Now available

Sustainable Development on corporate websites at the beginning of the new millennium

Published in 2011, the very first research examining the evolution of sustainable development discourse promoted over a long period of time on websites of large corporations is now available online. The study, that examines the communication practices of a hundred of the largest Canadian corporations during the period of 2006-2010, reveals manifestations of a kind of communication that was still very recent at the start of the new millennium. Analysing all types of organizations, Solange Tremblay’s and Jacques Baronet’s research shows a continuous buzz and ripple effect, strongly marked by the business sector, lying somewhere between a discourse of commitment and opportunism.



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Cooperation in the Digital Age

Publication of the book La coopération à l’ère du numérique

Couverture du livre.

Under the direction of Anne-Marie Laulan (Doctor of State in the Sorbonne, Honorary Professor of Universities - France), La coopération à l’ère du numérique (Cooperation in the Digital Age) just got published by L’Harmattan. The result of a collaboration between researchers and experts from various disciplines from several continents, the book attempts to answer a central question of our time: What about the anticipated 4th revolution, that of scientific and administrative digitization, encompassing all fields of political action in the original sense of the term?

Solange Tremblay and Jacques Baronet participated in this work by authoring the chapter on digital communication and sustainability, « Grandes entreprises et développement durable : entre engagement et dévoiement ».





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In Memoriam

Michel Dumas, a pioneer and builder in public relations has died

The SUSTAINABILITY|COMMUNICATION Group (Groupe DURABILITÉ|COMMUNICATION) has learned with deep sadness of the death of Michel Dumas, a pioneer and builder in public relations.

Recognized as a true visionary in public relations and communications in Quebec, Canada and on the international scene, Michel Dumas belongs to the small group of pioneers who developed and influenced the PR practice in Canada.

He was a member of the advisory committee and a very loyal friend of the SUSTAINABILITY|COMMUNICATION Group.

Our warmest thoughts go out to his wife, his son, family and his many colleagues and friends.

Info on his career

New civic sociability for the digital age

Issues, challenges & perspectives of the 21st century is the subject of a scientific seminar to be hosted by the Institut des sciences de la communication (ISCC - CNRS /Paris-Sorbonne /UPMC) on November 10 and December 1, 2016, in Paris. Solange Tremblay will give a presentation in the session ‘New Civic Sociability’, sharing her views on corporate discourse about sustainable development in the digital age.

More infos


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Launch of the Interviews Collection

Meet a PR pioneer

The SUSTAINABILITY|COMMUNICATION Group is pleased to release the Interviews Collection, a tribute to the inspiring career of women and men whose contribution helped build and promote a solid corpus of knowledge and skills in PR; and fostered the development of democratic and human values – universal foundation of PR practices. It also expresses the vitality of the increasing interest in the essential role of communicators in the promotion of sustainable development. This collection debutes with a PR pioneer in Quebec, Canada and abroad: Michel Dumas.



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Canadian citizens’ concerns about sustainable development

The first survey revealing Canadian citizens' concerns about SD, conducted across Canada in 2009, is now available in an electronic version. The study, coauthored by Solange Tremblay and Guy Lachapelle, is available with the kind permission of Jean-Marc Léger, founding President of Leger. This analysis originally appeared in the book The Disloyal Company, published by Leger Marketing.



Journal of Global Responsibility

An article entitled "Sustainable development and social responsibility (SDSR): A longitudinal study of large Canadian companies’ web-based communication practices", was recently published in the Journal of Global Responsibility. The article authored by Jacques Baronet and Solange Tremblay, presents the results of a unique longitudinal study of SDSR communication practices by multinational corporations in one Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country. Thanks to Thérèse Drapeau for her collaboration and thoughtful advice during this project. Article



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Scientific culture and communication

