The importance of lifelong learning and inclusion were key topics at the ECO impact 2022 Learning Series & Awards Gala: Driving Sustainability: Investing in a Greener, More Resilient and Inclusive Future
Established in 2017, ECO Impact is a Canada-wide virtual event connecting environmental and sustainability professionals with a focus on workforce and professional development. The ECO Impact Awards are a highlight and recognize industry professionals for leadership, commitment and innovation in the continuous advancements of the environmental sector. This year the event took place online on February 2 and 3.
Topics around 'ESG' - Environmental, Social, and Governance ran through the conference. These non-financial factors are vital to analyzing the risks and growth potential for a company.
There is a high demand for ethical companies, with factors like a labour shortage, changing tech, and a pandemic changing the way business is done. Many different sessions talked about how to adapt and change for the better.
Companies need to "pivot" to survive.
(The word "pivot" was used so much that a speaker joked about it.)
Many speakers explained that this was an opportunity for innovation and better inclusion.
Breakout session Making It Meaningful: Indigenous Workplace Inclusion was hosted by Brad Spence with Lois Miller from environemental advisory firm Trace Associates.
After the land acknowledgement, Spence talked about how reconciliation is a journey, not a destination.
The land is part of a people's language and culture. Companies must research, respect, and recognize each nation, reserve, and community they met to help economic reconciliation.
Spence also went over systematic and recruitment barriers, cultural differences, and then he talked about some solutions.
Some solutions include a recruitment plan, 16 step strategy, and EcoCanada's BEAHR program.
Spence and Miller spoke about how TRACE has made a positive impact in some Indigenous communities.
The keynote speaker, Alan Mallory, gave a speech called "Reaching New Heights".
It was based on his book about how his family climbed Mount Everest. His story shared that, much like running a company, everyone had roles and responsibilities that would change when encountering new challenges.
Because society changes, Mallory said there is a sweet spot between chaos and zero innovation that companies must hit to adapt and improve (and pivot).
Attendees used networking rooms and the chat features to connect directly and share ideas on the sessions.
Eco Canada introduced a new award for their 5th year called The Lifetime Impact Award - the winner was Paul Werbiski!
Werbiski gave an acceptance speech thanking all mentors - both the good and bad examples.
The Lectures and Awards were recorded and will be uploaded on eco Canada's website.
Melissa is Sustainability Co-ordinator for thegreenrock.ca ~ Live Sustainably NL Inc. and Guide to the Good. She was a happy virtual participant in ECO impact 2022.
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