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Conference CIRANO 25years: Sustainable Development, A Strategic Opportunity for Companies


Wednesday 20 Nov 2019
From 11:30AM To 1:30PM

Event organized in collaboration with



During this signature conference organized as part of CIRANO's 25th anniversary activities, Pauline D'Amboise, Secretary General and Vice President Governance and Sustainable Development at Desjardins, made a presentation on the theme "Sustainable Development: A Strategic Vector for Companies".


Her presentation was followed by a roundtable discussion moderated by Daniel Normandin, Executive Director of the Institut EDDEC

The panelists were:

  • Pauline d'Amboise, Secretary General and Vice President Governance and Sustainable Development, Desjardins
  • Sophie Bernard, Associate Professor at Polytechnique Montréal, CIRANO Researcher and Fellow
  • Justin Leroux, Associate Professor at HEC Montréal, CIRANO Researcher and Fellow



This event was followed by the symposium for the launch of the book Le Québec économique 8 : Le développement durable à l’ère des changements climatiques.

Sophie Bernard

A CIRANO Researcher and Fellow since 2011, Main Researcher of the theme Sustainable Development and Agri-Food, Sophie Bernard is Full Professor in the Department of Mathematical and Industrial Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal.

Holding a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Ottawa, Sophie Bernard then did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Paris School of Economics.

Sophie Bernard specializes in public policy for the environment and the management of end-of-life products. In particular, it works on remanufacturing, recycling, eco-design incentives for products and international trade in waste. She is particularly interested in the illegal waste market and extended producer responsibility. These subjects are part of the broader theme of the circular economy for which she has developed expertise.

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Pauline D'Amboise

Pauline D’Amboise is secretary general and vice-president of governance and sustainable development at Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and the sixth largest in the world. She is responsible for developing and reviewing initiatives related to governance, organizational ethics, and sustainable development. As secretary general, Ms. D’Amboise plays an advisory role with the board of directors, the board of ethics and professional conduct, and the president and CEO of Desjardins Group, supporting them in their roles and responsibilities. She has extensive experience in the areas of corporate governance, organizational ethics, and corporate social responsibility.

Under the leadership of Ms. d’Amboise, Desjardins has fully integrated the principles of sustainable development into its strategy, client service offer, and operations, and today, it has an advisory services team dedicated to sustainable development. Desjardins Group also offers a full range of solidarity-based and eco-friendly financial products and services and supports university research in sustainable development and responsible investing. D’Amboise has spoken at a number of events in Quebec and Europe. She also completed training with the Climate Reality Project Canada (founded by Al Gore) and is certified to give talks on climate change.

Pauline D’Amboise holds a master’s degree in organizational ethics from the Université de Sherbrooke and the title of certified corporate director from the Université Laval. In 2012, she was appointed ambassador of sustainable development by the Université de Sherbrooke and was named one of Canada’s top 25 women of influence. In 2013, she was named business and economics grand laureate by the Quebec newspaper Le Soleil/La Presse. She received a Clean50 Award from Delta Management Group for her efforts in sustainable development in 2015, and a Women of Distinction Award in the environment category from the Montreal Women’s Y Foundation in 2016.

D’Amboise is the chair of the board of the Université Laval’s Institut Hydro-Québec en environnement, développement et société. She is also a board member of Coop Carbone and an advisory council member of SWITCH, an organization that aims to speed up the transition towards a green economy.

Ms. D’Amboise has been a board member of the David Suzuki Foundation since 2010. She is the board co-chair of Bourse du Carbone Scol’ÈRE, an education program to encourage young people and their families to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions through the program’s educational carbon credits.

She has also been an ambassador and mentor for the Association of Quebec Women in Finance for two years, and she was recently recognized for her active involvement. The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation appointed her a Trudeau mentor in 2017.
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Nathalie de Marcellis-Warin

A CIRANO Researcher and Fellow since 2003, Nathalie de Marcellis-Warin has been President and Chief Executive Officer of CIRANO since 2016, has been leading the Baromètre CIRANO project on risk perception in Quebec, which annually collects data on Quebecers' concerns on 47 social issues since 2011, is responsible of the CIRANO Pole on the Socio-economic Impacts of Digital Intelligence and Main Researcher of the theme Innovation and Digital Transformation. Nathalie de Marcellis-Warin is Full Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal. She is also a Visiting Scientist at Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health and an associate researcher at the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO).

