Excellence in Sustainable Development Award

For excellence in sustainable development

Origins & Conditions


The Excellence in Sustainable Development Award (formerly the Syncrude Award for Excellence in Sustainable Development) promotes the Canadian minerals industry as an active seeker of sustainability solutions that engage and affect the Canadian public. Sustainability is defined as meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainable development includes the interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars of economic development, social development and environmental protection. This award recognizes extraordinary systems, programs or processes that have far-reaching and positive sustainability effects in all industry sectors across Canada. It recognizes those individuals, communities, organizations, corporations or academics that are working to create economic wealth while mitigating environmental impacts and acting inclusively towards all segments of society.

The Excellence in Sustainable Development Award criteria and other information:

  1. The award shall be made to an individual, community, organization, corporation, or academic, not necessarily a CIM national member, and whose contribution:
    (a) Adds value to the minerals industry's sustainable management practices
    (b) Has an effect on a number of corporations and organizations in more than one isolated circumstance;
    (c) Features people or tangible qualities that the public can relate to;
    (d) Has a positive impact in one or more area of the three pillars of sustainability: environment, economy, and social.
  2. The award may be presented from time to time as circumstances warrant, but normally, not more than one award may be made in any given year. In the event of extraordinary nominations, consideration may be given for more than one award.
  3. All nominations must be accompanied by a complete description of the meritorious contribution and its value to the minerals and petroleum industry as well as its potential impact on the vision of sustainability in all resource sectors.
  4. The award shall be presented by the sponsor at the annual CIM Convention. 
  5. All nominations properly presented, and not selected as award recipients for that particular year, shall be carried forward for the next two years unless formally withdrawn over the signatures of a majority of members responsible for the nomination.



Sabrina Dias

Founder and CEO of a successful mining and sustainability consulting firm, SOOP Strategies Inc., Sabrina Dias is one of the industry’s trailblazers for integrating sustainability and full suit ESG practices into the extractives sector, and published author of “Integrating Sustainability into Major Projects: Best Practices and Tools for Project Teams” (John Wiley & Sons Inc, New Jersey).  

Dias has international experience in projects with capex in the multi-billion-dollar range, small and mid-size projects, all phases of mine life. She leads her team in innovating new materiality approaches and leadership processes to integrate sustainability into accountability and governance systems. Together they design solutions that link ESG to business and bridge the gap between mining and ESG, and investor expectations.

Dias is a licensed professional engineer of Ontario. She has a Bachelor's degree in ceramic engineering and society from McMaster University, a Master's degree in environmental studies from York University, and a graduate diploma in business and environment from the Schulich School of Business.


Mohammed Ali

Mohammed Ali is the vice president of environment for Kirkland Lake Gold. He has over 20 years of experience as an environmental, social and sustainability executive in the mining sector. He brings broad technical, regulatory, and management expertise stemming from a background in research, engineering and business development. Ali specializes in environmental management, permitting, communication, life cycle assessment, integration of environment and social concerns in process design, and greenhouse gas measurement and reporting.

Ali has helped mining companies in Canada and across the world in integrating environmental and social concerns. He is active in environmental and sustainability events, committees and mentoring younger professionals. He sits on numerous committees including the Ontario Mining Association, Green Mining Initiative, Canadian Institute of Mining, Canada Mining Innovation Council and chairs various mining, environmental and sustainability conferences in Canada and globally. He is currently the chair of the Environmental Committee for the Ontario Mining Association. In 2016, he was awarded the CIM Central District Distinguished Service Award.