CHILLIWACK, BRITISH COLUMBIA — The definition of “sustainability” changes depending on who you ask and, as such, there is no silver bullet solution. This is part of why premium pet food company Petcurean appointed Christine Mallier, who was already leading the company’s public and community relations, to take charge of the company’s environmental and social efforts.

“…We’re focused on taking numerous, incremental steps across our business and our organization, rather than one single, lofty goal,” she said.

In the following Q&A, Mallier shares more about Petcurean’s sustainability strategy, details how she shifted her career from the tech industry to the pet sector, and discusses challenges and opportunities currently facing the pet food industry at large.


PFP: Tell us about your business or your career in the pet industry.

Mallier: As the award-winning manufacturer of premium pet food brands Go! Solutions®, Now Fresh®, Gather® and Summit®, Petcurean has established itself as an industry leader with 25 years of trusted, premium pet nutrition expertise. I am extremely proud to be part of a team that recognizes there is no one-size-fits-all approach to pet nutrition, and we are pleased to offer an increasingly diverse range of innovative products to meet the unique needs of pets of all different shapes, sizes, backgrounds and ages. 

At Petcurean, we are also deeply committed to sustainability for the betterment of pets, people and our planet. We strive to advance sustainability within the industry through initiatives that reflect our ongoing journey to translate ambition into action. This is an area that I am particularly passionate about, as I am Petcurean’s first sustainability manager, and have been responsible for leading the sustainability charge across the company for the past five years.


PFP: How did you get your start in the pet industry, and how did that experience lead you to where you are now?

Mallier: After having spent 20-plus years in marketing and sales in the tech industry, working with different sectors including telecommunications, healthcare, government, and oil and gas, I was looking for a new challenge. I saw a job posting for the pet food industry and, since I love animals, I decided to “give it a go” and make a big change. And now after 10 years, I’m still at Petcurean, enjoying it immensely and being challenged. 

I’ve spent the past five years developing and managing robust sustainability strategies at Petcurean, including ESG [environmental, social and governance] and CSR [corporate social responsibility] initiatives, and I completed a Master’s Certificate in Corporate Sustainability & Innovation from Harvard University. I am using my previous experience in marketing and sales to leverage and integrate sustainability to define initiatives that drive more sales, increase revenue, and attract and retain loyal customers — all while supporting our communities, and making our planet a better place to live for our four-legged companions.


PFP: What has been your biggest challenge — personal or professional — related to your work in the pet industry?

Mallier: When it comes to pets, people are very passionate and emotional — and driven to provide their pets with the best life possible. There is so much information out there that it can be hard for consumers, and pet owners, to sift through fact from fiction, especially when it comes to the health of their fur babies. Research has come a long way, and we now know so much more. For example, dogs’ nutritional requirements differ from wolves, and they only need moderate levels of protein for optimal health. The old adage rings true that is it sometimes hard to teach an “old dog new tricks,” and it can be challenging to share new validated research on pet nutrition and health with people who subscribe to outdated or false information. 


PFP: Tell me about a professional accomplishment in the pet industry that you are proud of.

Mallier: Three years ago, I led our team in publishing Petcurean’s First Annual Sustainability Impact Report. We were the first premium pet food company to issue an Impact Report — to be transparent and share our ESG wins (including calculating our Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions) as well as the areas where we wanted to show improvement. I’ve continued to lead publishing our Impact Reports annually, pushing the boundaries of what we can achieve, as this is good for Petcurean and for our planet. Our latest Sustainability Impact Report highlights how Petcurean exceeded its carbon footprint reduction goals, launched an eco-friendly insect protein recipe (Go! Solutions Sensitivities Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Insect recipe), donated more than 2.4 million meals to dogs and cats in North America, and so much more.


PFP: What is top of mind for you and/or your business in the industry right now?

