The Pembina Foundation: OnwardUp’s 1% for the Planet contribution, 2011

Onwardup and the companies we work with are aligned in a respect and appreciation of wild places and the experiences possible when we venture out on the road less traveled. The lighter our loads, the more free we become.


When the staff and guides at Onwardup share new outdoor experiences with friends, family, or our customers we know that a taste of these wild places will allow for increased awareness and thus nurture a responsibility to protect them. The more people we can help get outdoors the better.


Inspired by our friends at Patagonia, Onwardup became a ‘1% for the planet’ member in 2010. With this membership we have committed to giving at least 1% of gross sales each year to a not-for-profit environmentally focused organization.


This year we decided to donate our 1% to the Pembina Foundation for Environmental Research and Education. The Pembina Foundation frequently enters into agreements with the energy experts of the Pembina Institute to deliver on specific projects that are aligned with its environmental research and education mandate. The Pembina Institute is a national, not for profit energy policy think tank and advocate based in Alberta. One key focal area for Pembina is the oilsands; the organization actively monitors and educates the public on the impacts of oilsands development and related infrastructure.  We are pleased to announce that Onwardup’s donation supported the following projects of the Pembina Foundation:


Supporting the sharing of critical oilsands impact information on tours such as the Nobel Women’s Initiative’s Breaking Ground Tour:

Pembina’s expertise and interest on oilsands impacts span nearly twenty years and for that reason, the sustainable energy think tank is often approached to share factual information and solutions on the impacts posed by the oilsands industry. Onwardup supported Pembina’s participation in the Nobel Women’s Initiative’s planning and roll out of their Breaking Ground Tour.


Last month, a delegation of women led by Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams travelled around northern Alberta and BC.  Their intention was to dig deeper into the impact of oilsands expansion and similar projects on women in remote communities. Meetings were held with aboriginal community leaders, government, industry representatives, and female members of the communities at risk due to oilsands development. It was noted that this female-based perspective is rarely taken into account by decision makers.


The intended outcome is to create a report from these findings, including recommendations to be considered in the development of environmental policies moving forward. These women are uniting to protect their land and their communities and to push for more clean and sustainable options for energy production in the future.

You can read more about this initiative here.


Supporting up-to-date reports and information on the oilsands:

Pembina produced a report on the impacts of oilsands in 2009 that provided the full story to statements that are commonly promoted by oilsands industry boosters. OnwardUp provided critical support enabling Pembina to update the report’s facts to ensure this tool remains relevant and useful.  As the report noted in 2009, “there is simply no denying it: oilsands operations have major impacts on land, air and water. In an era when climate change is threatening to fundamentally change the planet, it is critical to understand the full environmental and social costs of these projects. Our ability to make good decisions depends on it.”


The report, Clearing the Air on Oilsands Myths was developed to provide the full context and facts about oilsands development with concise, referenced information on its environmental impacts. Initially released nearly 2 years ago, Pembina is currently working to update the information, bringing further insight to Canadians and international observers alike.  Pembina strives to provide the full story about the environmental implications of oilsands development in an effort to break through the rhetoric and advance the readily available solutions.


Check out the Clearing the Air on Oilsands Myths report here.


There are innumerous examples where our quest for affordable energy is happening at the expense of our wild places. The result and motives are short-term economic and political gain at the expense of the long-term health of our planet. Ultimately, preemptive change needs to come from policy reform by those that lead, in order to alter course from what will otherwise continue to be a downward spiraling path. The decision to give away 1% of our profits allows us to support those that can make a difference and helps us acknowledge the harm we do as a business and as citizens of the planet.


The OnwardUp Team



One Response to “The Pembina Foundation: OnwardUp’s 1% for the Planet contribution, 2011”

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