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Can we continue to grow our economy and protect our environment? Alberta Impact, Ep.11

November 15, 2019

welcome to Alberta Impact I’m your host
Bryce Lambert. Alberta has been called many names over the years from the dirty
oil province to being described as the embarrassing cousin that nobody wants to
talk about there’s definitely nobody like that in
my family wait a second if I think there’s nobody like that in the family
does that mean that I’m the one that’s the embarrassing cousin I better make
some phone calls despite all the name-calling’s let’s briefly look into
our current environmental initiatives and why we are one of the leaders in
this category when you look at albers environmental record and the policies
that govern this industry we stack up favorably against jurisdictions from
around the world now this was a study that was conducted by Worley Parsons in
conjunction with the Canadian Association of Petroleum producers who
compared our environmental policies laws and regulatory systems with nine other
oil-producing jurisdictions the three key questions in this study to consider
were number one how comprehensive are the environmental laws out of the nine
Alberta has the second most stringent environmental law with our ongoing
closure plans Reclamation’s and remediations and the costs associated
with the regulatory applications that’s pretty amazing
number two how easily can the public get information we ranked top of the class
for public for the public’s ability to access information on environmental
performance of the industry and provide input into the regular regulatory
processes number three which country has the rules to ensure compliance no other
jurisdictions matched up to ours with our whistleblower protection laws
penalties for non-compliance and regulatory independence to enforce
environmental rules Alberta is the first jurisdiction in North America to
legislate greenhouse gas emission reductions for large industrial emitters
of 100,000 tons or more and for smaller emitters who choose to opt in here’s
another crazy environmental stat about Alberta we have invested 1.24 billion
dollars over the next 15 years in two large scale carbon capture and storage
projects these projects include the Alberta carbon trunk line which is the
world’s largest carbon capture transportation utilization and storage
project that exclusively uses co2 originating from human activities that’s
right guys finally a solution to all of our gas problems our wives will be so
happy the other is the quest carbon capture who has safely captured and
stored over four million tons of co2 now with all of these innovative initiatives
is there any organization who recognizes and nurtures our environmental
achievements I’m gonna answer that question for you tonight
my guest tonight works with one such organization right here in Alberta that
does just that they champion the innovators who are looking out for the
environment and we are excited to have him on the show today we’ll get
everything set up to bring him in and have a great discussion about what these
guys do and how they really help us put a real good picture and painting
together of what the environmental initiatives are for this province we’ll
be right back welcome back celebrating one another’s
achievements and encouraging others to push for a better solution is what
drives more people and younger generations to come forward and share
their ideas on the issues and who knows some of those ideas or the combination
of them might be the answer to the problems and questions we have today
with me today is an association that champions innovators and by doing so is
helping grow the Alberta initiatives on environmental achievements please
welcome the executive director of the Alberta emeralds Foundation Gregory
Caswell thanks for joining us thank you for having me absolutely so you guys
have been around but just about 30 years now yeah we’re celebrating our 29th
anniversary this year that is super awesome and so give us a little rundown
about what the the Emerald foundation is all about how it kind of like is doing
these great initiatives to push people to continue for with the green
initiatives you bet well 29 years ago we started the Emerald Awards the mission
of our foundation is to recognize and celebrate environmental achievements in
our province we do so in the hopes to not only maybe alter the perception of
Albertans and the our relationship with the
environment which is typically not the most positive but to create role models
for others to follow their their examples as well so 29 years ago we
started the Emerald Awards which recognize and celebrate environmental
achievements across all sectors in the province so there’s 12 unique categories
that we recognize in and then out of that we’ve actually created various
programs one specifically is the sharing stories communication strategy where we
look at ways to share the stories of our recipients out with the province in
order to create that inspiration to encourage others to follow their
examples and then to carry on that inspiration we have various youth grants
that we distribute as well on an annual basis we distribute about a hundred
different grants to youth lead and use targeted environmental initiatives
across the province yeah so what are some of the qualifications to kind of
get into the likes of the Emerald Awards yeah that so it is a nominations process
you can either nominate yourself or someone
to nominate you and so nominations are actually currently open we just opened
for the 29th year on November 1st wicked and they’ll be running through till
February 14th so you fill out the nomination online and then we we
actually put all of the nominations for to a third party panel of judges
so the Emerald Foundation we rely on others to select the recipients for for
us so we have I guess no tied well we do we do we do have a tie but it’s not us
it’s it it’s a parent trying to keep us transparent exact possible so it’s yeah
there’s no bias it’s it’s an open panel and and absolutely I understand yeah you
bet on an annual basis we receive in between 75 to 100 nominations from all
corners of the province and then the judges are they we test them with
creating a short list that is announced in the end of at the end of March and
