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June 24, 2022

Wildlife Habitat Council awards CNL Gold Certification for Chalk River Laboratories campus

For the third consecutive time, CNL is recognized by the WHC for its continued commitment to environmental protection and conservation 

Chalk River, ON – June 24, 2022 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded Gold Certification by the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) for the Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) campus, a designation that recognizes broad-based biodiversity efforts and conservation education activities on corporate land. The recognition represents the third consecutive certification awarded to CNL by the WHC since 2016, and reflects CNL’s continued efforts to preserve and protect vulnerable species and their habitats on the Chalk River site.

In addition to the WHC certification, CNL also received the WHC 2022 Reptiles and Amphibians Project Award for the installation of new turtle eco-passages at the Chalk River campus, was named a finalist in the WHC 2022 Bats Project Award for their bat telemetry study and bat box monitoring project, and was a candidate for the Gold Program Award, which recognizes one exceptional program in the Gold Certified tier.

“At CNL, we understand that we have an obligation to respect and take care of the lands surrounding the Chalk River Laboratories campus, and to demonstrate environmental stewardship in everything we do as an organization,” commented Joe McBrearty, CNL’s President and CEO. “Protecting vulnerable species and their habitat is part of that responsibility, and we have incorporated that commitment into our day-to-day work. We want to thank the Wildlife Habitat Council for recognizing these efforts, and we hope that it inspires our local communities and other organizations to adopt sustainable principles into their own operations.”

The WHC’s international certification program, Conservation Certification®, was established to provide objective, third-party evaluation of an organization’s voluntary, long-term commitment to the management of quality habitat for wildlife, conservation education and community outreach initiatives. A Gold certification signifies leadership among the over 700 WHC Conservation Certification® programs, and is only awarded to organizations that demonstrate exceptional understanding and effective implementation of environmental protection best practices.

Companies achieving WHC Conservation Certification® are considered environmental leaders, voluntarily managing their lands to support sustainable ecosystems and the communities that surround them. A number of new initiatives directly contributed to CNL’s increased score for this year’s re-certification and its award nominations, including:

  • CNL has been recognized for its Herpetofauna Conservation project. A total of seven eco-passages have been installed in the past two years to allow the free inter-wetland movement of reptiles and amphibians without having to cross the road.
  • With the University of Ottawa, CNL initiated a telemetry study this year to assess the use of the eco-passages by Blanding’s turtles (endangered species under the Species at Risk Act), and to evaluate if the daily average movement has increased since their installation.
  • With Trent University, CNL has just completed a two-year collaborative study on Bat telemetry, with findings being used to establish a Habitat Suitability Index.
  • In collaboration with Canadian Forest Service, a Sustainable Forest Management Plan was developed for CNL land, with modeling demonstrating sustainable habitats for bats, moose, bears, deer, and more for a period of 150 years.

“This is a fantastic and well deserved recognition of the tremendous work that we have done at CNL to protect and preserve our wildlife habitat,” commented Jeff Willman, CNL’s VP of Health, Security, Safety and Environment. “I am very proud of our whole environmental team for this outstanding accomplishment, which was made possible by the contributions of all CNL staff who continue to report wildlife observations, assist in the implementation of rigorous mitigation measures, and report concerns to our Environmental Services staff.”

For more information on CNL and its Environmental Protection activities, please visit 

About CNL

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is a world leader in nuclear science and technology offering unique capabilities and solutions across a wide range of industries. Actively involved with industry-driven research and development in nuclear, transportation, clean technology, energy, defence, security and life sciences, we provide solutions to keep these sectors competitive internationally.

With ongoing investments in new facilities and a focused mandate, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is well positioned for the future. A new performance standard reinforced with a strong safety culture underscores every activity.

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CNL Contact:

Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications

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