Mission: To recognize and celebrate environmental excellence.
- Promoting environmental leadership
- Communications and collaborating with others
- Ensuring the integrity and credibility of the Foundation
- Engaging the next generation.
The Alberta Emerald Foundation (AEF) recognizes and celebrates environmental achievements and stewardship in our province, establishing an example for all to follow. Through a diverse range of programming and initiatives, including the Emerald Awards (our signature event), the Youth Environmental Engagement Grant Program, Emerald Day, and the Emerald Speakers Series, we hope to raise the public’s awareness of the successful environmental growth and improvement our province offers, and to inspire positive involvement in the protection of our environment, both locally and around the globe.
About Our Programs
For more than 25 years, the Emerald Awards have showcased and elevated the outstanding environmental achievements of Albertan large and small businesses, individuals, not-for-profit associations, community groups, youth, and governments. Uniquely Albertan, the Emerald Awards are the only award of their kind in our country, elevating environmental excellence across all sectors.
Each year from November until February, the Alberta Emerald Foundation receives Emerald Award nominations in ten established categories. A panel of knowledgeable judges with cross-sectoral experience carry out an independent evaluation based on established criteria and select the finalists and recipients. Since 1992, the Emerald Awards have recognized nearly 300 recipients and over 800 finalists, each with their own unique example of environmental innovation and ingenuity. By showcasing the 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.
Youth Environmental Engagement Grant Program
The AEF believes in inspiring the next generation of eco-heroes by supporting Alberta’s young people (aged 25 and under) in their environmental efforts. With funds from founding program sponsors, and other sponsors and individual donors, we provide micro-grants of up to $500 to youth-led and youth-targeted environmental projects and initiatives. We intend to allocate over 100 Youth Environmental Engagement Grants each year.
Applicants can submit a grant proposal for the following categories:
- Green Builders – For the development of new green spaces, or the enhancement and improvement of existing ones. Includes community gardens, outdoor classrooms, and urban naturalization projects.
- Green Scholars – For educational experiences that result in environmental learning, inspiration, and personal/professional development. Includes presentations, experiments, field trips.
- Green Caretakers – For the creation of new recycling or composting programs, or the enhancement and improvement of existing ones.
- Green Energizers – For the initiation of renewable energy or energy conservation projects, or the enhancement and improvement of existing ones.
- Green Guardians – For the protection and/or restoration and/or maintenance of natural habitats and areas.
Inspired by the hit TV show, Dragon’s Den, EcoPitch offers youth aged 25 and under the opportunity to go head-to-head by presenting their environmental dream project to a panel of EcoHero judges. The winning team takes home $1,000 to help make their project a reality. EcoPitches are held as part of Emerald Day, and other events around the province that have a youth and environmental focus.
Emerald Day events visit cities and towns across Alberta to share environmental success stories and to discuss the opportunities and challenges in each region. We focus on reaching junior and high school students. Thanks to funding partners from the hosting community, Emerald Day events are free-of-charge for all participants and guests.
Emerald Speakers Series
We believe in elevating the status of our Emerald Awards recipients and finalists from everyday Albertans to that of EcoHeroes. The Emerald Speaker Series provides them with a platform to share an inspirational message about the environment. Similar to TEDTalks, the Emerald Speakers Series is shared with audiences at events like the Emerald Awards and Emerald Day, and are later shared on our website and through our social media channels. We anticipate that, through extending the positive impact of the Emerald Awards, we will elevate our province’s EcoHeroes and inspire others to improve their sustainability practices.
From PSAs and editorial stories in provincial magazines and newspapers about our Emerald Award finalists, to social media engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Green Medium and YouTube, the Alberta Emerald Foundation shares environmental good news stories with Albertans.