US BCSD's Strategic Planning Workshop - Outcomes and Next Steps

In September 2017 US BCSD staff kicked off a deep review of our strategy and priorities. Over three months we interviewed members, project participants, partner organizations and other key stakeholders; asking questions about business sustainability challenges they’re facing, areas they’d like the US BCSD to focus on, brainstorming specific project ideas, and discussing operational enhancements that could help grow our effectiveness and scale.

Early 2018 was been dedicated to reviewing and processing this data, with input and oversight from our US BCSD Executive Committee. A number of key decision points and opportunities for future platform and project development were identified and brought to US BCSD members at a Strategic Planning Workshop in late-March 2018. Below is a summary of outcomes of that workshop, and some important steps in our path forward. 

As always, thanks to US BCSD’s members, partners and staff for your engagement and support along the way - we’re looking forward to this new chapter.

1. Stay Rooted in the US BCSD Process


2. Drive Engagement and New Project Development through US BCSD Platforms

US BCSD platforms are ongoing venues for key stakeholders to define the critical needs for business action in sustainability within a topic area, share perspectives, and develop potential project-based solutions for testing. Platforms are the source of US BCSD projects, and serve as issue-focused think tanks with an action emphasis. Projects on the other-hand are focused efforts to develop and test specific actionable solutions, and may be spun off and scaled up if successful. Projects have substantive scope with a clear business case; and discrete beginnings, ends, activities and outcomes.

3. 2018 Platforms

Circular Economy - A venue to define, design and test solutions to materials reuse, supply web challenges and opportunities, circular design, and circular partnerships. Stakeholders are scoping a variety of new project opportunities on supply web engagement, carbon accounting, cross-state regulatory harmonization, and identifying and capturing at-risk resources in addition to continuing new Materials Marketplace project development.

Water - A venue to define, design and test solutions to regional and national water quality, quantity, stormwater and other water-related challenges and issues. Stakeholders are keen on expanding the model developed by the Louisiana Water Synergy Project to new geographies - including the Mid-Mississippi region and Houston/Texas Gulf Coast - and to address additional water-related challenges.

Cities (in development) - A venue to clearly define and understand real city issues, and link them up with actionable private-sector solutions and partnerships. This platform may address issues and challenges related to resilience, city competitiveness, and support for rural areas during economic downturns.

Ecosystems (in development) - A venue for companies to define, design and test solutions to land-use, conservation, and other non-water ecosystem challenges and opportunities.

4. Additional Key Outcomes and Implementation Plan

Additional key outcomes identified during the workshop include renewed focus on:

  • Partnerships - Reevaluate the landscape and establish new US BCSD partnerships to support platform and membership growth.
  • Membership Growth - Focus efforts to drive membership growth, especially to new sectors not currently represented in the US BCSD membership.
  • Member Engagement - Expand member engagement and continue to define the US BCSD value proposition with existing members.
  • Visibility - Improve the visibility of our projects and platforms, and create more impactful opportunities to showcase our work, especially through national meetings.

March - July 2018: Platform Development and Company Engagement

Following this workshop, US BCSD members and staff have been engaged in smaller planning discussions to frame out 2018 platforms, identify initial project opportunities, and pull-in current and prospective members in the process. If you’re interested in participating in any of the above platforms, contact Daniel Kietzer at the US BCSD.

Fall 2018: Next US BCSD National Meeting

We’re planning our next US BCSD national meeting for the Fall of 2018, date and location to be announced shortly. This meeting will be an important milestone and venue to engage additional platform and project participants, and harvest new ideas to fuel platform growth.

Daniel Kietzer