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As someone who enjoys exploring the untouched beauty of Ontario’s outdoors, I have developed a sense of deep respect for the land on which I call home. This respect has translated into an underlying desire to ensure that my future career allows me to use my platform to connect both the private and public sectors to prioritize environmental sustainability. At CIBC, I worked on a sustainability project surrounding empowering employee’s sense of purpose and presented the findings to the CEO.I believe sustainability is a global goal and I look forward to being an advocate both in Canada and beyond.

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

To me, sustainability is an action that we as people must undertake out of respect for current communities, future generations, and ultimately any life on earth. When making decisions on behalf of a business or community, the action of assessing sustainability-related implications should be equally as important as any economic or financial component. This transcends into the actions of circularity, in which I believe one of societies goals should be to leave one’s surroundings better than when they arrived; in an environmental, economic, and social sense. This action represents a gratefulness for the life we get to enjoy on earth.

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

As I hope to first begin my career in strategy consulting, I look forward to engaging with many different stakeholders where I can get a diverse perspective for the role that sustainability plays in solving their organizational challenges; both in the private and public sector.

By acting as a liaison between companies, governments, and societies, I hope that the value I provide will encourage the adoption of sustainable practices to be integrated into their goals, while also helping such entities on the implementation and execution of sustainability-related initiatives.

After gaining experience in the private sector, my goal is to enter a public service role to advocate on the premise that environmental commitments do not come at the expense of business objectives, rather in fact, I hope to prove the opposite. I’m eager to encourage others to realize that innovation into sustainable practices not only does good for society, but for business as a differentiating advantage. This public facing role ideally will allow me to continue to connect with various stakeholders, and collaboratively develop policy and legislation for Canada, to act as an inspiration for others worldwide.

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

What started as an interest in sustainability has grown into a passion through my experiences at CIBC and as a pro-bono Project Lead for a grassroots charity in Kenya.

At CIBC, I collaborated with four co-ops for four months to develop a recommendation to enhance employee well-being with a greater sense of purpose. After interviewing dozens of employees, including leaders of CIBC’s Indigenous Employee Circle and Black Employee Network, we proposed an in-office program to expand the inclusive food-offerings at CIBC Square(the bank’s new global headquarters). The project entailed doing research into local cultural food caterers and processes to be aligned with the building’s LEED platinum certification. Alongside my student team, we presented directly to CIBC’s CEO and C-Suite at project culmination.

As Project Lead Consultant for YIDP in Nairobi, I connected with the charity director weekly for over four months to help create their online presence and gained insight into global sustainability. They aimed to help marginalized children use the power of soccer to learn valuable life lessons surrounding becoming meaningful contributors to their communities. By redesigning their website, we were able to help facilitate the donation of funds that went to purchasing grain for families.

Robert Di Marco

Robert  Di Marco

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