Supporting Sustainable Recovery: Insights from Global Affairs Canada and Export Development Canada

Supporting Sustainable Recovery: Insights from Global Affairs Canada and Export Development Canada


The Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) continues its quest of facilitating collaborative discussions to focus on the Canadian response to COVID-19 as well as sharing insights, priorities, and inspiration from sustainability experts.

On August 31, GCNC had a fruitful conversation with Justine Hendricks, Senior Vice-President, Sustainable Business, and Enablement from Export Development Canada (EDC) and Laird Hindle, Deputy Director, International Assistance Policy Coordination Division from Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Throughout this webinar, both leaders discussed how their respective organizations are responding to COVID-19 and how they are supporting a sustainable recovery.

Both EDC and GAC highlighted how the private and public sectors are working together to address sustainability issues as the core of their strategies and not moving away from having sustainability as a foundation in designing the recovery phase. Justine explained how the EDC’s effort, in regards to the COVID-19 response, is helping Canadian businesses by providing domestic support and solutions through their Canada Emergency Business Account Program, helping 7,000 Canadian companies through this time of crisis.

As for GAC, Laird emphasized on the team effort from both the private sector and the government – working together with different parties from around the world to ensure a better position to deal with future crises. The Government will continue to provide leadership, proposals, and ideas to lessen the economic impacts of COVID-19.

When asked about what actions are being implemented to mitigate climate change to help in the recovery phase, EDC explained, with the Climate Change Policy implemented last year, that they were able to enhance their strategies to measure, monitor, and help businesses on a long-term basis instead of the short term with the support of the government.

One of the key aspects highlighted through the webinar is how the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the blueprint to move towards a sustainable future. Laird explained how the government is making sure that the recovery solutions are implementable and practical in response to the crisis and also how the private sector plays a vital role in recovery solutions. EDC explained their commitment towards the SDGs and how COVID-19 has brought out the company’s values.

True to their commitment towards sustainability, through the webinar, both EDC & GAC go in-depth on how COVID-19 has reinforced their effort to enhance their journey towards the 2030 Agenda. Aligned with the Global Goal 17, Partnerships for the Goals, GAC explained how the challenges and solutions are embedded in the strategies to the 2030 Agenda. Both the private and public sectors need each other to see progress in the SDGs by 2030.



Justine Hendricks - Senior Vice-President Sustainable Business and Enablement, EDC
  • Laird Hindle, Deputy Director, International Assistance Policy Coordination Division, Global Affairs Canada
  • Justine Hendricks, Senior Vice-President, Sustainable Business and Enablement, Export Development Canada
  • Ayman Chowdhury, Head of Secretariat, Global Compact Network Canada

GCNC Webinar Series: Business Continuity Through the Lens of Sustainability

A multi-part webinar series that will focus on the Canadian response to COVID-19 and share the insights, priorities and inspirations of top business leaders, government representatives and sustainability experts.

What does leadership from the top look like in a time of crisis and how does this vary across multinationals and SMEs? How can governments and civil society combine efforts with the private sector to catalyze the recovery process and limit further disruptions? How do we reimagine the future of work in a post-COVID era and how do we ensure that business revitalization in the digital age is both eco-centric and human-centric?

The webinar series aims to offer thoughtful reflection and expertise while hoping to reanimate collaboration and drive actionable goals.