Selection Process

2018 Clean50 and the Selection Process

We at Delta believe that, while teams are incredibly important, leadership not only matters — it is essential to setting direction, goals and ultimately, achieving success. We are again setting out to recognize those people who had made a substantial difference to Canada in the belief that by doing so, we might inspire others to take up the challenge.

Thus far, including team wins, we have recognized over 325 individuals over the past 6 years.

There are those who think we have, over those six years, named everyone who should be on the list and will have a tough job matching the first ~325 with yet another group of exceptional Canadians — but as a search firm we face those challenges every single day — and we know that with your help, we can and will discover great stories of personal leadership and inspiration that are as yet untold…

The search for the 2018 Clean50,  and the Top 15 Clean50 Projects is now on – all sets of winners to be announced in September 2017, with the results published on two full pages in The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business this fall!  Again this year we will name an additional 10 “Clean50 Emerging Leaders” who will be judged from the same criteria – and be the top 10 nominees under the age of 35 and not otherwise on the full Clean50 list.

The Categories remain unchanged from last year although the questions have changed. Our EDUCATION category now includes the additional sub-category of “Thought Leaders”. Other things of note:

  • We will recognize the top 15 Sustainability Projects from work completed in the past 2 years,  Selected projects will vie for 2 distinct  honours: being named the Clean50 Top Sustainability Project by Honourees at the Clean50 Summit – and a month later, as the “Popular Choice Award” through on line voting.
  • Previous honourees can be named again — but only for work not previously recognized.
  • The selection and review process has been refined.

To identify and recognize 50 individuals (or small teams) who have made the greatest contributions to sustainable development or clean capitalism in Canada between January 1, 2015 and March 31, 2017, and then from that group, identify the leader in each of 16 specific categories.


Delta Management Group is a 25 year old search firm based in Toronto with search practices in high tech, clean tech, and sustainability and corporate social responsibility practitioners. Delta is the founder of the Clean50 award, and has, in consultation with advisors, defined the purpose and process behind the Canada Clean50 awards. The Judges are comprised of senior Delta executives together with a team of highly qualified third party advisors Delta appoints, and will make all determinations as to the selection of the honourees.


At least two nominees will be recognized from each of 16 categories:

  • Advocates: NGOs, Individuals, Community Groups, Not-For-Profits & Non-Profits
  • Angels: Investors & Eco-System Support for sustainability & clean tech focused start ups
  • Building: Design, Real Estate Development, Housing, and Construction
  • Cities: Anyone making cities more liveable & sustainable including Municipal employees and politicians, planners,
  • Clean Technology: products available for sale, made or designed in Canada, that reduce energy consumption, create energy or enhance sustainability
  • Consultants: anyone who advises others on sustainability, CSR or “eco” issues (includes lawyers)
  • Educators / Authors / Thought Leaders: People whose impacts are indirect: teachers from all types of educational institutions or organizations, or, individuals  whose contribution has come from research and / or informing / inspiring others
  • Financial and Services Organizations
  • Manufacturing & Transportation Organizations
  • Primary Resources (Agriculture, Forestry, Extraction (Mining, Oil) Water, Fisheries, Waste)
  • Public Sector (non-education, upper 2 levels of government — civil servants, crown corporations & politicians)
  • Renewable Energy Generation: organizations which have developed and connected their projects to the grid
  • Research & Development : products / developments not yet for sale that have the potential to enable a more sustainable future )
  • Retail & Consumer Products & Services organizations
  • Technology, Telecommunications  & Media organizations
  • Traditional Energy Generation and Energy Retailing organizations

Deadline: for external nominations is Canada Day. (July 1).  Nominations received after that day may or may not be considered at Delta’s sole discretion. Nominees shall have until JULY 4th to respond to their nominations by providing the additional information required in the DETAILED NOMINATIONS form. (see the nominations tab).

Nominations will be accepted via the website, and in writing at various sustainability focused events across Canada between now and the deadline. The team at Delta Management will also seek out nominees through a variety of initiatives designed to ensure that a thorough search is completed.

People wishing to do so are encouraged to nominate themselves or others — and may nominate as many people as they feel have made worthwhile contributions since January 2015.

All nominations and material gathered will become property of Delta Management, and provided they are complete, will not usually be acknowledged until all nominations are in hand.

Nominators are encouraged to increase the chances of their nominee being selected by providing as much information as possible, especially accurate contact information for both themselves and the nominee.

Delta Management will not necessarily review all nominees in depth, but will make best efforts to consider in some depth at least the top 200 nominations it gathers through various means.

In some cases, small teams (of no more than 4 persons) may be considered in lieu of a single contributor. Nominators and Nominees are urged to consider if an individual or a team was the “prime mover” behind the initiatives being proposed for recognition.

Nominees will be required to provide information to Delta Management relevant to the category in which they are being considered, including information which will include a need for detailed specific information regarding the accomplishments for which the nominee is being considered. Nominees will be required to formally state that the information is as reasonably accurate as possible.

Data security: information provided to Delta will be maintained in as secure an environment as possible, and information identified as confidential will be defined and treated as such, and not shared outside of Delta and the Advisory team. No absolute guarantees of confidentiality can or will be made. Honourees will have the opportunity to review any information Delta expects to release publicly before it is released. .

To qualify:

Nominees must have completed the activities for which they are being considered in the period between January 2015 and March 31, 2017 and the impacts for which they are being recognized must have been felt in Canada. International results may be considered in the case of Canadian Clean Tech companies based in Canada.

