Chantal Bernatchez is an engineer and multipreneur in circular economy in Montréal. A native of the Gaspé Peninsula and mother of five, Chantal Bernatchez is a volunteer strongly committed to women’s entrepreneurship and sustainable development with women in Burkina Faso and young people in Québec. Her contagious passion for commitment motivated her to start her own businesses in sustainable development (NPO Vergers d’Afrique in 2016) and in the circular economy (Irri-Blière, in 2020 and Iso-Protek, in 2021). Her involvement of over 21 years has contributed to the creation of a better world, notably by meeting 13 of the 17 sustainable development goals identified by the UN. The strength of her impact has earned her 18 awards for commitment and innovation with over 25,000 hours of volunteer work. With the aim of inspiring a whole generation, she accompanies many women from Québec and elsewhere by guiding and encouraging them to undertake actions to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

PROJECT

Iso-Protek’s RALYA project aims to join forces via the circular economy to give a second life to our industrial waste. Iso-Protek is partnering with the Lassonde Group to innovate in the recovery of plastic and aluminium waste by transforming it into composite materials for the manufacture of reusable and certified eco-responsible thermal bags. The three objectives of the project are:

  1. to characterise industrial plastic and aluminium waste
  2. to establish the cleaning process for reuse in composite materials
  3. to manufacture reusable thermal bags from recycled composite materials.

The impact in the fight against climate change is in the number of GHG avoided by the avoidance of landfill of more than 8000 thermal tarpaulins per year or the equivalent of 1 million CO2/year in Montréal alone.

Iso-Protek is a Montréal-based circular economy start-up in the sector of recycling aluminium waste to make reusable thermal bags. The company was created on March 4, 2021 following a business proposal in November 2020 from BT-Pack in France, which approached the Ouedraogo-Bernatchez couple to propose the recovery of thermal tarpaulins from maritime containers for the transport of goods sensitive to thermal variations such as wine and sparkling water. Currently in Montréal, more than 8,000 40′ x 24′ thermal tarpaulins are incinerated after a single use. That’s the equivalent of 9 Olympic-sized aluminum swimming pools wasted per year! Iso-Protek aims to revolutionise the world of meal kit delivery by eliminating energy-intensive single-use refrigerated boxes. The solution will be to set up a reverse logistics system based on the same principle as Lufa Farms to use thermal delivery bags more than 400 times. Since its inception, Iso-Protek has won a $5,000 grant from Fondatrices Montréal Inc. and received the NOVAE 2022 award as a project with a high environmental impact, as well as the $25,000 Entreprendre ici grant.

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

My motivation and commitment to creating a better planet comes from my international cooperation experience in 2001 with women in Burkina Faso. This life-changing experience changed my way of being and acting. When I returned to Québec in 2007, it was the circular economy that inspired me to do business differently. The importance of integrating sustainable business strategies and eco-responsible practices are at the heart of my business motivations. Thus, I have the desire to go even further and inspire the transition towards a circular economy through the development of sustainable and innovative thermal products and solutions.

Find out more:

LinkedIn   Website   Facebook

EN FRANÇAIS / IN FRENCH

Chantal Bernatchez est ingénieure et multipreneure en économie circulaire à Montréal. Gaspésienne d’origine et mère de cinq enfants, Chantal Bernatchez est une bénévole fortement engagée en entrepreneuriat féminin et développement durable auprès des femmes du Burkina Faso et des jeunes du Québec. Sa passion contagieuse pour l’éveil à l’engagement l’a motivée à démarrer ses propres entreprises en développement durable (OBNL Vergers d’Afrique en 2016) et en économie circulaire (Irri-Blière, en 2020 et Iso-Protek, en 2021). Son implication de plus de 21 ans a contribué à la création d’un monde meilleur, en répondant notamment à 13 des 17 objectifs de développement durable identifiés par l’ONU. La force de l’impact de son engagement lui a valu l’attribution de 18 prix en engagement et innovation avec plus de 25 000 heures de bénévolat. Voulant inspirer toute une génération, elle accompagne plusieurs femmes du Québec et d’ailleurs en les guidant et les encourageant à entreprendre pour atténuer les impacts en changement climatique.

PROJET

Le projet RALYA d’Iso-Protek vise à rallier nos forces via l’économie circulaire pour donner une seconde vie à nos déchets industriels. Iso-Protek s’associe au Groupe Lassonde pour innover dans la valorisation des matières résiduelles de plastique et d’aluminium en les transformant en matériaux composites pour la fabrication de sacs thermiques réutilisables et certifiés éco-responsables. Les trois objectifs du projet sont :

1. Caractériser les déchets industriels de plastique et d’aluminium

2. Établir le processus de nettoyage pour la revalorisation en matériaux composites

3. Fabrication de sacs thermiques réutilisables à base de matériaux composites recyclés.

L’impact dans la lutte contre les changements climatiques est au niveau du nombre de GES évité par l’évitement de l’enfouissement de plus de 8000 bâches thermiques par année soit l’équivalent de 1 million de CO2/an seulement à Montréal.

Iso-Protek est une start-up en économie circulaire basée à Montréal dans le secteur de la valorisation des matières résiduelles d’aluminium pour fabriquer des sacs thermiques réutilisables. L’entreprise a vu le jour le 4 mars 2021 suite à une proposition d’affaires en novembre 2020 de BT-Pack en France qui a approché le couple Ouedraogo-Bernatchez pour leur proposer de valoriser les bâches thermiques provenant de conteneurs maritimes pour le transport de marchandises sensibles aux variations thermiques comme le vin et les eaux pétillantes. Actuellement à Montréal c’est plus de 8000 bâches thermiques de 40pi par 24 pi qui sont incinérées après un seul usage. C’est l’équivalent de 9 piscines olympiques d’aluminium gaspillé par année ! Iso-Protek vise à révolutionner le monde de la livraison des kits repas en éliminant les boîtes réfrigérées à usage unique qui sont très énergivores. La solution passera par la mise en place d’une logistique inversée sous le même principe que les Fermes Lufa pour utiliser les sacs thermiques de livraison plus de 400 fois. Depuis son démarrage, Iso-Protek a remporté la bourse de 5000$ de Fondatrices Montréal Inc., a reçu le prix NOVAE 2022 comme projet à fort impact environnemental et la bourse Entreprendre ici de 25K$.

