Canada’s Clean50 annually offers recognition to Canada’s leaders in sustainability for their contributions over the prior two years.. Nominations are collected year round until Canada Day each year, carefully reviewed, and then honourees for four different types of awards are announced each fall. Individual, Emerging Leader, and Lifetime Achievement awards name specific individuals.  Project awards go to the organization(s) who were the project’s proponents.

The Clean50 individual awards – or just “the Clean50” are 50 individuals or small teams selected from 16 diverse categories that transcend numerous  industries, academia, different levels of government, thought leaders and advocates, and are based on accomplishments delivered over the prior two years. The leader in each of the 16 categories is also declared to be part of the “Clean16″, depicting those 16 individual Honourees as the top contributor in each of their respective categories.

At least two nominees are selected from each one of the 16 categories, to ensure the Honourees collectively represent leadership from a wide spectrum of activities, and the remaining 18 honourees are the best of all the remaining nominees, from any category.

The Clean50 Top Projects annually recognize those projects completed in the prior two years based on their innovation, their ability to inform, and inspire other Canadians. The Top Project of the year is then selected each year at the Clean50 Summit, from votes cast by both incoming and Alumni members of the Clean50.

The Clean50 Emerging Leaders are selected from amongst those 35 or under, whose contribution is outsized compared to their age, and otherwise based on essentially the same criteria as the Individual Clean50 awards. Once all nominees have been considered and finalized for Clean50 individual awards, remaining eligible nominees are considered for an Emerging Leader award.

The Clean50 Lifetime Achievement Awards: up to 5 individuals, typically approaching, or at / past the point of retirement, are named annually, for climate impacts delivered over their entire career.

Special Awards are supported by some of our corporate champions to recognize special achievements in addition to their Clean50 individual or Emerging Leader Award. Winners are selected from amongst those who have won one of the awards listed above, including:

The HP Canada Award for Leadership in Sustainable Procurement recognizes the Clean50 Honouree who has done the most to advance the practice of sustainable procurement by helping move their company’s adoption of SP, consulting to organizations implementing SP practices, or driving adoption through thought leadership and advocacy.

The TELUS Award for Leadership in Community Engagement recognizes the individual honouree who has made the greatest contribution to their “community” outside of their “day job”. TELUS wants to acknowledge how critical “community” – however defined – is to our country’s fabric, and the important role played by volunteers across Canada in keeping our connection to each other strong and resilient.

The QUADREAL Clean50 Award for Net Zero Action recognizes the individual honouree who, with their organization, has made the greatest progress in the creation of a meaningful plan to get to net zero

The RESOLUTE FOREST PRODUCTS Clean50 Award for GHG Reduction recognizes the Clean50 Honouree whose organization has done the most to reduce GHGs over the past 3 years.


Why was the award created?

When we at Delta started the Clean50 it was because we felt that the challenges facing Canada could not be resolved by anything less than a collaborative, all out assault on every element of the problem. We had noticed that organizations and industries tended to operate in their own individual silos, and often failed to connect to others from different silos where there might be transferable solutions, skills and knowledge. The Clean50 was created not only to recognize remarkable and inspiring leaders, but also to attempt to connect those leaders in order to bridge those gaps, and build connections that might not otherwise occur. As masters at making connections, Delta created a Summit format designed to enable participants to spend a day building connections to leaders from across the country, and from silos outside their own, whom they would not otherwise meet.

What does becoming a Clean50 Honouree entail?

The Clean50 Summit offers Honourees a unique opportunity to engage with other sustainability leaders from all sectors of Canadian life each fall in a unique setting in Toronto where they participate in work groups designed to foster cross sectoral learning, collaboration, and engagement. Attendance is mandatory. The 2024 Summit to recognize and connect the 2025 Clean50 will take place in downtown Toronto on October 10th, 2024.

Clean50 Honourees often collaborate post Summit to solve each other’s problems, and also, from time to time, band together to make collective statements, for example, encouraging Canadians and our leaders to take action on Climate Change and pricing carbon. Such statements are often representative of a significant portion of the entire group’s thinking, but should only be attributed to those Honourees whose names are specifically associated with each such statement.


The Clean50 Awards were founded by Delta Management Group in June 2011 and have been awarded in September each year since. Selection is made primarily by Delta Management, but with significant assistance from a team of exceptional third party advisors, and is based on detailed submissions by nominees who wish to be considered, based on their impacts as measurable in Canada.

Canada’s Clean50 prime mover and steward, Delta Management Group, founded in 1992, is a boutique and purpose driven search firm with the leading practice in “green” professionals search in Canada, including experts in corporate governance, ESG, clean tech, corporate responsibility, renewable energy and sustainability professionals.

Delta has a long track record of building exceptional teams, and working closely with management and stakeholders on a long-term basis as a trusted advisor and true business partner.

The company’s unique value proposition is in its ability to dramatically reduce the number of interviews required to find and land the best available candidate, and to virtually eliminate hiring failures.

Delta’s results are pretty spectacular. On average, 50% of the candidates Delta puts forward for a role get hired. Of those hired, over 99% remain in place for over a year, and then the average candidate’s stay with their new employer exceeds 7.5 years.

Based in Toronto, Delta’s team fills executive, executive-director and a variety of individual contributor roles across Canada for a wide variety of major corporations, charities, NGOs and NFPs, and welcome enquiries from potential clients or candidates. Our NFP / NGO practice offers highly affordable rates to “green” / positive social purpose clients.

Delta’s commitment to sustainability is three tiered: Carbon neutral, helping clients build outstanding teams that can move the needle, including greatly reduced fees for ENGOs, and our ongoing support and stewardship of the Clean50 Awards.

First, our own commitment to sustainability is demonstrated in our (non) use of materials. We are essentially carbon neutral, purchasing offsets to make up for the fuel we use visiting clients and on air transportation not offset by the trees on our real property.

Second is our commitment to helping our clients improve their sustainability, through identifying absolutely exceptional candidates to help them move more rapidly and effectively towards a more sustainable and lower carbon future. We don’t feel our collective future – or our client’s future – should rely upon candidates culled from the social media herd, but rather from headhunting those who are truly outstanding and can accelerate progress.

Believing that advocates are a critical part of enhancing our quality of life in Canada, we put our powers to work for good as well, through special and highly affordable rates for “green” / positive social purpose NGOs, NFPs and charities. We encourage such organizations to discuss their needs with us and discover the ways in which executive search can be both affordable and a more effective means of hiring talent – often at a net savings.

And thirdly, Delta created, and now steward the Canada Clean50 Awards program, to bring together senior executives, solutions oriented leaders and sustainability practitioners from across a broad spectrum of interests and abilities and expertise, to build trust between them and foster enhanced collaboration – and share the inspiration these special people can offer all of us.

Thanks for your interest in Canada’s Clean50 Awards program. We welcome comments – and especially nominations!

Gavin Pitchford
Chief Talent Officer
Delta Management Group

416.925.2005 ext.2300