Canada's Natural Resources: Clean Technology & Innovation
The global demand for clean innovation – new technologies, products and practices that improve environmental performance – is rapidly growing. Accelerating the pace of clean innovation in Canada is not only an important tool for meeting climate and environmental goals, it also represents a critical economic opportunity across our entire resource sector.
Canada’s natural resource companies are passionate practitioners of clean tech innovation who have long depended on their ongoing commitment to such to continuously improve environmental performance, build public confidence, and enhance global competitiveness.
This “triple bottom line”— economic profitability, environmental sustainability, and social equity - continues to be essential to the future of natural resource development in Canada, as well as around the world.
What is Clean Tech and Innovation?
> Clean innovation includes new technologies, products, and business practices that improve environmental performance. Clean innovation can be advanced in all sectors of the economy, from traditional resource sectors, to manufacturing, to services
> Clean technology, or clean tech, is the sector of the economy focused exclusively on developing next-generation green innovations such as renewable energy systems, biochemicals, or emission-free vehicles.
Clean technologies are not limited to just devices. Rather, they can encompass a range of products, processes and services that, when applied, result in reduced environmental pollution, resource use, and / or waste as well as a strengthened economy and job market.
Clean Tech & Innovation in Canada: Facts
- Canada ranked 4th on the Global Cleantech Index in 2019 (Cleantech Group)
- Canada had 1 company named to the first annual Global Cleantech Index in 2009. A decade later, there were 12 companies in 2019, the 2nd largest amount of any nation (Cleantech Group)
- Canada ranks 1st in the G20 for clean technology innovation (NRC)
- Canada’s oil and gas sector is the largest spender on clean technology in the country, accounting for 75% of roughly $1.4 billion of investment each year (Statistics Canada)
- In 2017, the oil and gas sector accounted for $1.65 billion, or 82% of investment in clean technology in Canada (Statistics Canada)
Clean tech and innovation in Canada's natural resource sector is largely driven by:
- Growing demand from consumers and value chain partners to improve environmental and social outcomes
- Investors putting greater emphasis on opportunities that not only have potential financial gains, but environmental and social benefits as well - also known as 'ESG' investor criteria
Why is Clean Tech Innovation Critical for Canada?
> Clean innovation presents an opportunity to foster growth in both the natural resource and clean technology industries, placing Canada as a global provider of choice for many of the world’s essential goods and services
> In Canada, innovation and use of clean technology is critical to enhanced productivity, competitiveness, and a reduced environmental impact in the natural resource sector as well as others
> Increasing the development and use of clean technology in the natural resource sector is key to Canada’s ability to make a transition to a lower-carbon economy over the near and long term
> As the world moves toward a clean, low-carbon economy, countries that create the right conditions for companies to invest in clean innovation will have a competitive advantage in the global market
> Public concern about local air, water and soil quality, public health and safety, and biodiversity is affecting market opportunities and demand. By supporting improvements in these areas, clean technology plays an important role in building public confidence for natural resource development
> By taking early action to implement these goals, Canada has an opportunity to be a global leader in leveraging clean energy innovation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, open access to new markets, and create jobs in the clean tech sector
> Through clean technology in the natural resource sector, Canada has the opportunity to leverage this growing demand for resources to our near-term advantage in global markets, while also developing and delivering clean energy and technology solutions for the low-carbon transition
> The environmental performance of companies, products and services plays an important role in generating social acceptance in the marketplace
Canada's Clean Tech Advantage
- We have abundant natural resource reserves and globally leading expertise in extractive technologies as well as geological and biological sciences
- We have a strong foundational research and development (R&D) system that provides innovative ideas and knowledge relevant to natural resource subsectors, plus a highly skilled workforce
- We have a strong regulatory framework that supports Canada’s global competitiveness by safeguarding water, air, food, animals and plants, strengthening environmental management practices, and ensuring sustainable development
Canada is a global leader in clean tech and innovation. It’s time we stand up and support Canadian industries who are developing new ways to reduce their environmental footprint and introduce new technologies that will improve our standing as global clean tech and innovation leaders.
We invite you to learn more about clean tech and innovation in Canada through the following channels below. We also would love for you to join us on social media – stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest from Canada Action on clean tech and innovation plus several other topics important for all Canadians!
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