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


How Business Climate Action Can Reduce Environmental Racism

Five ways businesses can lead climate justice and social as the economy transitions to net zero.

The Climate Justice Playbook for Business

This comprehensive practical guide includes information to help business leaders understand the intersection of climate action and social justice and advance a justice-centered approach to climate action.

Creating a Conscious Consumer Base

“Companies that introduce sustainable offerings face a frustrating paradox: Most consumers report positive attitudes toward eco-friendly products and services, but they often seem unwilling to follow through with their wallets.”

Author: 2019 | Katherine White, David J. Hardisty, Rishad Habib Type: Article, Case study, Guide

4 Ways to Make Your Business Circular

Companies can engage with the circular economy in four different ways: “Make,” “Ally,” “Buy,” and “Do Nothing.” Here’s how to make your choice and how four companies are engaging the circular economy.

Author: 2021 | Network for Business Sustainability; Alisha Tuladhar, Maya Fischhoff Type: Article, Case study

Going Hybrid: The Future Workplace Has Arrived

What does the hybrid future workplace look like?  As social distancing measures are lifted in the months ahead, the ‘next normal’ in the recovery phase means that many Canadian workplaces are now planning for more flexible hybrid work models which blend on-site and remote work.

Climate Change Valuations for Investments and Risks

Climate change and business valuations are inextricably linked but quantifying the value of the impact has been a challenge. This guide has been developed to help finance professions bring climate change risks and opportunities into business and asset valuation calculations. The first-of-its-kind guidance offers a five-step framework that enables investment and valuation communities to apply climate change risks and opportunities consistently to their valuations and decision making.

The guide was developed in partnership with CPA Canada, finance teams from the A4S CFO Leadership Network, global institutional investors and industry experts.

Author: 2021 | Accounting for Sustainability, et al. Type: Guide, Template, Tool

How does COVID impact benchmarking data and disclosure?

This workshop will bring highly qualified professionals with real-life experience to take a closer look at reporting in the current pandemic context. The pandemic has changed the way buildings operate and the energy needs of their occupants. Could these changes affect reporting to various monitoring, management, and evaluation programs?

Author: 2021 | Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC); Purpose Building, Eric Chisholm, Matthew Hirsch Type: Guide, Video

Journey to Zero Waste

This webinar showcases the practical strategies, tactics and case studies for businesses to translate their own zero-waste goals into results.

Author: 2019 | University of Ottawa, Brigiette Morin; Food Share Toronto, Adam Dirks; Busch Systems, Syvannah Vine Type: Case study, Video

Recycling in the Food Service Industry

This webinar explores some of the common issues with recycling and organic collection in the food service industry, specific to conference and convention centers, and ways of reducing food waste at these venues. 

Author: 2018 | Advancement of Sustainability​ in Higher Education, Kimberly Smith; Busch Systems, Syvannah Vine, Lindsay Jones Type: Video

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 in 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: 2020 | Coro Strandberg, Victoria Hurth, Peter ter Weeme, Dave Mowat, Shona McGlashan Type: Guide, Report

Transition to a Purpose First Economy-Leaders on Purpose

Annual 2020 Leaders on Purpose report on the future of purpose driven economies. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the relationship between business and public health. Purpose-driven organizations are well positioned to rise to this challenge by leveraging their purpose to balance the dual ambitions of business success as well as social and planetary wellbeing.

Leaders on Purpose conducts in-depth research with purpose-driven CEOs of multi-national corporations.

Author: 2020 | Leaders On Purpose Type: Report

Gap Assessment using the Embedding Project

This article covers what the Embedding Project is, how companies use the information from the assessment to shape their sustainable operations and other useful tools.

Author: 2020 | Clarissa Charles, Sustainable Waterloo Region; Kathryn Cooper, Sustainability Learning Centre Type: Guide, Tool

The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste

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

Author: 2019 | Second Harvest; Value Chain Management International Type: Report

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: 2020 | Climate Action; Oatly and Capitals Coalition Type: Video

Beginner Guide to the B Impact Assessment and SDG Action Manager

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.

