Resources By Embedding Project
Scan: A Comprehensive List of Sustainability Issues for Companies
More companies are becoming interested in understanding how environmental and social factors may impact their business and what impacts their business may have on these issues. This guide provides a comprehensive list of emerging environmental, social, and governance issues, to help you reflect on your company’s impacts and identify where to prioritise action and allocate resources.
Embedded Strategies for the Sustainability Transition
It is time for companies to take a very different approach to corporate strategy.
Our new Embedded Strategies guide helps companies respond to the growing calls for businesses to articulate their purpose and their strategy in alignment with the need to shift the global economy towards the reduction of inequality, a rapid climate transition, the preservation of biodiversity, and the elimination of waste.
This guide will help you to develop a contextual strategy and goals that ensure your company is doing its part to maintain the resilience of key social and environmental systems.
Building on our Road to Context guide with insights from 300+ interviews with senior executives, CEOs, board chairs, and directors, as well as our experiences supporting companies around the world, it outlines resources and tactics that can help your company to scan for emerging issues and risks; understand their implications for your business; understand your impacts and your potential for positive influence; prioritise where it makes sense to direct your efforts; and set your strategy and goals in alignment with delivering systems value.
Embedded Strategies for the Sustainability Transition: Executive Summary
This primer provides a summary of concepts and tools outlined more fully in our Embedded Strategies for the Sustainability Transition guide. Building on our flagship Road to Context guide, our new Embedded Strategies guide will help you to develop a credible strategy and goals that ensure your company is doing its part to maintain the resilience of key social and environmental systems.
Embedded strategies respond to the growing calls for businesses to articulate their purpose and their strategy in alignment with a rapid climate transition, reducing systemic inequality, preserving biodiversity, and the elimination of waste.
Embedding Sustainability Self-Assessment
Interested in understanding your own company's journey? Consider undertaking this free, preliminary practices self-assessment.
An Introduction to the Embedding Framework
Proactive companies are working to embed sustainability across their operations and into their decision-making. This guide is a practical starting point to help you understand what embedding looks like, how to assess your company’s progress, and how to prioritize your efforts.
Understanding Community Resilience
The success of a company is directly linked to the resilience of the communities where it operates, as well as the resilience of the communities of its workers, its suppliers, and its customers. Increasingly, communities around the world are starting to contemplate their resilience and long-term sustainability. As a result, companies are expected to account for their impacts on community resilience. This guide will help you to understand why community resilience matters, how communities are beginning to approach resilience, and how your company can explore its role in fostering community resilience.
Sustainability Goals Database
Are you designing new goals or interested in benchmarking your goals against leading practice? To help advance progress in setting credible goals, we will maintain a public goals database containing leading sustainability goals and commitments set by large companies globally. Search by issue, company, industry, goal type, or SDG target.
If you are aware of goals that take a credible approach that should be featured in our database, please let us know.
Is your company interested in taking a public position on an ESG issue?
To help companies develop strong, clear positions, we will maintain a public database containing leading positions articulated by large companies globally.
Our governance guide outlines how companies should articulate their positions, and we have applied this criteria to the positions featured in this database.
Climate Change and Climate Risk Oversight: A Guide for Corporate Leaders and Directors
Climate change is a planetary emergency that presents severe risks to businesses, society, and the global economy. No business, regardless of the sector, is immune – and businesses around the world have a key role to play to help avoid the worst impacts. This guide will help you understand the science behind climate change, why climate change matters to your business, and what actions your business can take to accelerate the transition to a net-zero, climate-resilient future.
Developing Position Statements on Sustainability Issues
There is growing pressure among companies to link social and environmental limits to corporate strategy and goal-setting. However, the result is often a lengthy document that fails to make strategic connections between specific issues and their implications on business decision-making. We developed this guidebook to help you articulate a concise and transparent board level position on key environmental, social, and governance issues. Drawing upon in-depth analyses of over 4,000 board position statements; over 200 interviews with CEOs, directors, and board chairs; and concepts outlined in our series on the Road to Context, this guidebook provides a checklist for crafting a contextual board position statement and includes examples from a range of industries and global settings.
Emerging Trends and Best Practice in Climate Position Statements
Climate change is happening, and the impacts are intensifying. Companies are expected to take a position on climate change and outline an appropriate response. The Embedding Project’s climate position guide helps companies to articulate a concise and transparent board level position on climate change. Drawing on in-depth analyses of over 2,600 climate position statements, this guidebook provides a checklist for crafting a climate position statement with concrete examples from a range of industries and global settings.
Shaping Your Organisation’s Narrative Infrastructure
Stories matter, they have an enormous influence on decision-making in organisations.
How often do you stop to reflect on the collection of stories that get told in your organisation and whether you might need to shift them to better embed sustainability?
