MEd Student Sidney Howlett Launches Business to Help Organizations Navigate Climate Action

Sidney Howlett, a graduate student pursuing a Master of Education in Environmental and Sustainability Education (Orillia campus), has launched Sidney Howlett Consulting, a new business aimed at aiding institutions in navigating the complexities of climate action.

Sidney’s consulting firm offers a comprehensive array of services tailored to support school boards in their efforts towards climate action. These services include climate action planning (e.g., developing sustainability plans and policies), professional development workshops, public speaking engagements, and research assistance.

She explains that her motivation to start the business stemmed from recognizing that a significant gap exists in the educational sector’s response to the climate crisis.

“The crux of the matter was when I co-authored a report with Dr. Ellen Field (Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education), benchmarking climate leadership practices across Canadian school boards. We found that among 380 school boards, only 4 had developed climate action plans. I realized then that the education system is not adequately responding to this crisis, and I wanted to help at a systems level, to move toward the transformation we desperately need.”

Her venture was spurred by the assistance of the Ascend Accelerator program, a ten-week initiative hosted by Lakehead University’s Ingenuity incubator space. This program is tailored for young entrepreneurs, who are also Lakehead students, by offering a blend of workshops, mentorship, and financial support to kickstart their businesses.

“From access to a lawyer to review my service contracts to guidance in developing my website, the mentorship, funding, and workshops provided were instrumental in establishing my business,” Sidney says. “I have already had my first successful climate action consultation with a school board, and can’t wait to see the impact my services will have.”