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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Lena Robinson

 

Born and raised in a small town on the shores of Lake Huron, I have developed deep passions for the environment and the opportunity to gain a global perspective. These passions translated to the first two years of my degree, as I began university in Globalization studies: applying a global mindset to social, environmental, and economic sustainability. Now that I’m at Ivey, I aim to apply these lenses to business: as a student, as Ivey’s VP Academic, and in my career. Ultimately, I’m determined to have an impact on the future of global business by aligning corporate strategies with sustainability.

 

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

My past experiences have led me to define sustainability as the endurance of social, environmental, and economic prosperity. Unfortunately, in history and contemporary society, I have often witnessed leaders make decisions that advance one aspect of sustainability while sacrificing the others. In contrast, my definition of sustainability requires the holistic maintenance and advancement of society, the environment, and the economy. By prioritizing all of these aspects, one can make decisions that meet the needs of present and future generations.

 

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

As I pursue a career in strategic consulting and eventually general management, I envision sustainability to have an elevated importance in my professional career.

Sustainability is increasingly affecting global business strategies. At the beginning of my career in strategic consulting, I aim to work with corporations to weave sustainability throughout their corporate values, policies, and initiatives. As a consultant, I will have the opportunity to work globally and across industries. I hope to use this opportunity to make a wide-reaching, sustainable impact on global business.

As my career matures, sustainability will have a significant effect on my profession, as I intend to work in a general management role for a social enterprise. While the exact firm is unknown, I hope to work for a social enterprise that allows me to prioritize my passions for the environment. By applying the skills that I will have learned from strategic consulting and my other professional pursuits, I have a goal to expand this social enterprise to achieve a global impact. This opportunity will ultimately align my personal and professional goals in globalization, sustainability, and business.

 

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

My engagements with sustainability are highlighted by two of my academic and professional pursuits.

Academically, in my final year of high school, I led and organized a sustainability driven initiative entitled “THINKfast.” This project was a 25-hour fast designed to educate youth and fundraise for poverty alleviation in the Global South. Through my experience fasting for 25 hours, leading 40 students, and learning about sustainable development, I gained a new perspective about global sustainability. This project was a major contributor to my enrolment in Globalization studies, and my motivations to complete the sustainability certificate.

Sustainability has also driven my professional engagements. Managing the Rotary Concessions (two food-service locations on the Goderich waterfront), I recognized environmental sustainability as a top priority for business operations. Accordingly, I combatted the use of single-use plastics and other wastes by implementing silverware, paper straws and packaging, and the sale of reusable water bottles. These initiatives not only reduced our environmental footprint, but also reinforced environmental consciousness on the shores of one of the Earth’s largest sources of fresh water.

Overall, these experiences are significant contributors to my passions surrounding sustainability, and are only the beginning of my goals to advance sustainability for future generations.

Lena Robinson

Lena Robinson