Feature Writer
Brenda Bouw is a freelance writer and editor, as well as an author and ghostwriter based in Vancouver. She has more than 20 years of experience as a business reporter, including at the Globe and Mail, Canadian Press and the Financial Post.

Top company profile: BMW

The iconic German brand leads the Global 100 pack with strong sustainability bona fides across the board.

The auto industry hasn’t had much to boast about lately when it comes to corporate social responsibility given the steady stream of high-profile product recalls and the global outrage surrounding Volkswagen’s emissions-testing scandal.

However, one company, BMW Group, has earned some sustainability bragging rights for a wide range of measures from energy, water and waste reduction to innovation and diversity. That has propelled the German-based automaker to the top spot on Corporate Knights’ annual Global 100, an index of the most sustainable corporations in the world.

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Greenest chief executive in Canada 2015

Gordon Hicks, head of Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions, drives environmental stewardship to a new level.

When a person sees a lawn dotted with dandelions, one of two thoughts likely comes to mind: the gardener is lazy or the property owner is an environmentalist.

For Gordon Hicks, it’s definitely the latter. In fact, lawns with weeds walloped by pesticides are a peeve. It’s just a small example of why Hicks, who leads Toronto-based real estate management services company Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions, is the winner of Corporate Knights’ Greenest Chief Executive in Canada Award for 2015.

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Building resilient businesses

By Brenda Bouw
Co-operatives have proven themselves durable during tough of times. Could this business model be the key to economic growth?

From its official beginnings in the mid-1800s, the modern-day cooperative movement has been driven by groups of individuals fed up with economic and social inequality, believing they had a better way of doing business.

The co-op model, where businesses are owned and run by and for their members, was born out of both disappointment and idealism, beginning with Britain’s Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, a group of labourers who banded together in 1844 to open their own, more affordable food store and share the profits.

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Clean energy, tribal power

By Brenda Bouw
Duty to consult is not enough. Indigenous communities are ready to do business as active partners.

On an 800-hectare stretch of tribal land in southern Nevada, construction of a large-scale solar project is underway that will not only help power the City of Lights, but also shine a spotlight on how indigenous communities are reshaping the future of renewable energy.

The 250-megawatt Moapa Solar Project, located on the Moapa River Indian Reservation about 50 kilometres northeast of Las Vegas, is touted as the first large-scale solar project approved on tribal land in North America. The Moapa Band of Paiutes is leasing the land to solar module maker First Solar, which will design and build the project.

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