The Sustainability Journey - Environmental Defense Fund Supply Chain Solutions Center

The Sustainability Journey

Corporate sustainability leadership: the journey

Successful business leaders understand that a thriving economy depends on a thriving environment, and vice versa. Your customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders and potential investors are well aware that the myth of an “either/or” tradeoff between sustainability and profitability no longer exists. Now, more than ever, the world is your business.

Yet, while the need for corporate sustainability has long been proven, following a clear pathway to leadership — where your company’s business and sustainability goals are in alignment — can be challenging.

The Supply Chain Solutions Center roadmap to leadership can help you navigate that path.

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Explore The Sustainability Journey

Sustainability 101

Sustainability needs to be weaved into your business, not bolted down. These resources will help you learn how to start the sustainability journey for your company.

View All Sustainability 101 Resources

Level 1: Engage

The genesis of your company’s commitment to corporate sustainability, this stage is about getting informed on the issues, understanding the landscape (both internally and externally), assessing your areas of opportunity and influence, and discovering where you need help (and how you can get it).

View All Level 1: Engage Resources

Level 2: Execute

This stage is about advancing and innovating across your company’s landscape — from your own operations to your suppliers'. It’s a multi-faceted process that ranges from building sustainability plans and proving the business case to implementing, measuring, reporting, scaling and beginning to take a public stand on issues and policies.

View All Level 2: Execute Resources

Level 3: Lead

Leading on corporate sustainability means bringing your company’s business and environmental goals into seamless, transparent alignment. You’re accelerating environmental innovation, actively advocating for smart environmental policies, and advancing sustainable business practices to alter the landscape across entire industries and business sectors.

View All Level 3: Lead Resources
Expert Organizations
The Sustainability Journey Resources

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  • Sustainability 101
    • Intro and overview 101
      • Overview: Agriculture 101
        • Introduction
        • Get Informed
        • Understand the Landscape
      • Overview: Forests 101
        • Introduction
        • Get Informed
        • Understand the Landscape
      • Overview: Chemicals 101
        • Introduction
        • Get Informed
        • Identify Key Stakeholders
      • Overview: Energy 101
        • Introduction
        • Get Informed
        • Understand the Landscape
      • Overview: Freight 101
        • Introduction
        • Get Informed
        • Understand the Landscape
      • Overview: Waste 101
        • Food Waste 101
          • Introduction
          • Get Informed
          • Understand the Landscape
        • Packaging Waste 101
          • Introduction
          • Get Informed
          • Understand the Landscape
    • Build a Sustainability Plan 101
      • Introduction
      • Assess Impact & Opportunity
        • Impact: Agriculture
        • Impact: Forests
        • Impact: Chemicals
        • Impact: Energy
        • Impact: Freight
        • Impact: Waste
      • Identify Stakeholders
        • Stakeholders: Agriculture
        • Stakeholders: Forests
        • Stakeholders: Chemicals
        • Stakeholders: Energy
        • Stakeholders: Freight
        • Stakeholders: Waste
      • Set Goals
        • Goals: Agriculture
        • Goals: Forests
        • Goals: Chemicals
        • Goals: Energy
        • Goals: Freight
        • Goals: Waste
      • Establish Objectives & Metrics
        • Objectives: Agriculture
        • Objectives: Forests
        • Objectives: Chemicals
        • Objectives: Energy
        • Objectives: Freight
        • Objectives: Waste
      • Identify Pilot Projects
        • Pilot Projects: Agriculture
        • Pilot Projects: Forests
        • Pilot Projects: Chemicals
        • Pilot Projects: Energy
        • Pilot Projects: Freight
        • Pilot Projects: Waste
      • Make Business Case
        • Business Case: Agriculture
        • Business Case: Forests
        • Business Case: Chemicals
        • Business Case: Energy
        • Business Case: Freight
        • Business Case: Waste
      • Pitch & Launch Plan
        • Pitch & Launch: Agriculture
        • Pitch & Launch: Forests
        • Pitch & Launch: Chemicals
        • Pitch & Launch: Energy
        • Pitch & Launch: Freight
        • Pitch & Launch: Waste
    • Build a Business Plan 101
      • Business/environmental alignment
      • Drivers of change
      • Stakeholder motivation
      • Activate stakeholders
      • Identify data
  • Level 1: Engage
    • Engage: Agriculture
    • Engage: Forests
    • Engage: Chemicals
    • Engage: Energy
    • Engage: Freight
    • Engage: Waste
  • Level 2: Execute
  • Level 3: Lead
    • Advocate
      • Green Freight
      • Safer Chemicals
      • Sustainable Agriculture
      • Sustainable Energy
      • Thriving Forests
      • Zero Waste
    • Collaborate
      • Green Freight
      • Safer Chemicals
      • Sustainable Agriculture
      • Sustainable Energy
      • Thriving Forests
      • Zero Waste
    • Commit
      • Green Freight
      • Safer Chemicals
      • Sustainable Agriculture
      • Sustainable Energy
      • Thriving Forests
      • Zero Waste
    • Innovate
      • Green Freight
      • Safer Chemicals
      • Sustainable Agriculture
      • Sustainable Energy
      • Thriving Forests
      • Zero Waste

