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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Olivia McLaughlin

Olivia is an HBA1 at Ivey Business School with two previous years in an honour of Health Sciences at Western. She is continuously engaged in her community from playing intermurals at the Western gym or being a residence sophomore leader at Delaware hall. For Olivia, Ivey was an opportunity to combine her passion for healthcare and science with the ideas of business. With past experience as a lifeguard, swim instructor, camp counselor and mortgage analysist Olivia has had her chance to experience a wide variety of work fields but has found that her passion lies in canoeing through Algonquin park, or volunteering during OServes to clean up parks. Seeing the joy people experience when with nature, has pushed Olivia to try and uphold a sustainable life while continually learning how she can improve. 

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

Sustainability defines the process of maintaining balance between ourselves as humans and the world around us, in every part of our life. For me I have a passion for health care and environmental sustainability. In both senses’ sustainability is about nurturing, nurturing people and also our environment. The goal of sustainability is optimality, finding fulfilling ways to continuously make thoughtful impact on the world around us without the cost of harming others or our surroundings.  

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

I hope to pursue a profession with an intersection between healthcare and business the level of waste that is produced as well as the power utilization of healthcare facilities are main concerns and areas where sustainability must be at the forefront of improvements. Part of the health of individuals is dependent on the environment around them, their ability to access clean water, safe distance from chemical and coal factories and air that is not polluted. Sustainability ties directly to people’s health as all efforts to make the world more sustainable, from lowering greenhouse gas emissions to maintaining safe and clean water, these all effect the health of everyone. Additionally, the usage of power needed to care for individuals and produce pharmaceuticals is tremendous. Being a business healthcare professional will allow me to think of more sustainable ways to power a piler to our society; health facilities. Be it solar panels, or creating green roofs, there are multiple ways our healthcare industry can become more sustainable which will only better the health of all.  

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in? 

Entering into Ivey I have been a part of both Ivey Social Impact Club (SIC) as well as Ivey Health Sector Club (IHSC). Within SIC I have had the opportunity to volunteer for their Consulting Project and take part in their social impact conference, all of which have expanded my view regarding sustainability and what it truly entails. Within IHSC I am currently working on a project to improve catheter insertion rates within medical wards, although it may not come across as a sustainability project it actually can have major impact on hospitals energy usage and waste disposal when an improved procedure is created. Every catheter used goes to waste, while those that stay in longer cause infections leading to longer hospital stays and the usage of resources, particularly electricity. Part of our project has been to see what the impact of lowering the usage of catheters would do to the sustainability of the hospital and the resources it uses, an issue that can be shared and implemented across many other hospitals if successful. This project combined with my time in SIC has allowed me to see the reach of sustainability and all the areas in which I can make a difference. 

Olivia McLaughlin

Olivia McLaughlin