Mallier: Our aim at Petcurean is to deliver the proper pet nutrition to the largest number of pets as we can to help them live happier, healthier, longer lives. In terms of sustainability, we’re focused on taking numerous incremental steps across our business and our organization, rather than one single, lofty goal. For example, sustainable packaging is top of mind as we’re in the process of switching our kibble bags to recyclable bags — over 40% of our Go! Solutions bags have already made the switch. And we just released our Go! Solutions Benefit Chews, which are functional treats for dogs that feature upcycled ingredients. In addition, after undertaking the large task of calculating our Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions last year, we are now focused on developing a plan for how we can reduce these emissions. This is not an easy feat, but we’re up for the challenge.


PFP: If you could pick three trends influencing the industry today, which are the most important and why?

“The pet industry presents a unique opportunity for women to shine by leveraging not only the technical aspects of their roles but also the human elements of business,” said Christine Mallier, Petcurean.

Mallier: First, sustainability. This is a core value of today’s consumers, and as an industry we want to ensure a bright future for pets and their people. Second, products for the health of pets — pets can only be happy if they have healthy nutrition. Pet owners and the pet industry have a responsibility to provide pets with the nutrition that they need, since pets can’t choose for themselves. Third, sourcing is influencing our industry. We have a responsibility to choose ingredients and packaging for quality, but also for ethical reasons, to do everything we can to mitigate the risk of child labor and forced labor in our supply chains. We’re in the 21st century — these practices need to be eradicated.


PFP: What is something about the pet industry that people outside of the industry may not realize?

Mallier: Fun fact: pet food is the largest category in the food sector in terms of revenue. It is much bigger than any other human food category — for example, larger than the whole drink category, including Coke and Pepsi combined. I also don’t think people outside the pet industry realize just how much heart there is in our industry. Everyone I’ve met in this industry truly loves pets and wants to do what’s best for them.


PFP: What advice would you give to young people starting their careers in this industry?

Mallier: One piece of advice I’d give to any young person — follow your heart. Go work for the company that makes products you can entirely stand behind.

Christine Mallier, sustainability and community relations manager for Petcurean

Mallier and her foster cat, Piper.

| Source: Christine Mallier

PFP: Just for fun, do you consider yourself a dog person or a cat person? Or, if you have pets of your own, tell us a little bit about them. 

Mallier: I consider myself to be a true hybrid — half dog person, half cat person. And of course, in my life, I’ve had plenty of dogs and plenty of cats. My latest addition is a beautiful rescue cat that I’m fostering until she finds her forever home.


PFP: Any final advice for other women in the pet industry?

Mallier: Lean into your soft skills — your interpersonal abilities and emotional intelligence. Remember that collaboration and communication are key components of success, whether you’re working in a startup or a larger corporate environment. The pet industry presents a unique opportunity for women to shine by leveraging not only the technical aspects of their roles but also the human elements of business. And it enables them to not just excel within a particular department, but to work effectively cross-departmentally. Consider the role of someone who operates at the crossroads of research and development and marketing and sales, for instance. 

Moreover, consider the importance of networking and mentorship. Seek out connections with other women in the industry who can offer guidance and support. The pet industry is often driven by passion, and sharing experiences and insights can lead to powerful collaborations.

Lastly, don’t underestimate the value of your contribution, no matter the scale. Whether you’re improving processes within a department or driving company-wide initiatives, your work has the potential to make a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of pets and, by extension, pet parents. Use your position to advocate for the best outcomes for all stakeholders in the pet industry.

Christine Mallier started her pet industry career in 2014 with Petcurean. In the decade since, she has played an integral role in the company’s public relations, customer service, community relations and, more recently, sustainability initiatives. In early 2024, Mallier was nominated for the Environmental Sustainability category of the 2024 Women of Distinction Awards YWCA Metro Vancouver, and in 2023 was recognized with a Global 50 Women in Sustainability 2023 award. She currently sits on the board of Katie’s Place Animal Shelter, where she also volunteers as a dedicated adoption counselor and volunteer medicator. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication, with an emphasis on policy and regulation, from Simon Fraser University. She also holds a Master’s Certificate in Corporate Sustainability & Innovation from Harvard University, which she completed in 2024.

Continue reading about other female leaders featured in our Women in the Pet Industry series.