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Message from the Director

2021 was another year in which we saw breathtaking developments in the sustainability agenda for business.

The Glasgow Climate COP in November provided an indicative milestone: thousands of business committing to net-zero climate targets; major announcements of collective business action (such as the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero); and the formation of the new International Sustainability Standards Board, furthering the new agenda of globally-consistent and comparable reporting of sustainability performance around the world.

Ivey’s newly-defined purpose clearly aligns with this new paradigm: we inspire leaders for a sustainable and prosperous world. As our 2021 Annual Report shows, the Centre for Building Sustainable Value is bringing Ivey’s purpose to life, though innovative and impactful research, teaching and outreach.

Our HBA Sustainability Certificate once again had record enrollment, and we have advanced the development of a Business and Sustainability Graduate Diploma for the Ivey MSc Program (scheduled for launch in 2023). We hosted our first ever graduate sustainability conference and our student sustainability clubs continued to thrive.

The BSV Centre also supported a new initiative to tag environmental, social and governance factors (ESG) and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in Ivey’s teaching case collection – the second largest in the world – befitting not just Ivey students but management education globally.

We launched a new research initiative – Corporate Strategies for Net Zero – that is engaging and convening a unique cross-sector group of leading Canadian businesses taking bold climate action. Through exchange, dialogue and research, the initiative is identifying opportunities and decision points to build ambitious and actionable net-zero strategies that position firms to thrive in a net-zero future.

Our existing research priorities continue to build exciting momentum. Ivey announced an exciting new partnership with the City of Guelph’s Our Food Future initiative to advance the circular economy in the agri-food sector. In sustainable finance, Ivey published a major research report showcasing Canada’s first conservation impact bond, in which Ivey is a key partner. And the Ivey Innovation Learning Lab – now Innovation North – continues to make exciting progress in reimagining the innovation process to deliver for firms and society.

We also convened a series of events that brought critical insights on the new business and sustainability paradigm to our alumni community and beyond. Most notable was Path to Sustainability Prosperity – featuring two former Governors of the Bank of Canada, Mark Carney and Stephen Poloz – that focused on Canada’s opportunities and challenges in shifting to a competitive, net-zero future.

For these and other highlights please scroll down further.

Do not hesitate to contact me or the BSV Centre team ( if you would like to learn more….or get involved!


Your sincerely,

Rob Klassen

Robklassenupdatedprofilepic (1)

Rob Klassen
Professor, Operations Management
Magna International Inc. Chair in Business Administration




HBA Sustainability Certificate

The HBA Sustainability Certificate empowers Ivey HBA students to build and lead more sustainable organizations and positions them to begin their journeys as responsible C-Suite decision-makers, entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders, and policymakers.

The HBA Sustainability Certificate welcomed 60 new students in 2021. Students focused on defining their professional and personal purpose statements by learning from many guest speakers, including representatives from Fogo Island, Guria, The Wilderness Sarfari, Impactalyst Consulting, Chop Value, HSBC, The Chic Geek, Impak Finance, Telus and Deliotte.

A group of students stacking their hands in the middle.
Integrate Conference Image22

Inaugural Ivey Graduate Sustainability Conference

The Inaugural Ivey Graduate Sustainability Conference took place in November 2021. The conference, titled “Integrate”, was organized and delivered by two graduate student clubs (MBA Social Impact & Sustainability Club, MSc Sustainability club) with the support of the BSV Centre. Participants took away important learnings from keynote speakers Murray McCaig (Arctern Ventures), Cam Carver (Workbench Energy), Karen Taylor (Council for Clean & Reliable Energy) Brian Rivard (Ontario Energy Board) and Jayme Jenkins (Everist).


The Worldchangers Conference is a new annual student-focused event supported by the BSV Centre, and one of main extra-curricular activities in the HBA Sustainability Certificate. Sheila Watt-Cloutier, a Canadian Inuit author and activist who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for her advocacy work on the impact of global climate change on human rights, was the keynote speaker for the 2021 conference. Organized by Professor Oana Branzei, Director of the Sustainability Certificate program, the conference also included presentations from  other high-profile climate change leaders. One was Jamie Bastedo, a biologist turned storyteller who is author of Protectors of the Planet. The other was Sophia Mathur, a 13-year-old environmental activist from Sudbury who was one of seven young people who sued the Ontario government for weakening the province's climate targets.


SDG Tagging of Ivey Cases

A joint initiative with Ivey Publishing and lead by Professor Oana Branzei saw the tagging Ivey teaching cases for their relevance and connections to each of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The first of its kind in the business case publishing industry, is making a critical contribution to integrating sustainability measures into management education and the student experience globally.

