About Upswing

About Upswing

About Upswing

Our Ethos 

Co-creators for a brighter future

Our culture is founded on connection and collaboration. We foster a team-first approach where knowledge, resources and expertise is pooled to co-create a brighter future.

Architects of the clean economy

We deploy deep technical expertise to bridge the worlds of sustainability and business, creating accessible solutions to the world’s most complex issues.

Pioneers in sustainable business 

We work to deliver innovative solutions that reshape business from transactional to transformational.

Our Advantage

Deep Knowledge of Sustainability

Turn theory into action using educated experts dedicated to helping companies improve their social and environmental impact.

Quick and Adaptable Team

Our nimble, multidisciplinary team gets your project up and running with speed, whether you’re an innovative start-up or a leading multinational firm.

Extensive Industry Experience

Navigate change, engage teams and deliver a strong business case by deploying proven strategies applied in some of the world’s largest companies.

Our Team

Allison Murray

CEO & FOUNDER

Upswing Solutions was founded by Allison Murray, an international sustainability leader who has helped companies for over 20 years to create social and environmental change and build purpose into their business.

Allison has led strategies and programs at some of the world’s largest companies in the UK, Australia and Canada in the telecommunications, energy, insurance and transportation & logistics industries. Beyond creating change inside companies, Allison has also provided consulting services to CEOs and boards of start-ups and not-for-profit organizations.

Allison holds a Master’s degree in Science and Technology Policy from the University of Sussex (UK) and a B.A. (Hons) in International Development Studies from Dalhousie University (Canada).

    Chloe Barnabe

    Chief Sustainability Officer

    Chloe Barnabe has 16 years building and leading corporate sustainability teams and strategies for some of Canada’s most recognized brands in the consumer goods, retail, e-commerce, logistics and transportation sectors. Chloe has a successful track record helping large companies become internationally recognized as climate action leaders by setting and implementing Net Zero and Science-Based Targets.

    Over her career, Chloe has developed a deep understanding of evolving environmental, social and governance (ESG) trends and risks in North American, European and East Asian markets.  She successfully operationalized corporate ESG strategies.

    Chloe holds a Master’s of Environment (M.Env) from Sherbrooke University and a B.A. in Environmental Studies & Political Science from McGill. She is fluently bilingual in both French and English.

    Dawne Skinner

    Senior Consultant

    Dawne Skinner is a senior environmental engineer with significant project management experience across a variety of sectors. She holds an MBA in Innovation, Enterprise and the Circular Economy through an Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) pioneer school and has been chosen by the EMF, through a global competition, as a Schmidt MacArthur Fellow in the Circular Economy.

    Through these programs, she has developed significant knowledge in innovation management, circular economy business models, material flow modelling, circular design and closed loop supply chains. She recently led six, first of their kind, circular economy studies in Canada and has been providing policy advice to federal, provincial and municipal governments on how to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. Dawne is currently a PhD candidate in Industrial Engineering at Dalhousie University, where her focus is on designing, modelling and optimizing circular and closed loop supply chains.

    Allison Murray

    CEO & FOUNDER

    Upswing Solutions was founded by Allison Murray, an international sustainability leader who has helped companies for over 20 years to create social and environmental change and build purpose into their business.

    Allison has led strategies and programs at some of the world’s largest companies in the UK, Australia and Canada in the telecommunications, energy, insurance and transportation & logistics industries. Beyond creating change inside companies, Allison has also provided consulting services to CEOs and boards of start-ups and not-for-profit organizations.

    Allison holds a Master’s degree in Science and Technology Policy from the University of Sussex (UK) and a B.A. (Hons) in International Development Studies from Dalhousie University (Canada).

      Chloe Barnabe

      Chief Sustainability Officer

      Chloe Barnabe has 16 years building and leading corporate sustainability teams and strategies for some of Canada’s most recognized brands in the consumer goods, retail, e-commerce, logistics and transportation sectors. Chloe has a successful track record helping large companies become internationally recognized as climate action leaders by setting and implementing Net Zero and Science-Based Targets.

