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About Us

What We Do


The Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l'environnement is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help Québec communities develop a sense of ownership of their environment, enjoy it responsibly and pass on their natural heritage to future generations.



The Foundation funds tangible initiatives that have positive environmental and social impacts and that serve the interests of local communities throughout Québec. It partners with local organizations on projects designed to:

  • protect, restore and enhance natural habitats, and
  • educate target audiences about local environmental issues.

These two objectives go hand in hand: a protection or rehabilitation project will have no future if the people likely to have impacts on the site do not feel involved in the project's environmental issues. On the other hand, the message of an awareness-raising or educational activity will go unheeded if it does not give people ways to make a difference in their environment.

Educating the public about general environmental issues is not part of the Foundation's mission; rather, we support projects that are likely to have positive impacts on specific natural areas. Educational projects satisfy this criterion if they focus on changing the way specific target groups behave with respect to the natural environment around them.

  • Support local initiatives that reflect the desire of local communities to take charge of their environment
  • Focus on joint projects that benefit from the expertise and active support of a number of partners
  • Fund initiatives with positive and tangible environmental and social impacts
Deciding factors

The projects that are given priority will involve concrete action and clearly defined locations, serve the interests of local communities and have measurable environmental and social impacts.

The Foundation funds a wide range of initiatives but looks for sound projects, regardless of their type. Key factors include:

  • Relevance.
    The project must result in a clear and measurable gain to the environment and community. It must demonstrate the need to intervene in a local or regional environmental issue, while adhering to the objectives and principles of the Foundation. The strategic approach must be convincing and well suited to the target audiences.
  • Quality design.
    A properly planned project that leads to effective action is generally built on:
    • a clearly defined issue
    • clear objectives
    • a simple description of the host environment
    • practical solutions adapted to the context
    • qualified human resources
    • a desire to work in harmony with local environmental and social components
    • a realistic, detailed work plan and budget.
  • Broad consensus.
    A winning approach must enable the community to develop a sense of ownership and bring together partners who are able to support the project over the long term. From this standpoint, the following characteristics are considered assets:
    • visible benefits for the entire host community
    • a variety of funding sources (especially government programs and other environmental donor organizations)
    • participation by volunteers
    • strategic ties with the municipality, the RCM and cooperative organizations such as watershed councils, ZIP committees, etc.

    A necessary condition of consensus is to avoid conflicts with other existing or planned programs and activities.

  • Strong team.
    The organizations most likely to succeed with their project have a clear, concise mission and objectives. They have strong ties to the community. Their managers are dynamic and highly capable, and their volunteers are dedicated. They have the ability to draw on lessons learned from past accomplishments, which they are advised to mention in their application form.
  • Significant impacts.
    The project must produce measurable benefits for the environment, as well as the community. Ideally, it should have the potential to generate structuring effects in terms of protecting natural habitats or changing people's behavior. As such, there must be a clearly defined evaluation framework for the project's implementation and desired results. Appropriate means of communication must be planned for disseminating the results and making them accessible to interested groups and the general public.
  • Long-term vision.
    A good project generally has sustainable effects and must therefore incorporate continuity guarantees, such as planned maintenance of facilities, equipment and any other physical infrastructure. Awareness-raising and educational tools must be reusable and updatable. If the project aims to bring about permanent changes in a natural habitat or a certain type of behavior, every effort must be made to anticipate the sustainable impacts of the desired changes. To evaluate whether the proposed means helped achieve the objectives, success indicators or measurable environmental or social indicators must be defined.