With more than 350 activities exploring varied scientific fields, including environment and sustainable development, the 24 Hours of Science is now considered the largest scientific culture event in Canada. Held in May 2015 in Montreal, the 10th edition entitled «Shining a light on science» included interactive sessions, lab visits, presentations, science competitions, movies, and more. Since ten years, Thérèse Drapeau leads, as a volunteer, the communication strategy of this annual event and coordinates the efforts of the numerous teams in charge of publicising it throughout Quebec. More


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SD Communications: the long road to responsible communication

Invited to share the results of their most recent research at the Canadian Public Relations Society National Conference, Engagement + Impact, on June 2, Solange Tremblay and Jacques Baronet explained the long road to responsible communications about SD by large organizations and the need for competent communication leadership around these issues. More



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Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014)

Launched in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan, at the World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), the final assessment report on the UN Decade of ESD describes the growth of ESD during the last decade. The contributions of RCE-Montreal, an active member of the Regional Centers of Expertise on Education (RCE) to Sustainable Development Network, figure among the numerous activities held on ESD around the world. Thérèse Drapeau, an active collaborator of RCE-Montreal from 2008 to 2012, notably as a board member, authored its most recent report. More


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Declaration on Biosphere Ethics

The new Declaration on Biosphere Ethics, a commitment in line with the Biosphere Ethics Initiative, launched in 2010 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, responds to an ethical, scientific and cultural imperative − the need to build a relationship connecting humankind with the other parts of the biosphere. Signed by the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle in Paris, the Musées de la civilisation in Quebec City and Montréal Space for Life, the Declaration is the culmination of meetings and workshops held over of two years as part of a Canada-France agreement. Thérèse Drapeau was responsible for the content and design of the Participant Booklet for these consultations. More


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Jean-Guy Vaillancourt

The well-known Quebec sociologist, Jean-Guy Vaillancourt, a pioneer of social ecology in Canada and specialist in sustainable development, passed away recently. Or thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues, and the large number of students he taught over the years. Témoignage (in french)

Sustainable Development Week - France

During the 2014 annual Sustainable Development Week (Semaine du développement durable), a week-long event held each year in France since 2003, the GRIPIC (CELSA Paris-Sorbonne) organised a seminar on communications and sustainable development. On April 4th, Solange Tremblay presented the latest results of research she has conducted with Jacques Baronet over the last 8 years about the long-term evolution of web-based communication by major Canadian corporations on CSR/Sustainable Development.


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Mining Industry and Responsibility

“Mine development: A responsibility for communities, government and industry” was the opening plenary session theme of Québec Mines 2013 Conference on November 13, 2013. Dominique Ferrand highlighted the importance of new communication practices concerning sustainability and the benefits of stakeholders’ involvement in the mining sector. Hosting some 1,900 participants from around the world, the Québec Mines 2013 Conference took place at the Quebec City Convention Center. Program


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Young generation – Tomorrow’s leaders

  • The 9th edition of the 2014 24 heures de sciencesEntre art et science, mon cœur balance’’ hosted over 33,000 participants in May 2014. Sponsored by UNESCO, the event enhances dialogue between researchers and the population and promotes scientific careers as well as advanced courses to enrich young students' knowledge about their environment. Sustainable development, climatic changes and biodiversity loss were among the themes presented. Thérèse Drapeau, member of the Organisation Team since the first year of the event, leads the communication strategy each year and the numerous voluntary teams in charge of publicising the event throughout Quebec.
  • On February 15, Carole Villeneuve was member of the jury for the 15th edition of the 2014  Délirium durable, at Collège de Rosemont, in Montreal. This collegial competition which promotes the development of new ideas towards sustainable development received over 70 students projects from 16 different collegial institutions in Quebec.


