“Sustainability Applied” Conference to Provide Tools for Change

How can mindfulness practice be applied to systemic change for sustainability? What is the role of the CFO in assessing sustainability risks and opportunities in the firm? Answering questions such as these with practical tools, paths and information is at the core of the upcoming Sustainability Applied: Unlocking Hidden Value conference to be held October 1-2 in Mississauga, Ontario. 
Hosted by the Bloom Centre for Sustainability, advisors to government and business in the area of applied sustainability, this wide-ranging event provides quite a mix of industry stories, as well as strategic and technical discussions.
Three hundred and fifty delegates are expected at this year’s event, with a number of Canadian sustainability leaders speaking as both keynotes, and in panels and workshops. These include Bob Willard, Bob Walker of NEI Investments and Paula Martin of VanCity Credit Union.
While the examples may be Canadian in origin, the learnings appear to be borderless. Canadian sustainability practitioners within the chemical industry will discuss the transformation of their business models to create sustainable solutions. OfficeMax Grand & Toy will discuss risk mitigation through supply chain and procurement. 
Other panels highlight local success stories. One session discusses the Ontario government’s achievement of its first LEED Platinum certification on a Queen’s Park public service building in Toronto. Another features the City of Toronto’s Better Buildings Program, a retrofit initiative involving partnerships between building owners, managers and builders. The results of this initiative are impressive: “Just under 500 million sq. ft. of gross floor area has been retrofitted, resulting in: energy savings of 2,700,000 MWh, cost savings of $268 million, C02 emission reductions of 510,000 tonnes, and 31,000 person years of employment creation.”
The use of tools and strategic techniques to tackle big sustainability goals is noticeably spread throughout the program: 
• Applying the Value Chain Management tool to the Agri-Foods sector
• Using ancient mindfulness practice to change organizational culture
• Developing Master Plans for zero waste, climate and energy
• Launching cloud-based systems to support energy management
• Using LEAN thinking in small business operations
The philosophy of the Bloom Centre is “best use, best return”, and it appears participants will achieve a good return in practical discussion and connections at Bloom Applied.
For more information and registration visit http://sustainabilityapplied.com/