Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1211110985720314/
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1211110985720314/
These Lunch & Learns are community events open to all people who are interested in learning more about sustainability in the Concordia context, as well as how they can get involved in being part of the change. The first Lunch & Learn is set to take place on Thursday, September 13th from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm in the EV Junction and will tackle arguably the greatest challenge of our time: Climate Change.
Climate change, waste, food, research and curriculum, and accessibility and diversity are some pretty all-encompassing and poignant issues in the sustainability world, so we think that it’s great that Concordia is working on institutionalizing sustainability in terms of its practices, policies, and processes by creating and eventually implementing action plans based on these 5 “sustainability streams”.
These Lunch and Learns will create a space for people to learn about Concordia’s current sustainability efforts, engage in discussion with experts and change-makers on campus about what is systematically working well and what needs to change, and discover how they can get involved in cultivating an inclusive, empowering, and impactful culture of sustainability at the university. Not to mention, Rawlins Rolls (the hottest vegan sushi joint around campus) will be tickling our tastebuds on the 13th, so you really don’t want to miss this!
We can’t wait to see you there. If you have any questions about this event, or Concordia’s work on the Sustainability Action Plans, don’t hesitation to pass by our space and start a conversation.
Peace, Love, & Sustainability
Photo: SC’s board retreat 2018 in St Henri
Few things are more fun than getting a group of fabulously rad folks together and talking about how you’re going to join forces to save the world! Ok, maybe not “save” and maybe not “the world”, but a girl can dream, right?
Every summer, Sustainable Concordia’s Coordinators and Board of Director Members get together for a weekend of hard work filled with visioning, strategic planning, campus analysis, and a ton of fun sprinkled in between. Summer 2018 was no different and our team is only just recovering from the wickedly invigorating group retreat that we had at the beginning of July.
We made La Ruche — the dreamiest Art Hive in Montreal — our home base for the retreat, and worked away. We looked inwards at what we need as an organization to function harmoniously given the big hairy goals that we’ve set out for ourselves, and outwards at what the community needs from us.
We dived deeper into the new committee structure we’ve set in place, and thought critically about Concordia University’s Action Plans (click here to learn all about Concordia’s Sustainability Policy that sparked a need for solid action plans concerning the topics of Climate Change, Food, Waste, Accessibility & Diversity, and Research & Curriculum at the university).
Our retreat left us feeling empowered, inspired, and excited for the year of hard work that lies ahead of us as a change-making organization on campus. We can’t wait to share all of our ideas and work with the larger community, and are eager for you all to be part of what we’re aiming to accomplish. To learn more about how you can get involved, visit our website.
Peace, Love, & Sustainability
Sustainable Concordia General Coordinator
Last week, as the first part of our summer retreat with our new and enthusiastic board, Alice and Jueji, members of the Sustainable Investing Project, led us through the very first workshop of the initiative. Alice, our finance coordinator and current leader of the project, explained that the goal of the workshop is to start guiding organizations through the process of choosing what to invest in, within the large realm of sustainable investments (here’s a resource developed by previous team members if you would like to know more yourself!)
During a couple of hour, we discussed what we valued as an organization so that the SIP team got a clearer idea of where to start their research to build our portfolio (a collection of hand-picked investments, in the form of chosen companies we think our organization should support).
Alice and Jueji first explained very clearly what sustainable investing was all about, why it mattered, and how we would create a portfolio as an organization. We then went through what we considered important sustainability issues, and then proceeded to prioritizing them (which was very challenging for us!). Finally, we established a list of criterias companies we would invest in should conform to, that align with the priorities we chose.
The workshop sparked amazing discussions, and got the team very excited and committed to the research. The session aimed to give us more vocabulary and ease with investment concepts. It also enabled us to start conversations in and out of the organization, while giving our researchers a clearer scope to build our portfolio.
Hopefully the SIP team got enough feedback from us and is now ready to look into our options! SC will lead it by example, and Alice is hoping other organizations will collaborate and join the research, enabling the community to slowly create a significant fund.
SIP is starting to get a lot of attention, we are glad there is strong interest in that project in the community, and some momentum around sustainable investing practices in Montreal!
More and more non-finance people are starting to get their hands on investing, just like Alice did – with an accounting background, she explained she is continuously learning through SIP and getting familiar with those concepts, as she wants herself to eventually be able to know what to invest in.
