The Emerald Awards

Albertans are passionate about balancing the development of our province’s rich resources with environmental stewardship. For the past 25 years, The Emerald Awards have recognized and celebrated the outstanding environmental achievements of large and small businesses, individuals, not-for-profit associations, community groups, youth and governments.

Each year the Foundation receives nominations in ten established categories. Nominations open in November and close at the end of February.

A panel of knowledgeable judges, with cross-sectoral experience, carry out an independent evaluation based on criteria outlined in the nominations package and select the finalists and recipients.

In June each year, about 500 guests gather in Edmonton or Calgary to celebrate environmental excellence in Alberta and provide recognition to those individuals and organizations whose commitment to our environment truly demonstrates leadership. Because of the ingenuity, dedication and hard work of our recipients and finalists, others will follow; the innovative will become the norm, resulting in a healthier and cleaner environment.


Do you know an individual, group or business that has raised the bar for environmental excellence? Someone who has gone “above and beyond” in the protection of the environment? Share their success an Emerald Award nomination.

Nominations for the 25th Annual Emerald Awards are now open.

Check out our “How To” guide for tips on how to submit a nomination.



Recognizing large businesses (of 101 employees or more) and small businesses (of up to 100 employees) that demonstrate a significant ongoing commitment to the environment, social responsibility and exceed normal practices or statutory duties.


Recognizing classrooms, schools or school boards within the formal education system, formal educational curricula and programs as well as post-secondary programs. The category acknowledges those nominees that have gone beyond the normal practices and shown leadership and creativity in educating students about environmental matters.

Public Education & Outreach

Recognizing individuals, organizations and on-the-ground local initiatives within the non-formal education system that demonstrate leadership and creativity in educating the broader public about environmental matters.

Community Group or
Not-For-Profit Association

Acknowledging environmental achievement by grassroots community groups, volunteer initiatives, not-for-profits and professional associations, this award recognizes particular initiatives that demonstrate the group’s commitment to the environment and has produced measurable, positive change.

Government Institution
Presented by ATCO Gas & ATCO Electric

Recognizing all levels of government, Crown corporations, public institutions, agencies, boards, etc., that demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the environment and exceed normal practice or statutory duties. This category includes universities, colleges and schools at the facilities or governance level (i.e. facilities enhancements or policy changes).

Individual Commitment

Recognizing individuals committed to protecting the environment through personal initiative and/or within and through the organizations in which they work. Characteristics of nominees include: enthusiasm and resourcefulness in educating, inspiring and influencing others locally, provincially and/or more broadly. This category can be about lifetime achievement or something new and innovative with a particular “wow” factor.


Recognizing young people for initiatives that contribute to the future environmental well-being of the province of Alberta. The finalists have taken innovative action and demonstrated commitment to address or substantially mitigate a local, regional or provincial environmental issue. They have also shared the results and lessons learned so that others might be inspired to undertake similar initiatives.

Emerald challenge award: innovation

Recognizing an individual or organization who has developed a new method, idea, or product that positively impacts the environment. This category recognizes ground-breaking concepts that are currently in development that will be a catalyst for growth and success.

Shared Footprints Award
Presented by Alberta Real Estate Foundation

The Shared Footprints Award recognizes and celebrates projects that go beyond normal land management practices to have a positive impact on the environment. Recipients of the Shared Footprints Award have demonstrated land and water stewardship, built shared knowledge, improved air quality and reduced land disturbances.