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Letter from Anne-Josée Laquerre, Social Purpose and Corporate Sustainability Director at Aimia Inc.
Letter from Anne-Josée Laquerre, Social Purpose and Corporate Sustainability Director at Aimia Inc.

Tell us about your role and how you are contributing to the society:

Aimia logoI believe that successful organizations are driven by purpose and build a more sustainable world. I am an integrated strategic thinker with a pragmatic approach that delivers results. I bring expertise and experience in all aspects of corporate sustainability, social responsibility, communications and public relations. For more than 20 years, I have been working with leading Canadian corporations in mining, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical and aerospace manufacturing and, professional services, to help them focus their efforts, reduce risks and be more competitive and profitable on a global scale, while enhancing the social and environmental value they create.

Presently, what do you like about Canada?

When anyone asks what I love the most about Canada, I always answer: ‘the four seasons’. I love swimming in a lake and kayaking in the summer, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in winter. I am proud of our network of national and provincial parks, across land and oceans, which is becoming the heart and lungs of Canada and contributes to preserve biodiversity and quality of life in our communities.

Our county is home to safe and rewarding communities where education is valued for all. I constantly find myself looking for this unique ‘light’ that makes every person, every moment and every landscape exceptional. Through the way it uniquely embraces diversity, inclusion, respect and human rights, Canada offers me lots of opportunities to witness all the beauty in the world.

I believe that Canada is strategically positioned to serve as an international hub that brings together ambitious, bright and dedicated people from all over the world to work for the common good and have a positive impact way beyond its borders. I love being part of a business community that cares about a sustainable future for its employees and everyone it works with around the world.

Your Letter to the Future:

When I received the invitation to write this letter to the future leaders in 15 and 150 years from now, I felt honored. But it’s not until my daughter asked: ‘Will there even be a world 150 years from now?’, that I felt the urge to write.

In the world today, men, women and children are victims of prejudice and discrimination, facing rising inequality and violent conflicts. With the promise of increasing wealth and solving social issues, some governments revert to protectionism, leading the world away from trust, respect, inclusion and collaboration.

When I think of a message to share with the leaders of today and tomorrow, my mind immediately wanders back to the Great Bear Rainforest – a Canadian territory where former hunting guides have embraced wildlife watching, sharing unique experiences with visitors from around the world. Spending a brief moment in the land of the Spirit Bear is a unique opportunity to feel integral to a very fragile equilibrium where each small expression of life seems to have a higher purpose.

My faith in the future of the Great Bear Rainforest resides in some of the most recent additions to its global ecosystem: Academia, protecting the Spirit Bear through scientific research; Local government, recently offering new protection to the territory; Not for profits, increasing awareness of its unique biodiversity; Corporations and investors, embracing carbon offsets initiatives and funding more sustainable means of harvesting wood, managing fisheries and evolving towards eco-tourism. This is an inspiring example of what happens when people from various horizons come together for the common good.

With the audacious goals of ending inequality, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all, fifteen years from now seems like tomorrow morning. Much of the needed talent and resources to succeed are in the hands of the private sector. With the Sustainable Development Goals, we count on a compass for like-minded companies to find each other and come together with governments, civil society and individuals to co-create new and innovative initiatives across boundaries. We are now in a position to gather around common goals – with what we know best and what we do best – to deliver powerful, systemic and regenerative outcomes across the world. My wish is that, in fifteen years from now, the net positive impact of our collective action will make it impossible for anyone to question if the world will still exist in another 135 years.

Sincerely,

Anne-Josée Laquerre
Director, Social Purpose & Corporate Sustainability
Aimia Inc.

The views expressed in this letter are those of the author alone and not from Aimia.