We live in a time of great uncertainty, complexity, and unprecedented systemic challenges. There is growing recognition that addressing complex sustainability challenges requires unprecedented collaboration and new ways of working across sectors and across scales. This is what a Transition Lab is all about!


The Sustainability Transition Lab is an approach to tackling these complex social and environmental challenges.

It blends The Natural Step’s expertise in designing and facilitating transformational change towards sustainability with leading approaches to multi-stakeholder collaboration.

The process is intended to build capacity in a group of diverse stakeholders to tackle “wicked” sustainability challenges and create breakthrough solutions by learning to think, work, and innovate together differently.

We aim to demonstrate that new insights and opportunities will arise when we integrate the core concepts and our application approaches of the Natural Step’s Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development with approaches like Change Lab, Collective Impact, Design Thinking, and Theory U.



Launched by The Natural Step China in collaboration with Wetas and Green Initiatives, our unique process brings together leaders from different sectors and value chains to co-develop and implement circular economy solutions. These solutions ultimately eliminate waste, improve productivity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and foster value-creation and innovation. Learn more »


The Natural Capital Lab is a platform for innovating and experimenting with new frameworks and approaches to valuing Canada’s natural capital. It is a collaborative effort that will build on existing domestic and international thinking. Phase 1 will explore the issue and validate assumptions, alternatives and appetite among key stakeholders to participate in the Lab. Phase 2 may commence in 2015 and focus on prototyping pan-Canadian approaches to valuing natural capital that protect and enhance our natural capital while driving innovation for the future.Learn more


The Natural Step has taken the initiative with Social Sustainability Lab to create a deeper comprehension of what social sustainability imply, and to encourage organizations to become strategic in terms of their social sustainability journey. Five organizations – Riksbyggen, Skanska, Stockholms Hamnar, Stockholms Läns Landsting and Vasakronan – took part, all active in various ways within the areas of community development, infrastructure and construction. Learn more.


Food waste is a global major cause of social, environmental and economic issues affecting all of us. In Israel, about 2.4 million tons of food is wasted every year, half of it is edible. The Sustainability Transition Lab to Reduce Food Waste in Israel is working to foster collaboration among all the relevant stakeholders, aiming to create a significant systemic change. Learn more »


How can Canada’s leadership position in today’s energy system serve as a platform for the transition to the energy system that the future requires of us? The goal of the Energy Futures Lab is to shift the public narrative around energy from arguments that pit “us vs. them,” “jobs vs. environmental protection,” and “community health and well-being vs. resource development”. Learn more »


The Future-Fit Business Benchmark offers a set of performance criteria that describe a company that is fit for the future: one that will flourish while adding to the wellbeing of society as a whole. This is a collaborative, open source initiative co-developed by The Natural Step Canada and 3D Investment Foundation. The Future-Fit Foundation was established to take forward the work. Learn more.


The GTA Housing Action Lab, co-convened by Evergreen CityWorks and The Natural Step Canada, brings together key players across the housing system in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in an effort to engage the public to develop a new, shared narrative and identify priority action projects to make housing more affordable and sustainable. Learn more.


Does PVC have a place in a sustainable society? That’s a question The Natural Step first took up in the late 1990’s through analysis and consensus-building workshops with industry, government and NGO’s in Europe. Numerous initiatives have taken place since then and today, the European industry is committed to addressing a set of key challenges and following a 10 year sustainability transition roadmap toward a positive vision, with the guidance of The Natural Step. Learn more.


When looking at the business case of natural capital in the built environment, we see numerous benefits to the social, ecological and economic systems. But how do we truly plan for the integration of indigenous nature and species in older neighbourhoods where space and flexibility is limited. 40 stakeholders, varying from municipalities, housing corporations, water boards and nature conservation NGO’s collaborate to drive an agenda that will literally ‘green’ our cities and provide new opportunities for urban art, urban agriculture, green buildings and education.


In 2012, five housing corporations, the City of Eindhoven and The Natural Step, co-created a vision of sustainable living in 2035. A pathway which comes with unprecedented challenges for which collaboration with the value chain of construction companies, architects, engineers and manufacturers of construction materials is essential to it’s success. This Lab not only identifies that physical challenges of materials and logistics but also looks at the change in business processes needed at each stakeholder organisations to make this system shift.

Want to know more about our Labs? Please, let us know!

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