Beth Savan, PhD, MCIP

Director Safara Sustainability Solutions

Beth is the co-founder of Safara, and has advised and consulted widely on a range of sustainability-related issues over the past three decades.  She has designed and delivered sustainability training programs, sustainability and strategic planning exercises and sustainability programs and interventions. In particular, she was contracted to carry out sustainability planning and program implementation by Toronto Hydro and the University Health Network strategic planning for sustainability at a Toronto NGO, and sub-contracted to work on sustainability planning in the Town of Collingwood, the federal government, and the town of Sudbury, sustainability training for facilities managers, employee engagement to promote sustainability at the University Health Network and water conservation to avert water system failure for the City of Toronto, targeting demand side management using community based social marketing.

Beth has been very active as a government advisor, on Environmental Non-Governmental Organization boards and on foundation grants committees. She chaired the Environmental Assessment Review Panel for the Ontario Minister of the Environment and co-chaired the City of Toronto’s Sustainability Round Table, served as Vice Chair of the Ontario Advisory Committee on Environmental Standards and as Co-Chair of the Fair Tax Commission’s Environmental Taxation Working Group and the Canadian Lung Association’s Environmental Health Committee. She served on the Ontario Task Force on the Primary Prevention of Cancer and the City of Toronto Environmental Task Force, on environmental grant committees for the Toronto Community Foundation and the Laidlaw Foundation. She just completed her tenure on the Board of Directors of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund and still co-chairs their Grants Committee. She also has broad experience in the popular media, where she has worked extensively in TV, radio and print. In addition to a large number of scholarly publications, Beth has produced several award-winning radio series and has published two popular books, one for adults and one for children. Beth volunteers as a mentor and trainer with new Canadians in Toronto with the Toronto Region Conservation Authority and in Nunavut with the Canadian Executive Service Overseas.

Beth Savan is the inaugural Sustainability Director at the St. George Campus, University of Toronto, where she has been responsible for establishing the Sustainability Office and managing its staff, for engaging over one hundred students a year in sustainability activities on campus, and for overseeing energy and resource conservation programs. For seven years, Beth directed the Environmental Studies Programme at Innis College, University of Toronto. She has served as Research Director and Undergraduate Coordinator for the Centre for Environment and is a Senior Fellow at Massey College. During her tenure as Sustainability Director,  Beth launched and has managed a community based social marketing program on resource conservation which has grown to encompass almost all residences and a growing number of offices on campus, with a library module in development. This program has been successful at changing attitudes, behaviours and energy and resource consumption, and is being used as a template for similar programs at the University Health Network and Toronto Hydro.

Beth obtained her Ph.D. in insect ecology from the Imperial College of Science and Technology at the University of London (England), and has received numerous large research grants, most recently to work on energy conservation on campus, on community sustainability locally, on climate change internationally, and on barriers and factors facilitating Community Based Research in Canada. Beth was the 2010 recipient of the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Commission’s Excellence in Education Award.

Beth lives in Toronto with her husband and three children.