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A woman with shoulder-length brown hair stands in front of greenery, wearing a blue blouse and smiling. Beside her, text reads "Member Spotlight" along with “Sarah Fallavollita, Business Research & Sustainability Specialist, Destination Greater Victoria.” Logo of the Academy for Sustainable Innovation appears at the top left.

Member Spotlight: Meet Sarah Fallavollita, Business Research & Sustainability Specialist at Destination Greater Victoria

Sarah is passionate about sustainability and the circular economy, applying these concepts to both her personal and professional life. After studying Clothing and Textiles at the University of Alberta, Sarah was left feeling disheartened by the detrimental effects of the fashion industry on people and the planet. This led her to complete a degree in Business and Sustainability at Royal Roads University, receiving the Founders Award for leadership in sustainability upon completion. Her background in sustainability has led her to her current role as Business Research & Sustainability Specialist within the tourism industry, where she works to advance sustainability initiatives within Victoria through tourism. 

In her spare time, Sarah volunteers for several non-profit organizations, all focusing on sustainability and waste reduction. Sarah is the Vancouver Island Regional Coordinator for Fashion Revolution, the largest sustainable fashion movement in the world, which aims to raise awareness on the social and environmental impacts of the fast fashion industry. Sarah also serves as a general member of the Board of Directors at SUPPLY Victoria, a non-profit organization that aims to divert art supplies from the landfill and put them into the hands of those who need them. 

Sarah enjoys being creative and learning new skills including sewing, crocheting, and embroidery. Sarah has a strong passion for learning and enjoys reading non-fiction on a variety of topics around climate change and sustainable innovation. Sarah is also in the process of becoming a Master Recycler through Master Recyclers Vancouver, learning all there is to know about waste management in BC. 

We had the chance to ask Sarah her thoughts about climate action and how she see leadership evolving

A person in a wheelchair talks to another standing person in an office. Overlapping the image is a quote by Sarah Fallavollita, stating, "We need a collaborative form of leadership that focuses as much on people and the planet as it does on profit.

Q: Where do you draw hope from in the context of sustainability and climate action?

Sarah Fallavollita: My optimism comes from the countless number of people I see working together to make positive change in the world. Grassroots movements tend to attract the most innovative and kind-hearted followers, who work selflessly to better our world, not for money, but because they know it is right for the greater good. These attitudes and selfless perseverance give me hope to move forward and continue toward tackling the climate crisis. 

Q: What does leadership mean to you?

Sarah Fallavollita: Leadership means inspiring those around you. I believe that actions speak louder than words, and leadership is best demonstrated through showcasing the values you hope to bestow upon those around you. Leadership does not need to be loud to be impactful. It simply requires attention, patience, and understanding to meet people where they are at. To have effective leadership, people need to feel comfortable to come to you, ask questions, and share opinions, allowing for true growth through collaboration. 

Q: How do you see the role of leadership evolving as we transition to a low-carbon, socially-inclusive economy?

Sarah Fallavollita: I see leadership decentralizing to smaller hubs within any given community. While larger organizations are forced to descale, there will be room for innovation through SMEs to take on more leadership roles, effectively reducing inequity in power dynamics within the economy. To stay within planetary boundaries while also elevating those within our communities to live within the social foundation of our economy, we need a collaborative form of leadership that focuses as much on people and the planet as it does on profit. 

Become a member!

Join Sarah and many others who are working to accelerate climate action within their workplace or community. Connect with peers across Canada who "get it" as you build up your leadership capacity to move your sustainability initiatives forward.

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