Holding a Ph.D. in Management Science (in risks and insurance management) from École normale supérieure de Cachan, her research interests focus on risk management and decision-making in different risks and uncertainty contexts as well as public policies. Her research combines economic analysis, cost-benefit analysis, survey data analysis, and more recently massive unstructured data analysis.

In 2008 she created the RISQH network to raise awareness and share experiences on risks management, and patient safety and quality of care in health care facilities.

She participated in the creation of the Montreal Declaration for a Responsible Development of AI.

She is also co-PI of the "Monitoring and Surveys" function at the International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technology.

She has published numerous scientific articles, several books and more than 30 reports for government and other organizations. She has given more than a hundred conferences and is regularly solicited to speak in the media.

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Marcelin Joanis

A CIRANO Researcher and Fellow since 2008, Main researcher of the theme Economic and Fiscal Policy and Researcher in charge of the "Le Québec économique" project, Marcelin Joanis is Full Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal. He is also Director of the Research Group on Management and Globalization of Technology (GMT).

Holding a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Toronto, his main research interests are public economics, public finance and policy analysis.

A specialist in public economics, his research focuses on public finance, public infrastructure, regional economics, fiscal federalism and political economy. His publications in international peer-reviewed journals include articles in the Journal of Development Economics, Fiscal Studies, Public Choice, Economics and Politics et Applied Economics. He has participated in research projects at CIRANO with several partners on topics ranging from public procurement to public debt, education economics, regional development, health financing and intelligent electronic markets.

He previously held positions as Economist in the federal government (Ministry of Finance) and the Government of Québec (Commission on Fiscal Imbalance) and recently worked as Consultant with the World Bank and the Auditor General of Quebec. Before joining Polytechnique Montréal in 2014, he was Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the Université de Sherbrooke.

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Justin Leroux

A CIRANO Researcher and Fellow since 2009, Justin Leroux is Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Economics at HEC Montréal. He is also a member of the Centre de recherdhe en éthique (CRÉ) and associate member of the Groupement de recherche en économie quantitative d'Aix Marseille (GREQAM).

Holding a Ph.D. in Economics from Rice University, his research interests include cost allocation, externality (the creation of externalities), climate change and chaos theory.

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Daniel Normandin

Daniel Normandin holds a bachelor's degree in biological sciences (Université de Montréal), a master's degree in environmental biotechnology (Université Laval), a master's degree in administrative sciences (HEC Montréal) and an MBA (HEC Montréal). Since March 2014, he has been Executive Director of the Institut EDDEC.

Previously, Daniel Normandin participated in the creation and deployment of Quantis, an international consulting firm specializing in life cycle assessment. Prior to this transition to private practice, Daniel Normandin had an essentially academic career, devoted to the establishment and development of various research units in the fields of the environment, sustainable development and life cycle analysis. Among these, we should mention the CIRAIG of the École Polytechnique, for which he was Executive Director until 2010.

A renowned speaker, Daniel Normandin is the author of several reports and articles on the themes of environmental biotechnology, sustainable development and life cycle management. He sits or has sat on several boards of directors, including those of the United Nations Environment Program's Life Cycle Initiative, the Environment Network, I.C.I. Environment Inc. and the Centre of Expertise on Waste (CEMR). Daniel Normandin has also been a member of the jury for several prizes and distinctions in the field of the environment and sustainable development.
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11:30 - 12:00
Welcome and Lunch
12:00 - 12:05
12:05 - 12:30
Keynote address
Pauline D'Amboise
12:30 - 13:30
Daniel Normandin, Sophie Bernard, Justin Leroux, Pauline D'Amboise


1130 Rue Sherbrooke O #1400, Montréal, QC H3A 2M8, Canada