CH2M HILL, a global full-service consulting, design, construction, and operations firm, has joined with 14 major companies, all leaders in their industries, in the formation of the Sustainability Innovators Working Group to define and develop state-of-the-art approaches for environmental management and corporate sustainability.

Members include a diverse combination of some of the world’s best companies, recognized for their advanced work in sustainability practices, such as Boeing, CH2M HILL, Coca-Cola, Delhaize Group, Disney, Diversey, Dow Chemical Company, FedEx, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Shaklee, Unilever, and Xerox.

“Addressing converging sustainability issues related to the interconnectedness of water, energy, climate change, and land development is going to require collaboration and innovation among all stakeholders,” said Nancy Tuor, CH2M HILL’s executive sponsor for sustainability. “The Sustainability Innovators Working Group brings together companies with diverse backgrounds and a wealth of sustainability expertise to develop leading approaches for environmental management and corporate sustainability to help companies think in new ways to address these important global challenges.”

Working together, the Sustainability Innovators Working Group participants will generate new management tools and models for incorporating sustainability more deeply into business strategy and corporate practice. Each company will be able to apply the best practices from this collaboration within their own organizations not only to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness in their operations, but also to better identify and develop related opportunities for innovation and growth.

A starting point for the group’s work will be the recently published Harvard Business Review article (May 2010), “The Sustainability Imperative,” written by Dan Esty and David Lubin, EEP senior adviser and chairman of the Innovators program. This piece argues that companies need to have both a clear vision and a strategy for execution to deliver sustainability value.