then in June coinciding with environment week we
announce the recipients in each category oh good
and so these like like you got youth that are really involved which is a
really big thing as well and a lot of this is about innovation so like is it
adapting current technologies are coming up with currently newer technologies
correct I yes I guess it would all depend on which award is being
recognized and what the project is but there is definitely a requirement for
our judges to look for innovation and I think that I mean when I hear innovation
I think technology and a lot of it can be tech alot and technological advances
but I think innovation is also in regards to practices that are happening
and maybe just different ways of approaching an issue or a subject some
great examples just from this this past year of innovation University of Alberta
was recognized for their land reclamation international graduate
school and what’s very important about that is that this is the only program of
its type in the world right and it’s here in Edmonton Alberta and land
reclamation is very important because it creates a relationship with the land
where if we’re drawing out resources from it they can then go
in and repair it and and bring it back to a natural state of being
other examples spudsy a I’m a huge fan of theirs now they’re innovating the way
that we do our groceries and the way that inventory is managed within a
grocery store I guess but also finding unique ways to reduce half of the impact
of us going to a grocery store and few food waste and that sort of thing so
there’s there’s lots I we could also talk about runo renewable energy
projects because that’s definitely on the forefront of a lot of a lot of minds
but yes there’s a lot of innovation just in the way that we practice and have a
relationship with the environment around us yeah that’s super cool so being in
this position like you could really get a really a cool perspective on how
things are really happening here like you said like painting the picture of
what kind of not really behind the scenes but just what people aren’t
talking about seems like the land reclamation is a really hot topic right
now it has been for quite a while we’ve got climate change is coming up that’s
well not coming up it’s here people are really hammering on that and you’re
really pushing forward on these people that are you know trying to make a
difference that aren’t talked about as much as they probably should be yeah you
bet I I think just the regular news cycle will focus on the more negative
because it creates more viewership and we really do what we can we regard
ourselves with some good news storytellers for the environment in our
province and it it is important to especially in this time of climate
change and there’s a lot of there’s a lot of fear and I think a lot of desire
from people to be able to take action in their own personal lives yeah so by
establishing these role models and giving them a platform that not only
that they’re recognized on but they can also speak from and educate from allows
for not only to I don’t know create the example but also to empower others to
follow that example all right so we do what we can throughout the course of the
year as well we recently just launched our emerald documentary series yeah so
this is an opportunity to actually see a lot of these projects in action each of
our recipients except for one last year participate in the in the documentary
series and the each each segment is seven minutes of
in-depth look behind the scenes of what each of these groups have done yeah and
then in January we’re actually launching our new podcast right which is called
what on earth can we do learning from Alberta’s environmental leaders yeah to
be vulnerable I have this unique privilege of sitting in a position where
I come in contact with all of these amazing environmentalists but really at
the end of the day I kind of regard myself as a regular Albertan who doesn’t
really know what to do like I know that I want to do more and so our purpose
with the podcast is actually to take what I’m assuming is the mass majority
of our population of people who want to do more but not know where to start
and invite them into the room to have a conversation with our recipients so that
they can learn from their examples super cool yeah well in this giving that
education and that’s what you know the biggest of fear to alleviate some fears
to give the education and and to show people you know things are being done
and there’s people that are out there that are doing these things and they’re
awesome people and so what about the the growth like you’ve been you’ve been with
the organization for a little bit now I know you’ve taken over from a previous
but the kind of growth that you’ve seen and the conversation has it changed much
over the years like like we were in one position of we’re just it’s really cool
to do and the idea theater but now it’s kind of I feel like it’s becoming more
of a need mm-hmm going on we got to get on this can tell me a little bit how
you’ve seen the conversation how your organization has seen that conversation
shape yeah you bet um well it’s kind of interesting because about a year ago we
sat down as a board and because we are not-for-profit charity as well so we sat
down as a board and really asked are we still relevant and then all of a sudden
we realized yes yes we absolutely are so I think that what’s fascinating is just
seeing how the conversation around the environment and climate change has
changed we went from a place where I think that
there was a lot of denial or a to a place where people are wanting to take
action and there’s there’s a lot of movement I mean it’s exciting to be a
part of that conversation for sure I think that also the way that we’re
looking at communicating with people has evolved as well in the past we
definitely put a lot more effort into print media and now we’re looking at
more digital and looking at documentary series podcasts more environmental more
environmental yeah well we did have to sort of take it into account how much
are we printing to tell these stories and is there a better way for us to do
it so always looking at ways so that we’re also role modeling the behavior
and inspiring others through actions that we’re doing yeah what about the