This guide builds on our work on Storytelling for Sustainability and is based on four years of research and over 100 interviews in twenty different global companies exploring the impact of organisational narratives and how change agents helped to shift them to better support strategic decision-making aligned with sustainability. As with all of our resources, the ideas and guidance presented here have been piloted with several of our partner companies and we welcome your feedback to keep improving them.
Storytelling for Sustainability
When people within organisations communicate, they often do it through stories. Combining research with stories from practitioners working to embed sustainability within their organisations, our “Storytelling for Sustainability” guidebook was developed through the Embedding Project's Community of Practice process to help you:
Understand what storytelling looks like in practice, and reflect on this in the context of your organisation
Develop a sense of why stories are important for embedding sustainability
Learn from other practitioners’ experiences with storytelling to better plan your own efforts
Becoming an Agent of Change
This guidebook is based on a multi-year research project we undertook to explore: 'Why and how do privileged insiders become agents of change, challenging institutions for broader societal benefit?' We share what we have learned about the process of becoming an agent of change, incorporating the experiences of the change agents we interviewed in their own words. We hope that this guide helps you to reflect on your own journey of change.
Being an Effective Change Agent
How can you prepare yourself to be a more effective sustainability change agent? This guide was designed to share insights on how change agents can support their CEO and influence thinking on sustainability. It is based on a review of prior academic research on CEO decision-making and combined with the practical experiences and insights gleaned from interviews with over 200 CEOs, board members, and sustainability executives. It explores a broad range of global companies and industries including finance and insurance, material extraction, retail, manufacturing, transportation, logistics, utilities, and agribusiness, as well as a diverse array of ownership structures, including public corporations, privately owned businesses, and co-operatives.
To further support you in bolstering your own effectiveness, we have also developed the Being an Effective Change Agent: Personal Inventory. We encourage you to use this as a tool for reflection, and to help you plan your future personal development.
Supporting your CEO
CEOs play a crucial role in embedding sustainability into the strategies and day-to-day decisions of their organisations. Based on over 200 interviews with CEOs, board members, and sustainability executives from a range of global companies and a review of prior academic research on CEO decision-making, we developed these resources to share insights on how corporate change agents can help influence CEO thinking on sustainability.
In our Guide, we describe each of the characteristics in detail, incorporating as many direct experiences as possible to help sustainability change agents think about how to support their CEO. We also developed a Tactical Inventory to help change agents reflect on these tactics and to identify which of them might be most appropriate for their own setting.
Getting Started on Incorporating Sustainability into Public Procurement: A Guide
Public sector organisations have an opportunity, and an obligation, to ensure that the goods and services they buy align with their environmental and social commitments. This guide helps public procurement professionals to integrate sustainability considerations into public procurement processes and to improve the sustainability outcomes of their buying decisions.
Sustainable Procurement: A Tip Sheet for SMEs
Companies are recognizing that the goods and services they buy contribute to their environmental and social footprint, often quite significantly. This tip sheet focuses on helping you to improve the sustainability outcomes of your company’s buying decisions and improve the impact your company has on the environment and on communities.
Respecting Human Rights in Your Supply Chain: A Tip Sheet for SMEs
Every company, including a small or mid-sized enterprise (SME), has an obligation to respect human rights. This includes when you are buying goods and services. This guide explains how to assess possible human rights impacts in your supply chain and steps your company can take to prevent or mitigate them.
Climate Risk Oversight for Directors
This 4-part video series will help corporate directors and leaders understand the risks of climate change and their role and fiduciary responsibilities to oversee these risks. We have also created videos specific to the Canadian and South African context.
Partnering for Community Resilience: South African Case Studies
Proactive companies are recognising the strategic relevance of community resilience to their short- and long-term success. Community resilience is a positive dynamic between social, economic, and ecological systems that ensures community wellbeing and effective responses to shocks and disruptions, such as fires, droughts, or economic crises. This guide shares five in-depth case studies of companies engaging in partnerships for community resilience in South Africa. We distil the key lessons from these case studies for corporate managers who are planning or implementing partnerships for community resilience.
Teck's Development of a Strategy for Sustainability
This case provides an insider's perspective on the development of Teck's first strategy for sustainability. It explores the company's early rationale behind developing and implementing a multi-year strategy, and provides insights on how sustainability champions within the company used environmental and social megatrends to envision and co-create a long-term approach to sustainable business. This case also provides insights on the major obstacles and lessons that staff and leadership learned through this transformative experience.
The Road to Context Guide
Our Road to Context Guide is a legacy document that details our early understanding of the key methodologies, frameworks, tools, and ideas that were shaping the broader discussions around sustainability context. For our most recent and up-to-date thinking on context, we recommend reading our Embedded Strategies guide. We have included it here to help maintain some institutional memory around these concepts.