I am a business student studying at Western (Ivey) University with interests in entrepreneurship and sustainability. Prior to coming to Ivey I studied sociology, where I learned strategies for ameliorating complex, systemic societal issues that are prominent today. I am passionate about outdoor activities, sports, and nature. My best experience with nature has to have been the Outdoor Education camps I co-led in high school, as we performed overnight leadership camps for younger students in Haliburton for multiple nights.
What is your personal definition of sustainability?
Sustainability is like sharing, but with groups of people who do not yet exist. To be sustainable is to recycle and preserve valuable and dispensable resources, so that their value may be reused rather than extracted. Sustainability has broad applicability, which is typically classified as social, economic, or ecological. Social sustainability could mean preserving cultures and equal opportunity. Economic sustainability could mean taking actions which foster self-sufficient communities. Ecological sustainability pertains to living off what (as opposed to more than) you need on a resource level.
What role do you see sustainability playing in your professional career?
While I’m uncertain of my career trajectory, I know sustainability will always be important to what I do. Sustainability is at the forefront of business minds right now because it drives long-term value. In recent years, C-suite executives from good corporations have shifted away from value creation for the purpose of quarterly reports. Instead, shareholders demand long-term growth and sustainability practices. I believe shareholder demands related to CSR initiatives are wonderful things influencing corporations right now— favourable societal outcomes are being obtained through capitalism. What’s more, sustainability will be at the forefront of investors’ minds for the long-haul, as environmentalism and equal opportunity are viewed more as qualifiers than ‘perks’ to a growing degree.
I am fortunate for this widely held sentiment as an individual who’s passionate about innovation and ethics surrounding new technologies. In my career, whether fulfilling a position in a large corporation or in a political capacity, I want to be able to make decisions which influence a large amount of people to practice sustainable decision making. The prospect of technological improvement for sustainable ends greatly excites me, and I hope to be at the forefront of innovating organizations that will contribute to a sustainable future.
What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?
In summer 2019 I worked for a small construction company comprised of a manager, an accountant, a site supervisor, and two labourers. As one of the labourers, I worked on site with tools and materials. When we could no longer use materials, we disposed of them in on-site dumpsters that were picked up and dropped off by a waste removal company. Midway through the summer, I commented to my supervisor that we had been producing much waste lately, replacing large dumpsters nearly once a week. He agreed, and we brought it to the attention of our manager to ask for advice. In response, we worked to devise a sustainability program which would be used by the two crew teams for the remainder of the summer. Its main functions were purchasing more reusable materials, planning timber cuts in advance to reduce scrap, and keeping track of the waste produced to see where we could be more efficient each week.
I also do volunteer work for the Homage Brand Co.— a sustainably sourced clothing company which is operated by two of my friends. Their business model ensures that 3% of their profits are donated to Jumpstart- a Canadian Tire program which repurposes sports equipment for kids who cannot afford it. This program promotes sustainability by giving children valuable experiences they could not otherwise have and increasing their ties to the community.