MOTIVATION ET ENGAGEMENT POUR LA CRÉATION D’UNE PLANÈTE MEILLEURE ET PLUS DURABLE

Ma motivation et mon engagement à créer une planète meilleure me viennent de mon expérience de coopération internationale en 2001 auprès des femmes du Burkina Faso. Cette expérience marquante a changé ma façon d’être et d’agir. À mon retour au Québec en 2007, c’est l’économie circulaire qui m’a inspiré à entreprendre différemment. L’importance d’intégrer des stratégies d’affaires durables et des pratiques écoresponsables sont au cœur des motivations de mes entreprises. Ainsi, j’ai le désir d’aller encore plus loin et d’inspirer la transition vers une économie circulaire à travers le développement de produits et de solutions thermiques durables et innovantes.

Plus de détails :

LinkedIn   Website   Facebook


Her Mentor

Sonia Gagné

Related profiles

BocoBoco

Montréal

Lauren has worked for more than 10 years in management and marketing in sustainable development projects, whether as a carbon credit advisor, agri-food waste project manager or sustainability advisor in an architectural firm. In 2018, she wanted to convince more people to reduce their waste: by avoiding constraints, she created BocoBoco.

PROJECT

BocoBoco.ca is an online marketplace offering a complete grocery shop, thanks to partnerships with local businesses (producers and processors) but also micro-local (the best restaurants and bakeries/pastry shops on the island of Montreal). With each delivery, we take back the containers from the previous order. The refund is a discount on the next order. In this way, zero waste is simple, accessible and delicious.

Reducing waste can bring its share of constraints: going to the shops with your containers, decanting them, carrying them home… whereas at home, we all have a bin, a recycling bin, a compost box and returnable beers to take back to the grocery shop. Finally, if everything was returnable, it would be easy to be zero waste?

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

BocoBoco offers a complete grocery shop in a zero-waste format with certified organic ingredients, favouring local, feminine, gourmet and eco-friendly partners and through an ecological home delivery (bicycle coupled with hybrid vehicles).

Find out more:

Instagram  Website  Facebook

EN FRANÇAIS / IN FRENCH

Lauren a travaillé plus de 10 ans en gestion et marketing dans des projets en développement durable, que ce soit en tant que conseillère pour les crédits carbones, chargée de projet en matières résiduelles agroalimentaire ou bien conseillère développement durable dans une firme d’architecture. En 2018, elle avait envie de convaincre davantage de personnes à réduire leurs déchets : en évitant les contraintes, elle a créé BocoBoco.

PROJET

BocoBoco.ca est une place de marché en ligne offrant une épicerie complète, grâce à des partenariats avec des entreprises locales (producteurs et transformateurs) mais aussi micro local (les meilleurs restaurants et boulangeries/pâtisseries de l’île de Montréal). qui livre à domicile avec des contenants consignés. À chaque livraison, on reprend les contenants de la commande précédente. Le remboursement est un rabais sur la prochaine commande. De cette manière, le zéro déchet est simple, accessible et gourmand.

Réduire ses déchets peut apporter son lot de contraintes : se rendre chez les commerçants avec ses contenants, les transvider, les transporter chez soi … alors que chez nous, nous avons tous : une poubelle, un bac de recyclage, une boite de compost et des bières consignés à ramener à l’épicerie. Finalement, si tout était consigné, ce serait simple d’être zéro déchet ?

MOTIVATION ET ENGAGEMENT POUR LA CRÉATION D’UNE PLANÈTE MEILLEURE ET PLUS DURABLE

BocoBoco offre une épicerie complète en format zéro déchet avec des ingrédients certifiés biologiques, des favorisant les partenaires locaux, féminins, gourmands et ayant des valeurs écologiques et par une livraison écologique à domicile (vélo couplé à des véhicules hybrides).

Plus de détails :

Instagram  Website   Facebook


Her Mentor

Laila Benameur


The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal's approach to eco-responsibility

Montréal

Marie-Hélène is a cultural manager who believes classical music can improve the world we live in. She has worked for the past 10 years at the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal as part of the artistic team, collaborating on the planning and organization of different projects, including the Orchestra’s summer festival, tours, and auditions, as well as special productions and music programming. She is also involved in initiatives such as the OSM’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee and the Employee Wellness Committee. She also put together the Sustainable Development Committee in the spring of 2021 and started working on the Orchestra’s approach to eco-responsibility. In October 2022, Marie-Hélène was appointed Senior Advisor, Strategic Initiatives at the OSM, a role in which she supports the implementation of the organization’s strategic plan, which prioritizes, among other things, sustainable development.

PROJECT

The OSM adopted its first Eco-Responsibility Policy in April 2022. Since then, the Sustainable Development Committee, as well as the entire team, has been working on an action plan for the years to come. We are now implementing the first actions, mobilizing the entire organization to improve our practices and our environmental impact. In the months and years to come, the Orchestra will, among others, measure, reduce and sometimes compensate the carbon footprint of its activities at the local and international levels, implement more eco-responsible practices in the organization of its concerts, festivals, tours, and special events, and thus contribute to laying the foundations for a greener and more inclusive revival of the activities of the orchestral and cultural sector in Montréal.

