The Value of Collaboration for Corporate Sustainability Outcomes

11th December 2020

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Caroline Jooste

COVID-19 is the defining global health crisis of our time, and has brought about collaborations between organisations to an extent, and at a pace, that would have been considered unachievable at the beginning of 2020.

These accomplishments in the face of adversity show the need for environment and sustainability professionals to work together to resolve the sustainability challenges presented by climate change, resource concerns and other global issues. A Fellows roundtable revealed that some believed 'best in class' corporate sustainability can only be achieved based on meaningful outcomes or outputs that showcase actual sustainable transformations.

The IEMA Fellows Working Group on Collaboration for Corporate Sustainability was formed to develop a thought piece that would highlight the value of collaboration between organisations for corporate sustainability outcomes. This thought piece will outline member perspectives and recommendations for collaborative solutions at organisational level that can help achieve systemic change for corporate sustainability. These success stories should be read in parallel with IEMA's guidance on Change Management for Sustainable Development ( and, mapped against the UN Sustainable Development Goals, should provide a roadmap for others and help resolve organisations' sustainability dilemmas.

The working group states: “At their heart, collaborations for sustainability should look to drive positive and systemic change, raising ambition and building from an ethical or at least a shared values underpinning. If prospective partners do not approach collaborations with such a foundation, then there will be a risk of failure or potentially even a negative impact. Similarly, organisations embarking on their journey of transformative change may have limited resources and wish to avoid reinventing the wheel. In such instances, spending time and research prior to launching into an initiative will help to unveil any existing networks and collaborations that organisations can use and join.“

On 4 December, IEMA policy and engagement lead Marc Jourdan was joined by several representatives of this working group, including Andy Whyle of Ricoh Products UK, Geraldine Boylan of Mabbett and Louise Stevens of Innocent Drinks, to present the findings and case study insights of this thought piece in a webinar session. Read the event report and watch again at

Image credit: Shutterstock


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