HBA Sustainability Certificate
Empowering the next generation of sustainable leaders
Hi, my name is Hannah! Before entering the HBA program, I studies MIT at Western. My background in critical theory, the political economy of media, and the implications of technology have given me an unique perspective on business. I believe that businesses can be a force for good rather than profit. This outlook has sparked my interest in how highly consumed products such as clothing can be sourced, produced, distributed, and ultimately disposed of in more sustainable ways. I hope to use my business education to make a positive impact on people and the planet through my future work.
What is your personal definition of sustainability?
To me, sustainability means making purposeful choices in my everyday life that positively impacts society in the long term. I believe that individuals have the power to make significant choices that address the many challenges faced in the world today. For example, by choosing to purchase less clothing while focusing on quality basics from sustainable and ethical brands, I have been able to support humane working conditions in communities that need it most while contributing to business models where products are meant to last. I believe that sustainability is all-encompassing: it entails developing and protecting social, economic, and environmental resources.
What role do you see sustainability playing in your professional career?
I see sustainability being a key factor in deciding what company I choose to work for. I am interested in pursuing a career in marketing; however, I recognize that marketing often feeds into and profits from consumerism. This is why working for a company whose values align with mine is so important to me. I value that social good is embedded into the fabric of a company’s operations, from its mission, to supply chain practices, to how transparent it is with customers. Knowing that my efforts contribute to ethical and sustainable consumption provides purpose and meaning to my work.
Ultimately, I believe that corporations have a responsibility to make their business practices more sustainable. This is because individuals can only make so much of an impact by consuming the products that are provided to them by businesses. As such, living sustainability requires reciprocity; consumers must demand more sustainable practices and corporations must take action to meet those needs. As a working professional, I hope to create initiatives that help companies shift to sustainable business models that will translate to meaningful change at the corporate level and ultimately impact individual consumption.
What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?
I have been a part of Western Women in Leadership since my second year at Western and Ivey Women in Management during my first year of Ivey. These experiences have shaped how I view sustainability, specifically from a gender equality perspective. As a woman of colour, advocating for representation as it relates to both gender and race is extremely important to me. These clubs have allowed me to create impactful experiences for other young women while gaining a network of supportive female students. Throughout my career, I hope to empower women to participate equally in the classroom and the workplace.
Another initiative that I have been engaged in is The Early Outreach Conference (REACH). REACH is a University Students’ Council initiative aiming to introduce low-income, high-risk youth in London to post-secondary opportunities. Participating in this initiative is important to me because I believe that all young people deserve equitable access to education, regardless of socioeconomic status.
Both projects have shown me that sustainable development is more than just protecting our planet─ it is about working to provide equitable access to education and healthcare, reducing gender and racial inequality, and much more.