Meet the 2024
EPt IMPACT Award Finalists

Their commitment and dedication have established them as leaders in the environmental sector.


Climate & Energy Programs Manager at Georgian Bay Biosphere

Benjamin John is the Climate & Energy Programs Manager at the Georgian Bay Mnidoo Gamii Biosphere, a non-profit and registered charity that represents one of 19 UNESCO-designated world biospheres in Canada. 

Benjamin is passionate about the intersection of energy management, climate change, economic development, and local level sustainability. He enjoys planning and implementing solutions that address local socio-economic needs, reduce energy costs, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. 

Benjamin is a firm believer that relationships and partnerships are the foundational ingredients for building effective climate action. In his role, he facilitates and delivers an inter-governmental partnership known as ICECAP, which brings together many First Nations and rural municipalities in northern and southern Ontario to share knowledge and resources for collaborative climate action planning and implementation.  

He holds a Masters of Resource and Environmental Management from Dalhousie University and an Honour Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. He currently resides in Parry Sound (ON) where he enjoys the beauty and natural recreation opportunities that Georgian Bay Mnidoo Gamii has to offer. 


Environment & Climate Change Policy Analyst, GHG & Sustainability Specialist

Papiya is an environment and climate change specialist with more than 10 years of experience in climate change adaptation/mitigation research, policy development, capacity building, and outreach. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-ISM, Dhanbad) and has credentials as a subject specialist for Climate Change Policy and Practice from the University of Toronto, Canada.  

She began her career with the Provincial Governments in India in the field of climate change research, modeling, and policy development for implementing climate action plans. Her work, as Lead Research Scientist, eventually led to seven years of partnerships with MOEFCC, India, and International organizations like GIZ, UNDP, World Bank, etc. She has also worked as a sustainability consultant and educator in the People’s Republic of China. Papiya also worked for nearly a year with the United Nations Environment Programme to engage and manage the business community at COP 15, Montreal. She is currently working in the City of Mississauga as a Climate Change Coordinator where she oversees the projects relevant to GHG analysis, climate risk, vulnerability, adaptation & resilience. She loves traveling, tasting food, and taking photographs in her free time.  


Intelligence Analyst at the Environment Climate Change Canada

Connor Rettinger is an Analyst for the Environment Climate Change Canada’s Enforcement Branch. His work focuses on national enforcement project coordination and statistician reporting to management regarding enforcement statistics.

Connor volunteers as an ambassador with the Government of Canada’s Workplace Charitable Campaign and participates on the Canadian Association of Professional Intelligence Analysts steering committee. Connor is also finalizing his master’s at the University of Ottawa, completing a risk analysis of Arctic shipping hazards and risks.

He is a project team member on the ArcticNet’s Residual Risk and Adaptation Database project, creating a comprehensive tool for assessing researchers’ publications/reports to determine the risk level for hazards and climate adaptation measure effectiveness. The research will aid as a framework for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) authors when creating Annual Report 7 and will present this internationally in 2024.

Connor is an EP Champion for Ottawa-Gatineau who planned a student networking event and assisted at the Ottawa ECO Roadshow in October. Connor will be pursuing a Ph.D. in January 2024, supervised by Dr. Jackie Dawson, completing a comprehensive risk assessment of shipping risks in Arctic Canada. During his downtime, Connor likes to play baseball, practice guitar, and hike.