green, resilient and inclusive: ECO impact 2022

eco Canada's Virtual Event Driving Sustainability

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

inclusion:  nothing without us

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. 

keynote and connecting online

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 impact award winners

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 EPT Impact Award went to Emily Davis is an environmental scientist with Dillon Consulting Limited (Dillon) in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
  • The EP Impact Award went to Carol Crowe is the founder and President of Indigenous Visions Inc. 
  • The Community Impact went to Fondation Rivières. The project to build a mega pig barn in Saint-Adelphe, Mauricie, raises concerns about the consequences for the water quality of the Batiscan River and surrounding waterways.
  • The Top Employer Impact went to Narratives Inc. Narratives emerged to negotiate space for early, respectful dialogue for all parties to make informed decisions that align with their principles, values, and ways of being. 

The Lectures and Awards were recorded and will be uploaded on eco Canada's website

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Melissa Wong

Melissa is Sustainability Co-ordinator for ~ Live Sustainably NL Inc. and Guide to the Good. She was a happy virtual participant in ECO impact 2022.