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Nominate now: Canadian Award for Environmental Innovation

There are widely different ways to lead Canada down a greener path, as previous winners of the Canadian Award for Environmental Innovation have shown. Presented by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society and 3M Canada, the award, now in its third year, recognizes outstanding individuals who are contributing to the protection or restoration of the environment.

Frank van Biesen, the 2010 recipient and vice-president of technology at Kruger Products, initiated the installation of a biomass gasification system at the company’s tissue mill in New Westminster, B.C., reducing its greenhousegas emissions by 50 percent. It was equivalent to removing 4,000 cars from the road for a year.

“From a corporate perspective,” says van Biesen, “it’s important that we demonstrate that we’re taking as many steps as possible to minimize our environmental footprint.” He adds that the
award has brought credibility to his company.

Sidney Ribaux, the first winner of the award, in 2009, co-founded Équiterre, a Montréal-based environmental organization that promotes ecologically and socially sound consumer choices.

While van Biesen and Ribaux have disparate approaches to sustainability, both have the same advice for other environmental innovators: “Don’t give up.”

Nominate a candidate by Aug. 31. The award will be presented at the Society’s College of Fellows Dinner in Ottawa on Nov. 3.

— Michelle Hampson

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