Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are facing different kinds of challenges and started new ways to deal with them. Starting from February, we will have different alumni from East Asia region to share their insights and stories in the newsletter and monthly What's On in 2021.
Turn Sustainability as a Tool in Driving Innovation and Value Creations
Ms. Ruby O
I was truly appreciative of the fact that the University has plenty of Sustainability Goals (SDGs)- enabling strategies in place and how students and alumni are engaged with the SDGs from research impact, public engagement activity and responsible campus operations, etc.. This sense of shared values has continuously influenced my personal development and my career since sustainability and decision making are connected in many ways at individual, organizational and societal level. For that I see myself become more vocal and taking various approaches to promote and address the sustainability matters in particularly in food sector. I am very honor to receive the University’s Making a Difference Awards (MAD) for Social Responsibility Commended Award in 2021 for the project I did in Macau that demonstrate how food safety enabling sustainability practices (the two subjects often seen incompatible). This Award provides me additional confidence for recognize the positive impact created on the social well-being of the community and offer the opportunity to share best practice about social responsibility initiatives.
I transformed my career from overseeing the safety and quality aspects in different food industries to sustainability, a boarder field in hospitality sector after my MBA degree. This enabling me to take a more holistic approach on managing opportunities and risks and applying circular economy concepts throughout the value chains. Hospitality and food sectors can have an added impact on sustainability by exposing consumers to ideas, options, and information about sustainable choices which that they would not necessarily encounter at homes. Thus, it is important for the sectors to recognize their own potential as change agents, to inspire lasting, positive and sustainable change and to contribute to the growing public agenda on healthy living.
When we talk about well-being of people and planet there are many aspects of food that are being over-looked. Food and sustainable development have strong relationship, and people are at the centre of sustainable development. I strongly believe that as an individual within and outside an organization can contribute meaningfully to reach purpose of life and sustainability goals. With that ‘calling’ I established an NGO in 2020, focus on food sustainability. Through this platform I share SDGs knowledge and leverage the industry insights and engage stakeholders in the community with common values, in the aim of raising public awareness and empowered consumer to make sound food choices by their chopsticks and forks.
Covid crisis is an opportunity for change. Integrate sustainable practices into operations or business strategy are critical differentiators for a forward-thinking organization, it is also a good way to building resilience and capacity for organization as it provides downside protection during different crisis. A thriving world requires innovative and integrative solutions to address the interacting global environmental and social challenges. Innovation is not necessary to be high tech, it is more about finding the right ways to do things differently.
*The views and opinions expressed in this section are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the editorial positions of UoM East Asia Centre.
Manchester Global MBA Alumna: Ms. Ruby O
Ruby has extensive experiences in project plan, establish and implement quality and safety management systems for multinational manufactures, airline catering and several casino integrated resorts. She had set the benchmark of food safety for the hospitality industry of Macau, for getting the first HACCP certified of its kind. Ruby also drives quality and safety cultures in organizations with outstanding best industrial practices and leads multiple sustainability pioneer projects with outstanding impacts.
Ruby is an enthusiastic food safety participant as regular industrial speaker and panelist in international conferences and seminars, also a passionate individual who advocate SDGs and participates in various United Nation (UN) conferences.