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Sustainable Production and Consumption

A workshop on “Strategic Opportunities for Sustainable Production and Consumption in North America” took place in Washington DC, on December 5, 2013. Organized by the North American Roundtable on Sustainable Production and Consumption (NARSPAC) in cooperation with the Regional Office for North America of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP RONA), this workshop was a sharing and strategy session among stakeholders engaged in advancing sustainable consumption and production (SCP). Participants included US and Canada government representatives, civil society, academia, private sector and international organizations. Solange Tremblay was invited to describe the important role of communications in promoting sustainability’s values.  Agenda


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Natural Resources: dialogue with stakeholders

Dominique Ferrand co-authored L'industrie minière et le développement durable, a working document highlighting the importance of new practices in mining development such as the role of dialogue, transparency and stakeholders involvement in new governance models. Published in 2013, by la Chaire de recherche et d'intervention en éco-conseil de l'Université du Québc à Chicoutimi.  Document


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Education and Communication for Sustainable Development

  • The Graduate Programme in CSR and Sustainability created at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) in 2009 celebrates its 5th anniversary this year. Co-founded by Solange Tremblay, this short program offered by the Faculty of Communications and the School of Management (ESG UQAM) was the first of its kind in Canada to offer courses given from the double perspective of management and communication. Programme
  • Governance, ethical communication, accountability, stakeholders involvement, responsible communications are the main subjects covered by Solange Tremblay, Thérèse Drapeau and Carole Villeneuve in the courses they teach on communication and CSR/Sustainable development issues, at Université du Québec à Montréal and the Université de Sherbrooke.
  • Carole Villeneuve acted as a co-moderator at the 3rd edition of a workshop on communication for sustainable development (Université d'hiver de la communication pour le développement durable), organised by the Conseil québécois de la communication pour le développement durable du Réseau des femmes en environnement.  The event took place on March 26, 2014 at the Maison du développement durable in Montréal.
  • Thérèse Drapeau pursues her collaboration with the Regional Centers of Expertise on Education (RCE) to Sustainable Development Network created in 2004 by the United Nations University (UNU).  The conclusions of the 3rd International RCE of the Americas meeting that took place in Mexico (July 28 to August 1, 2014) were presented  at the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, in Japan, in November 2014. This World Conference celebrates the transformative power that Education for Sustainable Development has gained throughout the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) led by UNESCO.


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People and urban wildlife

In November 2013, Thérèse Drapeau organised an international mission on the issues of urban wildlife and people's attitudes by inviting Anne-Caroline Prévot-Julliard, a specialist from the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS, Paris, France). In Montréal from November 18 to 22, Mrs Prévot-Julliard focused on the importance of communicating the real issues on these questions by raising public awareness about benefits as well as problems of a shared environment with urban wildlife, explaining her views from a global environmental psychology and sustainable approach. Some 200 people participated in the discussions.


World Social Sciences Forum 2013

Researchers from different social science disciplines meet in Montreal

Social scientists from more than 80 countries shared their most recent research around the theme "Social Transformation and the Digital Age" during the World Social Sciences Forum, in Montreal, October 13 to 15.  At the invitation of the International Social Science Council, over 750 experts from all spheres of social sciences gathered to debate topics of world significance, such as social movements and activism, sustainability, privacy and security, democracy, social media, ethics, governance, digitization of medicine, hacking and gaming.



Guy Lachapelle, Secretary General of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) and professor in the Department of Political Science at Concordia University, led the organization of this second edition in Montreal.

Plus d'infos


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Communication and Sustainability

Sustainable Development in the Digital Era

As part of the World Forum, the SUSTAINABILITY|COMMUNICATION Group hosted the workshop «Communication du développement durable :  opportunités et tensions à l’ère numérique».  Researchers from Université Paris-Sorbonne (Celsa), Université Aix-Marseille, Sherbrooke University, Université du Québec à Montréal and from the United Nations Environment Programme presented recent research results and shared views. Animated by Thérèse Drapeau, the workshop took place on Sunday October 13, 2013.

