Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Lead
As a first-generation Canadian, Saba grew up with the desire to pursue a career in life sciences – sustainability and environmental stewardship were not familiar to her. It wasn’t until her last years of highschool – and the encouragement and inspiration of one of her teachers – that she realized the importance environmental sustainability played to the health and well-being of everyone around the world.
Saba is a graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Environment and Business program. After completing her undergrad, she went on to pursue a certificate in Project Management at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. More recently, she has completed courses related to community-based social marketing, a diploma in corporate social responsibility, and training to engage with communities around climate action.
Saba is currently employed with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, where she works with businesses on their engagement and communications initiatives related to their sustainability efforts. She has diverse experience in the not-for-profit sector, having worked as a project coordinator in a range of areas including sustainable fashion, finance, healthcare, and energy conservation programming.
As a Co-Founder of EnviroMuslims, Saba strongly believes that the Muslim community should be leading climate action initiatives. This is especially true considering the magnified impacts of climate change on people of color and vulnerable communities. Sustainability to her goes beyond caring for the natural environment: it is an issue of social justice, equality and inclusion.
Manager, Climate Programs
As a little kid, through her love for animals and a tendency to be curious, Areej Riaz became quite attracted to studying nature and environment. She went on to study the subject to learn how to address climate change and embed in development planning.
Her career of over 12 years ,as a climate and environment professional, has spanned working with not-for-profits, governments, consultancies and corporations, providing tailored support on climate compatible development and related policy making and planning. She developed the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN)’s program in Bangladesh, and coordinated climate projects across Asia in Nepal, India, Indonesia and Pakistan. Areej is a contributing author to three provincial climate change policies in Pakistan, has implemented sustainability initiatives in 90 business and industries in Scotland, and developed the environment awareness program for the non-profit, Hum Pakistan from scratch. As a steering committee member of Asia Low Emission Development Strategies Partnership (ALP), she has been involved in designing, organizing and facilitating capacity strengthening activities for Asian and African policy makers on climate compatible development planning.
Areej has authored and co-authored numerous publications, including whitepapers, policy briefs, newspaper articles, and most recently a chapter on gender-driven environmental action in a multi-author book on sustainability being published in UK. She is currently a member of the climate finance working group, renewable energy and the energy efficiency communities of practices of Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) Global Partnership. She also serves as an advisor on program development to Hum Pakistan and sits on the board of Upper Canada Fibershed.
Her educational background includes a MSc. in Applied Carbon Management from University of Glasgow in UK and a MSc. in Environmental Sciences from Kinnaird College in Pakistan. Outside of work, Areej loves to bake, read books, watch movies and brush up on language skills by learning French with her husband, in that order! She’s also exploring Canada, and loves to visit the geese at the river that flows near her house.