Canada’s Top Sustainability Award releases list of Top Sustainability Projects completed across Canada over the past 2 years

By: Gavin Pitchford, Executive Director, Clean50 / CEO of Award Founder & Steward, Delta Management Group

Two First-Nations-led Efforts selected as Top-Project-of-the-Year for 2021 and 2022 as chosen by in-person gathering of Clean50 Sustainability Leaders

Toronto, October 5, 2021– The “Kanaka Bar Community Resiliency Plan” created by the Kanaka Bar Indian Band is one of 24 sustainability projects recognized with a 2022 Clean50 Top Project Award and last Friday was voted “Top Project of the Year” by 130 Clean50 sustainability leaders at the conclusion of the annual Clean50 Summit, a full-day, in-person gathering held October 1st.

As Kanaka Bar recovers from the Lytton fire, and the Chief himself is homeless, Chief Patrick Michell’s daughter Serena accepted both awards on behalf of the Band. Chief Michell described the motivation behind the plan: “We manage land and resources for future generations – We asked our membership and they said ‘It’s not a cost – it’s an investment’ and it’s our children and grandchildren who will benefit.”

The full list of 2022 Clean50 Top Projects was announced today by Clean50 Executive Director Gavin Pitchford, and follows below. Pitchford called the awardees “Innovators driving major impact”.

On September 30th, the one-year-Covid-delayed Summit 10 participants also chose an Indigenous-led project as Top Project of the Year, from amongst the 24 “2021 Top Projects” previously announced, overwhelmingly voting for the “Wataynikaneyap Power Project”, an 1,800 km long expansion of Ontario’s transmission lines to provide 17 First Nations communities with direct access to the grid for the first time.  The line will eliminate the need to burn tens of millions of liters of diesel fuel each year.  The project is 51% owned by 24 First Nations, 49% by Fortis Inc. and other private investors, and led by CEO Margaret Kenequanash, who accepted in person.  

Other 2022 Top Project award winners announced today include such diverse efforts as “Canada’s Hydrogen Strategy”, completed by NRCan, The “Earth Rangers’ App”, which keeps kids and their new “at-home teachers” engaged with nature, Foresight’s project to connect Canadian clean tech exporters with international customers, a PassiveHouse multi-unit residential building (MURB) completed by Kearns Mancini for the YWCA in Hamilton, ON, Solaire’s development of a “solar ink” that can be sprayed on surfaces such as window blinds to generate solar energy, and a residence for Alberta’s Red Deer Polytechnic: Energy and water efficient, built from mass-timber and sporting over 500 solar panels, amongst others equally diverse and impactful.   

TELUS was also cited for their $100 million “Pollinator Fund for Good”, one of the world’s largest corporate impact investment funds, investing in startups that are addressing challenges across environment, agriculture, health, and education, driving both social impact and financial return. 

Clean50 Top Projects were selected from over 100 nominees, based on their innovation, their ability to inspire other Canadians to imitate, but mostly based on their climate-action impact. 

The full list and details of Canada’s 2022 Clean50Top Projects, appears below, and more details as well as the 2022 Clean50 individual honourees, Clean50 Emerging Leaders and Lifetime Achievement Honourees can be found on the Clean50 website:

Media contact: Gavin Pitchford  

416-925-2005 / 774-330-6606 

Clean50 TOP PROJECT AWARDS for 2022 

(Presented alphabetically by submitting proponent) 

