Perhaps because of its focus on transparency and its shared objective of reducing global environmental impacts, there is a high degree of collaboration in the sustainability community and people are very willing to share. Consequently, sustainability networks are a very effective way of exchanging ideas and benchmarking against like-minded organisations.
In fact, Greenlight grew out of a sustainability network set up by Kyocera in 2000, when such things were rare. There are now many groups on social networks devoted to environmental and CSR issues, as well as freestanding networks.
A few of the key networks are listed below.
The Crowd (formerly Green Monday) is an independent platform that helps management teams to build better businesses as sustainability increasingly impacts the global economy. It tracks the disruptive forces of rising resource prices, social pressures, climate change, regulation, shifting demand and looks at how business leaders are building strategies that could transform their organisations in a world of fast change. Through its events programme, case studies, green papers, surveys and online community it aims to provide practical solutions to help its members build a more successful business.
2degrees is the world's leading business community for driving growth, efficiency and profit through sustainability. More than just a technology platform, news site or network, 2degrees is a managed service for businesses and professionals: the most knowledgeable and active sustainable business community anywhere.
2degrees aims to make it quick and easy for its members to work together to share experience, find practical solutions and address their sustainable business challenges.
Guardian Sustainable Business
Guardian Professional Networks are community-focused sites, where Guardian News and Media brings together advice, best practice and insight from a wide range of professional communities.
Some of the specialist hubs within these sites are supported by funding from external companies and organisations. All editorial content is independent of any sponsorship, unless otherwise clearly stated.
As well as extensive online reference material and social network activities, Guardian Sustainable Business organises a quarterly event which combines keynotes from leading companies with focused round-table discussions. It also runs one-off events on sustainability topics.
The Prince's Mayday Network
The first Mayday Summit took place on 1 May 2007 and was held by Business in the Community at the request of HRH The Prince of Wales as a call to action on the urgent issue of climate change. At the event over 1,000 business leaders made over 5,500 pledges to take action on climate change. In addition to their individual pledges, leaders came together to form a network of businesses committed to collaborating to tackle climate change - The Prince's Mayday Network.
The network is now the biggest of its kind, including over 3,800 businesses across the UK. Business in the Community continues to support companies in The Prince's Mayday Network on their ‘journey’ through a series of events and online resources.
In 2012, the Prince's Mayday Network made a renewed call for action – now centred on the transformational change required of companies to secure a truly sustainable future for our planet and its peoples. This has been dubbed the '9 billion challenge'.
Net Impact is a community of more than 60,000 student and professional leaders creating positive social and environmental change in the workplace and the world. Basic membership is free, and there are premium options.
Members have the opportunity to join local chapters, including regional groups for Bristol and London in the UK.
The B Team
The B Team's mission is to catalyse a movement of business leaders to drive a better way of doing business for the wellbeing of people and planet. It was founded by Sir Richard Branson, Paul Polman, Arianna Huffington and others to create a "Plan B" for business that aims for zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Business Alliance for the Future
Business Alliance for the Future's purpose is to catapult the Business for Good movement through unprecedented collaboration.
By learning to work together in new ways, it aims to catalyze a tipping point in industries and markets towards an environmentally sustainable, socially just, spiritually fulfilling, economically thriving and life-enhancing future.