Faced with the environmental issues we are collectively confronted with, the OSM, as a leader of the orchestral sector in Canada, wished to recognize its share of responsibility and participate in efforts to reduce its environmental footprint. Aware that its activities can have an environmental impact, and in solidarity with the actors in its milieu, the organization began to reflect on its practices in 2021 and is now taking action.

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

I strongly believe that art can have a positive impact on people and that an orchestra should be in line with the challenges facing its community. That is why the OSM is now working on improving its environmental impact and wishes to position itself as a leader in the application of sustainable development principles in the Montreal cultural sector and within the Canadian orchestral milieu.

Find out more:

LinkedIn   Website   Twitter   Facebook

EN FRANÇAIS / IN FRENCH

Marie-Hélène est une gestionnaire culturelle qui croit que la musique classique peut améliorer le monde dans lequel nous vivons. Elle a travaillé pendant les 10 dernières années à l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal au sein de l’équipe artistique, collaborant à la planification et à l’organisation de différents projets, notamment le festival d’été de l’Orchestre, les tournées et les auditions, ainsi que les productions spéciales et la programmation musicale. 

Elle participe également à des initiatives telles que le comité de la diversité, de l’équité, de l’inclusion et de l’accessibilité de l’OSM et le comité du bien-être des employés.

Elle a également mis sur pied le comité de développement durable au printemps 2021 et a commencé à travailler sur l’approche écoresponsable de l’Orchestre.

En octobre 2022, Marie-Hélène fut nommée conseillère principale, Initiatives stratégiques à l’OSM, un rôle dans lequel elle soutient la mise en œuvre du plan stratégique de l’organisme, qui priorise notamment, le développement durable.


Her Mentor

France Levert

Commissioning for the reconstruction of residential and long-term care centers (CHSLD) in the metropolitan region – East of Montreal

Montréal

Annabelle Lam, Eng., LEED AP BD+C, PMP, RCx is a sustainability and commissioning expert at EXP, a multidisciplinary firm providing engineering, design and consulting services to the world’s built and natural environments. She leads multiple building commissioning projects and partakes in environmental action projects: LEED certification, GES reduction, energy and water audits. Annabelle distinguishes herself by her leadership, her team spirit and her capacity of managing and delivering projects from the beginning till the end, focusing on creating positive environmental, social and economic impacts for her clients and communities. Graduated in mechanical engineering from Université de Sherbrooke (2012), Annabelle joined EXP in 2019 after starting her career at L’Oréal Canada where she realized a few building mechanics construction projects and where she was introduced to energy efficiency at an early stage. She also worked at BPA as an energy efficiency engineer where she was involved on different commissioning, energy and water audits and LEED coordination projects. Active player of decarbonation, Annabelle holds various expertise that contribute to sustainable development.

PROJECT

The project consists in the building commissioning management for the reconstruction of the residential and long-term care centers (CHSLD) in Montreal-East. Aiming to reach sustainable goals in response to environmental and social impacts and to climate change, the commissioning expertise contributes to achieve the buildings systems performance. Buildings will be designed to respond to occupants and sustainability needs to maintain energy performance, indoor environmental conditions. Commissioning process is a quality insurance process that verifies, at multiple stages during the project lifecycle, satisfaction of the building systems to operational and sustainability requirements. This process leads to optimal performance of the systems which will contribute to climate change adaptation and resilience in multiple ways. Optimal performance of energy efficiency measures will reduce greenhouse gas emissions impact from exploitation. Air quality and indoor environmental conditions provided by heating-ventilation and air conditioning system that are always well-maintained, including during smog and heat wave events, will contribute to the well-being of every resident living in the facilities.

EXP’s team was selected by the Société québécoise des infrastructures (SQI) to plan and implement the the commissioning (Cx) process to the reconstruction of long-term care centers (CHSLD) in the metropolitan region. Annabelle is one of the main resources involved in the Cx process management. Conscious of her role and responsibilities for the health and well-being of the most vulnerable people of our communities and to contribute to reduce the impacts of building construction and operation, Annabelle wants to take advantage of the mentorship program to improve her skills in stakeholder engagement in the commissioning process. This aims to achieve optimal operating performance for the benefit of the environment, well-being and economic aspects.

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

While studying, I’ve always questioned myself how I wanted to contribute to society positively. I knew I wanted to have an impact on environmental issues through my work, but more specifically in the construction field. I have slowly shaped my career around that desire. Applying commissioning on construction projects contributes to building more sustainably. The process of commissioning ensures that the energy efficiency measures correspond to the design. Very often, those measures are linked to environmental goals of reducing the carbon footprint. Our role for our generation is to consume less in smarter ways than before.

Find out more:

LinkedIn

EN FRANÇAIS / IN FRENCH

Annabelle Lam, ingénieure, LEED AP BD+C, PMP, RCx est une experte en durabilité et en mise en service chez EXP, une firme multidisciplinaire offrant des services d’ingénierie, de conception et de consultation pour les environnements bâtis et naturels du monde entier.

Elle dirige de nombreux projets de mise en service de bâtiments et prend part à des projets d’action environnementale: certification LEED, réduction des GES, audits énergétiques et hydriques.

Annabelle se distingue par son leadership, son esprit d’équipe et sa capacité à gérer et à mener à bien des projets du début à la fin, en se concentrant sur la création d’impacts environnementaux, sociaux et économiques positifs pour ses clients et les communautés.

Diplômée en génie mécanique de l’Université de Sherbrooke (2012), Annabelle s’est jointe à EXP en 2019 après avoir débuté sa carrière chez L’Oréal Canada, où elle a réalisé quelques projets de construction en mécanique du bâtiment et où elle s’est initiée à l’efficacité énergétique à un stade précoce. Elle a également travaillé chez BPA en tant qu’ingénieure en efficacité énergétique où elle a participé à différentes mises en service, audits de l’énergie et de l’eau et projets de coordination LEED.

Active face à la décarbonation, Annabelle détient diverses expertises qui contribuent au développement durable.


