HBA Sustainability Certificate
Empowering the next generation of sustainable leaders
My journey toward sustainability started in high school. Six years ago, in a Social Studies class, I prepared a presentation about the Canadian green companies with my classmates. With my research, I found that a lot of green companies were “green-washing”–claiming they were devoted to reducing carbon footprint but actually they were not. It only has been half a decade, but nowadays, plenty of companies are implementing the sustainability strategy with transparency. I wish to be more prepared for being a part of this revolution.
What is your personal definition of sustainability?
In my opinion, sustainability is about fostering a long-term presence by reducing the current resource assumption and seeking new energy alternatives. The process requires group efforts instead of sole individual actions. Humans have been dependent on natural resources for millions of years, and we and our future generations are facing a shortage of energy sources. Moreover, along with human civilization, we have produced tons of harmful substances and pollution to the earth. To maintain sustainability, all aspects of society need to work together.
What role do you see sustainability playing in your professional career?
As a person with an international cultural background, I am hoping to become a consulting specialist who helps international organizations address sustainability issues and promotes sustainability. I come from China, and I always doubted that China put less effort into sustainability than the Western countries until I listened to this TedTalk a few weeks ago. In this podcast, James K. Thornton told his story about helping China train their prosecutors with cases regarding environmental problems. China appointed thousands of professionals to work on this program, and they wanted to learn the cases covering all potential disputes, even the one including suing the government.
I am impressed by how China improves their legal system to better regulate and encourage society to implement eco-friendly measures. Meanwhile, I feel disappointed by my lack of knowledge. I am eager to learn and witness how the world is changing. Moreover, I am passionate about using what I have learned to help and educate others to get involved in maintaining the sustainability of the earth.
What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?
In January 2022, I participated in the KPMG Ideation Challenge in a group of 4 students. The mission was to create an advanced and cost-effective approach that help achieve net-zero emissions. Our project focused on a hydrogen motor replacement program, in which the existing car owners could replace their fuel motor with a hydrogen motor with none or very little expense.
According to our research, the hydrogen generation market has a promising future. It is regarded as one of the effective energy alternatives, and many companies are investing in the research and development of this energy source.
We also noticed the change in purchasing behaviours among car consumers. People are becoming more and more aware of their carbon footprints, and are more and more inclined to use clean energy due to the increase in the price of fuels.
That being said, our program aligns with the demand of both the car companies and the target market. Moreover, the replacement of car engines reduces tons of resources for making a new car.
It is very exciting to see that technology development would directly drive the mission of sustainability. Humans are responsible for always seeking a better way to protect the earth.