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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

William Honcharuk

 

Growing up in Vancouver, I was fortunate to be a short distance from both the mountains and the ocean. In the summer, I spend as much time as possible outdoors — I particularly enjoy camping, canoeing, and archery. My passion for canoeing led to my increased involvement with community efforts, including my role as youth liaison for the Pulling Together Canoe Society, working to enhance understanding between Public Service Agencies and Aboriginal Peoples. As I approach graduation, I would love to explore careers related to marketing, advertising, or consumer behavior, where I can apply my community experiences to the workplace.

 

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

I understand “sustainability” as a comprehensive approach to organizational management that is focused on generating long-term economic, social and environmental value. Corporate sustainability is a response to modern challenges faced by organizations, highlighting the need for corporate development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This desire to grow without depleting resources and placing a burden on future generations is central to creating lasting positive impacts in the communities in which they operate — both locally and globally.

 

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

As third year comes to a close and HBA2 looms on the horizon, I find myself spending increasing amounts of time considering my future career prospects. While I know Ivey has equipped me with best-in-class skills applicable to any industry, I know that I will not be happy unless I am working somewhere where I am making a genuine and deep impact on the world. While I do not know what industry I will finally end up in (perhaps it hasn’t even been created yet), today this impact is strongly tied to issues regarding the climate crisis and social inequality.

As someone who is creatively fulfilled by planning and executing on unique projects, the idea of working in a sector where sustainability can be brought to the forefront is extremely exciting to me –the multi-faceted nature of the work means that proponents of sustainability are rarely confined to just one area of expertise in their work, requiring that they draw upon a range of different disciplines to come up with solutions that address environmental, economic and social needs. The opportunity to challenge myself to attack a problem from different perspectives and lenses is what excites me most about a sustainability-focused career.

 

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

I have been fortunate to have volunteered for and lead many community and social events over the years, particularly those involving long-term economic and ecological viability. I have been a strong voice for my community, acting as provincial delegate for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Program, serving for five years as a member of Vancouver’s Student Work Advisory Team, and continuing to work alongside the Integrated First Nations Unit of the West Vancouver Police to change how people think about the resources they use on a daily basis.

As the provincial delegate for British Columbia, DOE encouraged me to lead within my passions, including facilitating a yearly Clean Coastline initiative on Earth Day. As part DOE’s LEAD summer leadership camp, my job was to make connections with like-minded youth across Canada and develop them into more socially responsible business leaders focused on long-term sustainability.

In addition to the work I have done through the Duke of Edinburgh Awards program, I have volunteered extensively throughout high school and university, spending over 1200 volunteer hours on creating community-focused programming with a low environmental impact and that encourages young people to get involved in sustainability efforts.

William Honcharuk

William Honcharuk