Student thought leadership

Our students have valuable insights into how sustainability plays out in the real world. Here are three examples of student thought leadership pieces from this year.


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Priority Area: Sustainable Finance

Faculty Lead - Assistant Professor Diane-Laure Arjaliès

The Sustainable Finance Priority Area is enabling the development of innovative financial instruments that can catalyze the transition to sustainable development. The research focuses on key priorities for sustainable development in Canada – including ecosystem conservation, green infrastructure, blended finance, and investment in the success of Indigenous communities. The insights garnered here can inform sustainable finance practices worldwide.

Highlights from 2021 include:

  • A new major report prepared by an Ivey research team led by Associate Professor Diane-Laure Arjaliès showcased the development and initial evaluation of the Deshkan Ziibi Conservation Impact Bond (DZCIB), an innovative made-in-Canada financial mechanism that brings together Indigenous, conservation and investment leadership to deliver real impact.
  • A research report focusing on Indigenous Peoples and responsible investment in Canada identified both gaps and recommendations for how Canada’s financial sector can better integrate consideration of Indigenous Peoples in their ESG/responsible investment frameworks. Also see this companion article featuring Mark Sevestre and Katherine Wheatley from the Reconciliation and Responsible Investment Initiative.

Priority Area: Circular Economy

Faculty Lead - Assistant Professor Jury Gualandris

The Circular Economy Priority Area is working to accelerate system transformation towards a circular economy in Canada by providing insights into how circular supply chains can function and how current supply chains can be transformed. The focus of the research program – how firms can realise waste synergies through opportunity recognition and operational agility – is both addressing a major gap in the circular economy literature and generating important insights for practical action. The program is building a case that harnessing these capabilities of firms will greatly accelerate progress towards circular production systems.

Highlights from 2021 include:

  • A new major partnership with the City of Guelph’s Our Food Future initiative was formalised to accelerate the development of the circular food economy. The collaboration funded a postdoctoral researcher focused on be mapping and analysing the structure and functioning of the emerging Guelph system, as well as assessing potential economic, environmental and societal benefits for the broader community.
  • A new research project on improving the sustainability of public procurement developed by Professor Fraser Johnson was established with initial funding from HP Canada.
  • Two new teaching cases with HP Canada and A&W were published focusing on corporate leadership for the circular economy.
  • Ivey’s programs were showcased at the World Circular Economy Forum (WCEF), the world’s premier annual conference on the circular economy, which was co-hosted by the Government of Canada.

Priority Area: Innovation

Faculty Lead - Professor Tima Bansal

The Innovation Priority Area is embedding systems thinking into the innovation process to transform products, services, and processes for the betterment of organizations and for society.

Highlights from 2021 include:

  • The Ivey Innovation Learning Lab – now Innovation North – has reached its participation target (25 member organizations) with the addition of companies including Cisco, JLL Canada, and TechAlliance.
  • Innovation North facilitated an innovative collaboration between member NGen (the industry-led not-for-profit organization that leads Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster) and students in the MSc elective course, Systems Thinking. The students applied the systems thinking framework to help address the complex challenge of reducing single-use plastics.
  • Innovation North has developed a research-based innovation tool – the Compass – that gives individuals, business, and society a view towards a higher value(s) future. The tool will be formally released in 2022.

Priority Area: Corporate Strategies for Net Zero

Faculty Lead - Professor Rob Klassen

Ivey’s research new initiative – Canadian Corporate Strategies for Net Zero: Planning for the Long Term – is engaging and convening a unique cross-sector group of leading Canadian businesses taking bold climate action. Through exchange, dialogue and research, the initiative is identifying the opportunities and decision points to build ambitious and actionable net-zero strategies that position firms to thrive in a net-zero future.

Highlights from 2021 include:

  •  Launch of the Ivey Net-Zero Event series in partnership with Ivey Academy. The first event (Your Organization’s Net-Zero Future is Closer than you Think) coincided with Glasgow Climate COP in November, and featured Sarah Chapman, Global Chief Sustainability Officer, Manulife and Laura Zizzo, Founder & CEO, Manifest Climate.
  •  Initiation of the first phase of research, interviewing senior executives from leading Canadian companies who have made climate commitments under the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). The interviews are identifying how companies are aligning their climate strategy and initiatives with the organization’s overall strategy.

Research awards and recognitions

Our faculty are doing ground-breaking research in sustainability and are recognized globally for their work and achievements.

