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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Katelyn Chan

Hello! My name is Katelyn. I am an HBA1, with a background in Management and Organization Studies. Some of my interests include travelling, music, cooking, and fashion. I am passionate about sustainability, especially in the fashion industry. I have always possessed an entrepreneurial spirit, with a more recent commitment towards social enterprise. This has become an integral part of my core values, as my experiences have taught me to prioritize passion and purpose, regardless of what others are doing. Throughout my lifetime, I hope to drive positive change in our world and inspire others to do so as well. 

What is your personal definition of sustainability? 

I define sustainability as the ability to perform an activity without compromising the integrity of environmental, social, and economic states. Sustainability allows us to fulfil our needs, while preserving and caring for our resources for future generations. In business, I believe sustainability consists of social responsibility- combining social, environmental, and economic values to make decisions. It also includes equitable metrics to gauge a business’ success, as I believe that success stretches beyond the pursuit of profit and should reflect a business’ ability to pursue a purpose.  

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

After graduation, I hope to become an entrepreneur. Sustainability would play a tremendous role in my future endeavors, as I dream of building a business that challenges the status quo of the profit-first mentality. I truly believe that businesses have the power to bridge the gap between profit and purpose, creating a more equitable world, where doing good is rewarded. Regardless of where my career may lead me, I believe that social responsibility and sustainability should become an integral pillar in all businesses. As the next generation to enter the workforce, it is important for all of us to understand the importance of sustainability and how it drives the long-term success of any company.  

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?  

After my first year of university, I went on an international exchange program partnered with the United Nations in support of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I volunteered in Taiwan for six weeks to support the SDG of quality education, teaching English to elementary school kids. At the beginning of my second year at Western, I joined the organization that had sent me on exchange. My role as an Exchange Participant Manager was to hold consultations with exchange applicants and facilitate the exchange process from application to completion. I was able to promote opportunities that supported a variety of SDGs and advocate for global citizenship.  

Katelyn Chan

Katelyn Chan