Sustainability Isn't In A Title

Sustainability Isn't In A Title

When I first started my journey toward sustainability 5 years ago, I wanted to have a meaningful impact in this world through my work. Sounds cliché, right? I also thought that to have such impact, it required having sustainability within your job title. Today, I realize that I couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Since I’ve started LeadingAhead, the learning curve has been exponentially higher of a regular work position. One of the key things that I’ve learned over the years working with different organizations is that sustainability isn’t in a title.

Carbon Fibre Industry: A Recycling Challenge

Carbon Fibre Industry: A Recycling Challenge

Carbon Fibre (CF) has been used in various industries for many years now. There’s not to question as to why it has become so popular; it’s composite results in a very strong, ultra-light material that is heavily used in many industries, specifically aeronautic, automotive, and sporting goods.

CF has allowed numerous advancements in key performance sectors, which has transformed it into the highest standard possible. The material is ideal, almost perfect. Unfortunately, there is only one glaring obstacle thing it has yet to overcome: the recycling process.

Carbon fibre is a complex material, yet simple to produce. The downside of using this material is the fact that it’s heavy on chemicals, resins and composite

How Can Your Organization Benefit From The Rise of Electric Cars

How Can Your Organization Benefit From The Rise of Electric Cars

The Electric Vehicle (EV) market has grown over the past few years, continues to boom, and is expected to keep doing so in the coming years. Unfortunately, EV sales have never been significant enough to turn heads. So when it's time for buyers to purchase a new vehicle, have been reluctant to jump at buying an EV when it was time to purchase a new vehicle; not anymore. 

As of March 2017, EV sales across Canada have been growing year-over-year with a 68% increase in vehicles sold from the same period in 2016. British Columbia is leading the way with 4% of total sales being EVs. If the 2017 trends keep course, the market across Canada will see similar growth; EVs sales in Quebec and British Columbia to account for 5% of the total market in 2017. That is a marked increase from 0.4% a couple years ago. 

As regulation and international market demand is quickly shifting towards EVs, car manufacturers must adapt. Last week Volvo made the commitment to only build PlugIn Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) and battery electric vehicle (BEV) by 2019 moving away from the combustion engine. Companies like Audi, BMW, Ford, Mercedes and many others are moving towards the increasing EV market while meeting existing and upcoming national regulations: 

Divestment: The Uprising of Fossil Fuel Free Investing

Divestment: The Uprising of Fossil Fuel Free Investing

Last month I had the chance to be at the forefront of a myth buster. In fact, I busted the myth myself as I was standing on stage presenting on Fossil Free Investing and the Divestment Movement.

If unfamiliar with the divestment movement myth, it is the misconception of the movement is solely pushed by students only because it started on university campuses around the world as well as the rise in popularity of 350.org which has been initially founded by students. However, the divestment movement is much broader and wide spread amongst different demographics especially with women, millennials and pension funds.

Before getting deeper into the topic, I’d’ like to explain what is the divestment movement as not everyone is familiar with it. The movement targets the fossil fuels industry. The idea is to pull invested money out of companies operating in the fossil fuels industry limiting their ability to fund new exploration projects and other necessary investments growing profits and/or assets. Like everything else, there is a push back. Opinions supporting that if one person or group of people divest, others will buy the shares or private bonds offsetting the initial action. However true, it is important not to underestimate the power of the collective. As multiple organizations begin to divest, such as universities, pension funds, unions, institutions and so on, rapidly the demand will also drop and will ultimately affect the shares’ prices making the stock less attractive for all investors.

Will Canada meet its emissions reduction commitments made in Paris?

Will Canada meet its emissions reduction commitments made in Paris?

The Trudeau government’s first plan to combat climate change is short on measurable targets and meaningful action

On November 18, 2016, federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna released her plan to combat climate change, with a primary goal to stay beneath the scientifically determined limit of 2 degrees Celsius of planetwide warming.

The 91-page plan serves as a high-level road map toward reaching Canada's commitments made in Paris in December 2015 at the United Nations climate change conference (COP21). In essence, it is akin to the kind of strategy a business would implement during a transition period to more evolved business practices. The plan is a guideline that communicates Canada’s intent and direction on sectors including energy, agriculture and waste.

