The New Directions Group (NDG) provides a neutral forum for leaders from progressive Canadian businesses and NGOs to debate potentially divisive sustainability issues. In addition to advancing policy, the purpose of the NDG is to enhance capacity building, mutual learning and collaboration on significant sustainability issues.
How We Operate. The NDG provides an informal forum for dialogue among the business and NGO communities. This may take the form of workshops or project teams struck to address topical or significant issues. Depending on the project, representatives from governments or outside experts may also be invited to participate.
Members and Funding. Membership in the NDG is generally project-based and is extended by invitation to senior officials from businesses and NGOs that are viewed to be progressive and constructive on the issues to be addressed. The majority of the NDG's resources come from its corporate participants supplemented by project support from governments.
Current Initiatives. The NDG is currently embarking on a project that will explore opportunities for innovation in environmental governance in Canada. In addition, preparatory work has been done for a project to recommend a process through which businesses and NGOs can be constructively engaged in developing Canada's post-2012 energy and environment strategy. 2007 also marks the end of the NDG's current three-year funding commitment and a senior level dialogue is planned for mid-year to identify options for the future of the NDG.
Past Projects. The NDG has recently released the following reports:
• The Application of Life Cycle Assessment to the Development of Environmental Policy;
• Developing and Implementing Credible and Effective Environmental Performance Agreements;
• Developing Effective Business-NGO Partnerships
Over the past fifteen years, the NDG has explored a wide range of sustainability issues with an ever-growing network of businesses and NGOs. Some of these projects have led to formal reports, which can be downloaded in this section.
History of the NDG. The NDG has existed on an informal basis since 1990. Its business model has evolved over the years but the focus remains on convening leaders and senior decision-makers from the business and NGO communities around potentially divisive sustainability issues.