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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Anna Gosney

 

I was born and raised in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I grew up in an active family that fully embodies the stereotypical “outdoorsy culture” of Vancouver, so naturally I spend most of my time at home skiing, hiking, or running. I actively seek challenge in every aspect of my life in order to push myself to constantly grow and develop. I am pursuing my HBA to develop the skills necessary to enact positive social and environmental change in the world.

 

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

Sustainability is a broad term that can be used in a variety of contexts, particularly within Business. However, for me, sustainability has always been synonymous with environmental conservation. I understand sustainability as a term that describes practices intended to avoid or reduce the depletion of resources, especially natural resources. Sustainability is both a personal and organizational responsibility. At an individual level, sustainable decisions are as simple as where you choose to shop and how you travel. At an organizational level, sustainability means making decisions that prioritizes environmental impact over the company’s bottom line.

 

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

Initially, I see sustainability as a factor in my career recruiting process in terms of how I determine whether a company is a good fit for me or not. I want to work for a company whose values align with mine; a company that prioritizes sustainability or works within the sustainability industry. However, I expect that whatever company or industry I start my professional career in will be at an entry level role, but I intend to push the perspective of innovative problem solving that prioritizes social and environmental impact over monetary outcome. As I hopefully advance my career and enter into more senior positions, I want to be a leader in influencing companies to take both a local and global perspective when it comes to sustainability, and to help companies implement long-term solutions and practices built around the concept of making positive changes in the world.

 

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

In the summer of 2018, after my first year at Western University, I worked as a tour guide for Ziptrek Ecotours in Whistler, British Columbia. As a tour guide, I led groups of up to 10 guests through zipline courses, and provided guests with information about the local ecology, the importance of conservation, and some of Ziptrek’s sustainability efforts and initiatives. For example, Ziptrek operates entirely of off reusable solar energy collected from solar panels set up around the zipline courses, and the entire course is built from sustainably sourced wood. Because Ziptrek heavily advocates for sustainability, it is especially important Ziptrek implemented the aforementioned practices. Over the course of the summer I worked closely with guides whom worked at Ziptrek for up to 10 years, and I quickly learned about the implications of sustainable business operations, such as the costly and sometimes inconvenient nature of such practices, and I noticed that companies are somewhat limited in their capabilities of reducing their environmental impact. This is precisely why I want to pursue a certificate in sustainability; to apply my critical thinking skills to help companies overcome barriers in order to operate as both financially and environmentally sustainable organizations.

Anna Gosney

Anna Gosney