  • Up-cycling Air Canada seats into Accessories: 457 ANEW & Mariclaro, (Montreal, QC) 
  • Indigenous Paint Company Beam Paints goes Plastic Free: Beam Paint and Colour, (M’Chigeeng First Nation, Manitoulin Island, ON) 
  • Kemess Selen-IX™ Plant for Selenium Removal: BQE Water, (Vancouver, BC) 
  • National Climate League 2020: Climate Reality Project Canada, (Montreal, QC) 
  • Earth Rangers App: Earth Rangers, (Vaughan, ON) 
  • Upcycling Well Sites: Energy Futures Lab & Canada West Foundation, (Calgary, AB) 
  • Bimbo Canada’s Conservation Saves a lot of Dough: Enviro-Stewards & Bimbo Canada, (Elmira / Toronto, ON) 
  • Canadian Cleantech Export Challenge Connect: Foresight, (Vancouver, BC) 
  • Net Impact Score: Genus Capital Management, (Vancouver, BC) 
  • Community Resilience Plan: Kanaka Bar Indian Band, Urban Systems & ZN Advisory Services, (Kanaka Bar, BC)  (voted Top project of the Year) 
  • Putman Family YWCA Passive House MURB: Kearns Mancini Architects & YWCA Hamilton, (Toronto / Hamilton, ON) 
  • Empowering Learners in a Warming World: Youth Climate Action: Learning for a Sustainable Future, (Toronto, ON) 
  • The Phenix – Zero Carbon Retrofit: Lemay, (Montreal, QC) 
  • Retired EV batteries power Canada’s remote regions: Moment Energy, (Surrey, BC) 
  • The Hydrogen Strategy for Canada: Natural Resources Canada, (Ottawa, ON) 
  • Cleaner Air + Lower Energy For Schools: Nerva Energy Group Inc. & Mohawk College, (Stoney Creek / Hamilton, ON) 
  • Ottawa Community Housing Net-Zero PEER Pilot: Ottawa Community Housing & Natural Resources Canada, (Ottawa, ON) 
  • Urban Delivery Solutions Initiative: Pembina Institute, Canada Post, Purolator & UPS, (Toronto, ON) 
  • New Studio Residence: Red Deer Polytechnic, (Red Deer, AB) 
  • Solar Ink Development Project: Solaires Enterprises, (Victoria, BC) 
  • TELUS $100M Pollinator Fund for Good : TELUS, (Calgary, AB) 
  • Smart Energy System Model Project: TRAK International Green Energy Resources & Royalpark Homes, (Toronto, ON) 
  • Changing the Energy Conversation: West Kootenay EcoSociety & New Conversation Initiative, (West Kootenay, BC) 
  • Sustainable Hawk Fund: Wilfrid Laurier University, (Waterloo, ON) 

Most honourees have agreed to be interviewed, and the Clean50 team are pleased to facilitate this.

Clean50 Backgrounder and logistics  

The Canada’s Clean50 award program and Summit were founded in 2011 by Canada’s leading clean tech and sustainability executive search firm, Delta Management Group, and CEO Gavin Pitchford, in response to a trend the firm noted when performing executive searches on behalf of clients.  

While at the time there was growing acknowledgement that climate change was real, and that broad solutions were needed, most were working exclusively within their own industry silos and not sharing information.  Having identified the issue, Delta created the Clean50 Awards as a way to identify leaders from every sector, and then hosted the Summit as a way to bring those same leaders together.  

Each fall since 2011, the “Canada’s Clean50 list” has marked the accomplishments of 50 sustainability leaders in 16 categories.  Recently, the list has expanded to identify Emerging Leaders, Top Sustainability Projects, and to recognize Canadian business and climate heroes with Lifetime Achievement awards.  98% of each year’s honourees attend the Clean50 Summit in person, and numerous past winners come back to continue to play a role in deliberations, learn new things, and be inspired.   

Including small teams and Emerging Leaders, The Clean50 Award Alumni list now numbers over 800 of Canada’s climate-change-fighting rock stars, and the Summit has led to numerous cross-sector and intra-silo collaborations.  In addition, the Honourees’ stories have inspired hundreds of Canadians to do more, and in many instances, simply take the inspiration and build upon, and scale what the honourees had already proven could be done. 

The underlying purpose of the award program was to identify, recognize and – most importantly – connect sustainability leaders from across Canada.  We believe a solution for climate change will take input from every sector of Canadian life, and that cross-sector collaboration will be critical to achieving any measurable success. The Summit was created to accelerate this process.   

One hundred and thirty delegates, including both incoming Clean50 honourees and award winners and past honourees attended the in-person Clean50 Summit 11.0 in Toronto on October 1, 2021 and spent a day tackling climate problems looking for out-of-the-box solutions, as well as looking for opportunities for future collaboration. With 30 Working sessions during the day, 3 different groups of 12 thought leader participants proposed and debated transformational responses to 10 different climate change challenges.   

Cross-sector collaboration in the implementation of innovative solutions is vital if Canada is achieve net zero carbon emissions in transportation, from buildings and by consumers, fast enough to save humanity. The Clean50 Summit provides both the inspiration and the forum. The work sessions were capped by an awards dinner and a vote for Project of the Year based on submissions made by project proponents over lunch, won by the Kanaka Bar Indian Band.  

A matching meeting was held on Thursday September 30th – delayed a full year by Covid, to honour winners of Canada’s Clean50 for 2021, and also vote for the “Top Clean50 Project of the Year” for 2021, won by Watay Power. 

All Summit participants, guests,  site and catering staff over-complied with Ontario’s Covid regulations.  Every single person on the premises provided proof of full vaccination, AND ALSO passed two (2) different rapid tests immediately before entering the venue each day.