‘If you have money, you have power. Investment touches everyone,’ she finally pointed out. So get in there, reach out, and make your money count! Join the movement and get involved now!
We are looking for a new general coordinator to replace our amazing Mark, who has been at SC for the past 4 years – he got offered a great position at the SAF, our friends and office-mates (so he will not go very far away from us!). We are excited to welcome someone new to our dear team!
If you feel passionate about sustainability and want to build a stronger community, and you have experience in organizational logistics, apply now!
Sustainable Concordia is excited to share the first episode of our new podcast, Compost The Bug! You’ll meet the podcast volunteers and hear from Canadians in La Manzanilla, Mexico, and their views on climate change.
Produced and edited by our external coordinator Emily, this has been in the works since the new year and we can’t wait to hear what y’all think about it. What kinds of things should we talk about in the future? If you have feedback or want to help with future episodes, give us a shout!
We will be hiring new interns soon! Check out what it is like to intern at SC, through the eyes of Ankit Kumar, working on social media and content creation these past months
“In mid-October 2017, I started getting involved with Sustainable Concordia as a Social Media and Online Content Creation Intern and I can proudly say that during the past months my learning curve regarding the concept of sustainability has been exponential. I have been fortunate to meet several like-minded people who are passionate about sustainability and want to bring about a change in the world and in the society, that we live in.
Right from day one, I have received tremendous support from my colleague – Pauline, the communications and design coordinator at Sustainable Concordia. I was given complete autonomy on how I want to shape my internship and the kind of projects that I want to take up and at the same time, I was also provided with proper guidance and the right resources to unleash my creativity and come up with exceptional work.
During my internship, I have learnt how to write persuasive blog posts by exploring a topic through different angles and by incorporating different voices, expertise’s and sources to support and feed your point. I realized that it is important to dig deeper and bring different perspectives on the table when one is writing articles to share with the community.
Secondly, I also got the chance to attend various workshops and events in the university which helped me broaden my views about sustainability and look at the amazing work that some of the other sustainability-related organizations are carrying out.
At the Divest 101 workshop, I got to learn about what divestment is, its history at Concordia and in the world, and how to make a change in our context. At the Sustainability Mixer 3.0, I made new connections with members of the Concordia Community who are interested in researching and working on projects around sustainability. Zero Waste Week, which was an effort to promote sustainable waste management practices by Concordia student groups such as the Dish Project, Concordia’s Centre for Creative Reuse (CUCCR) and Waste Not Want Not, helped me gain insight on some creative solutions for reducing waste.
The best workshop of all was the internship orientation meeting organized by Sustainable Concordia where I met an excited bunch of interns who had joined SC this semester and the strong cohort of coordinators at SC. This combination of sustainability-minded individuals resulted in stimulating discussions about the complexities of sustainability, which was followed by a fun social mingling session.
Till now, interning with Sustainable Concordia has been an enriching and rewarding experience. For the next semester, there are some fascinating projects in the pipeline that I am excited to work on such as the Sustainable Investing Project, the Resource Library at the SC office and our campaigns for this year – Carbon and Institutionalizing Sustainability. I am pretty sure this intuitive learning experience will not only help me in my academic journey at Concordia university, but it will also be immensely useful in my professional career later in life”
Stay tuned for more of Ankit’s articles and for upcoming opportunities at our organization!
Maybe you heard the news: Sustainable Concordia wants to start a podcast really soon! 2018 will be the year of audio exploration – We’ll have interviews, updates, found footage, event coverage, maybe even office drama.
We hope you are as excited as we are!
Two students, Noah Baum and Dario D’Onofrio, decided to talk divestment for one of their classes and interviewed Emily, our External and Campaigns Coordinator. Their podcast is officially the first audio piece featured on our website, inspiring us to soon kick off this whole new project! Thank you Dario and Noah for these precious and captivating 8 minutes!
Check their work right below ~ and stay tuned for SC’s own content!
Looking back at the launch and discussing the project’s next steps
Ankit Kumar – Social Media and Content Creation intern
A team of highly motivated individuals started working on the Sustainable Investing Project about a year ago. They witnessed a strong interest from different groups and individuals in investing as a way of expressing social engagement and making a positive change.
On January 15, 2018 the SIP team officially launched their guide and presented their first workshop in the JMSB building. To know more about this coveted project, we caught hold of Floris Ensink, one of the board members at Sustainable Concordia and one of the key members of this project since its inception. Let us find out what he has to say:
As per my understanding, the sustainable investing project is being launched in stages. Can you tell us what these stages are and what stage are you currently on?