Mba Sust Finance Course

PhD Academy

The 14th annual PhD Sustainability Academy, co-hosted by the Ivey Business School and the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS), convened 15 promising PhD students and 9 senior researchers representing universities from 7 different countries. The purpose of the event is to champion path-breaking research on sustainability across disciplines and to provide intensive feedback to students. The PhD Academy is organized and hosted by Professor Oana Branzei. 

Sustainability publications

List of all Ivey peer-reviewed publications in 2021 here.




Sustainable Finance - the reshaping of capital markets and the new era of corporate reporting

The BSV Centre continued to expand its program of thought leadership outreach, engaging with senior leaders in business and finance on cutting-edge sustainability topics. In March, we convened a livestream event focused on recent major developments in sustainable finance in capital markets and the potential impact of standardization of ESG reporting standards. The event featured two BSV Advisory Council members, Andy Chisholm and Michael Jantzi, and attracted over 600 registrants.

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Path to Sustainable Prosperity

The Path to Sustainable Prosperity: Translating Value(s) into Action, featured Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of England and Bank of Canada, , former Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz and Andy Chisholm, MBA ’85. Ivey’s Dean, Sharon Hodgson, navigated a rich discussion on the importance of values in business and policy-making, Canada’s net-zero transition, and building Canada’s competitive advantage.

Ivey Alumni Sustainability Mentors

2021 HBA Sustainability Certificate mentorship program paired more than 70 current Certificate students and mentors based on common interests and expertise. Mentors include Ivey and Certificate alumni as well as other leaders in our sustainability network.

Mentorship Collage

Alumni leadership

Our alumni are at the frontlines of leading the shifts towards a more sustainable future. Learn more about how alumni are making an impact:

Murray Mccaig Bio Annual Report

Venture capital for a better planet: Ivey alum shapes the businesses of the future 


Revolutionizing sustainable beauty products 


Ivey alum launches zero waste lotion brand

Steve Suske Bas Van Berkelannual Report

Ivey alumni come together to scale renewable natural gas

Network for Business Sustainability

The Network for Business Sustainability (NBS), founded within the Centre for Building Sustainable Value, is a growing network of more than 10,000 researchers and managers committed to advancing sustainable development in business. Businesses need access to rigorous, relevant research to support their decisions and actions, and researchers need to understand real-world business challenges in order to ask relevant questions. NBS aims to shape management practice and research with the resources it produces and the dialogue it facilitates.




Turning Point

Turning Point: Advancing the Circular Economy in Canada

Professor Tima Bansal chaired a high-level interdisciplinary expert panel that examined the potential economic, environmental, and social impacts of advancing a circular economy in Canada. The panel’s flagship report – Turning Point – was published in November 2021. The panel was created by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA), a not-for-profit organization that convenes the best experts in their respective fields to assess the evidence on complex scientific topics of public interest to inform decision-making in Canada.

Conservation Impact Bond: Brief for Policy Makers

The BSV Centre has published a new brief for Canadian policy-makers on scaling up the deployment of the Conservation Impact Bond financial instrument. The brief spells out the specific roles that public agencies can play in the delivery of the bond model and highlights the linkages to major policy priorities in Canada: reconciliation; biodiversity conservation; climate mitigation and adaptation; community resilience, and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Ministerial Announcement on Support for Phase 2 of the DZCIB

“The twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss are two sides of the same coin, and we must tackle both crises together. That’s why the Government of Canada is funding projects like the Deshkan Ziibi Conservation Impact Bond Initiative. By supporting conservation, green innovation, green jobs, and reconciliation, this initiative represents the kind of innovative thinking we need to meet Canada’s conservation goals and address the climate crisis.” 

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change





Advisory Council spotlight

Our Advisory Council provides advice and inspiration to the Centre’s Executive Director and Faculty in the aim of deepening and expanding the Centre’s impact and reach. It is composed of forward-thinking leaders from business, government, and not-for-profit organizations.


Sponsor & Partner  Recognition

Funders Recognition

Funders & Partners Recognition:
Foundations & Not-for-Profits
Ashoka Canada
Beryl M. Ivey Fund for Corporate Social Responsibility
CPA Canada
MaRS Discovery District
McConnell Foundation
RBC Foundation

Andy Chisholm, MBA ’85
Robert L. Kerr

ISED Canada
National Research
Council of Canada
Natural Resources Canada
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Partners Recognition

Ashoka Canada
Co-operators Group
CPA Canada
Georgian Partners
ISED Canada
JLL Canada
Maple Leaf Foods
Mattamy Homes
McConnell Foundation
National Research Council
Next Generation Manufacturing (NGen)
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
Walmart Canada

L’Université du Québec à Montréal
University of Alberta

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