By: Ted Ferguson, President, The Delphi Group
On the occasion of the launch of our beautiful new website, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on where we’ve been, where we are today and, most importantly, where we need to go.
When Delphi opened its doors a quarter century ago, we were essentially a scrappy startup working in an area – environmental strategy – that was considered niche in most organizations. Today, we are an incredible team across Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa. We are part of a broader constellation of organizations that includes GLOBE Series, Leading Change Canada, and the EXCEL Partnership. And our areas of expertise – corporate sustainability, the clean economy, cleantech and innovation, and climate change – are increasingly part of mainstream conversations in boardrooms around the world.
What hasn’t changed is our DNA. We are a purpose-driven organization with a very clear vision: to achieve a sustainable, prosperous and socially just future in a generation. Our people may be national experts in diverse fields, but they share a passion for this vision as well as a common set of values that help us persist no matter how the landscape waxes and wanes.
What’s really exciting for us as we grow is our ability to do more, to have an even bigger impact. We want to help transform leading organizations so they can prosper through sustainability. We are venturing to put good data out there about our impacts when we work with clients on these critical issues.
To achieve a more sustainable, prosperous and socially just future, we need to make huge strides in the areas of the green economy, climate change mitigation, corporate sustainability and clean technology. We have grown our expertise and service offerings in these areas with the express purpose of supporting the transition to a lower carbon and more sustainable economy. Building capacity will help us steer our planet, economy and society onto a stronger, more resilient path.
Green economy. Many are seeing the transition to a low carbon, green growth agenda as a means to creating high-paying jobs, stimulating innovation, attracting investment, and boosting export opportunities. The shift to a green and circular economy is about a new economic paradigm for rethinking how we design our products, services, and communities. Applying a green and circular economy lens to our plastics pollution problem, for example, provides us with solutions to deal with this important environmental and social issue.
Corporate sustainability. Companies are increasingly understanding the intrinsic links between economic success and environmental and social sustainability. Delphi’s recent analysis of corporate purpose shows that companies who can help solve global and local problems through their products and services are better off in the long term. Additionally, the rise of environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations among investors is having a ripple effect through corporate culture. Delphi has helped numerous of companies develop their sustainability strategies over the decades and we look forward to working with others to define new models of corporate success.
Climate change. The climate crisis has become the defining issue of our time, and change is urgently needed. With change also comes great opportunity for those organizations with the vision to see how they fit into the new, green economy and the leadership and tools to make it happen. Delphi believes organizations can be low carbon leaders no matter their business or raison d’être. We focus on crafting practical and effective strategies for navigating this transition that help organizations save money, find new opportunities and engage with their communities—all great things.
Cleantech and innovation. Clean technologies and innovation are key to transforming our economy. However, adopting these new concepts and applications can be difficult for organizations. Innovating requires not only great technology, but also the mindset that can make it happen. Delphi’s expertise in this area focusses on breaking down the barriers to accelerating the deployment of new technology, be they financial, technical or inertia. Our team uses the Challenge Dialogue process, which is proven to help find pathways to success on clean tech market penetration.
We are always looking for innovative ways to show that business can be a force for good. We are a profit–for–purpose enterprise: we use our business to donate 1% of gross revenues to charity, we invest in green bonds, and we have a staff ecofund providing up to $5,000 to match staff investments in clean and green technology. We like to think we put our money where our mouth is, investing in our culture so that our team is extra motivated to be a positive and engaging force for good with our clients and partners.
Do we still have a long way to go? You bet. The youth-led climate marches this week are a good jolt to the system, reminding us that we can’t be complacent on issues that jeopardize the future of the planet and our grandchildren. However, as a natural optimist who sees how much progress can be made when the will is there, I see hopeful signs everywhere. And I look forward to working with many of you to create the kind of world that shows off the best of what us mere humans can accomplish.