Activities for which the nominee has previously been named to the Clean50 will not be considered, but their new activities will be (i.e. in the Clean50 group whose achievements were considered last year, anything completed since March 31 2015 – or that was not submitted previously) . Previous honourees are fully eligible for consideration under this criteria.

Activities will be judged in the context of the category from which the nomination has arisen, and will be different for each category. Delta Management and its team of advisors will review submissions of each nominee, as well as conducting some of the same background research Delta usually does in any search — review claims made, and where possible, seek third party validation by way of blind reference checks and scrutiny of the public record. In the case of corporate leaders, their total contribution / net impact will be part of the review.  Meaning that an outstanding result in one instance will not mitigate for overall poor performance elsewhere.

In all cases, Delta Management and the Clean50 Advisors will be primarily seeking to assess the measurable impact of the nominee’s contribution, and then the relative impact of the various nominees as compared to their peers and fellow nominees in the same category.

Individuals: At least two honourees will be chosen from each of the 16 categories. The remaining 18 honourees shall be chosen from any category.
One honouree from each category will be identified as the leader in that category, and thus be named to “Canada’s 2018 Clean16”. All 50 individuals or small teams will be considered to be members of the “Canada’s 2018 Clean50”. No other overall ranking will be done or announced.  “Honourable Mentions” may be named in each category as well at Delta’s sole discretion, and Delta may consider candidates for work they have done over a long period of time for a “Lifetime Award” in the event their activities in just the past 2 years don’t match those of others.

The Emerging Leaders will be chosen from any of the 16 categories, with no regard to the category in which they were considered.

Finally, in extraordinary circumstances, posthumous awards might be granted.

Projects: The 15 reviewed projects judged to be the most impactful, innovative, or influential will be identified as “Clean 5” , “Clean10” or “Clean15″  Projects”.

Selection Criteria:

In each category, specific questions are asked which we find helps us differentiate amongst nominees.  It is impossible to quantify any exact criteria as we try to take a wide variety of factors into consideration, and not all factors apply to all nominees.  For example, in the building category, an architect, a home builder, and a condo developer would all be judged on very different criteria from each other, and significantly different from building operators / property managers.  Yet all fit in the same category.  In each case, we will be looking for measurable impact, innovation, and an upgrade from “business as usual” – in a word “Leadership” – not “followership”.  When comparing a senior executive in a major bank to someone leading change in a credit union, for example, we will also attempt to adjust for size and scale.


Achievements prior to January 2015 will not be considered unless there is effectively a tie between nominees on the basis of current achievements. In a tie, preference shall also be given to the nominee’s commitment to participate in the 2017 Clean50 Summit and contribute to the Clean50 beyond the Summit. Where a tie exists between a former honouree and a new nominee, the new nominee shall prevail.

As is reasonable in making such a broad number of awards, Delta Management may modify its process or the rules as it sees fit, to adapt to any unforeseen issues as they arise. The decisions of Delta Management and its advisors are final and will not be subject to appeal or review.

The honour:

Delta will advise the honourees of their selection in August 2017 and then publicly announce the honourees of 2018 Canada’s Clean50 in early September.

The details of ALL Clean50 Honourees will be featured by the Clean50 Media sponsor, The Globe and Mail with pictures, names and organization names. All 2018 Clean50 Honourees will be similarly recognized on the Clean50 Website with a ~100 word description of their accomplishments.   Links to the Honouree’s chosen landing page is also provided to any honouree who licenses the commercial use of the Award wordmark and logo.

All Clean50 Honourees will be recognized at the Clean50 Summit, on September 28th, and receive their awards at the same time.

Details of the 2015 Summit 7.0 (as posted in more detail elsewhere on this site) will consist of a full day workshop open exclusively to prior Clean50 Honourees, the 2018 Honourees, our specially chosen sponsors, and key members of their teams.

All of Canada’s Clean50 honourees are entitled to self identify as same, and to license the Clean50 logo / wordmark.  Commercial or promotional use of either the logo or the wordmark requires payment of a modest fee, based on award and type of organization (i.e. ENGOs and Emerging leaders pay very modest amounts, major corporations pay more).


There is no cost associated with being nominated, considered or receiving the Honour. There is a very small cost associated with individual honourees licensing the use of the Clean50 Logo or wordmark in any form.

Delta Management itself sponsors the Clean50 Summit  attendance of all 2018 Individual Clean50 Honourees  (or of one person in the case of a team) and the Emerging Leaders. Second or subsequent team members and other invitees of the honourees (i.e. key team members for the workshop or team and family members for the awards dinner) are on a limited first come – first served basis and at a reasonable fee.  Project Winners may send 1 or 2 representatives to the Summit and / or Dinner at a reasonable fee. Space is limited: Current Clean50 Honourees, Alumni and Project winners are given priority.  Many of the Clean50 Alumni will also attend the Summit, as guests thanks to the incredible generosity of HP Canada,
Canada’s greenest IT company.

Disclosure: There is a nominal fee to license the Clean16, Clean50 and Clean50 Project logos for personal and a larger fee for commercial or advertising use. The license fees help defray a small portion of the costs of the awards and running the Summit and are considered a very reasonable contribution that helps ensure the sustainability of the award itself.

Online nomination forms

Please click here to make a nomination.

If you have been nominated already, please click here to provide the details needed for us to include you on the preliminary short list of nominees under consideration.