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Forging Business Sector Collaboration for the Long-term Prosperity of the Great Lakes Region

Companies that have embarked on sustainability initiatives often find them to be valuable but difficult to implement concurrently in local, national, regional, and global contexts. Collective industry initiatives exist at the international, national, and local levels to support these efforts, but there is no device in the US/Canadian Great Lakes region to support industry activities and inform regional policy. Policymakers and other regional stakeholders therefore have limited awareness of company initiatives, their impact, and the knowledge they generate.

Great Lakes industry can exercise sustainability leadership by identifying the relevant economics, structures, and processes that define sustainability in this globally-important region. A regional strategy will highlight actions already underway to pursue sustainability in this region and will demonstrate natural resource stewardship in regional, national, and global markets. If industry does not lead in developing a regional sustainability strategy, the risk exists that outside entities will step forward to define a sustainability agenda that is not aligned with the region’s unique governance structure, natural resource characteristics, and economic power, or does not support the business case and enable companies to demonstrate return on investment. Any regional sustainability goals or approaches must be in the language of business and resonate with business leaders.

CGLI and its partner organizations are meeting this challenge by providing a platform for industry collaboration to promote the long-term prosperity of the Great Lakes region through sustainability activities. The first workshop has been scheduled for November 13-14, 2018 at the Wingspread Executive Retreat and Conference Center near Racine, WI. Registration is open and seating is limited. Registration details and more information about the initiative is available here.