Sandra Odendahl is a Canadian corporate sustainability pioneer with a passion for using the power of business to drive positive social and environmental change.
Sandra started her career in Montreal in the 1990s as an environmental scientist for Noranda Inc. and then worked in Toronto and Vancouver as an environmental engineering consultant, specializing in Environmental and Social Impact Assessments for large mining, energy, and pulp and paper developments in Canada and Southeast Asia.
She joined the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in 1997 as a resource sector analyst in the enterprise-wide risk management unit, and between 2007 and 2016 headed RBC’s Corporate Sustainability, Social Finance and Social Innovation teams. She helped design and launch the $50 million, 10-year RBC Bluewater Project, and also led the development and roll-out of RBC’s Social Finance Initiative, a $20 million program to catalyze the use of private money and financial markets to solve environmental and social issues.
Sandra volunteers on a number of non-profit boards and advisory groups that reflect her interests in environmental sustainability, finance, and innovation. She is Chair of the Board of The (Toronto) Atmospheric Fund (TAF) and from 2013 to 2015 she served on the federal government’s Ministerial Advisory Council on Social Innovation. Recently she joined the Board of Advisors of the University of Toronto’s Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering (ILead).
Born in Ottawa, Sandra is bilingual and has an M.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto. She is a licensed professional engineer and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).