March 8, 2023Print | PDF
On March 8, Wilfrid Laurier University hosted its sixth International Women’s Day luncheon, in partnership with the International Women’s Forum Waterloo chapter, at the Delta hotel in Waterloo.
Over lunch, a panel moderated by alumna Carrine Chambers-Sani (BBA ’02), featuring professor Alison Blay-Palmer and alumnae Marissa Vettoretti (BBA ’20) and Priyanka Lloyd (MBA ’11), discussed women leading sustainable solutions towards planetary health after a keynote address by president and vice-chancellor Deborah MacLatchy.
Each of the speakers are leaders in sustainable solutions, both in the academic and business worlds. Blay-Palmer is the founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems and a professor in geography and environmental studies at Laurier. Lloyd is the Executive Director of Green Economy Canada, a national non-profit working to accelerate Canada’s transition to a vibrant and inclusive net-zero future. Vettoretti is the Co-Founder of EarthSuds, a social enterprise that aims to reduce plastic bottles in cosmetics by selling zero-waste tablets of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Chambers-Sani is the co-founder and CEO of Diva International, a company revolutionizing menstrual care.
Read what these speakers had to say about their leadership in sustainable solutions:
"Universities are key to achieving the UN Social Development Goals given their role in education, research and as community anchors."
"When we make a better food system, it has benefits to the greater environment. Climate change is tipping traditional food systems on their head, so we need to find ways to help address these issues. Policy is important because it determines what we can do and how we can do it."
"I started to see that if you find the best way to do business sustainably, then you’ve also found the best way to save money. There are so many benefits to having sustainable products beyond sustainability itself. Being a student while trying to create a product and business partnerships was an added challenge. But people underestimate what a student can do, but there is so much potential and there are so many resources available to university students to tackle these issues and grow."
"We have a lot of social and environmental problems right now. Our economy is something we can change to meet the challenges we have. There are ways to harness capitalism to help solve these problems. I think of the indigenous principle of the 7 generations. We can’t just be thinking about tomorrow or until retirement. We have to have something to leave for our future generations."
"Planetary health resonates with me on many levels. My mother and I have been at this for 22 years to strive for a society with menstrual equity. When we started as one small brand, it was difficult to break into the market, but as soon as more and more brands join in, it becomes a movement."
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