What Makes a Business Transformational?

I had the privilege of presenting on behalf of Hemlock last Friday morning to a group of businesses, consultants and NGO’s from across Canada. The event was hosted by CBSR (Canadian Business for Social Responsibility) and was focused on how businesses can collaborate with their supply chain to improve their environmental and social performance, an in doing so, play a part in creating transformational change across an industry. This is part of an overall initiative by the CBSR to promote 19 Transformational Company Qualities in business – it is an insightful list that acts as a good guide for businesses looking to advance their own social responsibility practices. Nice work by Coro Strandberg of Strandberg Consulting and the team at CBSR in developing it and making it a big part of the CBSR’s event calendar this year.

About 25 people participated in the event with CBSR members in person at locations in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto along with others participating online. It was a great demonstration of the power of video conferencing and how it is possible to assemble a group of individuals on a subject without anyone needing to step on a plane. This is a path the CBSR will be taking for future events and I highly recommend you participate in one that is relevant to your company.

You can download my presentation here to get an idea what was covered. Following the Hemlock presentation, was Amy Roberts from MEC who presented the work that they have done with the Outdoor Apparel Association and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. It is a great example of how multiple industry players, including those in competition with one another, can really impact change on a wider scale. Have a look at the fine work the Sustainable Apparel Coalition is doing and congratulations to Amy and MEC for being a catalyst in this area.

The event finished off with a discussion among the Vancouver participants on the key take-aways for each of us which was perfect for me to take in and apply some of the things I learned from the morning. Thanks to Coro and Steven at the CBSR for organizing this great event and for giving Hemlock the opportunity to share our experiences.


Hemlock has worked hard this past year to increase our stakeholder accountability and transparency – CBSR Transformational Company Quality #13. Which of the 19 Qualities are the most meaningful to you and your organization?

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