Solsticeworks built a reputation for thoughtful, professional, and innovative work in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. We have a long track record of pioneering advances in strategy, reporting and stakeholder engagement.
More recently, we are working with and through private and public sector, academic and civil society organizations to build capacity in several important and related fields:
- Adapting to climate change
- Natural capital
- Municipal asset management for living green infrastructure
At Solsticeworks, our services focus on enhancing our clients’ sustainability performance which in turn contributes to accountable, connected, resilient organizations – and to a better world. We help organizations through:
Many organizations start by seeking to understand how the changing world will affect them and how their business either contributes to sustainability or threatens it. They wonder about risks, opportunities, trends and how sustainability connects with their business goals. Our clients ask us for help with:
- Sustainability issues scanning
- Benchmarking and gap analysis
- Specialized CSR and sustainability research
Without accountability, sustainability goals are merely good intentions. Accountability makes it real. We help our clients build accountability through:
- Strategies and implementation plans
- Sustainability management systems
- Performance reporting
Few sustainability goals can be achieved without some level of collaboration. Sustainability performance will be judged by those who are affected. In this crowded world, there is no escaping the need for dialogue – both to inform strategy and to understand the results. Solsticeworks can assist you with:
- Stakeholder analysis
- Stakeholder engagement planning
- Facilitating workshops and stakeholder panels
Case Studies in Innovation
At Solsticeworks we delight in the opportunity to support innovators. It’s a privilege to help them develop new programs, approaches or frameworks that stand the test of time. Here are examples of projects that demonstrate the value of our enduring innovations.
The City of Burnaby is taking a comprehensive, integrated approach to planning for sustainability. Starting in 2010, a Solsticeworks team supported the City’s social planning group and Steering Committee to develop an innovative Social Sustainability Strategy with unprecedented levels of Burnaby citizen involvement. We helped the City to develop its social sustainability goals and priorities through an extensive community working group process and then worked with the City to develop a strategic framework and draft strategy for further community consultation. The City of Burnaby was recognized for its achievement with the 2012 Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Planning Excellence in the category of Social Planning.
Vancity’s 1997 Social Report was the first instance of independent assurance on a comprehensive social report in Canada. Before the GRI or other sustainability reporting standards existed, Vancity decided to account for its social and environmental performance using a “social audit” approach that was heavily informed by stakeholder engagement. Solsticeworks brought accounting and auditing rigour to the exercise, adapting traditional auditing principles to what was then new subject matter. As part of a New Economics Foundation team, our innovations influenced the development of the Auditing Guidelines in the AA1000 Framework (issued 1999) and the AA1000 Assurance Standard. Recognizing the need for more professional capacity in the area of sustainability, Vancity then supported Solsticeworks to create The Accountability Project training program in sustainability management which has trained more than 500 people globally since 2003.
Solsticeworks has been facilitating stakeholder and expert panels for CSR and sustainability strategy, reporting and materiality input since 2005. As we approached our fourth panel for TD Bank Group in 2014, we were looking for a way to bring into the conversation a wider range of stakeholders than we could with face to face meetings. We also wanted to drill deeper on issues than the limited meeting time allowed. So we developed a blended engagement strategy, pairing a real time Webinar with a week-long forum using an asynchronous ConvetitTM virtual discussion group. TD valued the access to richer insights from both Canadian and U.S. stakeholders. Solsticeworks shaped the input into an independent Stakeholder Panel Report and representation in TD’s 2014 CSR Report.
Michelle Sawka, Project Manager for the Green Infrastructure Ontario (GIO) Coalition tells this story in her own words: “Solsticeworks brought a unique skill set to its work with the Green Infrastructure Ontario (GIO) Coalition. The coalition was hosting a workshop and developing a roadmap for green infrastructure asset management and it was incredibly helpful to have assistance of a consultant with experience in both the accounting and the environmental sector. Solsticeworks was able to seamlessly translate asset management and accounting technicalities in a way that was easy to understand. In developing the workshop they were also very adept at identifying key knowledge transfer opportunities and pursuing presenters who could fill the gaps. Finally, in developing the final document, Solsticeworks was able to modify the vision for the roadmap to produce a product that was even more useful for a broader range of stakeholders.”