2018 #SFTop25 finalist - Lucy Cullen
HOMETOWN: Toronto, Ontario
TRADITIONAL TERRITORY: Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. The territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe and allied Nations.
Cocktails, fine-dining and events. All of these things have a certain heir of perfection. When Lucy Cullen saw how much was being wasted to create these dreamscapes, she knew something had to be done.
While working in the hospitality industry, she began to think of ways to improve the systems and facilitate businesses to make better choices. Her recommendations help organizations reduce their carbon footprint and waste output while increasing profitability. This catalysed her to launch Terus with Eva Musso in Toronto.
Since its inception, Terus has flipped companies’ perspectives by turning what was once thought of as waste into profit. Most recently, Terus worked with a 30-seat restaurant, and showed them how to divert over 30,000 pounds of waste from landfill annually, avoid over 15 metric tonnes of GHG emissions (the equivalent of taking 40 cars off the road each year), and increase profits by over $12,000 within the first year.
Through various projects and partners, Terus has helped divert 61,814 pounds of waste from landfills and improved the bottom line for restaurants by $27,015 and counting.
Her innovative business is helping combat food waste and build a resilient community. Terus’ launch event was co-hosted by Danielle Yoon and Ivy Knight at The Drake Hotel and brought together over 200 people. The purpose of this event was to ignite conversation across Toronto's restaurant scene about food waste.
A free screening of Wasted! The Story of Food Waste was shown to a pivotal group of Toronto chefs, restaurant owners, media and other members of the community. The screening and launch party caught media’s attention and the event was covered by blogTO and Now magazine, rippling the issue far beyond the 200 event attendees.
Lucy has turned a passion for food, wine, restaurants, and the city of Toronto into an actionable social enterprise that has proven its value in only a year’s time. In 2017, Lucy was first recognized on The Starfish Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists under 25 list for her exceptional sustainability work in the hospitality industry.
Her passion for the environment shines through with many of her peers acknowledging her efforts. Our inbox was overflowing with nominations — The Starfish Canada received an outstanding 11 nomination submissions for Lucy this year.