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I’m Megan, an HBA2 student. I have always had a fascination with the earth and its ability to regulate itself naturally .I love the outdoors and have spent multiple summers working at YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth, teaching campers and site visitors about the importance of respecting the environment, specifically minimum-impact living, and zero-trace camping. I’m also interested in new technologies and innovations that solve sustainability issues in different facets of society; from investing, to building, to agriculture. I am a driven self-starter and hope to use my knowledge to contribute to creating a healthier planet for my and future generation

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

To me, sustainability means leaving the world in a better state than I found it. This principle is multi-faceted. Regarding environmental sustainability, this means minimizing the impact that I, and others where possible, have on the environment. For example, reducing my consumption of non-renewable resources, and lowering my carbon footprint. It also involves coming up with or supporting solutions that can be implemented into broader society, such as building cities with recycled materials, energy-efficient power systems, and processes that conserve water, as well as a commitment to pollution-reduction.

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

I have an interest in global development and corporate real estate and hope to help build more sustainable communities across the world. I am hoping to embark on a career related to real-estate development that focuses on using green technologies to minimize the ecological footprints of organizations and their infrastructure. For example, this may include using recycled building materials, renewable resources such as wind, water, or solar power, and being prudent with energy consumption, to improve resource efficiency and reduce waste. I would be interested in working with architects, urban planners, builders, and investors to ensure the adoption of sustainable ideologies into their projects–from the initial planning stage to completion. Further, this may involve building green buildings, retro-fitting existing ones, or developing vacant land into green spaces.

I also hope to work with organizations that make sustainable initiatives accessible to all members of society, even on a small scale. For example, creating education programs regarding waste reduction, starting urban farms, or launching community events to generate awareness and encourage participation in sustainability initiatives. I hope to dedicate my time to leveraging these initiatives to improve issues like food security and healthy living, while bringing communities together.

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

In 2021, I was an Intern at BMO. Working on the Investment Planning team, I spent a large portion of my time collaborating with the corporate real estate and design teams to come up with solutions to enhance the sustainability of the bank’s retail banking network. I collaborated with the team to find ways to improve the functionality of each branch while minimizing its environmental impact. This included projects such as an urban farming program and a beehive initiative at select branches. These projects were important in helping BMO achieve their goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.Theseprograms added further uses to the branches themselves while also fostering a sense of community by providing a space for people to connect with one another. These projects also contributed to the local economy, providing business owners an opportunity to grow and harvest their products. Additionally, I spent several summers working at YMCA Camp Queen Elizabeth, which is in a National Park and on an island with limited resources. I was responsible for educating campers and site visitors about living in a way that had minimal impact on the environment, so that it could be enjoyed by future generations.

Megan Whyte

Megan  Whyte

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