Before Ivey alum Alana Green (MBA 2016) entered the sustainability sector, she helped establish and scale a spine surgery research center. During the time working in that field, she realized the parts of the job that gave her energy and excited her were the business aspects of her role. However, in order to further advance, she recognized she needed a master's to accelerate forward. Because of her desire to remain in the healthcare realm at the time, Alana applied to the Ivey MBA program because of the endless program offerings including the healthcare certification. Once immersed in the MBA program, the case method opened her eyes to the various industries and sectors one can enter with such a degree, which led to a further shift in perspective. Alana knew she didn’t want to lose the feeling of truly making an impact on others’ lives that she had at her previous jobs.
Shifting into a Business Lens
After completing her MBA, Alana worked at Bain & Company as a Senior Manager. Although her business role was focused on Fortune 500 company strategy and private equity, working at Bain also allowed her to engage in projects surrounding social factors important to her such as increasing womxn presence at Bain, and Bain’s racial equity transformation. Even though her role at Bain was not sustainability oriented, it prepared her in understanding the CEO mindset and the funding, strategy, and nuances that go into building a successful business. Alana always knew she wanted to end up focusing her daily work on something impact-driven, but it wasn’t until her family relocated to Vancouver for her husband’s work that she decided the time had come to make a change. Now as Principal for Active Impact Investments, a company whose mission is to support environmental sustainability through profitable venture capital investment, Alana finally feels that her professional career fully aligns with her personal sustainability values and her need for intellectual stimulation and continuous learning. Her role includes making investment decisions, raising funds, and advising four of the companies Active Impact has invested in, including helping them fundraise, managing internal operations as well as other initiatives.
Sustainability is our north star – our thesis is the best way to have the most sustainability impact is to invest in early-stage climate tech companies (to provide them with funding and operating expertise), and to deliver competitive venture capital returns to our investors (so they can keep pushing more money to climate tech in order to increase impact exponentially).
Moving towards a Sustainable Future
Alana’s professional journey has taught her that the future of sustainability is bright; however, reaching net zero will require solutions across a number of different sectors. Working with different entrepreneurs and founders who are passionate about their creation and have found an innovative solution to the growing problems of climate change has left Alana with an optimistic outlook. Her advice for anyone who wants to pursue sustainability as their career is to go for it! Let your curiosity and values guide you into finding the right path.
There are so many exciting roles emerging in the space and room for strong contributions across skill sets and sectors. What this looks like is different for everybody and I believe letting your intuition and values factor into your business decisions will make you more successful in the long run.