Photo : Céline Pascual Espuny (Université Aix-Marseille), Thérèse Drapeau (SUSTAINABILITY|COMMUNICATION GROUP), Nicole D'Almeida (Université Paris-Sorbonne, Celsa), Solange Tremblay (SUSTAINABILITY|COMMUNICATION GROUP). Missing in photo : Fabienne Pierre (United Nations Environment Program) and Jacques Baronet (Sherbrooke University)


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Communication and corporate social responsibility

Corporate discourses on sustainability

How does corporate discourse on sustainability evolve on these new platforms? A real added-value or just a passing fad? On October 13, Solange Tremblay and Jacques Baronet shared the conclusions of their latest research about web-based communication answering the question ‘Is sustainable development the new most important corporate value?'

Plus d'infos


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Special Session on consumption and production towards sustainability

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

The SUSTAINABLITY|COMMUNICATION Group coordinated the UNEP special session ‘Transforming consumption and production patterns towards sustainability: the role of social sciences’, at the World Social Sciences Forum. This session was facilitated by Thérèse Drapeau, on Monday, October 14.  Solange Tremblay and Guy Lachapelle shared views in a presentation titled « Understanding sustainable lifestyles worldwide and in North America», based on their participation in the North American component of the Global Survey for Sustainable Lifestyles conducted by the UNEP : this was the first world-wide survey on this subject targeting young adults (2009-2011).

Photo : Jeffrey Barber (Integrative Strategies Forum, USA), Fabienne Pierre (United Nations Environment Program - 10 YFP Secretariat), Solange Tremblay and Thérèse Drapeau (SUSTAINABILITY|COMMUNICATION GROUP). Missing in photo : Heide Hackmann (Executive Director, International Social Science Council), Guy Lachapelle (Concordia University).

More info





On October 15th and 16th 2012, Dominique Ferrand took part in the first World Aviation Governance Forum , a high-level symposium, bringing together a select group of senior government and business leaders from 84 countries to launch an ongoing assessment of the critical subject of aviation enterprise governance. He talked about links between climate change, aviation and governance issues.



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Maison du développement durable

Carole Villeneuve shared her experiences during a Cataléthique cocktail conference on Communication and Sustainable Development at the Maison du développement durable on April 11th 2013. Her topic : communication issues for organisations in the context of their sustainable development process while reporting on their responsabilities through various reports.

More info


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Science for all

Thérèse Drapeau acted as moderator of a round table held during the 10th Science pour tous colloquium on the theme of Regional Initiatives and Sustainable Development - New Priorities for scientific culture in Québec. The Public Actions and Sustainable Development Round Table panelists were Jean-Marc Gagnon (Éditions MultiMondes), Nancy Gingras (Productions du Grand Héron bleu) and Roger Gaudreault (Cascades). April 4th 2013 at the Sherbrooke Nature and Science Museum.



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Carole Villeneuve  took part with France Levert (senior counsellor, Environmental performance, Hydro-Québec)  in the colloquium «Communication de la responsabilité sociale des organisations: le défi de la crédibilité» during the 81st Congrès de l'ACFAS on Wednesday May 8th 2013, in Québec.

Presentation title : «Communicateurs et publicistes au Québec, un rendez-vous manqué avec le développement durable et la responsabilité sociétale des organisations?».


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Responsible investment

The opening speech delivered by Dominique Ferrand at the Social Investment Organisation Conference in June 2012 is now available both in French and English.

English version


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Management handbook

Carole Villeneuve is part of the team who wrote the handbook, Manuel de gestion du développement durable en entreprise: une approche progressive, under the direction of Jean Cadieux and Michel Dion, Fidès, June 2012.

More info


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A sustainable development charter adapted to the reality of the museum world was approved during the last SMQ (Société des musées québécois) Annual Convention, held in Rivière-du-Loup in October 2012. Thérèse Drapeau was part of the team involved in the elaboration of this charter.



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Congratulations to Jacques Baronet, Ph.D., member of the SUSTAINABILITY|COMMUNICATION Group, who has been promoted to the rank of Full Professor at Sherbrooke University, Faculty of Management.


