Sustainable development: Our society’s future depends on it

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“Sustainable development is about knowing how to meet today’s needs without compromising those of future generations,” explains Camille Girard, Trottier Fellow, Institut de l’énergie Trottier and a Master’s student at Polytechnique Montréal. “It means reconciling social equity, environmental preservation, and economic efficiency.”

In keeping with this vision, Campus Montréal’s sustainable development initiatives are much more than just “green” projects, as they also address ecological and societal impacts and therefore lay a foundation for a positive give-and-take between the community and its environment.

This is the mission of IDEOS – HEC Montréal, which is a centre for the management of social enterprises. “With expertise transfer, training and applied research initiatives, we can support organizations that meet social needs,” explains Marie-Renée Lambert, Researcher at the Pôle IDEOS.

The Institut de l’environnement, du développement durable et de l’économie circulaire (Institut EDDEC), launched by HEC Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal and Université de Montréal, plays this role, as its goal is to accelerate knowledge development and skills in the circular economy.

Benefits

  • Provide added value to university programs.
  • Train a skilled workforce that can tackle social and environmental challenges.
  • Create scholarships for student projects.
  • Provide training and tools that meet the needs of social impact, community, cultural or environmental organizations.
  • Help these organizations to become sustainable and to optimize their social impact.
  • Strengthen our community’s social fabric.

Combined expertise creates a better future

“We bring organizations, students and professors together to develop projects that help organizations strengthen their impacts,” says Marie-Renée Lambert.

Sustainable development stems from a combination of many disciplines at Campus Montréal. This cross-pollination of knowledge creates new expertise that can help all of society develop and thrive.
“Today, a total of 70 projects have been funded with IDEOS support. That’s 70 endeavours that will have concrete impacts on our society,” explains Marie-Renée Lambert.

Philanthropy makes sustainability work

With the support of the McConnell Foundation and its RECODE program, HEC Montréal’s social innovation sector at the Pôle IDEOS has led to many sustainability-related events, such as La Petite semaine de l’innovation (a “mini innovation” week).

At the Institut EDDEC, a generous donation from TD Bank helped the institute launch scholarships in environment, sustainable development, and the circular economy. For students at the Campus Montréal’s institutions, these scholarships stimulate multidisciplinarity in sustainability fields. The Institut EDDEC has also published a collective work on the circular economy. Available from the free-access collection of Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, this type of publication contributes to knowledge sharing.

Bruno Fayolle, President and CEO of Fayolle Canada, is aware of the connections between the expertise of construction companies and an institution that fosters originality and architectural innovation. This is why he donated $2 million to the Faculty of Environmental Design at Université de Montréal for the Fayolle-Magil Construction Research Chair in Architecture, Building and Sustainability.

“The Chair’s primary mission is to support research for better solutions,” explains Jacques Lachapelle, Director of the School of Architecture at Université de Montréal. “Another goal of ours is to foster the transfer of knowledge.”

All of these donations add a new dimension to sustainable development projects.

A sustainable vision takes society far

A society’s sustainable development is defined by the health of its social fabric in terms of not only the environment but culture and intellectual pursuits as well. This means we need to keep investing and developing our sustainable development approach to ensure our communities last well into the future.

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