Gord Lambert is widely known from his days at Suncor for his efforts to bring collaboration and a collective approach to the development of Canada’s resource sector, which resulted in the advancement of sustainability in the oil sands.
He’s now bringing that same co-operative focus to the Ivey classroom by sharing his experiences as the new Suncor Sustainability Executive-in-Residence (EIR) for the Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre and Ivey’s Centre for Building Sustainable Value.
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During his three-year appointment as the Suncor EIR, he will be a guest speaker in the classroom, write cases and white papers, participate in panels and conferences, and be involved in community outreach initiatives.
Lambert is currently the president and chief collaboration officer of GRL Collaboration for Sustainability Incorporated. He retired from his role as executive advisor, Sustainability and Innovation at Suncor at the end of 2014, after 17 years with the company and 36 years in the oil and gas sector.
“I have been a very active practitioner of ‘learning by doing’ during my 36-year career in the energy sector. I now look forward to ‘learning by sharing’ with the talented students and the world-class faculty at Ivey,” said Lambert. “Canada has world scale energy resources. We need to make wise choices with economic, environmental, and social consequences. The next generation of leaders in Canada needs to be world class in its capabilities to shape our energy future.”
Advancing the dialogue on energy policy and issues
Associate Professor Guy Holburn, Director of the Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre and holder of the Suncor Chair in Energy Policy, has worked with Lambert in advancing the dialogue on energy policy and issues. Lambert has been on the Ivey Energy Consortium Advisory Council since 2012. The Ivey Energy Consortium is a collaboration of five industry partners: ATCO Ltd., OMERS, Power Workers’ Union, TransCanada Corporation, and Union Gas Limited, which supports the research activities of Ivey’s Energy Centre and whose mandate is to contribute to the national public debate on energy sector policy development. Lambert participated in the Ivey Energy Consortium’s first order of business: a panel discussion in Toronto in October 2014, which focused on the challenges facing Canada’s energy sector.
“Gord Lambert’s interests in creating deeper collaborations between stakeholders in energy development and increasing the level of public dialogue on energy policy are a great fit for the research being done at the Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre,” said Holburn. “We are eager to engage him in the Centre’s work on energy literacy, social acceptance of energy development, and Aboriginal relations.”
The Suncor Energy Foundation (SEF) supports the School through its investment in the Suncor Chair in Energy Policy, student scholarships, and outreach activities. As part of its overall strategy to support strong, resilient communities where Suncor operates, the SEF is committed to creating opportunities for dialogue about energy issues, and fostering new ways of thinking about complex social and environmental challenges.
Leading sustainability policy
Canada Research Chair and Professor Tima Bansal, Director of Ivey’s Centre for Building Sustainable Value and Executive Director of the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS), said Lambert’s experience in leading sustainable and ethical practices in the oil and gas sector will be an asset to the School. Bansal has known Lambert for almost a decade. Lambert attended the first meeting of the Leadership Council for the Network for Business Sustainability (www.nbs.net) – a 6,000+ member network that aims to bridge research and practice. Lambert also sat on NBS's Advisory Board that comprises CEOs and sustainability leaders from across private and public sectors in Canada.
“We are very excited about Gord Lambert’s appointment to Ivey. He has not only led Suncor’s sustainability policy for the last decade, but has led collaborations and innovations in the oil sands sector,” she said. “I am confident his experiences will help to inspire Ivey students and companies throughout Canada.”
Lambert was an early promoter of sustainability during his career in the resource sector. Among his many accomplishments, he helped Suncor develop a seven-point climate change strategy and a focus on the triple bottom line: economic, environment, and social. He was also heavily involved in a globally significant collaboration known as Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) that accelerates environmental performance improvement through joint sharing and development of technology, best practices and innovation.
He has also helped to shape conversations on energy, the environment, the economy, and social well-being, across Canada and in a variety of international arenas, encouraging groups to bridge their differences by focusing on their common goal of building strong communities.
Lambert has a well-established relationship with Ivey. He is a graduate of the Ivey Executive Program, and an advisory board member for the Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre and NBS. He also participated in events at the School and was a guest speaker at Ivey’s HBA Leaders Forum in 2013 where he discussed the importance of socially and environmentally responsible energy.