      Over her career, Chloe has developed a deep understanding of evolving environmental, social and governance (ESG) trends and risks in North American, European and East Asian markets.  She successfully operationalized corporate ESG strategies.

      Chloe holds a Master’s of Environment (M.Env) from Sherbrooke University and a B.A. in Environmental Studies & Political Science from McGill. She is fluently bilingual in both French and English.

      Dawne Skinner

      Senior Consultant

      Dawne Skinner is a senior environmental engineer with significant project management experience across a variety of sectors. She holds an MBA in Innovation, Enterprise and the Circular Economy through an Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) pioneer school and has been chosen by the EMF, through a global competition, as a Schmidt MacArthur Fellow in the Circular Economy.

      Through these programs, she has developed significant knowledge in innovation management, circular economy business models, material flow modelling, circular design and closed loop supply chains. She recently led six, first of their kind, circular economy studies in Canada and has been providing policy advice to federal, provincial and municipal governments on how to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. Dawne is currently a PhD candidate in Industrial Engineering at Dalhousie University, where her focus is on designing, modelling and optimizing circular and closed loop supply chains.

      peter polanowski

      Senior CONSULTANT

      Peter Polanowski has over 14 years’ experience encompassing environmental education, PR, environmental management, sustainability strategy and clean economy research.

      Over his career, Peter has led several projects, ranging from policy and legislative development, vertical farming tech feasibility, ecosystem service assessment and valuation, project management of renewable energy development initiatives, and sustainability strategies for First Nations.

      At Upswing, Peter is focused on clean economy research and ESG strategy development, helping organizations develop actionable sustainability strategies through the adoption of sustainability frameworks and standards.

      Peter holds a Masters’ in Sustainable Energy Development from the University of Calgary, a Graduate Certificate in Energy Management and Innovation from Ryerson University, as well as a Bachelor of Education from Brock and Bachelor’s from Western University. Peter is also currently working on his SASB FSA Certification.

        camilla gomes

        consultant

        Camilla is a sustainability professional with over 5 years of hands-on experience in Environmental Diagnostic, Reporting, and Performance, involving private and public industries around the world.

        Camilla also has over 10 years of research experience within huge institutions, always ensuring compliance with national and international programs. 

        Her experience includes environmental KPIs tracking, ESG, and UN PRI Reporting Framework, GHG accounting and, implementing company’s climate change strategies. 

        Camilla holds a MSc in Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Exeter, UK, and a MSc in Agribusiness from the Federal University of Goias, Brazil and a BSc in Law from the Pontifical Catholic University of Goias.

        She received several scholarships such as the Science Without Boarders and the prestigious Chevening Scholarship. 

        kai shimizu

        business development lead  consultant

        Kai brings more than 6 years of knowledge and experience in developing medium- to long-term corporate business development strategies to the Upswing team.

        With sustainability as the bottom line, Kai is able to balance the needs of the business and seek opportunities that complement their unique competitive advantage. Kai possesses strong business acumen and is adept at conducting in-depth market research for various new and emerging industries and technologies. Kai also served as an expat at the Toyota headquarters in Japan, joining the CTO & Executive VP-led new business development team. During his career he has developed strategies related to renewable energy (biomass and solar), electric vehicles, and energy storage systems. His most recent success includes a strategic investment in a Mobility-as-a-service business in North America. 

        Kai holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Environment and Business from the University of Waterloo.

        PETER POLANOWSKI

        SENIOR CONSULTANT

        Peter Polanowski has over 14 years’ experience encompassing environmental education, PR, environmental management, sustainability strategy and clean economy research.

        Over his career, Peter has led several projects, ranging from policy and legislative development, vertical farming tech feasibility, ecosystem service assessment and valuation, project management of renewable energy development initiatives, and sustainability strategies for First Nations.

