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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Madalina Benea

 

I am an enthusiastic student who loves food and aims to create a sustainable impact in my future career. I am thus pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Foods and Nutrition in addition to my Honors in Business Administration. My love for food and nutrition stems from my grandmother who would always encourage me to plant vegetables with her in our garden and to consume local foods. Her determined nature and focus on community self-sufficiency has influenced my passion for impact-driven work.

 

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

In my opinion, sustainability is multidimensional and relevant to many aspects of our lives. Whether we consider sustainable behaviour change, sustainable business practices, or the sustainability of our environments, a common denominator is individual and social responsibility. Therefore, sustainability is a mindset that takes into consideration the individual as well as the broader context including the society, the environment, the future, and the interconnectivity with our surroundings. It is a set of actions aligned with principles such as promoting benefits, reducing harm, consideration for resources, and respect for life and the environment.

  

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

Sustainability is very relevant to the fields that I am currently studying, nutrition and business. Regardless of the career path that I might take at some point, I envision that sustainability will be one of the core principles of my work. As a Registered Dietitian, I will educate clients about sustainable food practices and food related behavioural changes. I will also advocate for sustainable food systems. In the business world, I am interested in businesses with social impact components that are built around social responsibility and sustainability. My interest in social enterprises is related to my passion for improving health in both developing and developed countries through reducing inequities and disease outcomes. 

 

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

Starting from high school when I was a member of the environmental club and through my university career, I have enjoyed undertaking many sustainability projects.  As a member of the Students’ Human Ecology Association, I facilitated biweekly Collective Kitchen Classes at My Sister’s Place, an institution supporting homeless and street-involved women. We aimed to ensure that the food we used and promoted were in-season and readily accessible to promote a sustainable supply chain. Similarly, the Food Resources and Education for Student Health club that I am a part of values supporting local organization such as the Egg Farmers of Ontario. We also aim to use local and sustainable products in the cooking demonstrations we provide to students and staff. Finally, I am also a member of the Ivey Social Impact Club and recently attended their annual Social Impact Conference. This event solidified my interest in furthering my education in sustainability and supporting community impact projects.

Madalina Benea

Madalina Benea