Breaking Down Silos: How Accountants and Sustainability Professionals Are Collaborating to Reduce Risks and Maximize Opportunities

Event Sponsor

The Sustainability Team cannot do it alone!

The time has come to break down the barriers that prevent organizations from moving quickly on the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change and other sustainability issues. At our next event you will hear firsthand from those who are succeeding.

On October 1st TSSS will host a panel of experts including Robert Siddall, the CFO of Metrolinx, Mike Valente from the Schulich School of BusinessJennifer Ash, VP Finance and Operations at Frontiers North Adventures and just announced, Antoine Belaieff, Director of Regional Planning at Metrolinx. Panelists will share insights into how collaboration between finance and sustainability teams can reduce risk and increase profitability.

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Ask yourself:

  • Have you ever failed to get support for a sustainability initiative because you couldn’t establish the right metrics to make your case?
  • Have you ever wished that you had a finance department ally?
  • Are you frustrated by the lack of cohesion for driving sustainable change within your organization?
  • Have you ever tried to make a case for supply chain challenges or revenue shortfalls that are glaring risks but you lacked the support you needed from finance?

If you answered YES to any to these questions then this event is for you.

Distinguished Guests (see full bios below):

Robert Siddall. CFO at Metrolinx

Mike Valente, Schulich School of Buiness

Jennifer ASH

Jennifer Ash, Frontiers North Adventures





Some of the topics that we will explore include:

  • What role do accountants play in identifying and managing the risks and opportunities of climate change?
  • How are silos being torn down when accountants and sustainability professionals work together?
  • What do case studies by Canada’s national accounting body show about the role finance is playing to support organizations as they adapt to climate change?
  • What are the secrets to using the finance team to boost your company’s sustainability initiatives?

Where and When:

Loyalty OneDATE: Thursday, October 1st, 2015 (registration closes Friday September 25th)
TIME: 4:30-7:30 PM (snacks & networking from 6:45-7:30 PM)
LOCATION: Loyalty One, 438 University Ave., 12th Floor, Toronto (use elevators on the left in the lobby)
TWITTERCHAT: #tssschat from 5:15 – 6:00 PM EST
LIVESTREAM available: Register for password



4:30 – 5:00 pm: Registration, snacks and networking
5:00 – 5:15 pm: Introductions and special announcements
5:15 – 6:00 pm: Panel: Robert Siddall, Mike Valente, Jennifer Ash & Antoine Belaieff
6:00 – 6:15 pm: Small group discussion/brainstorming
6:15 – 6:25 pm: Groups report back to main audience
6:25 – 6:45 pm: General Q & A
6:45 – 7:30 pm: Networking and snacks

Breakout Session:

During the breakout session the audience will form small groups and discuss their experiences of “silo thinking” and how to best overcome these challenges. During the idea harvesting phase, several groups will be asked to share the highlights of their discussion with the general audience.

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About Our Panelists:

Robert Siddall is the Chief Financial Officer at Metrolinx. Robert oversees the long-range and day-to-day fiscal and fiduciary obligations of the organization and works closely with the Metrolinx executive group on corporate direction, strategy and financing. Robert has over 30 years of senior management experience, covering a wide range of strategic and financial functions in both the private and public sectors.

Prior to Metrolinx, Robert was Chief Financial Officer for Waterfront Toronto Corporation and previously held the position of Provincial Controller with the Province of Ontario. He has taken part in two major Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants research studies, including costing of government services, and three standard setting task forces. He currently serves as Chair of the Task Force on the Accounting for Financial Instruments project. Robert holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto and is a Chartered Accountant.

Mike Valente is Assistant Professor of Organization Studies and Business Sustainability at the Schulich School of Business. Mike’s research examines the interaction between business strategy and society. He is interested in the typology of organizational responses to social, ecological, and economic issues, including those responses that represent a paradigmatic difference from mainstream business models and result in systems level change. Mike is interested in understanding the key drivers that explain variations in adoption levels and the process by which organizations change sustainability orientations.

In light of the increasing complexity of organizational environments, Mike’s more recent stream of work has looked at how organizations respond to complex problems like poverty, obesity and the financial crisis. Mike’s research is propelling him into a more critical perspective where he seeks to examine how companies, in their pursuit of strategic value appropriation, exploit the many irrational decisions of consumers and extract value from society. Mike sits on the editorial board of Organization Studies, Journal of Business Ethics, and Business & Society. Mike maintains a blog at

Jennifer Ash is Vice-President, Finance and Operations at Frontiers North Adventures (FNA). FNA is a family business that has been operating in Canada’s north for three decades, providing programs for guests with specific interests in experiential travel, photography, wildlife, culture and adventure. Jennifer has a background in strategic and operational finance, has served for over 20 years as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, and also held positions with the United Nations and NATO. At FNA, Jennifer has managed the company’s climate change adaptation strategy, finding ways to optimizing current operations and exploring future opportunities. Find out more about FNA’s climate adaptation work at

Antoine Belaieff is the Director of Regional Planning at Metrolinx. He oversees a team of professionals responsible for the Regional Planning, Sustainability and Innovation programs.

Antoine is a Registered Professional Planner with a broad range of experience in innovation, urban and transportation planning, public policy and sustainability. He is intrigued by the opportunities granted by technology to make cities more sustainable: healthier, greener, fairer and more prosperous. He frequently speaks on Innovation in the public sector, the intersection of technology, mobility and cities. He is particularly intrigued by the promise of Integrated Mobility, the Sharing Economy and more generally the potential for technology to unlock new possibilities for cities and their residents.

Antoine holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from McGill University, a Master’s degree in Planning from the University of Toronto and a Master’s degree in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability from the Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden.

About Our Sponsor: 

The new Canadian designation, Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA Canada), is now used by Canada’s accounting profession across the country. The profession’s national body, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), is one of the largest in the world with more than 190,000 members, both at home and abroad. The Canadian CPA was created with the unification of three legacy accounting designations (CA, CGA and CMA). CPAs are valued for their financial and tax expertise, strategic thinking, business insight, management skills and leadership. CPA Canada conducts research into current and emerging business issues and supports the setting of accounting, auditing and assurance standards for business, not-for-profit organizations and government. CPA Canada also issues guidance and thought leadership on a variety of technical matters, publishes professional literature and develops education and professional certification programs.

This event builds on CPA Canada’s multi-year initiative on climate change adaptation. The initiative receives funding support from Natural Resources Canada and is managed by the Network for Business Sustainability at Ivey Business School.

Thanks to our Promotional Partners:

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LN_CAN_LOGO RIA public inc
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