What is your personal definition of sustainability?
Sustainability to me is such a broad term, encompassing everything from the use of natural resources in a healthy and ecologically balanced way, to minimizing waste creation, while simultaneously spanning from the individual level, up to the corporate and global levels. As our global population continues to grow, the increasing use of Earth’s limited resources and the growing creation of waste calls for increasing care and appropriate adaptability (e.g., stop eating meat to limit GHG emissions from the meat/daily industry). Sustainability involves living conscious and active lives to be better global citizens for all living organisms, and the planet.
What role do you see sustainability playing in your professional career?
Broadly, sustainability is becoming a more prevalent part of organizations identities. Many companies now structure their pay for performance goals and other core success factors around being greener, but there is still a lot of work to be done, and in my opinion, these changes aren’t being made fast enough. The IPCC’s 2019 report outlined the 50% chance of stopping a catastrophic 1.5C degree increase in global warming from beginning to kill all life in 11 years. We need BIG change NOW.
Becoming a sustainability consultant is something that I’ve wanted to do since I found out about the career. In this career, I believe I can maximize the positive corporate change I make, as I’ll be able to work with a wide variety of firms and industries. Corporate change is one of the most impactful levels of change, as they create immense levels of waste (e.g., toxic synthetic dyes from clothing manufacturers), while also using vast resources. This certificate will provide something concrete to show employers that this passion of mine for the last 10 years is more than just that; instead, it’s something I want to actively act on and pursue to make positive change in our world.
What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?
In high school, I was a Vice President for my school’s Eco-Action club. Through this club, I organized two large initiatives: A community garden and a composting initiative. The school community garden was in our back field. The growings from this garden were sold to students, and the proceeds were used to fund a green-bin/compost initiative throughout the school to reduce food waste ending up in landfills.
Currently, as previously mentioned, I work with RollUP Solutions Inc. as their Community Partnerships/ Outreach Coordinator. This role involves building and maintaining successful relationships with local organizations to find donors of unwanted mobility devices (e.g., wheelchairs and walkers) and with community groups that require these devices at their facilities for ease of access/mobility. I also assist in coordinating pick-ups and drop-offs of over upcycled devices for those in need between donors, our Goodwill partners who upcycle them for us at no cost, and the recipients.
On a personal level, I have been vegetarian/vegan for 5 years now for sustainability and animal rights purposes, use reusable goods (e.g., glass containers, metal straws, etc…), no longer buy new clothing items, and do my best to use no plastic.