Lang students host virtual sustainability conference sponsored by RBC
Last weekend, students from the Lang School hosted an undergraduate conference and case competition that explored the themes of environmental stewardship and sustainable business.
Now in its second year, the Lang Sustainability Conference hosted 130 student delegates from 14 different universities across Canada to participate in the two-day virtual conference. It is one of the largest student-led sustainable business conferences in Canada. This year's conference was sponsored by RBC and explored the theme of sustainable entrepreneurship.
“Our team noticed the amount of innovation and startups that have been caused by the pandemic,” says Megan Harrison, Lang BComm student and director of the Lang Sustainability Conference. “As more side-hustles are being launched, we wanted to equip our delegates with the knowledge and skills to lead successful and sustainable businesses.”
Throughout the two-day conference, delegates participated in workshops and panel discussions from sustainable business leaders from The Co-Operators, Kubota, SodaStream, Lucky Iron Fish and more. The topics of the workshops ranged from consumer psychology, measuring a businesses carbon footprint and B-Corp certification.
“With the world transforming at an unprecedented pace, impacting the places where we live and work, for better and at times worse, there has never been a greater need for extraordinary leadership to maximize the opportunities and mitigate the risks we face in our communities, and across the planet," says Daniel Gibson, manager at RBC Royal Bank "It is a privilege and a source of pride for RBC to do its part, including investing and collaborating on events that are catalysts for change such as the Lang Sustainability Conference.”
The conference also saw keynote presentations from Kate Wilson, VP of Brand Marketing at Pela, Loren Padelford, GM of Shopify and Cheesan Chew, COO at RBC Ventures.
"Conferences like LSC allow students to hear from industry professionals and gain insight into how they found success. All of our speakers were once students, so hearing their journey and how they have used business as a force for good was inspiring," says Harrison. "This event gives students the opportunity to learn outside the classroom, connect to other like-minded students from across Canada and network with industry professionals."
As part of RBC’s Green Pitch Competition, delegates were required to submit a recorded 2-min video, answering a specific case related to creating a more sustainable and inclusive economy after the COVID-19 pandemic. The delegates then presented their live pitch to representatives from RBC and Lang.
Congratulations to the following students:
- 1st place: Rachel Gemin and Savannah Weber (University of Guelph)
- 2nd place: Alex Charette and Sophia Steele (University of Guelph)
- 3rd place: Karley Daijka (University of Guelph) and Rebecca Aharon (York University)
The Lang School would like to thank the following sponsors for their engagement throughout this conference:
- RBC (Title Sponsor)
- The Co-Operators (Platinum Sponsor)
- Kubota (Gold Sponsor)
- The Green Beaver Company
- Net Zero Co.
- Fill it Forward
- Nature Bee
- Balsam Paper Co.
- Botanical Paperworks