Her Mentor

Julie-Anne Chayer

Ecoist Club

Montréal

Born in Moscow in 1985, I immigrated to Quebec in 2007, dince I have lived and worked in France and Hong Kong. Photojournalist, visual artist and digital artist, recipient of the CALQ scholarship, with more than 15 years of experience in management and realization of media projects as photo director / photo editor, I hold a Bachelor’s degree in photojournalism (2007 – Moscow), a Master’s degree in media communication (2011 – Montreal), a Bachelor’s degree in film production (2015 – Montreal). My artistic works like “Occupy Central” (2015) – a mobile application / alarm clock in support of pro-democratic demonstrators in Hong Kong, or “Barometer – sound portrait of Montreal” (2021), are the fruit of my reflection on human relations with technology. Since 2020, I have been working on a project « Ecoist Club » to raise awareness about digital sobriety. Ecoist Club helps to develop healthy and eco-responsible relationships with digital technology using multidisciplinary and inclusive initiatives.

PROJECT

Ecoist Club is a social impact project raising awareness of the challenges of digital ecology. By bringing together experts in green ICTs, sustainable digital technology, psychoeducation, psychoergonomics and physical well-being, Ecoist Club translates scientific knowledge into digital sobriety experiences accessible to companies and individuals. These experiences are presented in the form of workshops and expert support for companies and via a mobile application for individuals.

Interested in a transformation that our society undergoes in the digital era, I decided to explore our role, as an individual and as a collective, in getting this transformation more eco-responsible and more ethical.

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

We have 10 years to save the world as we know it… (IPCC)

Find out more:

LinkedIn   Website   Linkedin (project)

EN FRANÇAIS / IN FRENCH

Née à Moscou en 1985, j’ai immigré au Québec en 2007. J’ai aussi vécu et travaillé en France et à Hong Kong. Photojournaliste, artiste visuelle et artiste numérique, récipiendaire de la bourse CALQ, avec plus de 15 ans d’expérience en gestion et réalisation de projets médiatiques comme directrice photo/éditrice photo, je détiens un Baccalauréat en photojournalisme (2007 – Moscou), une Maîtrise en communication médiatique (2011 – Montréal), un Baccalauréat en production cinématographique (2015 – Montréal).

Mes œuvres artistiques comme « Occupy Central » (2015), une application mobile/réveil en soutien des manifestants pro-démocratiques à Hong Kong, ou encore « Baromètre : portrait sonore de Montréal » (2021), sont les fruits de ma réflexion au sujet des relations de l’humain avec la technologie.

Depuis 2020, je travaille sur un projet de sensibilisation à la sobriété numérique « Ecoist Club » qui aide à développer des relations saines et éco-responsables avec le numérique via des initiatives ponctuelles, multidisciplinaires et inclusives.


Her Mentor

Natacha Beauchesne

Textile recycling project at Le Chaînon shop

Montréal

My background is non-linear, more atypical. After graduating in management and urban planning, I chose to study international development management and humanitarian action. By multiplying my experiences in thrift stores and by taking an interest in Fast Fashion, I became interested in the environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry. Since 2019, I am in charge of marketing and partnerships at the Chainon Store, the thrift store of a shelter for women in need. Through my job, I deal with the consequences of the fashion industry and thus post-consumerism. My attention is particularly focused on clothes in poor condition. I am looking for responsible ways to recycle a large quantity of clothes at the end of their life. My mission is to find efficient outlets, applicable within a sorting centre, in order to propose a circularity of textiles.

PROJECT

The objective of the textile recovery project is to put back into circulation as many products as possible that are refused at the Magasin Le Chaînon. The goal is to introduce a new method of managing textile materials at the donation centre by implementing concrete recycling techniques. The objective is to implement 5 techniques. Firstly, it is a question of adding a resale department called “les mal-aimés” (the unloved), which will offer a range of raw materials for creative sewing projects. Secondly, the project proposes to equip washing machines for items in need, repair items, dye and overcycle clothes. The project will reduce GHGs by diverting these materials from landfill while avoiding the export of used clothing for international bundling. The project will promote environmentally responsible practices within our organisation by raising awareness among donors, employees and all stakeholders. In particular, there are few opportunities for post-consumer clothing recovery methods. In a circular economy concept, one of the objectives of the textile recovery project is to create workshops for co-creation, sharing and developing partnerships.

When I started, I was hired at the Magasin as an assistant manager in operations. I was responsible for all activities at the sorting centre. After several observations, I was struck by the considerable amount of refusals at the clothing sorting centre. Many garments are not saleable and need to be maintained. I find it unfortunate that we have to dispose of these precious donations and send the materials to a textile recycler. I was thinking that, first of all, it would be possible to put this material back into circularity while increasing our income and thus making us more autonomous. Furthermore, I noticed the growing craze for second-hand clothes shops and the second-hand economy! This is an opportunity to be seized! Thanks to this winning combination, my desire to respond to a global scourge is now feasible.

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

Slow down! As a mother of an almost 3 year old, I feel the need to slow down my lifestyle and to slow down the pace and to learn about slow life. I believe that every eco-responsible gesture counts. In Québec, it is calculated that a citizen consumes an average of 40kg of new textile products per year (Mutrec, 2020). If each person adapted slow fashion, the impact on the environment would be considerable. I want to set precedents and be a real instigator of positive change. One of my biggest motivations is to raise awareness of the reality and issues of community donation centres. And in particular the social, economic and of course environmental impact that my project can have.