“Throughout the summer and fall semesters, a team of interns have been working on a guide that demystifies the world of finance in an easy to understand way for anyone who’s never delved into the subject. The second part of the guide discusses all the ins and outs of how to integrate sustainability in investing, it discusses the different approaches of sustainable investing, ways to measure impact, and ways to assess and minimize trade offs between social and environmental impacts, and financial returns. The last part of the guide consists of a more hand on support for whoever is going to put the theory in practice.
We’re still working on that guide, but at the same time, we’re reaching out to our different audiences, such as community groups that have money to invest and individuals that are interested in the topic. We’re organizing sustainable investing workshops, hosting discussions and organizing simulations. Eventually, we want to set up a sustainable fund through which organizations and individuals can invest money, in a way that allows people to easily get started and learn as they go, while being exposed to acceptable levels of risk. The first call out for those actions was given at the launch event held in John Molson School of Business on January 15th.”
About the SIP launch, how do you feel it went? What kind of feedback did you get about the event?
“For us, the launch event was a great opportunity to test if we would succeed in bringing our enthusiasm and insights about sustainable investing across to a varied audience. The feedback we got from people was very encouraging. People were engaged and asked a lot of pertinent questions. We’ve been asked to come and talk or provide workshops by a number of organizations. We really got the feeling there’s a strong demand for what we’re doing and that there’s a momentum for sustainable investing.”
That’s amazing! At the project launch, I also go to know that the SIP is a community-oriented project. Can you tell us how this project can help the Concordia community?
“Our main target audience consists of community groups and individuals who want to contribute to the community. As mentioned before, we want to make sustainable investing, as a means to express engagement and as a way to make a difference, accessible to a broader group of people. We want to make people aware of the possibilities of sustainable investing and help them unlock that potential. What we try to bring across is that money is power, when you put that money on the bank, you give your power to the bank, when you invest it, you exercise your power. In some way, we’re trying to democratize sustainable investing. We believe that broader active participation of citizens in investment decisions will be beneficial for financial markets as legitimate centres of power, as well as for the communities that are impacted by decisions make on financial markets.
At Concordia, we have everything that is needed to set a positive example. We have the funds, the knowledge, the audience, the infrastructure and a culture that is strongly rooted in participatory governance. We strongly feel that there is a huge potential to make this subject one of the differentiators for Concordia University.”
Now that a considerable amount of research has been done on “Sustainable Investing” and the project has been launched, what would be your next course of action?
“The most important next step will be to host workshops on sustainable investing and to organize talks about it. The project will become meaningful in the interaction with people. We want to facilitate exchanges, raise awareness, share knowledge and start familiarizing people, both those with a financial and those with a community background, with the concepts and terminology that we’re using in our guide. We can’t do this alone. We solicit student groups, community groups, experts on finance, professors, professionals, artists, etc. to help us host events, validate our guide, reach out and make the project come to life. What we would like the Concordia administration to help us with is to provide more transparency about Concordia’s endowment funds and in the social, environmental and governance performance of the funds it’s investing in. I know that that has not been common practice in the past, but we must look into the future and realize that in the long term, exposing yourself to your stakeholders will create stronger ties, build trust and will eventually be a source of pride for the entire Concordia community.”
Who all are there in the team of this project? How can other interested folks join the team?
“The project is hosted by Sustainable Concordia and credit must largely go to Mauricio Buschinelli, who is the financial coordinator of SC and who facilitates the entire process. Another person whose time and expertise has been invaluable is Marc Richards, who held the position of financial coordinator until 2016. Jueji Chen, Mariamalia Alvarez and Kamden Biggart are interns who are, or have been working on the project and who have provided fantastic support with writing the guide. Chantal Forgues is supporting the project in here role as sustainability coordinator at Concordia University. This is a rare group of people who each have expertise both in finance and in sustainability, and who, in some way, know how to make things make sense from both perspectives.”
Call-out to interested folks: Come join our team!
“As mentioned, we will be soliciting feedback from financial experts. We’ll need help organizing workshops, hosting talks, spreading the word. I invite anyone who is interested in joining our team or helping with the project to send us an email, indicating how you’d like to contribute, so that together we can make this something really exciting.”