Canada’s Clean50 is the premier award for leadership in advancing sustainability in Canada. The Clean50 are selected from 16 diverse categories that span numerous industries, academia, different levels of government, thought leaders and advocates, and are based on accomplishments over the prior two years.
Elgie won the award in the category of ‘research and thought leaders’, mainly for his work in founding and leading Sustainable Prosperity. SP is Canada’s major environment-economy research network and think tank. Based at uOttawa, it brings academics from across Canada together with business, environment and policy leaders to help build the knowledge foundation for a greener, more competitive Canadian economy. He is also the co-founder of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission.
“I’m honoured to receive this award, but all the people involved with Sustainable Prosperity really deserve it,” said Elgie. “Building a cleaner, stronger Canadian economy is the major challenge of our time, I believe. I hope this award helps raise awareness that green and growth can go hand in hand.”
Elgie started his career as an environmental lawyer in Alaska, litigating over the Valdez oil spill. He returned to Canada and founded Ecojustice, now Canada’s largest non-profit environmental law organization in 1990. Over the next decade, he was counsel on a number of precedent setting environmental cases (including three Supreme Court of Canada wins) and major law reform initiatives (including the Species At Risk Act). He left a successful legal career to go back to school for a doctorate at Yale focused on environmental law and economics. Prior to his faculty position at University of Ottawa (2004), Elgie held appointments (part-time) at several Canadian universities. He has served on or chaired many advisory bodies in the environment/sustainability area. In 2001, Elgie was awarded the Law Society of Upper Canada medal for exceptional lifetime contributions to law – the youngest man ever to receive the profession’s highest honour.
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