Find out more:

LinkedIn   Website   Instagram

EN FRANÇAIS / IN FRENCH

Mon parcours est non linéaire, davantage atypique. Diplômée en gestion et en urbanisme, j’ai choisi par la suite de m’immiscer dans un programme de gestion du développement international et de l’action humanitaire. En multipliant mes expériences dans des friperies et en m’intéressant au Fast Fashion, je me suis penchée sur les impacts environnementaux et sociaux de l’industrie de la mode. Depuis 2019, je suis responsable du marketing et des partenariats au sein du Magasin du Chainon, la friperie d’un centre d’hébergement pour les femmes en difficulté. À travers mon emploi, je fais face aux conséquences de l’industrie de la mode et ainsi de la post consommation. Mon attention se porte particulièrement sur les vêtements en mauvaises conditions. Je me questionne ainsi sur des manières responsables de pouvoir valoriser une quantité importante de vêtements en fin de vie. Ma mission est de trouver des débouchés efficaces, applicables au sein d’un centre de tri, afin de proposer une circularité des textiles.

PROJET

Le projet de valorisation des textiles a pour objectif de remettre en circulation le maximum de produits refusés au tri au Magasin Le Chaînon. Il s’agit d’instaurer une nouvelle méthode de gestion des matières textiles au centre de don par l’implantation de techniques de valorisation concrètes. L’objectif est d’instaurer 5 techniques. Prime abord, il s’agit d’ajouter un département de revente nommé les mal-aimés, il s’agit de proposer une gamme de matière première pour des projets de créations de couture. Ensuite, pour ce projet, il est proposé de s’équiper de machines à laver pour les articles ayant le besoin, de réparer les articles, de teindre et de surcycler les vêtements. Le projet permettra de réduire les GES en détournant ces matières des sites d’enfouissement tout en évitant l’exportation des vêtements usagés pour la revente en ballot à l’international. Il s’agit notamment de promouvoir les pratiques écoresponsables au sein de notre organisation en sensibilisant les donateurs, les employés et toutes les parties prenantes. On recense notamment peu de débouchés quant aux méthodes de valorisation des vêtements post-consommation. Dans un concept d’économie circulaire, le projet de valorisation des textiles a notamment pour objectif de créer des ateliers de cocréation, de partage et de développer des partenariats.

À mes débuts, j’ai été embauchée au Magasin à titre d’assistante-gérante aux opérations. J’étais responsable de l’ensemble des activités au centre de tri. Après plusieurs observations, j’ai été marquée par la quantité considérable de refus au tri de vêtements. Plusieurs vêtements sont non vendables et nécessitent de l’entretien. Je trouve malheureux de devoir se départir de ces précieux dons et par le fait même d’envoyer les matières à un recycleur textile. Je me disais que dans un premier temps, il serait possible de remettre en circularité cette matière tout en augmentant nos revenus et nous rendre ainsi plus autonomes. Par ailleurs, j’ai notamment constaté l’engouement grandissant pour les friperies et l’économie de la seconde main ! Il s’agit d’une opportunité à saisir ! Grâce à cette combinaison gagnante, mon désir de répondre à un fléau mondial se voit maintenant réalisable.

MOTIVATION ET ENGAGEMENT POUR LA CREATION D’UNE PLANETE MEILLEURE ET PLUS DURABLE

Ralentir! En tant que mère d’un petit gamin de presque 3 ans, je ressens le besoin de ralentir mon mode de vie, de ralentir la cadence et de se familiariser avec le slow life. Je crois que chaque geste écoresponsable compte. Au Québec, on calcule qu’un citoyen consomme en moyenne 40kg de produits textiles neufs par année (Mutrec, 2020). Si chaque personne adaptait le slow fashion, l’impact serait considérable sur l’environnement. Je souhaite de créer des précédents et être une réelle instigatrice de changement positif. Une de mes plus grandes motivations est de faire entendre la réalité et la problématique des centres de don des organismes communautaires. Et notamment de l’impact social, économique et bien entendu environnemental que mon projet peut occasionner.

Plus de détails :

LinkedIn   Website   Instagram


Her Mentor

Janie-Claude Viens

McGill’s Path to Carbon Neutrality by 2040

Montréal

Since 2015, I have been working on interdisciplinary collaborations to promote action on climate change in Canada. As Climate Officer at the McGill Office of Sustainability, I am responsible for ensuring continued progress on the university’s path to carbon neutrality by developing and supporting climate-related projects on McGill’s campuses. Prior to that, I was research assistant in the McGill Biology Department, where I coordinated multi-stakeholder projects with academia, the federal government, Indigenous communities, public institutions, NGOs, and SMEs. In that role, I co-authored, co-edited, and copy-edited numerous reports and editorials as the researcher and administrator for Sustainable Canada Dialogues, a cross-disciplinary network of 80+ scholars and an initiative of the UNESCO-McGill Chair for Dialogues on Sustainability. I conducted my Master’s research in Panama, using a participatory action-research approach to identify social and ecological influences on deforested Indigenous landscapes with local Indigenous collaborators.

PROJECT

Universities are uniquely positioned to be living labs for society, where we can both develop knowledge and experiment with solutions. McGill is committed to achieving carbon neutrality, meaning net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, by 2040. The target includes direct and indirect sources of emissions. The university’s strategy is to first reduce emissions at the source, only offsetting emissions that cannot be avoided such as those from commuting and necessary air travel. The target is aligned with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) decarbonisation timeline and includes strong commitments to significantly reduce the university’s carbon footprint. Universities can be like mini cities—with tens of thousands of faculty, staff, and students, thousands of hectares of land, and entire units devoted to infrastructure, landscapes, and governance. It means that, like broader society, we have many values and priorities that can be urgent and competing. Action on climate change entails changes to the status quo—from institutions to individual behaviours—for seemingly long-term payoff. Solving environmental challenges will require that we negotiate these complexities. We have much learning to do and lessons to share. I hope our initiatives will help educate future leaders and inspire other institutions in Montreal and beyond.

