Sponsored By McMaster University Continuing Education | Acquiring a skillset in sustainability offers you the opportunity to make a difference in the world
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Being part of the solution to the environmental crisis.
Setting and achieving measurable goals, having a positive effect on the planet, its resources and its inhabitants, now and for the future.
Acquiring a skillset in sustainability offers you the opportunity to make a difference in the world.
Every day, we are surrounded by news and advertising about “Going green”, “Eco-friendly” and “Environmental awareness”. While these are all praiseworthy pursuits, they are vaguely defined. Media and marketers have stretched the definitions of these terms and use them to promote almost any product, service or activity.
Sustainability, however, has a clear definition. Companies, corporations and all levels of government can be held accountable on whether they are achieving their goals in sustainable production and consumption. As such, a skillset in sustainability will allow you to assess the requirements of your employer and/or clients, help design a course of action, and follow it through until the goals are successfully accomplished.
“Companies, corporations and all levels of government can be held accountable on whether they are achieving their goals in sustainable production and consumption.”
What Is Sustainability?
Sustainability is the proper use of the environment and its resources so they are not permanently damaged or depleted and will continue to be available for future generations.
Everywhere we see the misuse and abuse of our natural world. Forests and fuels are diminished, oil is spilled, plastics fill the oceans, shorelines erode, air and water are polluted, the list is endless. Yet the earth and its resources are finite. The people who can solve these problems and resolve the needs of the planet are very much needed and in demand.
Active Players In Sustainability
The Canadian Government created the Federal Sustainable Development Act in 2008 (1) and published A Federal Sustainable Development Strategy for Canada in 2010 “to address climate change and air quality, maintain water quality and availability, and protect our natural heritage… to balance environmental issues with economic and social considerations”. It has now been updated to 2022. (2)
Across Canada, local governments, businesses and organizations are partnering with educational institutions to seek a balance between economic progress and sustainability in their communities. (3) The Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), a United Nations supported initiative, raises the profile of sustainability in schools around the world while drawing attention to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. (4)
“From small businesses to mega-corporations, from the federal government to the most modest of municipalities, from organizations to every level of education, all require guidance and assistance with their sustainability programs. A skill set in sustainability can allow you to benefit from professional opportunities that are only increasing.”
Meanwhile, most national and multi-national corporations are also involved in the sustainability of their processes, products and services and/or have launched massive efforts to improve our environment. In Canada, over 50,000 professionals devote more than half of their work time to activities related to economic, social and environmental sustainability. (5)
With a stated goal “to be the best and most sustainable eco-efficient beer company in the world”, Labatt Breweries announced their sustainability goals, including a focus on agriculture, water stewardship, 100% returnable or recyclable packaging, and climate action (using 100% per cent renewable electricity and a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions). (6)
Loblaw Companies Limited is one of the first major retail organizations to introduce electric vehicles to its trucking fleet, recently unveiling a truck capable of making commercial deliveries with zero carbon emissions. (6)
TD Bank Group announced a $100-billion investment program for the development of the low-carbon economy, including lending to companies and projects with low-carbon operations and supporting local environmental projects in communities across the country. (6)
Apple relies on wind and solar power to run on 100% green energy at its production facilities and has pledged to replant 27,000 mangrove trees along the coastline of Colombia. These trees “scrub” carbon from the atmosphere and reduce coastal erosion. (7)
Bosch has dedicated 50% of its R&D budget to create and support technology, universities and research programs focused on sustainability. (7)
From small businesses to mega-corporations, from the federal government to the most modest of municipalities, from organizations to every level of education, all require guidance and assistance with their sustainability programs. A skill set in sustainability can allow you to benefit from professional opportunities that are only increasing.
