Insights at UBC Sauder

Canada’s Clean50 recognizes Dr. Katherine White for contributions towards business sustainability

Posted 2021-04-20

This week marks the announcement that Dr. Katherine White, Professor in the Marketing and Behavioural Science Division at the UBC Sauder School of Business and the Academic Director of the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics, has been recognized as part of Canada’s Clean50 for 2021.

The Canada’s Clean50 Honour is awarded annually to 50 individual leaders and small teams who have contributed the most to enhancing sustainability and clean capitalism in Canada over the prior two years. Winners are chosen from over 900 well qualified nominees spanning 16 distinct categories: Advocacy & ENGOs, Angels & Investors, Cities, Building, Clean Tech, Consultants, Education, Financial & Services, Manufacturing & Transportation, Primary Resources, Public Sector, R&D, Renewable and Traditional Energy Generation, Retail & Consumer, Technology & Telecom.

“Dr. White’s passion and expertise surrounds how to best leverage research, education, and knowledge mobilization to encourage more sustainable consumer behaviour,” said Gavin Pitchford, CEO, Delta Management Group. “Her systematic literature review on the subject, “How to SHIFT Consumer Behaviours to be More Sustainable: A Literature Review and Guiding Framework,” provides a psychological framework that leaders from business, government, and non-profits use to foster sustainable behaviours in consumers. Kate also promotes sustainable and ethical business practices in her role at the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics, through student education and engagement, facilitation and dissemination of research, and community outreach.”

“I am honoured to be recognized by Canada’s Clean50 in this way, because the research we conducted that set the framework for ‘SHIFT’ is amongst my proudest work in the field of sustainability. It can help us understand how people think and react when it comes to this important subject,” says Dr. White. “The research shows that consumers have this really pronounced “intention-action gap” when it comes to engaging in sustainable behaviours. So while people want to engage in eco-friendly actions, often they fail to follow through. We wanted to look at what the research says in terms of how do we encourage consumers to act in ways that are consistent with their desire to be green.”

Assuming COVID restrictions have been relaxed, Dr. White will be amongst approximately 120 past and incoming Clean50 Honourees meeting on Thursday September 30th at the “Clean50 Summit 10.0” in Toronto, to spend a day amongst peers and colleagues tackling critical sustainability challenges facing Canada. These individuals collectively lead the fight against climate change and embrace a low carbon future, improve both corporate and environmental performance, and enhance Canada’s prosperity.

Canada’s Clean50 Awards were founded by Delta Management Group in June 2011. Delta Management Group is a boutique search firm with the leading practice in “green collar”/“green professionals” search in Canada, including clean tech, corporate social responsibility and sustainability professionals. 

Previous winners of the award have included Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics Executive Director Christie Stephenson in 2019, as well as Frances Edmonds, Head of Sustainability at HP Canada, Brendan Seale, Director of Corporate Sustainability at Scotiabank, Gregor Robertson, former Mayor of Vancouver, and the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.