One mark of a mature corporate sustainability effort is the level to which an organization is actively collaborating with others. Sustainable business requires that leaders think in terms of the ecosystem in which their company operates. Engaging with other companies, NGOs, and nontraditional partners to work on core challenges offers opportunities to expand boundaries, be more creative and ultimately innovate in new ways. I have had the opportunity to work with many collaborative efforts - here are some examples of groups doing cutting edge work.
Net Impact is encouraging people to make a difference every day by turning their job into an Impact Career. Starting with MBA programs and branching out to undergraduate programs and professionals they have over 300 chapters and 40,000 members worldwide. I have had the privilege of serving on their corporate advisory board
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition is a collection of over 200 brands, companies and other organizations working together to make a huge difference in the way apparel is designed and manufactured. By working to understand, share and improve the process at every stage of the life cycle, this organization is leading the way on Product Stewardship. They have developed the Higg Index which is emerging as one of the more important LCA based tools for sustainable design
The sustainable packaging coalition is one of the leading groups getting real work done. I think of packaging like a gateway drug for understand product stewardship. The coalition is proving that companies - even competitors working together can shift markets and achieve benefits far beyond what one company can do alone. One of the best emerging examples is the How2Recycle Label.
Since being founded as the Organic Exchange 20 years ago to help create and ensure the integrity of a global supply chain for organic cotton - TE has lead the way on collaborative development of supply chain transparency tools, knowledge and networks. From farmers to fabrics this organization is advancing sustainability and making things better through radical collaboration.