We support science-based environmental research and education initiatives primarily focused on energy related issues.

The Pembina Foundation equips thought leaders with reliable and relevant information. Our focus areas include:

  • climate change research and education
  • energy research and education
  • environmental capacity building
  • educating thought leaders

To deliver on our work, we contract credible and effective organizations, such as the Pembina Institute, Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance and Green Learning Canada, who work under the direction and control of the Pembina Foundation.

Download the Pembina Foundation two-page overview.


People understand the connection between how society produces and consumes energy and the impacts these activities have. They choose options that protect the environment and take actions that are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.



To research, produce and distribute reliable and relevant information that advances the public’s understanding and ability to implement sustainable energy solutions.

Our story

The Pembina Foundation was founded by a group of citizens of Drayton Valley, Alberta, who were interested in advancing innovative environmental research and education initiatives across Canada.

Since 1993 we have supported initiatives that bring environmental awareness to schools, communities and the public, and funded research that highlights options for the more sustainable use of energy natural resources. Below are some highlights from the past 21 years.

View highlights
2013 Canada’s place in the global clean energy race is the focus of Competing in Clean Energy: How Canada can capitalize on the global transition to clean energy, while A Costly Diagnosis: Subsidizing coal power with Albertans’ health suggests strategies to make polluters pay for the health and environmental costs of coal-fired electricity and reviews how cleaner energy options could compete on a level playing field in the province.
2012 The Foundation supported work examining the effects, both positive and negative, of oilsands production and exports on Canada’s economy (In the Shadow of the Boom), and research into transportation-related energy use (Drivers’ Choice and the RBC-Pembina Home Location Study).
2011 The Foundation funded a comprehensive assessment of Alberta’s climate change policies through a detailed evaluation of current regulations and financial incentives to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. Responsible Action? An assessment of Alberta’s greenhouse gas policies identified key opportunities for Alberta to strengthen its approach to climate change.

Funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation supports work by the Pembina Institute and the Northwest Institute for Bioregional Research to protect northern British Columbia’s Skeena Watershed, under threat by the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Project. Research publications from this year include Opening the Door to Oil Sands Expansion: the Hidden Environmental Impacts of the Enbridge Gateway Pipeline, and Pipeline to Nowhere: Uncertainty and Unanswered Questions about the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.

GreenLearning Canada becomes an independent charitable organization with its own Board and team of leading environmental educators to manage GreenLearning and the Redfish School of Change. The Pembina Foundation continues to support GreenLearning projects.
2009 The report Greening the Grid: Powering Alberta’s Future with Renewable Energy demonstrates how Alberta could switch its highly-polluting coal-fired electricity system to one powered by clean and renewable energy resources — in only 20 years. The report sparks extensive interest in cleaning up the province’s electrical grid.

Launch of the Redfish School of Change. This unique field school, formed in collaboration with Pearson College and the University of Victoria School of Environmental Studies, teaches young adults strategies for creating ecological sustainability and social equity.

Rob Macintosh, President of The Pembina Foundation, receives 
an Alberta Emerald Award for Individual Commitment.

GreenLearning receives an Alberta Emerald Award for Environmental Excellence for its educational programs. As well, Peter Dickey, President of the Pembina Foundation from 2002 to 2006, receives the 2007 Emerald Award for Corporate or Institutional Leadership.

Funding from the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation enables extensive research and education work on energy issues facing Alberta and Canada’s North. The research conducted on these issues resulted in the publications Alberta by Design, Curing Environmental Dis-Integration and Protecting Water, Producing Gas.
2006 The Pembina Foundation for Environmental Research and Education is officially established as a federal charitable organization. Simultaneously, The GAIA Foundation for Earth Education was dissolved.
2005 Greenlearning.ca expands from Alberta into Ontario and British Columbia. 
2004 Greenlearning.ca, an energy and environment educational program, launches in Alberta.
2000 Re-Energy.ca enables kids to learn first hand about renewable energy.
1993 The Alberta-based GAIA Foundation for Earth Education is established to “Promote public education and information that enhances the public’s ability to protect, and conserve the environment; research, develop, and produce educational materials and programs that increase understanding about environmental issues and methods of protecting and conserving the environment.”