        At Upswing, Peter is focused on clean economy research and ESG strategy development, helping organizations develop actionable sustainability strategies through the adoption of sustainability frameworks and standards.

        Peter holds a Masters’ in Sustainable Energy Development from the University of Calgary, a Graduate Certificate in Energy Management and Innovation from Ryerson University, as well as a Bachelor of Education from Brock and Bachelor’s from Western University. He is currently working on his SASB FSA Certification.

          Camilla gomes

          consultant

          Camilla is a sustainability professional with over 5 years of hands-on experience in Environmental Diagnostic, Reporting, and Performance, involving private and public industries around the world.

          Camilla also has over 10 years of research experience within huge institutions, always ensuring compliance with national and international programs. 

          Her experience includes environmental KPIs tracking, ESG, and UN PRI Reporting Framework, GHG accounting and, implementing company’s climate change strategies. 

          Camilla holds a MSc in Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Exeter, UK, and a MSc in Agribusiness from the Federal University of Goias, Brazil and a BSc in Law from the Pontifical Catholic University of Goias.

          She received several scholarships such as the Science Without Boarders and the prestigious Chevening Scholarship. 

          KAI SHIMIZU

          Business Development Lead  Consultant

          Kai brings more than 6 years of knowledge and experience in developing medium- to long-term corporate business development strategies to the Upswing team.

          With sustainability as the bottom line, Kai is able to balance the needs of the business and seek opportunities that complement their unique competitive advantage. Kai possesses strong business acumen and is adept at conducting in-depth market research for various new and emerging industries and technologies. Kai also served as an expat at the Toyota headquarters in Japan, joining the CTO & Executive VP-led new business development team. During his career he has developed strategies related to renewable energy (biomass and solar), electric vehicles, and energy storage systems. His most recent success includes a strategic investment in a Mobility-as-a-service business in North America. 

          Kai holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Environment and Business from the University of Waterloo.

          michelle albanese

          consultant

          Michelle is a Senior Consultant with over 20 years of experience working with governments, non-profits, private and publicly traded companies to enhance sustainability and ESG.  

          Her areas of expertise include responsible supply chain management, ESG disclosure, biodiversity and conservation, human rights and labor rights, modern slavery, diversity, equity and inclusion and supplier diversity. 

          Michelle works across various sectors and markets – including professional and commercial services, finance, insurance, telecommunications, construction, retail, and manufacturing.  

          Michelle has a Masters of Science in Health and Environmental Sciences from the University of Waterloo, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Toxicology (minor in Statistics) from the University of Guelph.  She holds the FSA SASB certification, the GHG Scope 3 certificate as well as the Climate Change and TCFD: Risks and Opportunities for the Banking Industry certificate from the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).

          Saqr Abuhatab

          decarbonization analyst

          Saqr has over 3 years of experience in advanced research targeting the development of sustainable technologies for the treatment and conversion of contaminants. His experience includes wastewater treatment, carbon capture and conversion, electrochemical treatment, analysis, and separation/treatment technologies optimization. 

          Throughout his career, Saqr has worked on developing and pitching various biodegradable, sustainable materials and technologies for diverse applications, such as adsorbents and catalysts for water contaminants and greenhouse gases treatment, and electrodes. 

          Saqr holds a MSc degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Calgary and a BSc in Chemical Engineering from An-Najah National University. 

          During his studies, Saqr has been awarded multiple governmental and departmental scholarships, such as Mitacs Accelerate Fellowship and Alberta Graduate Excellence Award and for his research contribution.

          SONJA KOTELNISKI

          OFFICE MANAGER

          Sonja has kept organizations moving forward for over 20 years. She has designed and managed office systems from small technology startups, to high growth businesses, to large government departments.

