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Prior to beginning my HBA at Ivey, I studied Business Management and Organizational studies specializing in Finance and Administration at Huron College. The outdoors was an integral part of my childhood growing up in BC–weekends consisted of hiking in the summers and skiing in the winter, family vacations were often camping, and biking and walking were encouraged as means of transportation. Gaining an appreciation for the outdoors at a young age encouraged my passion for sustainability and sparked my interest in learning how I can better care for the place that brings me so much joy.

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

Sustainability is  along-term outlook, encouraging actions that will preserve enough resources for future generations. More specifically, environmental sustainability means using less resources than what is being replenished, therefore maintaining ecological balance, and ensuring the needs of future generations can be met. In the business context, sustainability means fostering a culture that looks beyond the bottom line, and considers the long-term, external impacts that operations have on society and the planet. Sustainable businesses implement dynamic, internal systems that ensure no resources are being exploited, thus ensuring the needs of future generations can be met.

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

An increasing number of businesses are recognizing the importance of incorporating ESG-focused initiatives into their operations–I want to help these businesses adopt and implement sustainable solutions. Through a sustainable consulting position, I hope to encourage businesses to destroy current linear models and advance the circular economy through exploring opportunities to reduce waste and reuse materials. Additionally, I wish to help organizations incorporate ESG metrics into management policies to increase transparency and encourage companies to take responsibility. For instance, by tracking their greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, and other ESG metrics, companies will be better able to pinpoint their weaknesses and adjust their operations accordingly. Further, I hope to leverage my financial skills to integrate ESG investment approaches to help organizations realize long-term financial success from ESG-focused portfolios.

Moreover, I want to promote outdoor activities to encourage environmental awareness within employee culture. I feel that my passion for sustainability is rooted in my love for the outdoors, therefore I hope to encourage others to develop environmental awareness through participating in outdoor activities. Overall, I believe that perusing the Sustainability Certificate will give me the tools and education necessary to focus my career on promoting and implementing sustainable business practices.

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

Fortunately, my high school placed a large focus on sustainable and social impact education–thus strengthening my curiosity in these topics. I co-organized two events centered around environmental awareness–a farming trip where students learned about sustainable farming practices, and an Indigenous Reconciliation workshop including discussions of how Indigenous Peoples are disproportionately impacted by climate change.

In first year, after realizing a misalignment between the food served at the student eatery and student preferences, I co-created a Food Council to decrease food waste. Through conducting surveys and student discussion groups, we ensured the food was better catered to the students’ needs, thus decreasing the food waste generated. Additionally, I worked in the warehouse for Food X Urban Delivery, a sustainable grocery delivery service. This experience taught me how operations and logistic skills are applied with a focus on sustainability.

Last year, I became involved with the Pollinator Pathways Project in London–anon-profit organization aiming to increase awareness of the important role pollinators play in food systems. My role included increasing the awareness of the organization and cause through social media posts, updating the website, and by writing educational articles for the blog.

Ciara McGrogan

Ciara  McGrogan

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