On January 22, JSEC hosted the 12th edition of our Business Beyond Tomorrow Conference where we explored different topics surrounding the integration of business and sustainability through the three spheres of sustainability; social, environmental and economic. If you missed out on the event, not to worry we recorded the whole thing and you can find these on our JSEC Youtube page. Here we will outline the main takeaways from each panel and workshop to share what these industry professionals had to say! We want to thank our sponsors the BDC and Banque Nationale because without their generosity, the Business Beyond Tomorrow Conference could not have been possible.

For the sustainability you don’t yet know.

2022 Business Beyond Tomorrow Conference Recap

Written by Olivia Lafreniere and Nick Bonneau 

On January 22, JSEC hosted the 12th edition of our Business Beyond Tomorrow Conference where we explored different topics surrounding the integration of business and sustainability through the three spheres of sustainability; social, environmental and economic. If you missed out on the event, not to worry we recorded the whole thing and you can find these on our JSEC Youtube page. Here we will outline the main takeaways from each panel and workshop to share what these industry professionals had to say! We want to thank our sponsors the BDC and Banque Nationale because without their generosity, the Business Beyond Tomorrow Conference could not have been possible.

Launch
1 BONUS WORKSHOP Environment

Dive into sustainability consulting

This workshop was hosted by Justine Carlone (Senior Consultant, Sustainability and Impact Services at KPMG Montreal) and Samantha Miller (Manager, ESG & Sustainability Services at KPMG Toronto). They walked the audience through the work that a sustainability consultant at KPMG would do as well as what skills one would need to pursue such a career. To do this, Justine did a step-by-step walkthrough of an engagement cycle from start to finish, pausing to give many great insights and examples. Then, she and Sam each shared their experiences working at KPMG so far and expanded on some similarities and differences between the two offices. A key takeaway from the presentation was that there is a growing need for consultants with sustainability knowledge.

Finding Wellbeing in Today’s Workplace Panel

This panel was moderated by senior advisor for organizational wellness at the BDC, Marie-Claude Poliquin, with special guests Karine Bah Tahé, CEO of Blue Level training and Louise Champoux-Paillé, Co-director at the Lorenzetti Centre. The panelists discussed the multiple perspectives regarding the benefits and challenges of the ever-changing transition between Work In-Person (WIP) to Work from Home (WFH) with an emphasis on how WFH offers many benefits to the mental health of BIPOC employees through less microaggressions from their colleagues and superiors. Other topics covered include how employees can take charge of their wellness in their at-home workplace through the setting of boundaries and clear working spaces in your home, no matter how small albeit a work chair or a totally separate room for you to do your work. Finally, the panelists emphasized the importance of taking the time to check-in with colleagues for 5 minute coffee breaks or virtual work sessions to keep motivation high and encourage intra-personal relationships. For more tips and tricks to remote learning and working, watch the full panel! 

1 PANEL Social
2A WORKSHOP Environment

Environmental Positioning of Fast-Fashion Brands Workshop

This workshop was hosted by Laurie-Han Hébert, owner of Monicano Apparel and founder of the Shades of Green Magazine. Laurie-Han first defines what fast-fashion is and why we need to move away from this trendy fast-food mentality in the fashion industry to a slower, more refined model. She pushes us to think before we buy and ask these retail stores, who made my clothes? She then lists the environmental effects of each business decision from material selection to supply chain operations from a brand’s owner perspective using Monicano Apparel as an example and outlines how consumers can make better purchasing decisions to minimize their impact. Using the information provided in the first section of the workshop, students were equipped to evaluate different brands on their environmental positioning. To watch the full workshop, click here.

ESG in commercial banking

Sonia Hernanzes (Head of ESG Operations from National Bank) gave a truly insightful and inspiring presentation about the impact and importance of ESG in commercial banking. Sonia has done and seen it all when it comes to managing business operations. Her presentation gave a brief overview of what ESG looks like in the banking industry, the recurring stakeholders she engages with, what ESG factors banks are evaluated on, what are the best/common ESG banking practices, and the different careers within banks to pursue regarding ESG. Her presentation was a great complement to the sustainability consulting workshop because many connections were able to be drawn between the two. The biggest key takeaway, again, not surprisingly was that there is a high demand for analysts who are familiar with ESG practices.

2B WORKSHOP Economic
3 WORKSHOP Social

Aligning Purpose and Profits: How one Quebec Chocolate Entrepreneur is Crafting a Global Reputation

Hosted by Jordan Lebel, PhD and Marketing professor at Concordia University, with special guest and Co-founder of Qantu Chocolate, Elfi Maldonado, this workshop dives into the questions Elfi has asked herself in the past few years on how to carve a niche in the shadow of dominating industry giants. Qantu chocolate crafts award-winning bean-to-bar chocolate right here in Montreal with cocoa beans imported from her native Peru where she supports local cacao farming in various ways. This is an extremely rare characteristic of a chocolate company as industry giants continue to grow and purchase from large scale suppliers who lose sight of where their beans come from as they too, grow exponentially. Participants were lucky enough to receive Qantu bars before the workshop and were able to see the packaging, taste the chocolate and comment on the success of Qantu’s marketing strategies to demonstrate their purpose. You can watch the whole workshop and order your next batch of Qantu chocolate from your local farmer’s market!

The World of Carbon Markets

A powerhouse panel of Amr Addas (Finance Professor, JMSB), Moshe Lander (Economic Professor, Concordia), and David Baumann (Director, Taking Root) gave the audience an insight into the world of carbon markets. Because this type of market is very new, there are many questions to answer. All the panelists provided students with a digestible explanation of what carbon markets are and the mechanics driving them. As director of Taking Root, David painted a picture of what it’s like to be a company participating in the voluntary carbon market, what are some complications, and how important it is to accurately measure and report your carbon credits. Overall, the topic is too vast to cover in one panel but the participants did an amazing job of highlighting the important points and sharing with the audience what to be aware of when it comes to carbon markets.

3 PANEL Economic

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