is far less common in stores and restaurants—even though it’s permitted by code in numerous applications—and its use in the sub-category known as ‘big box’ retail is infrequent at best. To evaluate the opportunity, WoodWorks commissioned two studies, one cost comparison and one life cycle assessment (LCA), on the same big box project designed in steel vs. wood. This report summarizes the results of those studies and highlights opportunities for greater wood use in this segment of the construction market.

Cost-Efficient Wood Framing Leads to Energy-Efficient Schools

Wood-frame schools can be easily designed to meet or exceed the demanding energy-efficiency requirements of school districts—and they can do so cost effectively. BSD’s Clover Creek lementary, completed in 2012, was built at a cost of $197.70 per square foot—a savings of more than $50 per square foot over the average construction cost of an elementary school in Western Washington.

Author: WoodWorks Type: Case study

#BusinessCase: Research Finds Hotels Saved $7 for Every $1 Invested in Cutting Food Waste

An article on research into the finacial benefit of investing in food waste reduction programs.

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®

You’ve heard it before: you can’t manage what you don’t measure. That’s why EPA created ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®, an online tool you can use to measure and track energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Use it to benchmark the performance of one building or a whole portfolio of buildings, all in a secure online environment.