          Early in her career Sonja created the infrastructure to support the founding team during a high growth phase at one of Nova Scotia’s leading technology companies. Sonja has broad experience across HR systems and policies, optimizing office productivity, managing executive-level communications, and financial management software.

          Most recently, Sonja joined Upswing from provincial government, where she was responsible for efficient management of the office of the Executive Director. Sonja has a Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

          SONJA KOTELNISKI

          OFFICE MANAGER

          Sonja has kept organizations moving forward for over 20 years. She has designed and managed office systems from small technology startups, to high growth businesses, to large government departments.

          Early in her career Sonja created the infrastructure to support the founding team during a high growth phase at one of Nova Scotia’s leading technology companies. Sonja has broad experience across HR systems and policies, optimizing office productivity, managing executive-level communications, and financial management software.

          Most recently, Sonja joined Upswing from provincial government, where she was responsible for efficient management of the office of the Executive Director. Sonja has a Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

            michelle albanese

            Senior Consultant

            Michelle is a Senior Consultant with over 20 years of experience working with governments, non-profits, private and publicly traded companies to enhance sustainability and ESG.  

            Her areas of expertise include responsible supply chain management, ESG disclosure, biodiversity and conservation, human rights and labor rights, modern slavery, diversity, equity and inclusion and supplier diversity. 

            Michelle works across various sectors and markets – including professional and commercial services, finance, insurance, telecommunications, construction, retail, and manufacturing.  

            Michelle has a Masters of Science in Health and Environmental Sciences from the University of Waterloo, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Toxicology (minor in Statistics) from the University of Guelph.  She holds the FSA SASB certification, the GHG Scope 3 certificate as well as the Climate Change and TCFD: Risks and Opportunities for the Banking Industry certificate from the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).

             

            Saqr Abuhatab

            decarbonization analyst

            Saqr has over 3 years of experience in advanced research targeting the development of sustainable technologies for the treatment and conversion of contaminants. His experience includes wastewater treatment, carbon capture and conversion, electrochemical treatment, analysis, and separation/treatment technologies optimization. 

            Throughout his career, Saqr has worked on developing and pitching various biodegradable, sustainable materials and technologies for diverse applications, such as adsorbents and catalysts for water contaminants and greenhouse gases treatment, and electrodes. 

            Saqr holds a MSc degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Calgary and a BSc in Chemical Engineering from An-Najah National University. 

            During his studies, Saqr has been awarded multiple governmental and departmental scholarships, such as Mitacs Accelerate Fellowship and Alberta Graduate Excellence Award and for his research contribution.

            Our Associate Consultants

            Charmaine Dymond

            Associate Copywriter & Editor

            Charmaine is a copywriter for social change businesses and non-profit organizations.

            She helps her clients connect with customers and supporters by writing compelling web, email and print copy that builds trust and inspires action.

            Claire Mahaney Lyon

            Associate Consultant

            Claire is a seasoned real estate investment strategist with deep knowledge of capital markets. As a CFA® charterholder with over 10 years of experience, and a passionate sustainability professional, Claire brings a unique perspective and understanding to her clients.

            Prior to founding Real Asset Strategies, Claire successfully built and led IR and ESG strategies for a $5 billion Canadian REIT. Previously, as part of the strategy and research team for a Canadian pension fund-owned real estate firm, she created and implemented programs to identify and solve high-risk tenant challenges, rent-paying behaviours and trends. Prior, Claire was a real estate analyst for a $1.5 billion real estate dedicated mutual fund, analyzing and recommending global real estate investments.

            Claire has a B.S.B.A. (Finance and Marketing) from Coastal Carolina University (USA), a Masters in Financial Management from the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (Spain), is a CFA® charterholder, and is pursuing the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting from the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board.

                Lara Ryan

                Associate Consultant

                Lara Ryan has spent more than 30 years honing her strategic leadership skills. Her expertise in designing and implementing sustainability and CSR plans helps clients articulate and demonstrate their social and environmental value to stakeholders.

