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Webinar: Community Engagement in the Transition to Carbon Neutrality

April 29, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 4:20 pm EDT


Universities are increasingly interested in transitioning towards carbon neutrality. Through our discussions with peer AASHE members, a significant challenge is meaningfully engaging students, staff, and faculty in the process. During this webinar, our team will share how we tackled this challenge through our innovative Carbon Offset Pitch Competition. Upon our faculty unanimously deciding to offset our Scope 3 emissions, which make up more than 80% of our school’s carbon footprint, we formed a Carbon Neutrality+ Committee charged with reducing our footprint by focusing on responsible, achievable behavior change. It also focuses on offsetting our Scope 3 emissions as the university already offsets our Scope 1 and 2 emissions. We then developed rigorous offset project criteria and contacted the four highest-ranked Canadian offset providers to get feedback on their projects that met our criteria which resulted in 25+ potential projects to choose from. We then sought portfolio submissions from students in self-selected groups of one to five members across our programs (Baccalaureate, Masters, and PhD) to develop the most compelling and persuasive portfolio of offset projects in terms of cost per tonne, impact (environmental, economic, social, etc.), and fit with our values, in preparing a 90-second video pitch. Our faculty, students and staff (because we are responsible for creating our carbon footprint) then voted on the best portfolio, which was used to offset the Scope 3 emissions from the preceding year. The top team earned major bragging rights and the top three teams won prizes. This is our second year running this competition, and we are delighted to share the evolution of this initiative, the challenges we faced and how we overcame them, and the impact our initiative has in terms of student learning and campus engagement. This webinar will be of value to anybody interested in making their schools or universities carbon neutral while harnessing the immense learning and development opportunities.

For members: watch on demand    For members: archived webinars on demand   Upcoming webinars


Carlos Berti, Coordinator, Centre for Social and Sustainable Innovation, University of Victoria

Carlos Berti is the Coordinator of the Centre for Social and Sustainable Innovation (CSSI) at the Gustavson School of Business. Prior to joining the CSSI, Carlos worked for environmental non-profits in Central America, and as a research assistant for the carbon neutrality plus committee at Gustavson. 

Simon Pek, Assistant Professor, University of Victoria

Simon Pek, Assistant Professor of Sustainability and Organization Theory, joined the Gustavson School of Business in 2017. Simon teaches and researches in the area of sustainability and organization theory. His primary research explores how organizations and the individuals within them embed social and environmental sustainability into their cultures, strategies, and daily operations.

Simon’s research has appeared or is forthcoming in top-tier outlets including Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, Business Ethics Quarterly, and Journal of Business Ethics. He has presented his work at numerous national and international conferences. He has won numerous awards and grants, including a Dean’s Convocation Medal from Simon Fraser University and the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship. He recently joined the Editorial Review Board of the Academy of Management Review.

Rick Cotton, Associate Professor, University of Victoria

Dr. Rick Cotton began teaching at the Gustavson School of Business in 2015, bringing a passion for understanding how individuals thrive in their careers and how HR and talent management practices can foster organizational and individual success in a variety of country, industry and occupational contexts. He teaches undergraduates, MBA students, budding entrepreneurs and executives in talent management and human resource management courses and also enjoys consulting with organizations to help them be more successful.

Mallory DeMille, Web and Social Media Coordinator, University of Victoria

Mallory joined the Gustavson School of Business in November 2018 as the Web and Social Media Coordinator. She has been working in higher education communications and engagement since 2012.

Her role within the Gustavson External Relations team is to develop, implement and analyze social media strategies, maintain web content, provide training and advice to staff, and report on various communications metrics. She is also a member of the Gustavson Culture Committee, UVic Staff Sustainability Network, and UVic Social Media Power Users Group. Previous to joining Gustavson, Mallory worked in marketing and social media for the University of Victoria Bookstore and Food Services teams.

Basma Majerbi, Associate Professor, University of Victoria

Dr. Basma Majerbi joined Gustavson School of Business in 2004 after completing her PhD in finance at McGill University. She’s also a Fellow of the Center for Social and Sustainable Innovation at Gustavson. Her research interests are primarily in international finance, including international asset pricing, currency risk, and emerging markets. More recently, her work explores the benefits of financial system diversity for sustainable economic growth and macro-financial stability. She’s also interested in sustainable finance and impact investing. Her research has been published in leading academic journals such as the Journal of International Business Studies and the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis among others. She’s passionate about sustainability and socially responsible investing, which is integrated in her finance teaching in the MBA and the Master of Global Business programs. Since 2009, she has overseen the calculation of the annual carbon footprint of Gustavson school’s faculty, staff and students. Basma is also a consultant with the International Monetary Fund.


For members: archived webinars on demand   Upcoming webinars


April 29, 2020
3:00 pm - 4:20 pm EDT
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