Lucas Fraser : His journey to sustainability.
Written by Flore Crétel
Lucas Fraser is an alumni of JMSB from which he graduated in Marketing in 2019. In his last year he was JSEC’s the Director of Business Development. After graduating he created his own firm, Circle Environmental Solutions to help firms to implement sustainability in their work. Lucas, passionate about sustainability also did a Ted Talk in 2018 to share his thoughts about environmental issues. He also participated in our BBT event this year in the economic section as the panel moderator and he also gave a workshop on sustainability and the Job Market. If you could not attend the event the recordings are still available on the Facebook page of the event and you should definitely check it out!
When did you start thinking that sustainability should be part of your journey?
I started realizing the importance of sustainability when I was at school, during my exchange. I traveled to Southern Asia and it was an amazing place, however when you got a bit behind the scenes, near the white sand beaches, I saw all the trash next to the locals’ places. The landfills contrasted so much with the idyllic idea I had of those places, I started researching environmental issues and what I found was overwhelming. That was when I knew something was wrong and I had to do something about it. I could not ignore it anymore. Additionally, when I got out of university, being confronted with the real world made me realize that the issue was even bigger.
How did you decide to implement it in your life?
After that I went all in. I first tried to make myself as informed as possible. I was so shocked by what I discovered. This is how I knew what I could do at my scale. I did a lot of research about nutrition and decided to go vegan. I also decided to meet people from the sustainability industry that inspired me a lot and made me understand some of the challenges I would face in my professional life so I could get ready for it. Finally, I took classes about sustainability at Concordia to really dig into the subject and again get ready for what I would have to face.
However, one thing I think is important is that you should not specialize only in sustainability. Choose a major in a business field that you like, like marketing or supply chain, take a minor in sustainability, and use your knowledge in sustainability to make a difference and initiate a change in this particular field.
In JSEC, did you learn anything you’d like to share with us that has been helpful in your experiences after school?
In JSEC my role was to find speakers and sometimes sponsors for our events. It gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of really interesting and knowledgeable people. So, if I had any advice, I would really insist on the importance of meeting people, this was key for me because everyone I met taught me something, had an impact, and inspired me.
I would also suggest to students to get involved. Being part of JSEC gave me the opportunity to work with other people who I had common interest with and to develop my management skills which was really helpful when I got out of school.
What was (in your opinion) your greatest accomplishment when you were part of JSEC?
As I said earlier, I really believe it is important for business students interested in sustainability to choose a specialty and apply their knowledge in sustainability to it. When I was part of JSEC I gave the idea to create Astra Workshops and they are still going on. Their goal is to present sustainability in a particular field of business through an event co-hosted with another student association of JMSB, like the Astra Workshop that happened in November about accounting with JMAS.
What are you doing now?
I am an entrepreneur and I co-created a consulting in sustainability enterprise, Circle Environmental Solutions. We help companies to reduce their environmental impact and come to carbon neutrality. Often companies are also worried about not doing good enough and to be seen as “greenwashers”. We help them avoid that too by making real changes.
We also try to get our clients to become Certified B Corporations (B-Corps). Being certified B-Corps means taking into consideration not only the environmental aspect of sustainability but also the social aspect of it. Firms such as Patagonia are certified B-Corps.
Now that you are working, would you have any advice you could give to students going into the workforce?
I believe that environmental ethics are really important. Be coherent with your ideas and sure of why you’re doing it, for who and what you’re doing. Again, specialize yourself in what you like. What part of business do you want to go deeper in, what do you want to change? Also, do research. What are the possible careers? What is compatible with the field you choose and sustainability?
But if there is one thing you should keep in mind it is to “apply sustainability to what you know”.