Toward a green economy - Laure Waridel becomes Executive Director of CIRODD

"The research world has a fundamental role to play in taking Québec toward a green economy." – LAURE WARIDEL

MONTRÉAL, Sept. 14, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Réjean Samson, General Manager of the Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche en opérationnalisation du développement durable (CIRODD - Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Sustainable Development Operationalization), and professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal, is proud to announce the appointment of Laure Waridel as Executive Director of CIRODD, whose mission is to "carry out, co-ordinate, integrate and transfer research on the operationalization of sustainable development in order to facilitate the emergence of a green economy."

Laure Waridel, an eco-sociologist, speaker and communicator well known for her social and environmental commitment, co-founded Équiterre, an organization that helps people, organizations and governments to make choices that are eco-friendly, in keeping with principles of fair trade and international solidarity.

"To put sustainable development into action, we need to be able to create ties," explains Professor Samson. "CIRODD is the first strategic group for sustainable development in Québec. It has set itself ambitious interdisciplinary objectives. With her qualities as a communicator and rallying force, Laure will help foster new synergies between researchers from various disciplines and front-line players."

As a sociologist (BA, McGill University, 1996) and environmentalist (MA, University of Victoria, 2002), Laure Waridel is currently finishing her doctoral studies in anthropology and sociology of development at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva, Switzerland. Her research looks at the emergence of an ecologically and socially aware economy in Québec.

Based on her field studies, Laure Waridel believes that "Québec has the social attributes, know-how and local production capacities to engage in the ecological modernization of its economy in an exemplary way. But we still need to equip ourselves with the tools to succeed, ensure that they become widely known, and use them. This is why CIRODD's mission is so relevant. To face today's environmental, social and economic challenges, it has become urgent to put sustainable development into action throughout the entire economic chain."

For Laure Waridel, putting sustainable development into action means making the link between research and action. She plans to make CIRODD a reference ecosystem that will help instil scientific rigour as a key part of decision-making toward easing the transition to a green economy. In her view, the term "sustainable development" has too often been misused.

She does note, however, that some companies are prepared to take sustainable development further than governments require. Compliance with the ISO 26000 standard or having FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification has become a prerequisite for gaining access to certain markets. As such, these companies put sustainable development into action in a very concrete way.

Laure Waridel sees the mandate she is undertaking at CIRODD as fitting seamlessly within her commitment as a public intellectual and popularizer who fosters dialogue between stakeholders.

"Sustainable development is a process, not an end in itself," she says. "There is always a way to improve your practices, regardless of your place in society, individually or collectively. We are at a time in history where there has to be dialogue if we want to put real solutions into place. Today is when we choose what tomorrow will be."

Located within Polytechnique Montréal, the Interdisciplinary research centre on sustainable development operationalization ( was created in November 2013. It aims to provide a synergistic research environment for researchers from various disciplines who want to carry out interdisciplinary research in the aim of producing knowledge and tools that can foster a transition toward a green economy.

CIRODD is made up of more than 80 researchers recognized in the fields of life cycle assessment, process re-engineering, process engineering, ecodesign, industrial symbiosis, green logistics, sustainability measurement and analysis, corporate social responsibility, environmental policy and legislation, green economics and sustainable innovation. Their work, and that of their 700 students, reaches all across Québec and has garnered an international reputation.

Institutions participating in CIRODD

  • Four main universities: École de technologie supérieure, Polytechnique Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal and Université Laval.
  • Seven other universities: HEC Montréal, McGill, Université de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue.
  • Cégeps: Cégep de St-Félicien and Cégep du Vieux-Montréal.
  • Centre de transfert technologique en écologie industrielle (CTTÉI) at Cégep de Sorel-Tracy.
  • Centre d'étude en responsabilité sociale et écocitoyenneté (CÉRSÉ).

CIRODD exists thanks to funding from the Fonds québécois de recherche sur la nature et les technologies (FRQNT) and the Fonds québécois de recherche société et culture (FRQSC).

About Polytechnique Montréal
Founded in 1873, Polytechnique Montréal is one of Canada's leading engineering teaching and research institutions. It is the largest engineering university in Québec for the size of its graduate student body and the scope of its research activities. With over 43,000 graduates, Polytechnique Montréal has educated nearly one-quarter of the current members of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. Polytechnique provides training in 15 engineering specialties, and has 265 professors and more than 8,000 students. It has an annual operating budget of over $200 million, including an $80-million research budget.


SOURCE Polytechnique Montréal

For further information: Available for interviews: Laure Waridel, Executive Director, CIRODD; Media information and interview requests: Annie Touchette, Senior Advisor, Communications, Polytechnique Montréal, Cell: 514 231-8133,

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