To inspire and empower sustainability leadership in local businesses to help them realize the economic benefits of sustainable practices and create measurable, community-wide progress to greater sustainability.
We envision sustainable prosperity for the Hamilton, Halton and Niagara regions. Our purpose is to help create world-class cities with exceptional quality of life where people thrive in a healthy, natural environment and a vibrant, resilient economy.
We base our understanding on scientific and social research as well as accepted industry-specific best practices.
Our brand will facilitate the development and expansion of sustainability leadership within local organizations, businesses and communities.
We will foster collaboration around sustainability between industry, local government, academia and NGO’s, as well as organizations within these sectors.
Authenticity, Accuracy and Honesty will be at the core of all we say and do.
Our work will be enriched through the inclusion of a diversity of people from all backgrounds that make up the richness of our local communities.
We place high priority on engaging youth to create the sustainability leaders of tomorrow, so they will have a voice in shaping organizations and a city where they will be able to live prosperous lives.
With mounting pressure on our natural and social systems, we are dedicated to catalyzing and rewarding real, measurable action.
Our aim is to be self-sufficient through memberships, sponsorships, events and fees for services provided to stay true to our corporate strategy.
Sustainability Leadership was originally launched as Sustainable Hamilton in June 2011 by Sandi Stride with the help of a Founding Board of Directors and small team of volunteers. One of the first actions was to recruit a cross-sectoral advisory committee to gain input from sustainability experts in academia, municipal and provincial government, NGOs, and businesses large and small.
We created and launched a membership based program called the Sustainable Hamilton Report Initiative, helping local businesses measure their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and develop Sustainability Reports using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the de-facto world standard in corporate sustainability reporting for its world-wide acceptance and suitability for a wide range of organisations and sectors.
By the end of 2014 it had become evident that there was a growing interest in Burlington as well, so the decision was made to re-brand as Sustainable Hamilton Burlington (SHB).
In January of 2016, our organisation joined Green Economy Canada which gave us access to extensive capacity-building resources and networking while retaining our own unique value proposition. Within a few months, we also added B Lab and Waste reductions measurement streams to our program. This offered diverse opportunities for businesses to begin their sustainability journey. To reflect these changes, the Sustainable Hamilton Report Initiative became known as the Sustainable Business Initiative (SBI).
In 2017, our founder Sandi Stride moved on from her role with SHB to take over as the inaugural Executive Director of the Centre for Climate Change Management (CCCM) at Mohawk College. A collaboration between Mohawk College, the Cities of Hamilton and Burlington and Sustainable Hamilton Burlington, the CCCM was designed to support action on carbon emissions reduction and accelerate transformation to a low carbon economy.
In 2018, in partnership with the City of Hamilton, we developed the Business Climate Action Toolkit (BCAT), a free online resource-hub, equipping businesses with sector-specific resources, case studies, tools and support services to facilitate action on climate change opportunities and risks.
Having just retired, Sandi Stride returned to the organisation on an advisory basis to assist Rafiq Dhanji through his transition to Executive Director, an appointment announced in December 2019. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, Rafiq, Sandi and the Board of Directors set about developing a new strategy to evolve the Sustainable Business Initiative and address the social distancing restrictions required by the pandemic. They drew upon research and many conversations with members and the community to launch the Sustainability Leadership Program (SLP) in September at the rescheduled (due to Covid) Evening of Recognition. The launch was supported by a new brand, Sustainability Leadership, and a new website. The transition to an entirely virtual operating model offered more accessibility to sustainability resources, support and events for our network, in the recently changing social climate. Additionally, the name of our organisation evolved to reflect our expanding service area, which expanded into the Halton and Niagara regions.
Through the SLP and many community partnerships, Sustainability Leadership is inspiring organisations of all kinds to do well by doing good – and contributing to a resilient, low-carbon economy.
The need for climate action is more clear than ever – and businesses can, should, and need to be part of that action if we are to get to the sustainable future we all want to see. Sustainability Leadership is part of a network of Green Economy Hubs across Canada supporting networks of businesses to set and achieve sustainability targets. Together, we’re demonstrating a more sustainable economy is possible.