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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Andrew Patton

I am currently an HBA1 student from Burlington, Ontario. I have worked in the customer service industry for six years now at Glen Abbey Golf Club, where I have occupied multiple leadership positions. Outside of school and work, I love to snowboard and play golf.

I enjoy exploring new experiences that are outside my comfort zone. This spring I am participating in the African Service Learning Course in Ghana, and next year I am going on exchange to Switzerland. I find the strongest learning happens when you challenge yourself in new environments.

Additional Information

Personal Definition of Sustainability

Whether it be for profit or environmental decisions, it is easy to be short-term oriented. Sustainability involves looking past short-term gains to pursue long-term interests that are mutually beneficial to all stakeholders involved and the environment. Sustainability is often seen as an individual, narrow concept. However, it is something that should be taken into consideration for all business decisions. Sustainability is not about maintaining the status quo for the future: it is about re-defining the meaning of the status quo to make a better future.

Sustainability-In-Action

During my second year at Western, my roommate and I started Western Spread the Net. Spread the Net is a student challenge for high schools and universities in Canada that is run by Rick Mercer each year. Proceeds raised are used to buy bed nets, which are sent to Africa to protect families from Malaria. The charity did not have a group from Western registered, and we took the initiative to form a team of like-minded, driven students to participate. As a result of our fundraising efforts, 23 bed nets were sent to Africa.

For my Business 2257 Feasibility project last year at Western, my group pursued a topic related to sustainability. We proposed a venture, called SunCents, which involved leasing solar panels to homeowners. The energy produced was sold back to the government through the Ontario MicroFIT program. This venture provided value for our business, the residents of Ontario, and the environment.

To further my involvement in social sustainability, I am attending the Africa Service Learning HBA course this spring. I am hoping to empower African University students through education, contributing to a sustainable schooling system for future generations.