Leading The Change

Paula Copeland: Vice-president Engagement
& Sustainability

With a graduate background in history, public relations management, port management, social responsibility, and sustainability, Paula is a leader engaged in her local community who thrives on innovation and collaboration.
For the last decade, her core purpose was to build awareness about Port Saint John in the community. Today, the Port’s strong focus on sustainability drives everything she does. As the Vice President of Engagement and Sustainability and a member of the executive of the Port, she’s leading the change with her department. She oversees the integration of sustainability and social responsibility in all areas of the Port’s operations, the Truth and Reconciliation journey of the Port with First Nations communities and Indigenous people, and the governance of Port Saint John regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Thanks for participating in this campaign Paula, please tell us more about your inspirations and motivations to work in sustainability and take climate action in your organization.

I have never been satisfied with the status quo and I am passionate about continuously improving both myself and my organization’s impact. Through our focus on climate action, and our decarbonization journey  I have the opportunity to provide leadership on this topic which is vital to all people and the entire planet.

What is one myth about sustainability that you wish you could dispel? 

The myth that climate change is a future problem. We now know it is not possible to completely stop climate change, but it is possible to slow it, to adapt and mitigate, but we all have to act now.

What is one thing you wish more people knew about integrating sustainability into their work or operations?

Do not be afraid to get started because the task seems too daunting for your company. Sustainability is something every company can do on some scale. If we are all working towards the same goals, a series of small changes or improvements by one, or many, organizations adds up to larger action through collective impact.

Could you share a project you’ve contributed to that advances New Brunswick’s transition to a low-carbon economy?

Sustainability is now embedded in our corporate purpose statement and strategy, ensuring it will be an evergreen philosophy of the Port. As part of an eight-part master planning process, we are currently developing a decarbonization and sustainability plan that will lead us toward net zero. This plan has deliverables that will begin this year, even as we plan for bolder changes in the future.  

Thanks for #leadingthechange in New Brunswick Paula!

Join Paula of Saint John and other Green Economy Leaders who are taking action on climate change and leading New Brunswick’s low carbon transition!