Monthly Meetings‎ > ‎

2016-06-14 - #051

Update on Methods for Transforming Organizations (REFOCUS)
& Limits to Traditional Reporting Frameworks (GRI)

The presenters for this, our 51st monthly meeting, will be Dr Lotfi Belkhir and Randy Sa’d who have been collaboratively exploring what it takes to effectively address sustainability within organizations.  Lotfi will be speaking on the topic of, The Limitations of Traditional Reporting Frameworks based on recently published research about the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)**. Randy will be delivering some exciting updates on REFOCUS***, an SSBMG project and social enterprise that is developing an innovative methodology for developing transformational sustainability programs in enterprises of all sizes.  

The agenda and F2F/virtual logistics for this meeting are posted to our LinkedIn forum here.  Anyone who joins the LinkedIn forum is considered a member of this group and is welcome to join at the meeting.

To introduce their talk Randy shared the following: 

Sustainability reporting standards like the GRI are valued for being comprehensive, encouraging wider participation and pushing the sustainability agenda forward.  Traditional measurement and reporting methods are also commonly used by the growing field NGOs dedicated to supporting professionals who lead sustainability programs.  Dr. Belkhir will share the details of his recently published study that analyzes a representative sample of both GRI and non-GRI reporting companies and concludes GRI reporting companies have reduced emissions no more quickly; in addition, they have demonstrated a lack of any substantive progress.

The GRI study review will very naturally lead into updates on the results REFOCUS has achieved through its first year of operation.  These topics converge as REFOCUS uniquely addresses the very limitations of the reporting standards identified in Dr. Belkhir’s study.  We will review the results of having certified nearly 100 practitioners, forged relationships with a myriad of sustainability-focused NGOs and launched a yearlong pilot program that supports the application of REFOCUS and includes the University of Waterloo, Laurier University, Ryerson University, Indigo, the City of Waterloo and Sustainable Waterloo Region.  We will finally cover our future direction, highlighting the ingenuity we have brought to the development of our organizational structure, our strategic partnership-based delivery model and fundraising efforts.  We will of course touch on opportunities for the SSBMG community to get more involved.

The slides presented plus a link to the unedited recording of this meeting are available via our drop box.  Please contact Prof. Nabil Harfoush for access.

The Link to the recording has been posted as a comment to the Linkedin Post about this meeting, along with discussion about the meeting by our members.

Attendance list - if a location is provided participant was remote
  • Antony Upward (SSBMG co-founder, Convener Flourishing Business Innovation Toolkit project)
  • Nabil Harfoush (meeting chair, SSBMGroup Convener, Prof. OCAD University MDes Strategic Foresight and Innovation)
  • Randy Sa'd (convener and Project Director REFOCUS)
  • Lotfi Belkhir (Prof. McMaster University, Hamilton Ontario)
  • Andrew Simpson (Ecotone Software Consulting)
  • Bob Willard (Co-founder Future-Fit Business Benchmark; Sustainability Advantage)
  • Andres Alcayaga (Masters Student, Nurmberg)
  • Simon Robinson (Author Holonomics, Brazil)
  • Stephen Davies (Business Architect, Transformation by Design; Prof. OCAD University MDes Strategic Foresight and Innovation)
  • Rose Kudlac (Consultant)
  • Peter Jones (SSBMG co-founder, Prof. OCAD University MDes Strategic Foresight and Innovation)
  • Karina Maynard (Sustainability Engagement Coordinator, Ryerson University) 

**  Bernard, S., Abdelgadir, S., & Belkhir, L. (2015). Does GRI reporting impact environmental sustainability? an industry-specific analysis of CO2 emissions performance between reporting and non-reporting companies. Journal of Sustainable Development, 8(9), 190. doi:10.5539/jsd.v8n9p190