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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Kara Han

My personal motto in life is everything happens for a reason. Last summer, I was fortunate and landed a marketing position with a startup with sustainability as a central pillar of their company. It opened my eyes to the importance of CSR and the social impact a business has. My experience and learning about the negative impacts' society have motivated me to mirror a more sustainable lifestyle in my personal life. I was making sure to buy from ethical companies when shopping by thrifting and supporting organizations with the same values.  

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

I think sustainability is ever-changing and continuously adapting to the state of the world. Being sustainable is a means for survival; sustainability is crucial for the planet's current life and the future. It's a holistic state of mind that ensures a future of caring. People in society should have equal access to resources, not only environmental but also education and financial, to promote a healthier lifestyle and improvement as a whole. Sustainability in every aspect is integral for a business or organization to survive and adapt to our actions' detriments.  

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

Having worked for a sustainable company, a business's actions and impact are essential and evident in today's society. They play such a significant role in the environment, and their actions are impactful. An individual can only do so much compared to a large corporation. In my professional career, I hope to work for a company with the same values as me and inspire the social impact community. Being part of a company's sustainability initiatives is vital to me and being an advocate for the overall improvement in CSR initiatives is a role I see myself in.  

In the future, I aspire to build a startup from the ground up that preaches sustainability and is a model in the industry with social initiatives highlighting the importance of sustainability in all the work we do and make positive changes to the community.  

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

I worked with my startup to secure environmentally friendly packaging and creating a social impact report card. It was an inspiring project where I got to really see all the impact a company could have in reducing waste and moving towards a more sustainable lifestyle.  

I have also participated in a design project where the problem prompt was to create a digital product that would bring attention to the environmental crisis and how to eliminate plastic. The transition to becoming more sustainable is complex and can be overwhelming. People may have good intentions and want to be more conscious of their purchases; it takes a lot of research to educate yourself. It's easy to become apathetic and discouraged even if you have good intentions. Through my research, I realized there are so many microfiber plastics in clothing. Every time we wash clothes, it goes and breaks down in the ocean, and the environmental impacts are detrimental. I decided to create a chrome extension called Sustainably-Kind that would offer alternatives on whatever you're looking to explore more sustainable options. It was a wonderful learning experience where I could see the impacts of sustainable fashion and the role a digital tool could have in the industry.  

Kara Han

Kara Han