                Her background is in the not-for-profit sector. Most recently she served for 12 years as regional director with the Canada Green Building Council.

                Panos Panagiotakopoulos

                Associate Consultant

                Panos is the coordinator of the Sustainable Business Management program at Seneca College, and a sessional lecturer at the University of Toronto and OCAD University. He is an Environmental Engineer and holds a PhD in Corporate Sustainability.

                Panos is a driven sustainability educator, researcher and consultant with 10+ years of experience coaching organizations to assess and integrate sustainability and train the next generation of sustainability professionals. Panos has taught systems thinking, sustainability and project management to students in Toronto and Greece and has delivered sustainability management seminars globally. He is recognized for his  ability to present complex ideas in a clear and concise manner. Panos has advised companies from the agricultural, real estate, construction, and retails sectors on climate change, life cycle assessment and sustainability. He was recently a coach to Ashoka’s Globalizer program helping social entrepreneurs scale, as well as to 2017 Agents of Change: Climate Solutions accelerator of the Centre for Social Innovation.

                Charmaine Dymond

                Associate Copywriter & Editor

                Charmaine is a copywriter for social change businesses and non-profit organizations.

                She helps her clients connect with customers and supporters by writing compelling web, email and print copy that builds trust and inspires action.

                Claire Mahaney Lyon

                Associate Consultant

                Claire is a seasoned real estate investment strategist with deep knowledge of capital markets. As a CFA® charterholder with over 10 years of experience, and a passionate sustainability professional, Claire brings a unique perspective and understanding to her clients.

                Prior to founding Real Asset Strategies, Claire successfully built and led IR and ESG strategies for a $5 billion Canadian REIT. Previously, as part of the strategy and research team for a Canadian pension fund-owned real estate firm, she created and implemented programs to identify and solve high-risk tenant challenges, rent-paying behaviours and trends. Prior, Claire was a real estate analyst for a $1.5 billion real estate dedicated mutual fund, analyzing and recommending global real estate investments.

                Claire has a B.S.B.A. (Finance and Marketing) from Coastal Carolina University (USA), a Masters in Financial Management from the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (Spain), is a CFA® charterholder, and is pursuing the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting from the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board.

                    Lara Ryan

                    Associate Consultant

                    Lara Ryan has spent more than 30 years honing her strategic leadership skills. Her expertise in designing and implementing sustainability and CSR plans helps clients articulate and demonstrate their social and environmental value to stakeholders.

                    Her background is in the not-for-profit sector. Most recently she served for 12 years as regional director with the Canada Green Building Council.

                    Panos Panagiotakopoulos

                    Associate Consultant

                    Panos is the coordinator of the Sustainable Business Management program at Seneca College, and a sessional lecturer at the University of Toronto and OCAD University. He is an Environmental Engineer and holds a PhD in Corporate Sustainability.

                    Panos is a driven sustainability educator, researcher and consultant with 10+ years of experience coaching organizations to assess and integrate sustainability and train the next generation of sustainability professionals. Panos has taught systems thinking, sustainability and project management to students in Toronto and Greece and has delivered sustainability management seminars globally. He is recognized for his  ability to present complex ideas in a clear and concise manner. Panos has advised companies from the agricultural, real estate, construction, and retails sectors on climate change, life cycle assessment and sustainability. He was recently a coach to Ashoka’s Globalizer program helping social entrepreneurs scale, as well as to 2017 Agents of Change: Climate Solutions accelerator of the Centre for Social Innovation.

                    Our Partnerships

                    Creating commercial strategies that deliver environmental, social and business value is never a “one-size-fits-all” undertaking — that’s why we’ve built our powerful partner network of diverse experts to bring the exact skills needed to ensure high-impact outcomes for our clients.

                    Let’s talk about the right solution for your business.

                    Start Your Solution 

                    Start Your Solution 

                    Let’s talk about the right solution for your business.