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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Joy Duncan

I completed my first two years at Western in an Honors Specialization in Economics, Political Science, and Philosophy before joining the Ivey Business School. Over the years I have held every entry-level position available, from chocolatier to server, in order to financially support this decision. Currently my time is divided between cases, managing my London property, volunteering, and my sorority. I intend to carry this diversity into my career, with an emphasis in consulting.  

Additional Information

What is your personal definition of sustainability? 

My definition of sustainability is simple; sustainability is being able to continue to for a long duration of time. Sustainability is synonymous with endurance. When I think of sustainability I am immediately reminded of the three pillars of corporate social responsibility from introductory political science courses. These are economic, environmental, and social responsibly. I believe with a focus on these three things, businesses are able to recognize sustainable practices, practices that allow the company to operate today without taking away from future generation’s ability to operate as well.

What role do you see sustainability playing in your professional career?  

With the ever-growing awareness of the impact of multinational corporations on impoverished countries, the idea of social responsibility is becoming increasingly mainstream. The concept of corporate citizenship has emerged with expectations of organizations; to adhere to the standard principles of any productive member of society. In order for a corporation to have a successful relationship with society, corporations must fulfill its economic, social, environmental responsibilities. This summer I will complete my certificate in Big Data and Predictive Modeling. This, combined with a Sustainability Certificate and Graduate Diploma in Accounting, will allow me to pursue my aspirations of being a risk management consultant. I intend to use this certificate to help companies manage the risks and opportunities, including the increasing role of social responsibility. I also intend to research concerns of environmental sustainability as well as using a shrinking ecological footprint as a competitive advantage. This is specifically addressed by several of the big four accounting firms through assistance in performance reporting and assurance.

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?  

A few long term executive positions I held have been directed towards alleviating social, as well as environmental issues, in my community. I directed my efforts towards improving youth literacy as acting head of operations for my community Teen Advisory Group for three years, and though my work as a tutor with Frontier College. As a response to issues of bullying between local schools, I also founded a youth justice committee in Toronto. I spearheaded a campaign for equality, to addressed issues of discrimination towards native students. I represent my school at an awareness conference held at Ryerson, where I, along with my team members, shared our findings. My interest in environmental concerns was sparked at home, beginning with installing composters in my neighborhood. As this initiative expanded, I sought out ways for local schools to improve their environmental footprint. After compiling education materials, I presented the impact of recycling at local elementary schools and created a local recycling program. This interest has continued even at Ivey through my position as a section representative of the Ivey Sustainability Club.