Socially-responsible investment (SRI)

In June 2012, Montreal hosted Canada's largest annual responsible investment summit, the Canadian Responsible Investment Conference. The 2012 theme, SRI+20 - The Future of Investing, set the stage for discussion on future opportunities and challenges on socially-responsible investment (SRI), building on the momentum leading up to the Earth Summit Rio+20 Conference. On June 19, Dominique Ferrand made a presentation on this topic:  ''Challenges to SRI: From mainstream to mainstreet''.


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Public relations - Currents 2012

In June 2012, over 300 professionals from across North America converged in Victoria (BC) for the Canadian Public Relations Society National Conference, Currents 2012. On June 12, Solange Tremblay was invited to share new research results on sustainable development and CSR communications.

Title of her presentation: “How do you Rank your Skills in Sustainable Development and CSR Communications?"


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Sustainable development policies

Two short articles on sustainable development policies written by Carole Villeneuve are available in the bulletin of the Institut de développement de produits. In French.

Part 1
Part 2


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Responsible Communications - Unisfera 2012

The Conference on Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility, an annual event organised by Unisfera, took place in Montreal, on April 25 and 26. Solange Tremblay spoke on the topic of responsible communications and sustainable development in the workshop “Public relations and responsible communications: an oxymoron?”.



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Sustainable Development Week - France

Responsible communications

Solange Tremblay was a guest speaker on April 4th at a conference held during the 10th annnual Semaine du développement durable, a week-long event held each year in France. The conference was organized in Paris by the GRIPIC (CELSA Paris-Sorbonne) in collaboration with the Institut des sciences de la communication (CNRS).

Title of her presentation: " Du développement durable aux communications responsables "



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LASCO Seminar - Belgium

Communication and Sustainable Development in Large Companies

On April 13, Solange Tremblay spoke at the Seminar on the environmental communication held by the LASCO (Laboratory for the Analysis of Organisational Communication Systems) at the Université catholique de Louvain, in Belgium. Her presentation was based on the results of an extensive five-year research study on the long-term evolution of web-based communication about sustainable development and social responsibility by large Canadian businesses. This research, the first of its kind, was conducted in collaboration with Jacques Baronet of the University of Sherbrooke and member of the SUSTAINABILITY|COMMUNICATION Group.

Title (Presentation in French) : " L’évolution du développement durable dans les très grandes entreprises : les communications web sous la loupe ".


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CELSA - Paris

Solange Tremblay led a seminar on the sustainable development communication strategies of large organizations at the CELSA (Graduate School in information and communication sciences – Paris-Sorbonne University) on April 12, 2012.

Title (Presentation in French) : " Très grandes entreprises et développement durable - Simple flirt ou relation durable ? "


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80th scientific Conference of Acfas

Carole Villeneuve spoke at the 80th meeting of ACFAS, an association dedicated to the advancement of science in the Francophonie. Her presentation was part of a workshop about the integration of sustainable development into college and university curriculum (Intégration du développement durable à la formation post-secondaire, objectifs d’apprentissage et pratiques innovantes), in Palais des Congrès (Montréal), on May 8, 2012.

Title of her presentation (French) : "Élaboration du cours en développement durable du premier programme de baccalauréat en études de l'environnement (CUFE) - Pratiques d'enseignement concrètes et leçons à tirer".



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Public relations without borders

On February 29, 2012, Gabrielle Collu shared her experience as chief of the voluntary mission for Public relations without borders in Burkina Faso, in a conference on communication and marketing at the Université de Sherbrooke.

Title (Presentation in French) : " La communication dans les pays en développement ".



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Museums - Charter on Sustainable Development

Therese Drapeau is member of a group working on a charter on sustainable development as applied to museums. This initiative of the Société des musées québécois (SMQ) aims to support museums in their sustainable development activities, in relation with the Agenda 21 for culture lead by the Quebec Ministry of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women (MCCCF).

More information


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Book review

A review of the book Développement durable et Communications – Au-delà des mots pour un véritable engagement is published in: Communication, Volume 29 (1).


Now available in French and English.

Welcome !

Welcome to our new English web site !

