The Chicago Botanic Garden serves as a nexus for companies seeking to broaden their environmental leadership and corporate social responsibility. The Corporate Roundtable on Sustainability, established in 2010, provides an informal, collaborative forum for companies committed to bringing sustainability to their operations, their employees, and their senior leadership.
More than 40 local executives gather at the Garden for 90-minute meetings held three or four times annually. They hear presentations from companies with demonstrated strengths and successes in diverse areas of focus. Presentation topics have ranged from sustainable facilities and incorporating cutting-edge systems that often improve the bottom line to how a global company increased its employee commitment to sustainability worldwide and measures it set in place against specific long-term goals. Participants discuss their aspirations, share best practices, exchange ideas, and support each other's goals and challenges.
Corporations currently represented at the Roundtable include Abbott Laboratories, Astellas Pharma US, Baxter International Inc., Cardinal Health, ComEd, Discover Financial, HSBC – North America, Illinois Tool Works Inc., Kraft Foods, Starbucks, UL, Walgreen Co., and W.W. Grainger, among others. Individual representatives work in areas such as corporate citizenship, facilities management, community affairs, and health and safety.
Many of the corporations are members of the Garden's Corporate Partnership Program, through which employee volunteer teams work together on Garden grounds on a variety of conservation initiatives. Participating employees connect more deeply to the Garden's mission on a professional, personal, and spiritual level.