For the past 13+ years, I have studied and worked at the interface of ecology and society. These years of experience have taught me that action-oriented, positive communication is an effective means of science outreach. They have also taught me to be open-minded, with a healthy dose of scepticism, and focused on big solutions while grounded in reality. I have tried to base my contribution to McGill’s path to carbon neutrality on these lessons and the philosophy that sustainability should improve people’s lives. We should find incentives for sustainable behaviour, rather than create barriers to unsustainable behaviour. Apart from calculating our emissions, my focus as Climate Officer has included helping develop initiatives related to sustainable travel and biodiversity protection and managing our research-based reforestation project with Indigenous partners in Panama to offset difficult-to-reduce emissions.

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

I have always been drawn to science, but in particular, the application of knowledge towards the betterment of society and the project of protecting nature, both awe-inspiring and life-giving. I am passionate about using evidence to act on environmental and societal challenges and an advocate for climate leadership that focuses on solutions and opportunities. I believe that critical thinking and dialogue are the roads to progress. I look forward to expanding my expertise and skills to better support the transition to a sustainable society in our cities.

Find out more:

Website

EN FRANÇAIS / IN FRENCH

Depuis 2015, je travaille sur des collaborations interdisciplinaires pour promouvoir l’action sur les changements climatiques au Canada. En tant que responsable du climat au Bureau du développement durable de McGill, je suis chargée de veiller à ce que l’université continue de progresser sur la voie de la neutralité carbone en développant et en soutenant des projets liés au climat sur les campus de McGill. Avant cela, j’étais assistante de recherche au département de biologie de McGill, où je coordonnais des projets à enjeux multipartites avec le milieu universitaire, le gouvernement fédéral, les communautés autochtones, les institutions publiques, les ONG et les PME. 

À ce titre, j’ai coécrit, coédité et édité de nombreux rapports et éditoriaux en tant que chercheur et administratrice de Sustainable Canada Dialogues, un réseau interdisciplinaire de plus de 80 universitaires et une initiative de la Chaire UNESCO-McGill pour le dialogue sur le développement durable. 

J’ai effectué ma recherche de maîtrise au Panama, en utilisant une approche de recherche-action participative pour identifier les influences sociales et écologiques sur les paysages autochtones déboisés avec des collaborateurs autochtones locaux.


Her Mentor

Amélie Laframboise

Maison communautaire de Saint-Michel

Montréal

Born and raised in Montreal, Gaëlle Guillaume is a young professional who is passionate about inclusion and diversity in urban spaces. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban planning from Université de Montréal, as well as a college diploma in architecture. Through her professional experience at the City of Westmount’s environmental department and her engagement as an environmental design project coordinator at Fusion Jeunesse, Gaelle’s perspective has been shaped to better understand the intersectionality between sustainable development and socio-economic determinants. Today, Gaelle works as a project manager at Vivre Saint-Michel en Santé, a non-profit organization whose mission is to collectively revitalize the neighborhood of Saint-Michel, where she coordinates the construction of a new community center. In her role, Gaelle is seeking to empower local actors in the creation of the first carbon-neutral community building in Saint Michel. Gaelle wishes to position herself as a leader in ecological transition and a vector of change, as she fights to create better living environments for the communities in needs.

PROJECT

The first carbon-neutral community building in Saint-Michel, La Maison Communautaire is a construction project designed to bring together social economy enterprises and local community organizations under the same roof. The project aims to meet the needs of a multi-generational and culturally diverse demographic, and to address the significant lack of affordable and vibrant public spaces for citizens of Saint-Michel. The community behind La Maison Communautaire de Saint-Michel is proud to claim this project as a metropolitan-wide symbol of best practices in real estate development centered on climate justice. Developed on a site currently occupied by a community garden, the objective of La Maison Communautaire is to give back and open green spaces to the public. The project will create a green oasis within this highly mineralized area of the city. Infrastructures such as a rooftop greenhouses and the covering of the facades by vines are both methods explored to sustainably enhance beauty and vitality the neighborhood. In addition to services offered by local organizations, the population of Saint-Michel will benefit from activities focused on ecological transition knowledge transfer. Such initiative will allow the influx of Montreal partners who will collaborate for the first time in Saint-Michel.

Not many people think about underserved communities when they think about sustainable development innovation. My desire to see Saint-Michel become a hub of community-initiated urban regeneration led me to this initative. This project is primarily the result of concerted efforts with the population of Saint-Michel, through the Table de concertation Vivre-Saint-Michel en santé. By winning a call for projects during the 4th Forum du développement économique de Saint-Michel, this project was recognized for its innovative character and its promise to mobilise local actors around sustainable development goals that are reflective of the diverse citizens of Saint-Michel. Since then, several partnerships have been created with the objective of developing a first of its kind project, in addition to the formation of a follow-up committee composed of, among others, decision-making bodies and tenant groups.

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

‘Fortify’ is a term that I strongly resonate with. But what is it to fortify? In my opinion, it is bringing communities together and bridging gaps to create spaces where everyone can be stronger, healthier, and more fulfilled. Fortifying is using justice and transformation to build societies where each individual has the opportunity to be nurtured and reach their full potential. I believe that concerns about the future of our planet goes hand in hand with genuine concern for the communities that inhabit it. Through my work and my community engagement, I have been able to experience and witness how the valorization of sustainable habits can change the lives of people regardless of their age and their social status. Creating a better and more sustainable planet is a once in a generation opportunity to rethink how our communities are built and offer innovative solutions to issues that have compromised the well-being of the most vulnerable communities for decades.

Find out more:

LinkedIn   Website

EN FRANÇAIS / IN FRENCH

Née et élevée à Montréal, Gaëlle Guillaume est une jeune professionnelle passionnée par l’inclusion et la diversité dans les espaces urbains.

Elle est titulaire d’un baccalauréat en urbanisme de l’Université de Montréal, ainsi que d’un diplôme collégial en architecture.