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    • Video
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  • Expert Organizations
    • BSR
    • CDP
    • Conservation International (CI)
    • Department of Energy (DOE)
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    • GreenBiz
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    • Project Gigaton Agriculture Basics
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    • Project Gigaton Forests Commodities
    • Project Gigaton Forests Get Informed
    • Project Gigaton Forests Partners
    • Project Gigaton Packaging
    • Project Gigaton Packaging Entry-level
    • Project Gigaton Packaging Next-Level
    • Project Gigaton Product Design and Use - Energy Efficiency
    • Project Gigaton Product Design and Use - Low-GWP Refrigerants
    • Project Gigaton Product Design and Use - Material Innovation
    • Project Gigaton Product Use
    • Project Gigaton Targets Advanced
    • Project Gigaton Targets Basics
    • Project Gigaton Targets Organizations
    • Project Gigaton Waste
    • Protein
    • Purchasing
    • Re-Use
    • Recovery
    • Recycle
    • Recycling
    • Regenerative Agriculture
    • Retail
    • Row Crops
    • Safer Alternatives
    • safer packaging
    • Soil Health
    • Sourcing
    • Specialty Crops
    • Staff Picks
    • Use
    • Waste
    • Water
Main Library

The Sustainability Journey Resources

Filter by our "Sustainability 101" categories for a concise, high-level overview of Agriculture, Forests, Chemicals, Energy, Freight or Waste. You can also view all of the Engage (Level 1), Execute (Level 2) and Lead (Level 3) resources by filtering for interest areas that are relevant to your company.

Filter Library




Prioritize your chemicals: A guide

EDF has created a step-by-step guide for any product sector to help you prioritize action on toxic chemicals to reduce your chemical footprint.



The Chemical Footprint Project

Investors and purchaser communities are becoming increasingly interested in how companies manage chemicals and mitigate risk. The Chemical Footprint Project evaluates companies’ chemicals management practices and recognizes leaders.



Poultry Sustainability Guide

A user-friendly how-to guide with best practices and actionable solutions that the poultry industry can use now on the farm or in the plant.



Sustainable product design resources

Resources about eco-friendly product design considerations.



Produce, Conserve, Include (PCI) Pitchbook

This pitch book aims to provide a “menu” of some of the on-the-ground programs in Mato Grosso that are ripe for corporate engagement. The goal is to make it simple for companies to understand how they can connect their supply chain efforts to the broader Mato Grosso PCI strategy to contribute to its success and achieve their own supply chain goals.



The Sustainability Journey

Get your company started on the sustainability journey here! From overviews and introductions to advocating for policy, and everything in between, this is where you should start.



Sustainable agriculture 101: introduction

Companies are facing risks in their agricultural supply chains like never before, as climate change affects weather patterns, which affects crop production. Your customers, investors and employees care about how you act on environmental sustainability.



Sustainable agriculture 101: problem & solutions

All the essentials on the impacts and opportunities within animal agriculture, crop production, product design, packaging, measuring and reporting, key stakeholders and the policy environment.



Sustainable agriculture 101: strategies

Many sustainable agriculture solutions require engaging along the supply chain: animal agriculture, crop production, product design, packaging, measuring and reporting, key stakeholders and the policy environment.



Sustainable agriculture 101: understand landscape

When mitigating agricultural impacts from your supply chain, there are many stakeholders — both inside and outside of your company — that you may need or want to engage.



Thriving forests 101: introduction

Zero-deforestation sourcing can also be a critical opportunity for companies aiming to reduce supply risks, mitigate climate impacts and improve their corporate reputation.



Thriving forests 101: get informed

In order to mitigate deforestation in your supply chains, you must first understand the issue and how it impacts your business.



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