ISI is a non-profit organization serving 18 Atlantic Canada post-secondary institutions, offering services, training and events to their operational, financial and administrative personnel. ISI has a member sustainability committee that meets twice a year to build member sustainability knowledge and learn of best practices. They share information on their sustainability initiatives, liaise with national and international bodies, and receive presentations from government, industry, suppliers and sector advocates to advance member awareness on a broad spectrum of sustainability related issues. For example, in 2018 ISI hosted a day long Sustainable Procurement Workshop at the University of PEI for members of both ISI’s sustainability and procurement committees to build awareness, knowledge and capacity of sustainable procurement within maritime institutions.
David H. Davidson, Chief Executive Officer email@example.com
In 2018, the VP Finance and Administration at SFU included a one-hour introduction session on social purpose administration and finance within his regular meeting of direct reports. The purpose of the session was to increase awareness of the Social Purpose Administration and Finance Framework among administrative leaders, to share current practices at SFU, and to consider new ways to advance social impact in admin, finance and operations using the Framework. A secondary purpose was to pilot an orientation workshop that could be used for professional development and planning at other institutions via the CAUBO-McConnell project.
Participants included senior leaders in finance, human resources, safety, sustainability, facilities, strategy, procurement, IT services, commercial services and external relations. The session concluded that there are many strong practices in place, driven by the culture and individual passions, although a strategic intent is not yet defined. Leaders were beginning to collaborate externally with peers and there were untapped opportunities to collaborate with external stakeholders on shared projects, in which costs could also be shared. Engaging more with expert academic researchers and the student body are future opportunities. There are challenges with time, resources and entrenched systems, however this is not insurmountable as progress is happening.
As a result of SFU’s experience a workshop template was developed and is now a resource available to other institutions for staff orientation and engagement.