Aldo Leopold

Image Source: USDA on Flickr

“Civilization has so cluttered this elemental man-earth relationship with gadgets and middlemen that awareness of it is growing dim. We fancy that industry supports us, forgetting what supports industry.”

– Aldo Leopold

I believe what Aldo Leopold is talking about is simplification – a return to the fundamentals. The lives we lead are so busy, our civilization so full of mechanization and machinations that it is easy to lose sight of the fundamental things that bring us joy and make us a community. Too many of us don’t know where our food comes from. We have no idea how to fix the things we own. There is a satisfaction that comes from fixing or upcycling something that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill. Or building something from nothing. From this, we derive a sense of self-reliance that is sorely needed in these uncertain times.

Personally, I love working with the land, and I keep a large garden. Working with soil and weather keeps us humble and reminds us of our origins. Leopold, the father of modern conservation, spoke of a “land ethic” which “…simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals…”. Leopold is describing a move from the paradigm of conqueror of the land to a coming into relation with it – as part of our community. This is also the teaching of the original inhabitants of North America. This is how I approach life, and challenges in business are no exception. In fact, many of the hottest trends in sustainability are all about returning to fundamentals and remembering that everything is interrelated.

I have over ten years’ experience in environmental regulatory compliance and corporate sustainability consulting, working as an analyst and in sales/business development. My specialization is in sustainable product certifications, supply chain management, and toxic substance regulations. I approach sustainability as a generalist, which gives me a broad perspective. I use my multi-disciplinary experience in project management, auditing, corporate accounts management, standards development and policy review towards effectively and creatively managing any kind of challenge. I particularly enjoy untangling the wicked problems in environmental policy, regulatory compliance and standards development.

I am bilingual, Lean Six Sigma certified and focused on client relationships as the basis for driving value. I studied the philosophy of ethics at Saint Paul University, and I understand the value of building relationships on trust – because we are all related. I am passionate about sustainable business practices, environmental and social policy, corporate governance issues, social justice and Indigenous-settler relations. When I’m not gardening, tinkering in my workshop or creating amazing food with family and friends, I work with local grassroots organizations doing policy analysis and public outreach for climate resilience, social justice, and biodiversity issues.