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What is your personal definition of sustainability?

My personal definition of sustainability is making sure the resources we need, and use are present for the coming generations, not just us. For me, the antonym of sustainability would only be waste but also selfishness as I believe creating a sustainable earth is the responsibility of each and every one of us rather than simply one entity. From a business standpoint, I define sustainability as a corporation making a conscious effort to minimize waste and bring value not only to shareholders but the land, air and earth upon which the business operate.

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

Because I believe incorporations being environmentally conscious, in my professional career I can see sustainability playing an active role. Firstly, seeing the environmental impact of the corporations that I apply to, engage with and recruit for is very important to me. I visualize myself working for a corporation that I can be proud of in the future and part of this decision will be the environmental impact that this firm makes. Ideally, I wish to choose a firm that has initiatives for individuals to get involved with sustainability outside of normal work tasks. In consulting which is the field I am interested in as of right now, there are probono and “extra 10%” initiatives at many firms where employees can join extracurriculars which correlate to topics they are interested in. At my future firm, I hope to join one that does sustainability related work and I feel that the Ivey Sustainability Certificate will set me up to succeed within these extracurriculars. I can also see myself applying sustainability principles to non-environmental aspects of my professional life. I do not want to burn myself out and hope to exercise internal sustainability in my career by maintaining a non-toxic work/life balance.

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

Growing up, I was involved in several sustainability related initiatives which developed this interest within me. Firstly, I was a part of the green committee in my elementary school which helped care staff sort recycling and as a result minimize the environmental impact of our school. This also taught us about recycling and environmental sustainability at a very young age which left an impression on me later into high school and university. Later, in high school when I was VP of student council, I made sure to incorporate sustainability initiatives into our operations. For example, I ran Earth Day initiatives through the council and facilitated introducing educational posters around the school to help students learn more about sustainable practices in their day-to-day life. Coming into Ivey, I hope to learn more about sustainability from a business standpoint rather than the perspective of individuals and I believe this certificate will help me do just that.

Rhea Dutta

Rhea Dutta

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