Two ENV students and two alumni named as top 30 under 30 sustainability leaders

Monday, November 9, 2020

The Faculty of Environment is proud to recognize Truzaar Dordi, Beth Eden and alumni Nadine Pinto (BES'16) and Graeme Reed (BES'14) as recipients of this year's Top 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leaders award presented by Corporate Knights. 

Truzaar Dordi

Truzaar DordiIt comes as no surprise that our very own Truzaar Dordi, a University of Waterloo doctoral candidate at the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, and a two-time recipient of the Energy Policy Research Fellowship with WISE/Energy Council of Canada for his work on climate finance has been selected. 

Each year Corporate Knights magazine recognizes exceptional young Canadians shaping our sustainable future. The Top 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leaders list highlights activists, entrepreneurs, students and professionals from across Canada and worldwide, each showing outstanding leadership on sustainability issues.

"I am deeply honoured to be recognized as one of this year's 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leaders, alongside the man other young Canadians I admire - seeing the calibre of those recognized in recent years is humbling. As a scholar, I am thankful for the University of Waterloo and the Faculty of Environment for the freedom to pursue the research I am truly passionate about and for providing a platform for me to share my work. Likewise, I am thankful for Corporate Knights for amplifying the voices of youth and believing that the work we do is important." 

The Faculty of Environment now boasts ten Top 30 Under 30 picks. Previous winners include Environment and Business student Dana Decent, Trudeau Scholar, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar, and Doctoral Candidate at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Tahnee Prior, Master of Climate Change graduate, Morgan Book, School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability student Dominique Souris, Sustainability Management graduate Sean Campbell and Master of Environment and Business student Jillian Rodak. 

Beth Eden

Recent alumna of the GreenHouse social impact incubator at St. Paul’s University College, Beth Eden has been recognized by Corporate Knights magazine as one of 30 young leaders under 30 making a difference in sustainability issues in Canada.

Beth eden headshotOver the past 11 years Eden has immersed herself in several efforts related to sustainability, social entrepreneurship, environmental and youth engagement-related projects internationally and in Canada. As a graduate of UWaterloo’s environment and business program, much of her work has involved advancing United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which guide global action on the urgent environmental, political and economic challenges facing the planet.

“It means a lot to me to be recognized by Corporate Knights, particularly as I’m graduating,” said Eden. “I do this work out of passion and I think being in sustainable development really does make a difference. It’s important for me to be a thought leader and create change.”

As a student, Eden participated in a GreenHouse SVENT course which focuses on social innovation and entrepreneurship and continues to receive mentorship from GreenHouse director Tania Del Matto as she continues to build her career.

“The SVENT course and the GreenHouse team has been so great for helping me reinvigorate my entrepreneurial mindset,” said Eden. “They have really given me the confidence I need to launch my own venture and I could not be more excited for this next chapter in my life.”

Eden, who has been living with her sister in Yellowknife during the COVID-19 pandemic, has also been working on supporting a documentary film by fellow classmate Carter Kirilenko called In Your Palm. After this project, the two aim to work on creating a second film focused on the artic regions of Canada and climate change’s impacts on mental health.

“Ever since I was young, I’ve had this passion for the environment and solving problems in very innovative ways,” said Eden. “It’s important to recognize how different types of media can build awareness and support meaningful change.”

Most notably, Eden’s leadership has included work as the National President of World Merit Canada, a finalist for World Merit’s Global Ambassador Competition and Action Plan Executor for SDG 13 – Climate Action. She was also the winner of the ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ and ‘Outstanding Social Enterprise’ award for the Solutions for the Planet competition, and even presented at the Houses of Parliament in the United Kingdom. More recently she sat on the Sustainability Advisory Committee for the City of Waterloo and currently works as the Sustainability Communications Officer for Sustainable Development Solutions Network – Youth Initiative. Eden is very excited about working on and having the ability to pursue her passion projects. We can’t wait to see how these projects develop and wish her continued success in social entrepreneurship!

Graeme Reed (BES '14)

Greame reedd headshotGraeme (BES '14) is of mixed Anishinaabe and European descent. He is a Senior Advisor with the Assembly of First Nations, where he advocates for the inclusion of First Nations in the federal, provincial, and territorial climate change and energy policy dialogue. He has presented to the Canadian Council of Ministers of Environment (CCME), participated in the First Minister’s Meeting negotiating the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, and represented the AFN several times at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

As Graeme told Corporate Knights, it’s his job to hold federal and international policy-makers accountable for ensuring that their climate policies respect and safeguard First Nations rights, jurisdiction and knowledge. That also applies to pandemic-recovery discussions.

“The concept of ‘building back better,’” he explains, “is not value-neutral. We must recognize the history of colonization, land dispossession and systemic racism as a starting point to recovery discourse. Canada must support self-determined Indigenous climate leadership in all of these efforts.”

Graeme has represented the AFN at three UN climate talks and worked with Chiefs to pass a resolution at the AFN Annual General Assembly declaring a First Nations climate emergency. All the while, he is working on his PhD at the University of Guelph, researching the intersection of Indigenous governance, environmental governance and the climate crisis.

Graeme is a graduate of the International Development program jointly offered by St. Paul's and the Faculty of Environment. He recently started a PhD at the University of Guelph.

Nadine Pinto (BES '16)

Nadine Pinto in a fieldNadine is the sustainability manager for TreadRight & The Travel Corporation. As per Corporate Knights, the COVID-19 pandemic brought the travel industry to an abrupt standstill in 2020, devastating many communities that depend on tourism.

Although it’s still unclear when global leisure travel will resume, Nadine Pinto’s work at The Travel Corporation (which owns 40 travel brands in 70 countries) and its non-profit, TreadRight, involves developing ways to ensure that travellers can venture out sustainably when the gates open. Those tools include identifying the carbon footprint of trips, identifying low-emission transportation, sourcing new travel routes to relieve over-tourism, and establishing Make Travel Matter experiences that benefit both the traveller and the destination communities, in line with the UN SDGs.

As Nadine explains, “Businesses are well positioned to see through long-term sustainability goals and create real change that has a measurable impact. I’m fortunate to do just that in my work.”

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