Throughout my lifetime I have had the opportunity to travel to 25 different nations, mostly third world. This experience has allowed me to understand the international consequences of business decisions; environmentally, economically and socially. In the future, I want to become a center of influence in commercial real estate in order to promote environmentally sustainable building practices and ethical materials sourcing. With the revenues I generate, I intend to provide funding for international charities, which promote youth education. Through my career and philanthropic focuses, I believe I can become a source for good within my local and global community.
Personal Definition of Sustainability
Sustainability is an ability to financially support my family, while making decisions that are beneficial for the environment and my local and global community. Regardless of our ideals, we must work within an industry that allows us to earn enough money for our families to live a prosperous and happy life. Sustainable decisions ensure that this personalized benefit does not come at the cost of others. People are often willing to sacrifice environmental or social concerns, because they cannot see how their decisions are affecting this; however, we have a responsibility to understand our decisions consequences in order to make sustainable decisions.
During my senior year, a group of 20 students including myself travelled to Laos to assist in a community-building project. Our community project had our team assisting a local school in constructing its local washroom facility. Through a large donation provided by my school and the human labour we provided we were able to help the school with its construction effort. I believe this was a valuable experience because we promoted the health of the local community and gained an understanding of how personal decisions can both help and harm a foreign country.
Of personal importance, exploring the country allowed us to understand the consequences of deforestation. Increasingly, Laos is exploiting its vast rainforests to drive its economy out of poverty. However, the country is failing to control illegal logging practices. These materials are then being shipped to first world countries to be used in our very own buildings. This insight affirmed my personal commitment to outsource from ethical suppliers during my time as an investor/owner in commercial real estate.