Par son expérience professionnelle au service de l’environnement de la Ville de Westmount et son engagement à titre de coordonnatrice du projet de conception chez Fusion Jeunesse, la perspective de Gaëlle s’est façonnée pour mieux comprendre l’intersectionnalité entre développement durable et déterminants socio-économiques.

Aujourd’hui, Gaëlle travaille comme chargée de projet à Vivre Saint-Michel en santé, un organisme à but non lucratif dont la mission est de revitaliser collectivement le quartier de Saint-Michel, où elle coordonne la construction d’un nouveau centre communautaire. Dans son rôle, Gaëlle cherche à responsabiliser les acteurs locaux dans la création du premier bâtiment communautaire carboneutre à Saint-Michel.

Gaëlle souhaite se positionner comme une leader de la transition écologique et un vecteur de changement, car elle se bat pour créer de meilleurs environnements de vie pour les communautés dans le besoin.


Her Mentor

Danielle Lussier

Retournzy coop

Montréal

Cindy Vaucher is a committed social entrepreneur who works for the preservation of our environment, particularly through circular economy and waste reduction projects. With a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Polytechnique Montreal, which led her to work in the aeronautical industry as an engineering project manager for a few years, Cindy then decided to reorient herself professionally to better respect her personal values. After a long trip around the world during which Cindy focused her observations on the relationship to eco-responsibility in different countries, Cindy obtained a Master’s degree in Management and Sustainable Development from HEC Montreal in 2022. In 2021, she co-founded the cooperative Retournzy, which works to reduce packaging waste in the take-out and food service sector, and is currently its general coordinator. Cindy is also committed to the preservation of biodiversity in urban areas and in particular the protection of pollinators in Montreal and sits on the Board of Directors of the cooperative Polliflora whose primary mission is to protect pollinators.

PROJECT

In a context of increasing take-out sales since the pandemic (the Quebec Restaurant Association and Statistics Canada estimated that between 17 and 28 million plastic take-out containers were used in Montreal in October 2020 alone), and while only 9% of plastic packaging is recycled in Canada (according to a study conducted by Environment and Climate Change Canada in 2019) and Quebec’s technical landfills are reaching their authorized capacity, it is time to focus on reducing waste at the source. With this in mind, Retournzy, a young social economy enterprise based in Montreal, has taken on the mission of reducing single-use waste usually used in the catering, event, corporate and institutional sectors, thanks to a turnkey service of rental and distribution, collection, washing and sanitation of shared reusable containers. Its circular economy model aims to share reusable accessories in order to increase their frequency of use. Retournzy also works to inform and educate food service professionals as well as consumers about single-use issues and the benefits of reusables in the face of these challenges.

In the midst of the pandemic, when all restaurants were operating on a take-out basis, we wanted to create a solution so that we could continue to support them in this difficult time, without having to fill our garbage cans with packaging waste. That’s how the idea for Retournzy came about. It was obvious to us that we wanted to create a solution with and for the catering industry. That’s why we created a collective company, which was co-founded with restaurant owners and caterers.

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

I grew up in an agricultural environment and I have always been sensitive to the nature that surrounded me, including its inhabitants. In my early adulthood, I discovered the impact that our human activities could have on our planet. I fed my curiosity on this subject with numerous readings and exchanges, until the day I decided to leave the polluting industry in which I was working to fully concentrate, personally and professionally, on the values that motivated me, namely to reduce as much as possible my footprint on the planet, and to create and support alternatives to our current ways of doing things so that society as a whole can reduce its impact as well.

Find out more:

LinkedIn   Website   Facebook   Instagram

EN FRANÇAIS / IN FRENCH

Cindy Vaucher est une entrepreneuse sociale engagée qui œuvre pour la préservation de notre environnement, notamment à travers des projets d’économie circulaire et de réduction des déchets. 

Titulaire d’un baccalauréat en génie aérospatial de Polytechnique Montréal, qui l’a amenée à travailler dans l’industrie aéronautique en tant que chef de projet d’ingénierie pendant quelques années, Cindy a ensuite décidé de se réorienter professionnellement pour mieux respecter ses valeurs personnelles. Après un long voyage autour du monde au cours duquel Cindy a concentré ses observations sur le rapport à l’écoresponsabilité dans différents pays, Cindy obtient une maîtrise en gestion et développement durable à HEC Montréal en 2022.

 En 2021, elle a cofondé la coopérative Retournzy, qui œuvre à la réduction des déchets d’emballage dans le secteur de la vente à emporter et de la restauration, et en est actuellement la coordinatrice générale.

 Cindy est également engagée dans la préservation de la biodiversité en milieu urbain et en particulier la protection des pollinisateurs à Montréal et elle siège au conseil d’administration de la coopérative Polliflora dont la mission première est de protéger les pollinisateurs.

Plus de détails :

LinkedIn   Website   Facebook   Instagram


Her Mentor

Julie Roy

Support Canadian SMEs in their decarbonization journey

Montréal

Marguerite Rose is a Senior Advisor, National Partnerships – Environment, with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the only bank dedicated to Small and Medium Enterprises in Canada, where she manages partnerships in the environmental sector. Marguerite is responsible for developing, overseeing and nurturing the relationships with a variety of partners, such as non-profits, commercial banks, various levels of government and other likeminded organisations. Prior to joining BDC, Marguerite has been working with the Junior Chamber of Commerce of Montreal (JCCM), the Quebec Zero Waste Association, as well as the French Agency for Development (AFD) in Paris, Mexico and the French Guyana. She is currently vice-president of the board of Retournzy Coop and an active volunteer of the JCCM Climate committee. Marguerite holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and a Master’s degree in Environmental Policy from Sciences Po Paris. She speaks Spanish, German, English and French.

