HBA Sustainability Certificate
Empowering the next generation of sustainable leaders
Hello, my name is Julia and I am an HBA2. I am very excited about the sustainability certificate, and am interested in how looking through a sustainability lens can help professionals as well as organizations unlock strengths. In my spare time I like to read, and have been focusing on non-fiction to understand different perspectives and to learn how to promote personal sustainability. I also have enjoyed giving back to my community through my extracurriculars both on and off campus such as with Operation Smile Western, as a Peer Mentor and Orientation Leader, and with Young London.
What is your personal definition of sustainability?
Sustainability to me means taking steps, either big or small, to make a lasting difference. Although we often get caught in the eco-sustainability definition, to me it also means keeping in mind others’ needs and putting aside personal wants to make conscious decisions. It is a balance of learning, teaching, and taking action. It means finding ways to drive positive impact, in every aspect of life, and creating value for everyone by thinking of those who come after not just in the short term, but into the future.
What role do you see sustainability playing in your professional career?
I do not see a future where sustainability is not a priority in every professional’s work. I believe every company can look at their operations to make them greener or to support green initiatives. However personally I have an interest in marketing and I imagine considering how to position a brand, make sure that purpose is aligned with strategy, and how your image is impacted by everything you do. I imagine myself pairing impact with creating success. Ultimately looking through a sustainability lens opens the door to creative problem solving, and balancing the many stakeholders involved is important in any role. I am more focused on how social impact cannot be a one-time fad, it is about creating tangible change. Forward thinking and future planning is key in any role, and in a word that is changing you need to think how your actions may impact future generations.
What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?
I like to take steps towards making a positive social impact outside of school. As a current Board Member for Young London, I look to support the local non-profit “behind the scenes” so they can offer support and services to local youth. Through their youth advisory council, they aim to give student sand locals a voice and feel empowered in decision making affecting London and hopefully setting them up for future success. On a similar note, in the past I was Girl Guide leader, where I also had the goal of empowering the girls in my troop, and help them towards their goals while focusing on learning about sustainability through activities, guest speakers, and promoting reflection. Simple activities such as picking up trash in the park to meeting with local Indigenous representatives changed the way I viewed sustainability. I am also a Director with Operation Smile, where I spread the Smile mission of raising money for cleft surgery. I have the ultimate goal of funding three surgeries, and making a global impact. It is also worthy to note that I have taken up a personal project of understanding the sourcing of my personal products to support sustainable brands and organizations.