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Growing up in Vancouver, my love for the environment was instilled early on as I was constantly surrounded by nature, taking on every opportunity to get outside. I love to spend my free time outdoors, whether it's skiing, hiking, biking, or swimming. I have always felt quite passionate about sustainability, specifically food security, sustainable agriculture, and poverty reduction. My goal is to learn more about the Non-Profit space and seek opportunities in creating a positive social and environmental impact. 

What is your personal definition of sustainability? 

Sustainability is relevant to all aspects of life, from an individual to an organizational level. In my opinion, sustainability means taking the initiative to ensure that the resources we use today are available to future generations. I also believe that we must practice sustainability at an individual level. Our daily decisions, whether that being what we eat, how we shop, or where we dispose of our waste, all affect our environment and leave a footprint. On a macro level, organizations must practice sustainability by considering their social and environmental impacts rather than solely valuing profitability.  

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

I believe that sustainability won’t only play a role but rather be at the core of my future career. Although my occupational path is undetermined, I plan to either work for a Non-Profit that prioritizes social impact and sustainability or implement sustainable practices in any corporation looking to improve its current operations. Furthermore, I hope to take on a leadership position and provide businesses with educational tools to reduce their carbon footprints.  By completing my Sustainability Certificate, I hope to gain new perspectives from my peers and to share my own experiences. As more businesses begin to adopt sustainable practices, I am passionate about being a part of the shift. At the end of the day, I will not feel fulfilled in my professional career unless I am able to see a positive social and environmental impact. 

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in? 

Throughout my past three years at Western, I have actively sought involvement in clubs that focus on social impact. I am currently an events executive for Western University Tech Review, overseeing the sustainability cohort. This year I have worked closely with the team to provide bi-monthly presentations on topics of sustainable innovation. The intersection between sustainability and technology is of interest to me. Last semester I joined the Western University Sustainability Leaders Program. Over the past few months, I have attended Zoom conferences, listening to incredible individuals speak on topics such as food security, sustainable farming, and carbon footprint reduction. 

Apart from the environmental field, I have spent many years volunteering in Vancouver’s downtown east side, providing meals at a housing shelter. I have always felt passionate about the complex issues of homelessness that Canada faces, with a long-term goal of finding a sustainable solution to the complex problem. 

Hanna Watt

Hanna  Watt