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Alumni-led climate change initiative celebrates official launch
Over 200 sustainability leaders from across the province gathered in Toronto on Jan. 16 to celebrate the launch of Sustainability CoLab, a new non-profit being led by Laurier alumnus Mike Morrice (BBA/B.S.c ’08).
Sustainability CoLab’s aim is to help communities engage businesses to set and achieve greenhouse gas reduction goals. The organization will bring the Regional Carbon Initiative model, started by Sustainable Waterloo Region (SWR) in 2009, to communities across Ontario.
Morrice, who founded SWR in 2008 with fellow Laurier grad Chris DePaul (BBA/B.S.c ’08), will be Sustainability CoLab’s executive director. He’ll be joined by another Laurier alum, Priyanka Lloyd (MBA ’11), who will serve as CoLab’s director of operations.
“We’re really excited about the potential for this network to enable large-scale greenhouse gas reductions across Ontario, particularly given how much more support our first cohort of members has than SWR did when it launched the Regional Carbon Initiative five years ago,” said Morrice. “By creating a network of communities all working with businesses to set and achieve carbon reduction goals, we hope to have a significant influence on the way businesses participate in the solution to climate change.”
A mix of senior representatives from all sectors, including a large Laurier contingent, were among those gathered at the Jan. 16 launch event to hear Sustainability CoLab’s key announcements about its board, funders and the first communities to receive support.
The event also featured speeches from several sustainability leaders including Laurier Associate Professor Barry Colbert. Colbert, who played a significant role in helping Morrice and DePaul form SWR, is the director of Laurier’s P&G Centre for Business and Sustainability and chairs SWR’s board of directors.
Durham Sustain Ability, EnviroCentre (Ottawa), Niagara Sustainability Initiative, Sustainable Kingston and Sustainable Waterloo Region were revealed as the first members and communities selected to join the CoLab Network. The organization also announced that it has received $385,000 in seed funding from the Metcalf Foundation, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Sun Life Financial and TD Bank Group.