PROJECT

BDC is committed to contribute to Canada’s net zero transition by equipping Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with the necessary tools, knowledge and financial means to accelerate their decarbonization journey. As partnership manager of this program, I am responsible for creating the strategic alliances that will allow us to pool the resources and expertise required to maximize our impact. Smaller companies often fly under the radar when it comes to climate policies but accelerating their transition will have a major impact, since total emissions from Canadian SMEs are estimated to be more than 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxyde equivalent (CO2e), which represents 30% of the national total, according to Radicle Climate Smart. According to Sustainable Development Goal #17, partnerships are essential to adopt a cross-cutting approach and pool the necessary resources for the transition. Within the cohort and with the support of a mentor, I will acquire a better knowledge of the ecosystem of environmental organizations at the national level, additional skills to manage a variety of stakeholders and get a better understanding of the dynamics and potential synergies to serve the transition.

Environmental protection and sustainable development are central to my academic and professional background, so it is with great enthusiasm and motivation that I joined BDC to contribute to build partnerships in the environmental sector. Being an intrapreneur by nature, the prospect of bringing my expertise, commitment and creativity to support our objectives of accelerating the decarbonization of Canadian SMEs immediately motivated me. Moreover, I have the chance to work in an agile and multidisciplinary team, with inspiring colleagues from different sectors and background, which is a unique learning opportunity. Through my past experience with a variety of organizations, small and large, in Canada and abroad, I bring a fresh perspective and a different viewpoint to contribute to change. Since my role aims at developing BDC’s ties with environmental organizations across Canada, I also get to discover new initiatives every day and contribute to create collaborations that will help us accelerate SMEs transition.

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

My motivation to being part of the solution started very early since I come from a family deeply attached to the respect of nature. This commitment was further reinforced when I studied international development and environmental policy, as I realized the seriousness of the climate and environmental situation. Taking action quickly became my antidote to eco-anxiety. When I arrived in Montreal, I was struck by the dynamism of civil society and became very interested in the solutions developed by impact entrepreneurs to propose a new approach to the economy. I try to contribute to this movement, at my level, through my professional and voluntary work.

EN FRANÇAIS / IN FRENCH

Marguerite Rose est Conseillère senior, partenariats nationaux, à la BDC, la seule banque dédiée aux petites et moyennes entreprises au Canada, où elle gère les partenariats dans le secteur de l’environnement. En juin 2022, la BDC a lancé un programme qui vise à accélérer la mise en œuvre de nouvelles solutions pour aider les PME canadiennes dans leur parcours de décarbonisation. 

Marguerite est chargée de développer, superviser et entretenir les relations avec une variété de partenaires, tels que des organismes sans but lucratif, des banques commerciales, divers paliers de gouvernement et d’autres organisations aux vues similaires. 

Avant de se joindre à BDC, Marguerite a travaillé avec la Jeune Chambre de Commerce de Montréal (JCCM), l’Association Zéro Déchet du Québec, ainsi que l’Agence française de développement (AFD) à Paris, au Mexique et en Guyane française. Elle est actuellement vice-présidente du conseil d’administration de la Coopérative Retournzy et bénévole active du comité Climat de la JCCM. 

Marguerite est titulaire d’une licence en droit et d’un master en politique environnementale de Sciences Po Paris. Elle parle espagnol, allemand, anglais et français.


Her Mentor

Maya Colombani

Masse Critique

Montréal

Hello, my name is Valérie! I am an executive marketer, versatile and passionate individual, dedicated to creating positive impact in the world. Throughout my career, I earned reputation as a visionary marketer and leader; achieved Marketing Personality of the year award in 2021 for my leading engagement in diversity and inclusion. After a 20+ years’ career as an executive leader in the marketing and communication industry, I’ve recognized the urgency to devote all efforts to a more sustainable world and to become an active agent of the biggest transformation yet to happen.

PROJECT

Masse Critique is a nonprofit intelligence network, a collective of like-minded people from the marketing and creative industry, aiming to reshape our industry to fight climate change and promote social responsibility. We are committed to using our knowledge and creativity as a force for good. We need to re-architect people’s demands and expectations towards more sustainable products and services, and make them attractive and desirable. As the engineers of demand, our industry is uniquely placed to rise to this challenge and meet this need. From creatives and communicators, to scientists and sustainability consultants – we are building a powerful collective of cross-sector change-makers who are learning, sharing, collaborating and taking action.

Throughout my years as an executive leader in marketing, the inconsistency between my own personal beliefs and actions for the planet and my day-to-day job became more and more evident. So I’ve decided to quit and turn this cognitive dissonance in action. The industry’s challenge for the next decade is to turn its skills of creativity, imagination, planning, analytics, and activation to drive tangible transformation in society – and I know I can be an asset in this transformation. The advertising industry needs to step into the responsibility of helping to address our climate and ecological emergency.

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

After 25 years in the industry and a good story of success, I went back to school to get a Master in sustainability. I don’t want to be part of the problem anymore, I want to be part of the solution! I have built a solid history of success in creating purpose-driven brands and businesses to take the transformational steps to a responsible, sustainable, and commercially successful future. There is no brief more urgent than this one!

Find out more:

LinkedIn   Website   Instagram

EN FRANÇAIS / IN FRENCH

Bonjour, je m’appelle Valérie! Je suis une marketeuse exécutive, polyvalente et passionnée, dédiée à créer un impact positif dans le monde.

Tout au long de ma carrière, j’ai acquis la réputation d’une spécialiste du marketing et d’une dirigeante visionnaire; j’ai reçu le prix de la personnalité marketing de l’année en 2021 pour mon engagement en faveur de la diversité et de l’inclusion.

Après plus de 20 ans de carrière en tant que dirigeante dans le secteur du marketing et de la communication, j’ai compris qu’il était urgent de consacrer tous les efforts à un monde plus durable et à devenir une agente active de la plus grande transformation à venir.

Plus de détails :

LinkedIn   Website   Instagram


Her Mentor

Marieke Cloutier