SUSTAIN

SUSTAIN Spring 2021

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3 SPRING 2021 There are moments in our lives that can become markers of our collective history. Pivotal events that create a "life-before" and a "life-after" effect. It's usually hard to know you are in the middle of these moments until you get some distance f rom them. I am a big believer that these events, these moments, can become opportunities for profound learning. Learning that can re-direct the rest of our lives. The COVID-19 pandemic is one of these pivotal events. Of course, each individual has been affected differently by the pandemic, which makes it challenging to articulate the cumulative effect on our lives. And maybe we are still too close to it to be able to make meaning of the events over the last couple of years. But for me, there are already some refl ections evolving into learning. I am left with a desire to ask and seek answers to some key questions around sustainability. SOURCING "SUSTAINABILITY" As I venture to deepen my understanding of sustainability, I always wander back to the United Nations and their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If you haven't had the opportunity to review them before or if you haven't seen them in a while, they are the comprehensive backbone of our global aspirations to become better. Adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, the SDGs provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart, the 17 SDGs are an urgent call for action by all countries— Sustainability in recovery developed and developing—in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth—all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests. WHERE DOES FOODSERVICE FIT? If you take the time to read each SDG, you may see what I see. I believe restaurants and foodservice in general have the potential to contribute to every single goal. I recognize that is a bold statement and I'm not making it lightly. We have the collective ability to contribute to each and every goal. The same cannot be said for every individual or every industry, which puts us in a position of privilege. And it puts us in the position to make the choices we have the power to make right now as we shape our recovery. SUCCESS LEAVES CLUES Successful change is rarely ever the outcome of a top-down mandate. Successful and sustainable change comes from within. As we rebuild Canada's foodservice industry, we have the potential to effect change—to integrate sustainability into every component of our businesses and our profession. Foodservice professionals can lead through their sustainability skills. Foodservice businesses can lead through their sustainability strategies. And foodservice executives can lead through their sustainability policies. Only then can we begin to realize our true impact as we emerge f rom "life after" the COVID-19 pandemic. Changed forever. By choice. Not by circumstance. BY JOE BAKER FOREWORD

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