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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Anna Yang

I am an international student from China who studied at Wilfrid Laurier University for Business and Financial Math for my first two years. Before coming to Ivey, I took a gap year and worked for WWF’s innovation lab, Panda Labs, as a Business Development Officer in Romania. I am particularly interested in how traditional industries can transit into operating more sustainability and act more responsibly towards society. In my free time, I enjoy traveling and hiking. 

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

With scarce resources on the earth, human beings will need to have the ability to sustain themselves in the future while being responsible for other creatures like animals and plants. Organizations and companies should operate sustainably by caring about the environment, ensuring social justice, and maintaining ethical governance. These can be achieved by looking internally to find ways such as redesigning operation system to save energy or collaborating with external organizations to implement CSR projects. 

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

I see sustainability playing in my professional career in three ways.   

First, I am very interested in working for EY’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services team. I have applied to the role before but unfortunately did not hear back. I hope to take more sustainability-related courses, such as impact investing and design thinking courses, to gain more knowledge and prepare myself.   

Meanwhile, I am also interested in working for an NGO/NPO or a company’s CSR department. I have worked at WWF as an intern before, and I would love to go back. I have noticed that although many people working at NGO/NPO possess great on-field experience, they sometimes lack business skills, and I would love to make an impact by leveraging the business knowledge that I learned at Ivey.   

Lastly, if I have a fantastic idea about a social impact initiative sometime in the future, I would like to start my start-up. 

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in? 

During my gap year, I worked for WWF’s innovation lab, Panda Labs, as a Business Development Officer in Romania. I researched 400+ foundations and 300+ companies’ CSR strategies, led three grant applications, and generated $10k. I also suggested project priorities for four countries by identifying conservation challenge priorities, performing PEST analyses, and researching technology-embedded solutions. 

I have once led a group to participated in KPMG Mainland China CSR Innovation Competition. We analyzed Volkswagen’s current CSR strategy and wrote a 30-page report. Moreover, we made a video educating people about combating food waste, receiving 3,000+ views. We also designed a CSR project for a famous chili sauce company Lao Gan Ma, ending with the top 4 among 300+ groups.  

In the summer of 2018, I kickstarted a nine-student group to educate the people of my hometown about garbage classification. I successfully led multiple group meetings, took the lead to draft a 10-page project plan, and delegated team members for different tasks such as contacting companies for sponsorship. Before summer ended, we held two events in my hometown’s biggest mall, educated 2,000+ people about garbage classification. We also received a call from the municipal government for my citizenship awareness. 

Anna Yang

Anna  Yang