growth in participation so it has been interesting there has been I would say
definitely a change we recognized last year where I would say in earlier years
we were receiving a lot from specific industries where especially last year we
started to receive nominations from groups that we wouldn’t normally hear
from so a lot before it was maybe the major businesses and the provinces but
now in the province but now we’re we’re receiving nominations from places like
spot C where they’re a little bit more they’re considered a large business but
they have more of a grassroots feel to them gotcha
yeah so I would say that yeah that that’s definitely a change big industry
is starting to take part a big interest rejas always taken part right so I would
say that smaller industry is starting – okay – more step to the plate yeah gosh
okay and so I tell us a little bit about the the youth initiatives that you’ve
been putting together like you’ve got a couple of other programs here which like
the echo the echo pitch oh I’d love to hear more about the echo passion yeah
you bet well it’s eco pay so you can informed over here no worries so we have
a whole segment of programming called – Youth grant oh that is our youth grants
program so one is the youth environmental engagement grant program
where we hand out 100 500 dollar grants to youth LED or use targeted
environmental initiatives across the province and we’re already on track to
do that this year within three months we’ve received 50 applications that
we’ve already approved yeah so it’s pretty crazy yeah and then we just
started a new granting stream this year called the emerald educational
engagement grant program yeah which is actually tied into our emerald
documentary series so what we do with that one is we ask youth groups from
across the province it could be a school a community group what have you to binge
watch our emerald documentary sir and then pitch to us an idea that’s
inspired by something that they saw in a video okay and then they receive a $750
grant to make that happen Wow and then eco pitch my favorite way
to describe it is that it’s our version of Dragon’s Den yeah but with nicer
judges and less money but we’re holding that with Norquist College in February
cool applications are open right now on our website and basically what we’re
having people do is put in their initial pitch of a project that they want to
take on yeah and then it each application is going to be reviewed by a
youth panel and the top five will be brought to Northwest College in Edmonton
to pitch in front of a live audience and the prizes for that one are quite a bit
larger so the first place pride a first-place prize is $3,000
second place is 2500 third place is 1500 and then there’s two extra prizes for a
thousand dollars so if you get to the final round
you’re automatically going home with some money to make it happen oh man
that’s fantastic yeah so what do you classify as youth like where’s our age
ranges I gained these that you know to initiate these people 25 in under 25 in
under wow that is super cool so do you go into some of the universities and
things on earth sorry are the high schools and whatnot to recruit your urge
to spread the message yeah so I would say that probably participants for eco
pitch will probably come from mostly high schools but universities would be
welcome as well junior high I would say that Elementary you might want to look
at our other granting streams for that because you’re gonna be going against
college students but yeah who knows though who knows it’s some smart cookies
out there they generation generations are smart well and one that as I say
that one that definitely stands out we have a Youth Award at the Emerald Awards
and when a couple years ago was a group of young people from Fort McMurray who
after the fire started to plant the forest again and received tons of money
from sponsors in order to do so so I take it back if you have an amazing
environmental project at your elementary school please come in Cardoso do it yeah
you betcha well this has been awesome thank you so much for coming and sharing
you know your your organization foundations mandates and whatnot and
they just again another positive outlook on what
happening here in the province put together by by people like yourself and
groups like yourselves well thank you for having me someone absolutely for
sure so there you have it this is a super insightful thank you so much for
joining us on this episode if you liked it be sure to subscribe check out our
YouTube and Facebook channel and don’t go anywhere because we got a great music
performance for you coming up Ryan Lindsay a name that’s been buzzing
around in the country music scene for a while especially over this summer when
he released his original song wild according to Ryan he once encountered a
wolf in the wild who looked him right in the eyes and that was when the moment
Ryan realized that you live your life preparing for those moments that keep
you alive ladies and gentlemen put your hands together for Ryan Lindsay sunrise shining noting that a five jeep
burning down the road with the radio won’t got everything loaded it’s been
packed for a week Jones and not to get away from way too long their feet up on
the dashboard when blowing through your hair keeps me get outta town of a little cow farm
don’t let at the moon just you and me and the crickets at
night let’s get away cowboy coffee sheep and sitting by the
shore love the way you dance with the Northern Lights got all the crickets and
the critters back home or just the two of us one
different spin around the Sandman light on your skin again it’s me Oh
get outta town of a little campfire and don’t let up just you me and the crickets at night
let’s go Oh let’s get it out and down up a little
campfire and don’t let I feel moon just you and me in the cricket at night
honey now let’s get a while let’s get while yeah that’s Ryan Lindsay and his song wild
thank you and I hope you enjoyed tonight’s episode we have attached the
links in the description below for our two guests tonight so be sure to go and
check them out also don’t forget to follow or like our Facebook page and
subscribe to our YouTube channel for more alberta content see you all next

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