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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Armin Buijs

 Hello! My name is Armin, and I am excited about the role natural resources play in our daily life and economy. Having spent 2 years with the Earth Sciences Department before coming to Ivey, I have a deep appreciation for achieving decarbonization goals through emerging technologies, particularly in the mining & metals and power & utilities sectors. I’m also interested in exploring sustainable business practices by emphasizing impactful social change and responsible corporate governance. 

What is your personal definition of sustainability? 

To me, practicing sustainability is the act of utilizing resources at a rate that is compatible with the environment and community stakeholders. Because the idea of weighting people, the planet, and profits equally in business decisions is multi-dimensional, sustainability can only be achieved by holding leaders accountable for their actions. I’m excited about the Sustainability Certificate because I want to learn about the facets of sustainable decision making while becoming more critical of untenable operations. 

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

 Left unregulated, many companies in the energy and resources business have historically adopted unsustainable practices around the world. After some time of resistance, new technology, and a recognition of the benefits, I believe the sector is rapidly evolving to favor decisions centered around environment, social, and corporate governance.  

 While it’s hard to say where I might end up in the next few years, I plan to center my career or personal interests around the 21st century energy transition. Recent developments in energy storage, power grids, and mining methods pose a unique opportunity to implement sustainable business practices into historically carbon-intensive industries. Sustainability manifests itself as a multifaceted set of considerations – from ensuring remote communities have access to a continuous energy supply, to preventing depletion of water reservoirs due to unsustainable resource extraction, I hope to take a critical perspective on company activities.  

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in? 

 Currently, I’m working for Euro Lithium+, a junior mining company, who is looking develop the largest known clay-hosted lithium and borate deposit. The project incorporates sustainable decision-making practices by reaching carbon neutrality from the start of its mine production, offering the Serbian community an alternative to coal mining, and providing economically significant materials. Borates and lithium are identified by the EU as critical raw materials thanks to their economic importance and high supply risk; both materials are vital for the energy transition. Borates are important components of fiberglass insulation, which is widely regarded as the most energy efficient insulation material; the energy it takes to produce fiberglass insulation is recovered within one month of its employment in buildings. On the other hand, lithium is well-known for its use in Li-Ion batteries; however, the chemical has historically been produced at high environmental costs due to its water- or carbon-intensive requirements.  

In the past, I was part of a research team that ultimately sought to better understand how borehole heat exchangers (BHEs) could be used to effectively heat/cool residential and commercial properties. Closed-loop geothermal systems offer significant potential to reduce emissions from indoor climate control and improve heating/cooling costs throughout the building’s lifecycle.  

Armin Buijs

Armin Buijs