RCE Saskatchewan - 2021

Business Leaders Impacting Sustainability in Saskatchewan (BLISS)
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Business Leaders Impacting Sustainability in Saskatchewan (BLISS)
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Saskatchewan
Contributing organization(s) : 
Sage Sustainable Solutions Consulting
MacPherson Engineering Inc
Embodied Energy Ltd
University of Saskatchewan Office of Sustainability
Luther College at the University of Regina
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Roxane Wagner (BLISS Co-coordinator)
Organizational Affiliation: 
Sage Sustainable Solutions Consulting (https://www.sagesustainable.com)
Aura Lee Macpherson (BLISS Co-coordinator)
Organizational Affiliation: 
MacPherson Engineering Inc (www.radiantlink.ca)
Format of project: 
Webinars and Meetings
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
See: Ian Judd-Henrey and David Sauchyn, “Sustainability: Climate Change Adaptation”, The Professional Edge (Association of Professional Geoscientists and Engineers of Saskatchewan) Issue 192 (May/June 2021) p. 33 re. requirements of business on emissions.
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Address of focal point institution for project: 
University of Saskatchewan Office of Sustainability https://sustainability.usask.ca/
(Contact Erin Aikins)
Target Audience:
Business and Industry
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Saskatchewan is one of the prairie provinces in Canada and is bordered by Alberta to the west, the Northwest Territories to the north, Manitoba to the east and the U.S. states North Dakota and Montana to the south. Saskatchewan is rich in natural resources which has created extractive industries such as potash mining, oil and gas, and mineral exploration as well primary production in the areas of forestry, agriculture, and ranching. Most of the population is situated in the mixed moist grassland ecosystem of the province. It has a diverse population, including Indigenous peoples, and is relatively sparsely populated given its land area.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
In early 2021, RCE Saskatchewan received an email from individual member of the RCE who worked for a large Saskatchewan corporation. He posed the question: should RCE Saskatchewan be part of the solution to create a robust conversation for businesses and industries in Saskatchewan about the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development goals? The challenge was to begin the discussion with Saskatchewan businesses and industry on how to manage their companies using the UN sustainability goals, e.g., capturing new opportunities and mitigating risks to build revenue, improve employee productivity and reduce expenses in energy, waste, materials and water. These were a few ideas that we wanted to share with the business community.
March, 2021
Saskatchewan’s future will require businesses to pivot and weave to create a sustainable economic, ecological, and social landscape. At the grassroots level, Saskatchewan businesses and industry have very little knowledge of the 17 UN sustainable development goals or how to incorporate them into their business plans. In the Association of Professional Engineers/Geo Scientist of Saskatchewan May/June 2021 issue of the Professional Edge a number of both public and private sector requirements to do so are arriving (e.g., BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, will now require disclosure of climate-related risks and plans for operating under the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, from the companies it invests in. In 2020, the Canadian government required large employers that accessed COVID-19 funding to publish annual climate disclosure reports consistent with international standards, including indicating how their future operations will contribute to achieving Canada’s climate goals. See https://www.apegs.ca/Portal/Sites-Management/FileDownload/DataDownload/98160/Issue%20192%20May%20June%202021%2091st%20Annual%20Meeting%20and%20Professional%20Development%20Conference/pdf/1/1033
The objective was to create a robust conversation about the advantages of building the 17 United Nation Sustainable Development goals into Saskatchewan Businesses and Industry plans. Woven into the objectives were the importance of networking, partnering and inclusion – as outlined in goal # 17.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
On February 12, 2021, the RCE Facilitation Group agreed to establish BLISS as a new RCE Theme Areas Working Group. BLISS then had several planning meetings leading up to June 10, 2021 when BLISS held its first webinar for companies. The webinar presented an opportunity to bring businesses and industries together and start a conversation. On June 29, 2021 BLISS met with a grassroots gathers of Indigenous/First Nations leaders in the process of forming a First Nations Economic Networking Group.
Size of academic audience: 
Approximately 20 people attended the webinar and 10 people attended the First Nations Indigenous Economic Networking meeting.
The results of the webinar demonstrated that knowledge about the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development goals is of value to Saskatchewan Businesses and industry. BLISS, because of its formation, was then able to present to this grassroots First Nations economic organization. Connecting with this grassroots organization has proven to be most valuable given the alignment of the 17 SDGs with the priorities and longterm views of Indigenous communities. This fall we will be following up with a second webinar and continue to grow the network.
Lessons learned: 
Saskatchewan businesses are receptive to being part of a robust conversation about the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We learned that local public education needs to be on-going. Communication is key and we need to find ways to share this information in a variety of ways (e.g. social media, main stream media etc.)
Key messages: 
Saskatchewan’s future will require businesses to pivot and weave to create a sustainable economic landscape that balances and enriches the environment, culture, and society. RCE Saskatchewan wants to make sure Saskatchewan businesses and industries have the tools they need to be successful and build a strong future.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
BLISS is its own working group that participates in the RCE’s governance structure through the RCE Facilitation Group.
None. Inkind contributions came from sustainability professionals, RCE members, and the University of Saskatchewan’s Office of Sustainability.
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level