(By Oksana Kielbasinski, Director of Sustainability & Risk at Integrated Sustainability)
As a follow-up to the Water Blogged post from September 18th – “Clean50 Award and Trip to Toronto“, I had the pleasure of attending the Clean50 Summit 4.0 in Toronto in recognition of company President Stuart Torr and the Integrated Sustainability team’s contributions to sustainable development and clean capitalism under the Consultants category.
Practitioners representing both the public and private sector across Canada came together to be honoured for their achievements in sustainability and clean technology. The attendees participated in an engaging daylong workshop aimed at collaboration on topics that touched on common challenges faced by sustainability-focused leaders today. These topics were wide-ranging, confronting topics such as: the challenges associated with balancing the hiring and retention of millennials in the workplace while progressing a corporate social responsibility agenda; to creating an effective stakeholder engagement strategy, and successfully implementing sustainability in everyday business. To me, the most inspiring discussions centered on youth, education, and emerging leaders in sustainability.
The diversity in topics and discussions at the Clean50 Summit 4.0 exposed me to ways in which practitioners in other sectors overcame sustainability-related obstacles, tracked initiatives, communicated successes, and implemented activities to drive sustainability within their organization and with their clients/customer base. Although not all topics and discussions were relevant to my field of work, there were a number of discussions around conducting sustainability “audits”, working more closely with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), providing green supply chain services, and placing stronger emphasis on education, that introduced me to additional avenues to explore that will enable Integrated Sustainability to further grow as a change agent within its industry.
In addition, it also reaffirmed that Integrated Sustainability is firmly headed in the right direction as it relates to addressing our clients’ biggest challenges.
For example, one of the biggest sustainability/business oriented challenge faced by our oil and gas clients in Western Canada is water security. Specifically, as it relates to the availability and reliability of water supply and water disposal for resource extraction needs. A recent report by the World Resources Institute addresses this very topic from a global perspective.
Reflecting on the day at the Clean 50 Summit 4.0, the common theme throughout the day was collaboration. It is a word that was mentioned – without exaggeration – about 100 times in some form throughout the day.
But wait…could there be a link between one of our clients’ biggest challenges and the theme of the Workshop?
It is becoming increasing apparent, specifically in my work in water security planning, that the industry’s answer to address the challenges associated with water insecurity is collaboration. Whether it is with other industry members, government, or non-governmental organizations (NGOs), some form of collaboration to tackle water-related issues will be required. Gone are the days where these organizations can work in silos to tackle these larger scale issues.
Collaboration is also critical in other parts of Integrated Sustainability’s business. Through our integrated project delivery structure, called the Sustainable Project Delivery Framework, we connect individuals, experts, and industry with each other in order to discuss challenges and opportunities from a triple-bottom line perceptive. This enables all stakeholders involved in a project to consider the social, environmental, technical and economic aspects of every problem in order to be able to come up with the most optimal solution.
This award demonstrates that Integrated Sustainability is at the forefront of this trend in sustainable thinking of using a collaborative approach to tackle sustainability issues, and we are proud to be recognized for this achievement.