John Coyne

Vice President, Legal and External Affairs, Unilever Canada

The renaissance man and oft seen face of sustainability in Ontario and beyond, John is a tireless force for good, spreading his leadership and influence far beyond Unilever, including service as a Board member of: Evergreen, Partners in Project Green, Stewardship Ontario and the Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance. He’s a highly regarded member of the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s Climate Action Group of 2015 and 2016, and is on the steering committee for the Circular Economy Innovation lab, while simultaneously playing a lead role in bringing comprehensive recycling programs to over 20 million Canadians through expansion of Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs for packaging and printed paper. Beyond these activities, John also oversees the sustainability, legal and external affairs functions at Unilever in Canada.

Julia Grieve

Founder & CEO, preloved inc

Julia was an early adopter – albeit inadvertently – of the circular economy model. She inherently understood there was a business to be created from repurposing vintage sweaters others saw as a clothes box donations, and partnering them with bolt ends and fabric scraps to craft one-of-a-kind, sought-after designs that makes every-day folks and celebrities alike look better than good! Since launching her business, Julia has upcycled an estimated one million sweaters and countless other clothing articles otherwise destined for landfill. All her manufacturing is done locally in Scarborough, employing Canadian workers, paid a Canadian wage.

Brendan Seale

Head of Sustainability, IKEA Canada

IKEA is working toward a more circular business model, offering solutions for products that customers are finished with, and turning waste into resources. Brendan has supported development of take-back and recycling services for mattresses, batteries, and light bulbs, piloted a program with Kijiji around second-hand sales of IKEA products, and partnered with a social enterprise to create new products from salvaged IKEA textiles. Engaging co-workers across Canada to better represent products for sustainable living has doubled the sales of these items in three years. IKEA owns two wind farms in Alberta and three rooftop solar installations in Ontario that produce renewable energy equivalent to four times its consumption in Canada. All Canadian stores offer electric vehicle charging at no cost to customers.