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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Natalie White

I am committed to social responsibility.  In my first year of university, I founded a charitable club at Western, called the Me to We Club.  I also conceived of and spearheaded a diversity campaign at Western, in which over 100 students participated.

Having studied political science before coming to Ivey, I have a passion for international relations. I also have a love of teaching, having instructed swim and first aid lessons for five years and taught English in Italy.  

Additional Information

What is your personal definition of sustainability? 

I define sustainability as caring about one’s impact on the environment and trying to reduce this impact.  Sustainability is a mindset.  For me, sustainability is always present in my mind, and I constantly try to make small changes in my daily routines to reduce my waste, conserve energy, etc..  I believe that a sustainable world can only be achieved if everyone has this mindset and is committed to making these changes, big or small.

A paradigm shift is necessary to have a truly sustainable society.  All people must respect the environment and make protecting it a top priority.  A country’s progress must not be defined as economic growth, as it currently is, and rather it must be defined by quality of life and sustainability.

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

I am confident that sustainability will play a large role in my career.  I will only work at firms that shares my values of social responsibility and are committed to sustainability and helping society at large.  Most importantly, I hope to wake up every morning believing that the work that I do is for the greater good. 

I am working at a firm called Unilever this summer.  Unilever is a champion of sustainability; the mindset permeates everything that Unilever does.  Having learned much about its Corporate Sustainability Program, I hope to become involved in that during my time there. 

I will not always work for a large corporation.  I know that I will someday work in the not-for-profit industry, either for humanitarian or sustainability causes.  Wherever I work, I am certain that I will constantly advocate for sustainable changes to be made in the organizations, which is something that I’ve been doing ever since I have begun university (see next answer).  

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in? 

In my second year, I conceived of an environmental campaign, for which I created posters that encouraged elevator-riders to take the stairs instead.  After convincing administration of the merit of this action, I displayed these posters in around 15 locations throughout the school.

Last month at Ivey, I spoke to the facilities director, Mary Stopar, about displaying these posters at the school, and she agreed.  I am also in the midst of creating a poster that encourages coffee-drinkers to recycle their coffee cups instead of throwing them in the garbage.  Not many students are aware that these are recyclable, and I see many students throwing their coffee cups in the garbage.  Throwing out paper, plastic containers, bottles, and cutlery is a major problem at Ivey, and one which I hope to combat by continuing to work with Mary.

In addition, I advocated to both Huron and Ivey administration in favour of introducing recycling bins in washrooms for paper hand towels.