Author: 2019 | B Lab Standards Management Team; Susmita Kamath Type: Article

Report on Flexible Work Arrangements Consultations

This report identifies key messages raised by Canadians and provides additional information on flexible work arrangements, including the right to request and implementation. This report presents an overview of what was heard during public consultations done by the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour in 2016.

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).

Climate Change Toolkit for Healthcare 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 healthcare works 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.

Author: Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment; Kim Perrotta, et al Type: Guide

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 short informative videos for green building standards, practices and LEED certification.

Author: Canada Green Building Council Type: Guide, Video

Can Paid Parking Reshape Transportation in Hamilton?

“By the Numbers: Impacts of Paid Parking at Work on Commuter Modal Share”: Despite the obvious moans and groans, paid parking at work has the potential to play a significant role in reshaping our transportation mode share in Hamilton.

Reduction in Unnecessary Travel Policy Template

Developed by Sustainability Leadership, this template provides a starting point for businesses to develop personalized policy for reduction in unnecessary work travel.

Author: 2019 | Sustainability Leadership (Sustainable Hamilton Burlington) Type: Template

Remote Work Policy Template

Developed by Sustainability Leadership, this template provides a starting point for businesses to develop a flexible, remote work arrangement that allows an employee to work at home for all or part of their workday or week.

Author: 2019 | Sustainability Leadership (Sustainable Hamilton Burlington) Type: Template

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: 2018 | Canadian Business for Social Responsibility; HP Canada; Frances Edmunds; WWF; Amy Castator Type: Video

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

Measuring and Monitoring Facility Systems

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: 2015 | International Facility Management Association; Laurie Gilmer, Bill Conley, Maureen Roskoski, John Ringness Type: Case study, Guide

PrOACT Decision Making Model

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: 2013 | Invest from the Ground Up; Nancy Hughes Type: Article

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

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

Author: Campbells Canada; Provision Coalition; Enviro-Stewards Type: Case study, Guide

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.

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: 2009 | International Facility Management Association; David Cosaboon, Edward J. Jarger, Gary Klein, Patrick Okamura, Mike Warren, Rob Zimmerman Type: Case study, 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: 2012 | International Facility Management Association; Jay Enck Type: 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: 2017 | International Facility Management Association;Jennifer Corbett-Shramo, Dan Wagner, Palle Esbensen, Bill Conley, Dorothy Scholnick Type: 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: 2015 | International Facility Management Association; Mayra Portalatin, Kristina Koepke, Maureen Roskoski, Teena Shouse Type: Guide

Sustainable 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: 2015 | International Facility Management Association; Bill Conley Type: Guide

Sustainable 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: 2011 | International Facility Management Association; Christine Doonan, Janice C. Peterson, Brad L. Weaver, Alan Kakaley, Jim Volkman Type: 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: 2011 | International Facility Management Association; Angela Lewis, Kathleen Cacciola, Robert B. Dennill Type: 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. Part of the Sustainability How-To Guide Series.

Author: 2010 | International Facility Management Association; Bob Brown, Marina Thiry 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.

Author: 2015 | Sustainable Waterloo Region, Veriform Metal Fabricating Type: Case study

ISO 20400: Sustainable Purchasing in Supply Chains

Overview of the ISO 20400 standard for Sustainable Procurement in Supply Chains. It covers how to align procurement with an organization’s goals and objectives and create a culture of sustainability.

Author: International Organization for Standardization Type: Guide

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: 2015 | 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 ‘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

$7 gained for every $1 invested in food waste

The business case for reducing food waste and loss: the average hotel can save up to $7 for every $1 invested in reducing kitchen food waste.

This report was conducted on behalf of Champions 12.3 by: WRAP and WRI.

Author: 2017 | Austin Clowes (WRI), Craig Hanson (WRI), Peter Micthell (WRAP) Type: Case study, Report