NorthWest Environmental Conference Presentation

NorthWest Environmental Conference Presentation

Two weeks ago, I had the chance to speak at the North West Environmental Conference and Tradeshow in Portland, OR.  It is a two day annual conference aiming on 4 different tracks: 

 

  • Regulation and Best Practices 
  • Advanced Topics, Raising the Bar
  • Hot Topics Conversations
  • Sustainable Business 

 

The conference attracts some 600 to 800 attendees each year providing learning sessions within the 4 tracks described above. NWEC offers presentations by local, national, and international speakers from across the environmental industry providing professionals with the knowledge needed for high performance and creating a better environment for all. 

 

Having studying and working with many businesses in the corporate sustainability area, I was please to be asked to speak at the conference sharing my knowledge and message with hundreds of people. Over the years we have seen an important shift from companies from aiming for compliance to reaching out for sustainable practices. This event has seen a lot turn over the years as its sustainable business track has been attracting many more individuals wanting to learn more about corporate sustainability initiatives. 

3 Reasons Why CETA Is Good for the Economy BUT Bad for the Environment

3 Reasons Why CETA Is Good for the Economy BUT Bad for the Environment

Last Wednesday, I was speaking at the French Vancouver Chamber of Commerce (Chambre de Commerce Française de Vancouver) and before my talk, the French ambassador to Canada, Nicolas Chapuis, stopped by to share his opinion about the Canada European Trade Agreement (CETA). He started his speech explaining about his earlier trip in the Canada’s North Baffin Island where he was shocked by the rapidly melting ice cap and lost wild life habitat. He pointed out how sad it was that the people who did not have anything to do with climate change were the first one severely impacted.

What A Toddler Taught Me About Overconsumption

What A Toddler Taught Me About Overconsumption

This is a Christmas story of a little toddler, Jane. December starts like no other month in the calendar year. A Christmas tree and presents slowly begin to fill out space in the living room. She will soon learn who Santa is and how to pronounce his name. It will be mixed with a series of Christmas children songs and a lot of family time playing in the snow.

Increasing Business Through Green Strategies

Increasing Business Through Green Strategies

This month’s sustainable guest is Aron Bjornson, director of marketing at Salt Spring Coffee. I had the honour of meeting Aron during a Board of Change  event last year about 1% for the planet. In this interview, Aron and I talked about what it takes to achieve better business practices within an organization. There are a lot of great strategies available to SMEs but not all of them will be a good fit to every organization. It is imperative to evaluate before implementing.

Removing SMEs Sustainability Barriers with Coro Strandberg

Removing SMEs Sustainability Barriers with Coro Strandberg

“Everything written in this article is the opinion of Coro Strandberg and do not reflect any other third party input.”

This month, we are discussing sustainability with Coro Strandberg. Coro is an industry pioneer since 1992 when she received her first mandate towards social responsibility. After holding various roles in business and government, in 2004 Coro decided to pursue her own path and founded Strandberg Consulting. Since then, she has been working with multiple industry leaders developing long term strategies benefiting her clients not only financially but also with better business practices.

Sustainability - Series - Filling the Gap for SMEs

Sustainability - Series - Filling the Gap for SMEs

Is leaving a legacy important to you? Have you ever wondered how to integrate sustainability within a company strategy but had no clue where to begin? Are you looking for a guideline that would teach you where to begin depending on your industry? Are you simply curious about what's going on in the sustainable business world. If you answered yes to one of these questions this is for you.   

The National Energy Strategy in Canada

The National Energy Strategy in Canada

Canada's provinces are going backwards

Last month was the announcement of the national energy strategy supported by all Canadian provinces Premiers. Knowing that the vast majority of people did't listen or watch the entire announcement, it is worthwhile to have a quick look. Nowhere did we hear about moving on to new energy sources, not in a firm statement anyways. Not only we did not hear about a future of gradually reducing the amount of oil production to swift towards renewable energy but we heard the same repetitive lines from the past few years; that the energy industry (oil and gas) is creating jobs, allows every level of government to collect taxes and increase their bank account. Noticeably, they all seem to forget that today the renewable energy sector is creating more jobs than the oil and gas in Canada (23 700 jobs in renewable versus 22 340 jobs in the oil and gas). Additionally, it would allow Canada and each province to get close to their emission targets.