Strategic Plan 2011-2016

GBSusNet Strat Plan 2011

Grey Bruce Sustainability Network Strategic Plan

2011 – 2015


The Grey Bruce Sustainability Network Inc. is an Ontario Not-For-Profit corporation, established in 2009.
Our purpose is to support and implement projects that lead to resolution of issues related to community sustainability. For the purposes of this by-law, sustainable development is defined as “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”1
The objectives of the Corporation, as stated in our inaugural by-law, are:
“The establishment and operation of an organization to build a network of individuals and organizations in Grey and Bruce Counties, and beyond, for the purpose of: Fostering the development of sustainable communities. Fostering collaborative relationships that increase capacity to deliver community sustainability programs. Researching, promoting and implementing solutions to local sustainability issues and other complementary purposes not inconsistent with these objectives.”
GbSusNet is entering its third “official” year of operation. In the first two years, we have been able to:
 Incorporate as an Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporation and completed annual filings.
 Set up a bank account, prepared financial reports and administered funds for three projects.
 Convened two meetings with our Advisory Group
 Successfully, collaboratively, prepared By Law #1 setting out or mandate and administrative responsibilities
 Convened our Annual General Meeting
 Elected a permanent Board of Directors
 Developed a memorandum of understanding between GBSusNet and Project Partners;
 Initiated a strategic planning process; and,
 Successfully delivered a number of local projects in the area, including:
(1 World Commission on the Environment and Development, known as the Brundtland Commission. Published in Our Common Future (1987). Oxford: Oxford University Press.)

Now, as we enter our third year, the Board, together with Members and Network Participants, is in a strong position to design a path forward for the next five years.
This Strategic Plan has been developed through discussions with the Board of Directors, and at a workshop convened at GBSusNet’s Annual General Meeting, held in June 2011.
The implementation section was developed at a Think Tank held by the Board in October 2011.
Why Do We Need A Strategic Plan?
There are numerous organizations (government, non-government, institutions) within Grey and Bruce counties who are working towards various aspects of sustainability. With a clear mandate and implementation plan – one that is designed and blessed by its stakeholders – our Network can maintain a clear focus and grow strong, sustainable roots to ensure its vibrancy into the future.
Our Strategic Plan will enable our Network to work with community partners in identifying and funding sustainable community programs and projects.


GBSusNet will:
Become the Go-To Sustainability Information Network.

  • Provide an information network/hub for agencies/NGOs/members of the public to share information on sustainability. The Information Network’s role is to raise awareness, provide an understanding of the status of sustainability within the Counties of Grey and Bruce and share best practices.
  • Conduct Sustainability Reporting: Facilitate “live” networking opportunities, via meetings, conferences, etc. where Network participants and others can “report” their progress and share ideas/funding/innovations, etc.
  • Enable Sustainability Projects: Through assistance to its project partners, or project management and/or hands-on project work, conduct projects to further the goals – focusing on priority issues where either no work is being done, or where further collaboration and initiative is required.
  • Expand Board Capacity and Membership: Identify and Recruit board members who are reflective of all four sustainability pillars, along with administrative/management/financial capabilities. Expand membership within target areas
  • Encourage Social Enterprise Activities: Through the identification of projects, and partner organizations, facilitate the establishment of social enterprise initiatives in the sustainable community realm where needed.


To support these goals, the following objectives are suggested.

Goal: Initiate the Go-To Sustainability Information Network

Objective 1: Establish a virtual presence and identity
 Implement Web Site
 Develop and implement communications strategy to Network stakeholders and interested members of the public
 Obtain funding for a project co-coordinator
Objective 2: Maintain a Data Base of Sustainability Resources
 Assess and explore existing communications and information pathways
 Access current local and provincial data and reports on sustainability issues
 Establish a listing of groups and organizations working in the field of sustainability
 Populate the web site with published data on all aspects of sustainability
 Create an inventory of “who’s doing what” in sustainability within Grey Bruce.
 Maintain a current listing of funding and resources
Objective 3: Initiate Regular Outreach and Communications
 Develop a electronic newsletter for distribution to Network Participants
 Post events of interest on our web site

Goal: Conduct Sustainability Reporting:

Objective 1: Facilitate “live” networking and conferencing opportunities where participants report their progress towards sustainability annually.

 Convene an annual conference featuring speakers and progress reports from across the geographic area of Grey and Bruce.
Objective 2: Develop, in collaboration with Network Participants, a set of indicators that can be used to measure the sustainability of Grey and Bruce Counties.
 At the annual conference, and through other live/virtual dialogue opportunities, develop a set of indicators based on an easy-to-use reporting format, and based on existing reporting requirements.
 Update the indicators as required
 Identify data collection programs/needs where data is unavailable.
Objective 3: Provide an annual report on the Sustainability of Grey and Bruce, which is compiled by Network Participants, and reviewed by an independent editorial board.
 Develop an annual, on-line report card on sustainability.
 Distribute the report card to media, municipalities and all Network members
 Discuss Gaps and Future Requirements, based on current state.
Objective 4: Seek funding for the Sustainability Reporting Project.
 Identify funding to support the Sustainability Reporting Project.

Goal: Enable Sustainability Projects:

Objective 1: Continue to Support Existing Network Partner Projects
 Provide financial and administrative services to existing network partners
 Ensure that each project partner enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the GBSusNet which outlines expectations and responsibilities.
Objective 2: Take advantage of funding and project opportunities that are within GBSusNet’s areas of interest, and identify partner organizations to develop and implement those projects.
 Continue to monitor funding opportunities
 Post funding opportunities on web site
 Encourage partners to work with GBSusNet to develop and implement projects.
Objective 3: Support Network Participant objectives by providing administrative and financial services to organizations.
 Provide financial and administrative services to partner organizations.
Objective 4: Obtain funding and develop projects that fill gaps – where either no work is being done, or where further collaboration and initiative is required.
 Identify funding opportunities
 Develop partnerships/apply for funding
 Effectively deliver projects and monitor achievements

Goal: Expand Board Capacity and Membership:

Objective 1: Identify and Recruit board members who are reflective of all four sustainability pillars, along with administrative/management/financial capabilities.
Objective 2: Expand membership within target areas.

Goal: Encourage Social Enterprise Activities

Objective 1: Identify and support projects that are amenable to social enterprise initiatives;
Objective 2: GBSusNet may act as an “incubator” organization for social enterprise activities.


The following table sets out the direction for implementation during the 2011-2012 Fiscal Year. Longer term actions are noted and will be reviewed at each annual general meeting of the members.

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