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Centre for Building Sustainable Value · Rebecca Zuker, HBA '23 Candidate

Nicole Harvey: How an Ivey alumni is changing the food waste landscape in Canada

Feb 2, 2023

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When Nicole Harvey (HBA ‘13) entered the HBA program, her hope was for a future where business serves the greater good, not just the few at the top of the hierarchy. She joined a classmate in creating Ivey’s first-ever Sustainability Club. While other students focused their attention toward marketing, finance, accounting, and investment banking, Nicole wanted to provide a space for Ivey students with similar interests to her to convene.  

That same year, Nicole and fellow sustainability-focused students were the inaugural group of Sustainability Certificate recipients. Completing a degree in Biology with a focus on environmental science and business alongside her HBA, Nicole worked to further solidify her knowledge and expertise in sustainability. She went on to complete her Master’s degree in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability.  

While on the job hunt, Nicole worked to ensure the companies she sought out were mission-focused and advocated for social causes she was passionate about. In roles at General Mills, GOOD FOOD FOR GOOD, and G Adventures, Nicole stayed true to her interests and gained ample sales experience.  

Upon hearing that the company ‘Too Good to Go’ had expanded into Canada, Nicole knew she had to get involved. Too Good to Go is a Certified B Corp. service with a mobile application that connects customers to restaurants and stores that have surplus unsold food. The app works at the intersection of sustainability and technology. Nicole acquired the role of Key Account Manager, where she interacts with potential clients to educate them on issues surrounding food waste and works to understand how the app can implement their business as part of the solution. Nicole has generated many successes in the role, including acquiring Longo's as a client, the first major supermarket chain to join the app.  

“While many consumers want to become more sustainable, they are also predominantly looking for the most accessible and convenient ways to do so. With a free app that helps consumers to save money, and is accessible to anyone with a smartphone, Too Good to Go is bringing society one step closer to a sustainable world. And - our users have fun picking up their Surprise Bags! They are getting a bag filled with different and surprising surplus food; it can be seen as a gamified experience,” says Nicole. 

Looking toward the future, Nicole emphasizes that the one thing essential for the advancement of sustainability in society is motivation. Without motivation from both professionals and consumers, the movement will not proceed. She also notes that the opportunity within Canada is plentiful and companies like Too Good to Go have only scratched the surface. Continuing to push for goals such as minimal-waste societies is the only way to see these things implemented.   

Nicole advises that students interested in careers in sustainability continue gravitating toward their interests and listening to what excites them. She also advises not to worry about securing your dream job immediately after graduation. 

Nicole adds, “Don't discount going into general business before entering the sustainability sector. Learning those critical skills is a great way to learn the ins and outs of the business world. You can easily transition into a sustainability role. What makes a professional career so exciting is the ability to constantly evolve and discover new opportunities that can help expand your knowledge and interests.”