How To Increase Your Knowledge & Acquire A Skill Set In Sustainability
This new skill set is being offered across Canada through sustainability programs and courses like the one offered by McMaster University Continuing Education. Look for programs taught by experienced practitioners who take an encompassing approach, allowing you to:
Examine sustainability and its impact on our environmental, economic and societal systems
Learn to create a whole systems examination of how individuals, communities and businesses can responsibly interact with our environment
Discover the best practices in sustainable business leadership
Master the strategies that businesses can use to plan, develop and execute sustainable actions
With lectures, presentations and group discussions, sustainability programs let you explore collaborative theories and approaches for the shared responsibility of consumers and product producers. More importantly, you’ll understand the impact of people and profit on our planet and what we can do to improve this interaction.
You’ll also get the chance to learn practical tools, strategies and techniques that you can immediately apply to your organization’s sustainable plans. Mastering a sustainability skill set can lead to some of the most important and satisfying careers available today. Sustainability is a global challenge, but it may also be the business opportunity of the century.
(3) Corporate Social Responsibility in Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions: The Current and Ideal State of CSR in Teaching, Research and Partnering – pages 16-17 By: Coro Strandberg, President, Strandberg Consulting, April 2019
(4) Corporate Social Responsibility in Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions: The Current and Ideal State of CSR in Teaching, Research and Partnering – page 15 By: Coro Strandberg, President, Strandberg Consulting, April 2019
(5) Eco Canada
The above content is sponsored by McMaster Continuing Education and is being published by The SustainabilityX® Magazine. The SustainabilityX® Magazine is an award-winning, digital, female-founded, and female-led non-profit initiative bringing the environment and economy together for a sustainable future through dialogue since 2016. As an independent, high-impact publication, The SustainabilityX® Magazine depends in part on members like you and our advertising partners for support. The SustainabilityX® Magazine does not disclose your information to any advertisers. Financial supporters play no role in The SustainabilityX® Magazine’s journalism.
About McMaster University Continuing Education
For over 90 years, McMaster Continuing Education has been delivering excellence in lifelong learning and is one of Canada’s largest and leading providers of certificate and diploma programs, professional development education, custom and corporate training.
McMaster Continuing Education is committed to thoughtful and responsive action to support adult learners in their learning and career lives and is committed to achieving this through a values-based approach including respect for all, integrity, innovation, evidence-informed decision-making, and accountability.
Through collective aspiration and commitment, McMaster Continuing Education leads with a vision to be a leader in professional, continuing education and lifelong learning by delivering superior learning experiences that transform lives and communities and contribute to societal health and well-being, and a mission of advancing adult learners’ ambitions, transforming careers, and enriching communities through educational excellence, innovation, inclusion, and partnerships.
About The SustainabilityX® Magazine
The SustainabilityX® Magazine is an award-winning, digital, female-founded, and female-led non-profit initiative bringing the environment and economy together for a sustainable future through dialogue. Founded on May 8, 2016 and inspired by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by Canada’s Top 30 Under 30 in Sustainability Leadership awardee, Supriya Verma, the digital media initiative focuses on approaching the world’s most pressing challenges with a holistic, integrated, systems-based perspective as opposed to the traditional and ineffective siloed approach with a single lens on interdisciplinary topics like climate and energy. This initiative ultimately seeks to explore how to effectively bring the environment and economy together through intellectual, insightful dialogue and thought-provoking discussion amongst individuals across sectors taking an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to untangling the intricate web of sustainability.
The SustainabilityX® Magazine is based upon the four pillars of sustainability: Environmental Stewardship which emphasizes improved environmental health, Economic Prosperity which emphasizes economic growth without the element of capitalism, Social Inclusion which emphasizes EDI for BIPOC and LGBTQ communities and marginalized, vulnerable populations, and Just Governance which emphasizes the equal rule of law via responsible political leadership to create fair systems for all. Identifying the diverse factors involved in sustainability, how they interact and how the disciplines are interconnected will help accelerate local, national, and international sustainability goals – in simpler words, aligning with The SustainabilityX® Magazine’s mission of bringing the environment and economy together for a sustainable future through dialogue for a sustainable future. Whether you have a background in science, engineering, business, law, politics, media and entertainment, or beyond, your voice matters.
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