Isobel O’Connell, our Value, Partnership and Stakeholder Engagement Specialist, adds so much to the Sustainbility Consulting team. A recognized sustainability professional, she has recently been focusing her attentions in the area of business and human rights such as working to support Canada’s newly undertaken efforts related to business and human rights. In 2018, Canada launched the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) in order to investigate human rights abuses connected to corporate activity abroad. The program was designed to increase accountability for Canadian companies operating abroad in the mining, oil and gas, and garment industries.
But questions remain about how the CORE will operate and how effective it will be. Will it have the power to compel testimony? How will its powers lead a multifaceted, collaborative approach for Canadian businesses to address human right issues within their supply chains?
While there is a long way to go, O’Connell believes that Canada’s creation of CORE is a solid start, but that it will take strong legislation to create a robust ‘Made in Canada’ approach to the urgent human rights issues in supply chains.
O’Connell has previously held leadership positions in the port and oil and gas sectors, and led consulting projects and teams for two global consulting firms. She has a proven history of helping business to practically implement non-technical risk management, and assist stakeholders to support this work. She has also written and presented on business and human rights, and the wider sustainability discourse at events in a number of locations, alongside business, government, investor and civil society representatives.