The foundation for many innovative sustainability programs in North America and around the world is anchored in The Natural Step Framework. Our science-based process has been tested and proven by many forward-thinking organizations over the past two decades. After five years of prototyping and refining our approach in Canada, The Natural Step has become the leading source of expertise and advice in the field of transformational change towards sustainability. To date we have:
- Inspired and trained over 20,000 practitioners with our learning programs, workshops and presentations - ranging from award-winning eLearning courses to full-year capacity building programs;
- Worked with over 100 different organizations - including municipalities, large and small businesses, NGOs and institutions - to successfully embed sustainability into their planning, decision-making, and actions;
- Developed a successful methodology for sustainable community planning and for engaging and connecting community leaders and champions.
- Catalyzed real change towards sustainability - on everything from bio-fuels to green buildings - in communities and businesses across Canada.
Here are some highlights of our ground-breaking work:
Resort Municipality of Whistler: The first community in North America to adopt The Natural Step Framework, Whistler’s comprehensive sustainability plan has been recognized worldwide, including the UN’s Livable Communities gold medal for ‘planning for the future’. Whistler has significantly reduced waste and C02, eliminated pesticides, and increased affordable housing and LEED buildings, as well as embedded sustainability into all planning and design of the 2010 Olympics.
Atlantic Canada Sustainability Initiative (ACSI): After a year-long engagement with The Natural Step, ACSI’s 14 member organization are making substantial progress towards sustainability. Just one example is The Halifax Shambhala Centre, which has developed a “Green Purchasing Guide,” reduced the use of disposable kitchenware, switched to local bio-fuel for their heating needs and retrofitted their building to make it more energy and water efficient.
Rio Tinto Alcan: One of the largest aluminum providers in the world, Rio Tinto Alcan worked with The Natural Step to develop a sustainability vision that brought social and environmental concerns into focus for their business. This resulted in the use of sustainability metrics reporting, research and development explicitly using sustainability to guide innovation, and a process for quantifying the business value of sustainability investments.
Toolkits: The Natural Step partnered with the Alberta Real Estate Foundation to develop a Sustainability at Home toolkit for Albertans interested in taking action in the home. Thousands of downloads and several print-runs later, it has been delivered across North America, customized for corporate employees and even translated into Italian.