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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Chris Janssen

I have a very strong interest in corporate social responsibility and sustainability. I have been involved with social venture projects throughout my entire life including co-founding my own organization called Textbooks for Change. I am currently the Internal Director of Ivey Connects, a community outreach program that connects business students with local charities. I strive to make a difference and make an impact as much as I can. All in all, I want the world to be a better place because I was here.

Additional Information

Personal Definition of Sustainability
Sustainability to me is building a business that not only creates a profit but both contribute back to the environment, society, and the economy.  A sustainable business must meet the needs of today without sacrificing the needs of the future.  We are living in a critical time where resources are dwindling and demand is increasing, this requires individuals across the globe to innovate new solutions for a greater, greener future.

"We need to defend the interests of those whom we've never met and never will."- Jeffrey D. Sachs

Sustainability-in-Action
Recently I founded a social venture that is sustainable in many unique ways.  We redistribute used textbooks and novels providing the economic benefit to students by paying less then any other alternative, and environmental benefits by reusing the material.  We are looking into different ways to recycle books that will no longer sell by sending them to paper mills and third world countries for educational purposes.  All the proceeds from this venture are used to microfinance entrepreneurs both in the community and across the globe.  We are looking into providing extra funding on the Ivey Honduras trip.

I am also involved in Western orientation week charities Terry-fox and Shinerama. We raised over $200,000 for these foundations through our orientation week program.  These funds are then used for research and medical advancements improving the lives of thousands.  Continuous funds generated from the awareness we built will play a significant role in keeping this progress sustainable into the future.

In my final year of high school, I was Lead Coordinator for the West Elgin Senior Elementary School (WESES) Breakfast Initiative, where I provided elementary students with a balanced meal to begin their day. I approached the principal, set up a budget, and created promotional campaigns to raise funds to maintain the program's sustainability. I successfully raised $1000 through parental donations and managed the program for the school year.

This past summer, I worked as a research assistant for Monsanto to help find corn plants that will produce more food per plant, allowing for more food from less field space. This will help feed more people while disturbing less natural land.