Retour vers le site français



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What is the importance of communication in relation to sustainable development? What are the basis and the ethical foundations of responsible communications ?

Some important milestones

Research Results

Web-based communication about sustainable development
Some one hundred major Canadian businesses under the magnifying glass

More than a passing fad that could disappear within a few years, an original research reveals that Web-based communication about sustainable development in large Canadian businesses is now a top priority. Conducted by Solange Tremblay and Jacques Baronet over a period of 5 years, the study  is the first to examine on a large scale the long-term evolution of web-based communication on these issues, by major Canadian corporations.

Title : The Communication of Sustainable Development and Social Responsibility in Large Canadian Companies - Communication Trends on the Web: 2006 to 2010



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International Research

Young adults ready to change their behavior based on sustainable values 

Solange Tremblay et Guy Lachapelle led the North American portion of the Global Survey for Sustainable Lifestyles sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) : first in-depth surveys to be carried out worldwide.

                      The authors with Louise Dandurand, Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies - Concordia University, and Yves Mauffette, Vice-President, Research - Université du Québec à Montréal

Young adults have very specific ideas about what it takes to build a more sustainable world. And they are willing to make the necessary changes to their lifestyles to make such a world a reality. But communication is severely lacking. This is the conclusion drawn from the Global Survey for Sustainable Lifestyles (GSSL), sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP): one of the first in-depth surveys to be carried out worldwide. More than 8,000 young adults from 20 countries responded to an online questionnaire available in 10 languages. Solange Tremblay led the North American part of this international project in close collaboration with Guy Lachapelle.

North America (Canada and USA)

Country Papers

- Résultats globaux : Visions for Change - Recommendations for Effective Policies on Sustainable Lifestyles


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International solidarity

Mission against gender-based violence

Our colleague Gabrielle Collu is head of mission for the not for profit organization Public Relations without Borders (PRWB). In 2011, she led PRWB’s first two missions to Burkina Faso.

As voluntary mission chief, she works closely with Oxfam-Québec to provide communications' counsel and support to the national coalition against gender-based violence. Gender-based violence is a serious obstacle to human and sustainable development.

Annual Report


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New publication

Communication and sustainable development

What role does communication play in sustainable development ? What values guide and inform communication ? What are responsible communications ? Solange Tremblay examines this subject in an article published in Télescope (ÉNAP) - a special edition on sustainable development.



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Conference and panels

International Conference on Small and Medium Enterprises and sustainable development

  • Dominique Ferrand was a member of the scientific Committee of the international Conference on SME towards sustainable development (PME en marche vers le développement durable), October 20-22, at UQAM, Montreal. He chaired a session focussing on new entrepreneurial approaches to reach sustainable development.
  • During the same conference, Carole Villeneuve chaired the launch of the book Comprendre la responsabilité sociale de l'entreprise et agir sur les bases de la norme ISO 26 000 and the panel that followed, as well as the launch of Vigie-PME, a monitoring tool for small and medium enerprises.



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Conference and panels

Debate at the Montreal International Documentary Festival

On November 19th, Thérèse Drapeau acted as the moderator of the debate «Is sustainable forest exploitation possible?» during the Montreal International Documentary Festival  (Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal -RIDM). This event followed the screening of the film Rain Forest (2011) and the panel included the film director, Richard Boyce and Christian Messier, chairholder, Chair NSERC/Hydro-Québec on trees growth (UQAM).



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The SUSTAINABILITY | COMMUNICATION Group focuses on issues related to communication, sustainable development and corporate social responsibility, as well as ethics in communications.

The activities of the SUSTAINABILITY|COMMUNICATION Group took root in 2003 under the name of Centre for Sustainable Development, Ethics and Communications, following the creation of the Chair of Public Relations and Marketing Communication (2001) at UQAM. After the end of its activities at the Chair, which took on new orientations in the fall of 2010, the team continued its activities on an independent basis.  The SUSTAINABILITY|COMMUNICATION Group was formed.



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