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Before Ivey, I was in Management and Organizational Studies, with a specialization in Finance. I grew up in Montreal and was lucky to begin sailing at a young age, through which I developed an appreciation for outdoor sports. I was a Social Science Faculty Soph in my second year, have been part of Right to Play since first year, and am now on Ivey Social Impact Club. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and my hobbies include sailing, skiing, running, and listening to music.

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

I define sustainability as using resources (natural, capital, human) in quantities that fulfill our needs without depriving or harming future generations. Individuals, governments, and corporations’ natural resource consumption rate should allow for resources’ replenishment. Capital resources should be accessible to global communities to finance basic needs, invested for future prosperity and saved for financial hardships. Human resources must be nurtured through labor rights, protection from discrimination, cultural rights and personal well-being support. I believe our generation’s biggest challenge in ensuring sustainability lies in our definition of “fulfilling our needs”, as consumption habits increasingly blur the lines between “needs” and “wants”.

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

Starting my professional career in consulting, I will seek to work on sustainability projects in industries including, but not limited to, retail, energy, and consumer-packaged goods where I hope to consult companies on climate risk mitigation, decarbonization, emission tracking and regenerative operations. Furthermore, I aim to bring a sustainability lens to all projects by identifying ways companies can maximize efficiencies, returns and cost-benefit ratios that simultaneously offer value to people and planet. In a broader sense, I hope to advise companies on ways to implement sustainability into their core operating model, rather than having a separate branch of “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR).This ensures companies decouple growth from environmental damage and social exclusion, allowing for shared value amongst all stakeholders. I intend to help companies extend their impact across their entire value chains through corporate partnerships, and increased cooperation among public and private sectors. Eventually, I would love to work for the World Economic Forum, an organization promoting public-private cooperation to address current global issues and connecting communities of leaders through its annual Davos event, year-long initiatives, research, and digital networks.

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

During my time on the Social Science Student Council, I hosted a podcast episode on sustainability in collaboration with students from WaterAid, EnviroWestern, and the Climate Crisis Coalition. As many overlook climate change due to misinformation and fear of saying the wrong thing, we aimed to make our podcast understandable and inclusive to the general Western population, and empowered students to take actions by sharing tips to reduce individual carbon footprint. As a first-year representative on Ivey Social Impact (SIC) club, I get to partake in career panels and conferences regarding social enterprises, and corporate accountability and responsibility (RIPPLE).I wrote a blog post on Stakeholder vs. Shareholder theories. Stakeholder Theory aims to create shared value among all stakeholders, promoting sustainable working conditions for employees and sustainable environments for communities in which businesses operate .I am also working with Ivey’s Resource and Energy Club to publish a primer on the Paris Climate Agreement and its business implications in2022.Through educational books and podcasts discussing global economies that can work for progress, people, and planet, I am motivated and inspired to apply this knowledge in a work setting that has there sources and influence to implement meaningful change.

Karina Arsenault

Karina  Arsenault

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