Industry Awards

Recognizing Member Excellence

The ESAA Industry Awards is an annual awards program that recognizes member excellence in the areas of environmental innovation. The program is open to all ESAA member organizations with the winners announced and awarded each year at the RemTech Symposium held in October.


Industry Awards 2024

2024 Category – Environmental Project of the Year

The Environmental Project of the Year Award recognizes a company’s innovation and execution of an ongoing or completed environmental project.  The award will recognize a company’s project in the areas of Remediation, Reclamation, Decommissioning, Monitoring, Water, Air, Wildlife, Brownfields, etc.  No matter the size and scope of the project, the key metrics for judging include innovation, effectiveness, and positive environmental outcomes.

Award Eligibility
  • All ESAA member organizations are eligible to participate in the ESAA Industry Awards Program.
  • Applicants must be an ESAA member in good standing at the time the award recipients are announced.

Applicant Screening Process
  • Any application that is deemed to be incomplete or ineligible will not move forward.
  • The Awards Selection Committee will review complete and eligible applications.

NOTE: (1) ESAA reserves the right not to give out an award in any given year if no applications meet the criteria (2) ESAA’s project manager may contact applicants with follow-up questions on behalf of the judging committee as needed.

Any questions can be directed to [email protected].

To submit a nomination please complete the following form:  INDUSTRY AWARD

**Nomination Dead Line August 16, 2024**

2023 Winners

2023 Environmental Project of the Year

Roadside Naturalization Pilot Project

Earthmaster Environmental Strategies Inc.

The pilot project’s goal was to develop alternative landscaping to enhance the function of public land along the roadways in Calgary.  The purpose of the three-year pilot project was to replace the existing manicured turfgrass with a mixture of native seeds suitable for restoring a native terrestrial ecosystem and increasing species diversity and supporting the pollinator population.

Why was this project so unique?  The project was unique because the goal was to fundamentally change how the city of Calgary approached landscaping within the municipality.  In year 1, the site was dominated by the annual flower cover crop with beautiful colors resulting in an immediate significant increase in the bee population.

In years 2 and 3, the planned succession of annuals to more permanent perennial species was underway with the result of a balanced meadow-like appearance composed of wildflowers and native grasses which restored 1% of the city’s open space.

This project was a successful collaboration between Earthmaster, the City of Calgary, the University of Calgary, and ISL Engineering and involved regular engagement with neighbouring residents and schools.

Earthmaster was successful in replacing the manicured turfgrass with a mixture of 14 species of annual and perennial wildflowers and 10 species of native grass which went from providing little benefit to pollinators to significantly increasing the pollinator population.

This project not only won industry project of the year with ESAA but also played a huge part in the city of Calgary receiving the Bee City designation from bee city Canada.  All while restoring vibrant colors and beauty back to our roadways.

Congratulations Earthmaster!


The ESAA Lifetime Achievement Award - 2023

2023 ESAA Lifetime Achievement Award winner

Rhonda Rudnitski

Rhonda Rudnitski is a mentor, a committed ESAA volunteer, and a respected professional throughout the industry.

With nearly 30 years of environmental industry experience, she has worked for industry leaders including waste management, Newalta and Tervita.  She currently serves as the vice president of environment, social and governance for secure and is known industry-wide as the go-to person for hazardous, non-hazardous and oilfield waste.  She has been instrumental in working with the provincial government on behalf of industry to update and develop regulations, and she has been a mentor to many young professionals entering the industry over the past few decades.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the university of Alberta, an occupational health and safety certificate from Ryerson university, and is a registered professional engineer.

Rhonda Rudnitksi began her involvement with ESAA in 2002 when she developed and taught the non-hazardous waste classification course as part of ESAA’s environment business course series. 

In 2003, Rhonda joined the ESAA board of directors and in 2005, became the first female president of ESAA. she served as president until 2007, when her term expired. even though Rhonda’s time on the ESAA board was completed, she continues to show up every year at RemTech to lend a helping hand and a giant smile to all those registering.

In her spare time, you will most likely find Rhonda globetrotting, somewhere off the beaten path, exploring and learning.

Congratulations Rhonda!

2019 Winners

The winner of the Environmental Industry Award is Husky Energy!

The winner of the Community Service Award is Waterline Resources!

The ESAA Lifetime Achievement Award - 2019

In 2019, ESAA introduced a new award, ‘The ESAA Lifetime Achievement Award” . It is awarded to an individual who has made far-reaching and long-lasting contributions to both the environment industry and ESAA over their career. The award is presented at the discretion of the Board and via recommendations from ESAA Management.

Presidenta2019 ESAA Lifetime Achievement Award winner

Gord Nelson

Gord Nelson graduated from the University of Regina in 1982 with a B.Sc. in Chemistry. He started his career in the environment industry working for Environment Canada as a Project Chemist working on trace organics. In 1985, he joined the newly formed Alberta based laboratory ETL as their second employee before becoming an owner in 1990. Gord helped grow ETL to over 500 employees before it was purchased by ALS Laboratories in 2006. He worked through the transition period with ALS Laboratories before moving to Osprey Scientific to provide his expertise. In 2009, Gord joined AGAT Laboratories and held a number of leadership positions including President, COO and CEO.

During his time at AGAT, he served as a member of the ESAA Board of Directors, holding the position of treasurer for four of those years. Gord was instrumental in guiding ESAA through tough financial times ensuring the Association could remain a strong voice for the industry and its members. Gord’s significant impact on both the environment industry and ESAA is undeniable.

In his spare time – when not cheering for the Saskatchewan Roughriders or watching Marvel movies- is spent with his dog Harvey or enjoying a glass of wine with his wife Roxanne.

2018 Winners

The winner of the Environmental Industry Award is PTAC!

The winner of the Community Service Award is Lafarge!

2017 Winners

The winner of the Environmental Industry Award is North Shore Environmental Consultants!

The winner of the Environmental Industry Award is Hemmera!