Canada was featured prominently in the news recently for its environmental record – but not for the right reasons. Across the country members and supporters of the First Nations Wet’suwet’en are protesting a newly approved natural gas pipeline that would run through their territory in British Columbia.
Recently, Black Rock, the world’s largest asset manager, announced that it would no longer be investing money in companies that get revenue from Alberta’s oil sands. They joined a number of other companies that have divested from the oil sands, including HSBC. The GHG emissions from Canada’s oil sands put into question whether the country can achieve its climate change goals and how much it is contributing to global GHG emissions by putting this oil on to the market.
With the country’s environmental record under threat from its oil industry, there is ample opportunity to explore sustainable pathways in other sectors. And on that end there has been a lot of movement; Bio industrial Innovation Canada, a business accelerator that provides support to developers of clean and sustainable technologies, recently received $15 million from the Ontario government. In fact, Clean-tech is Canada’s fastest growing industry. ArcTern Ventures, the country’s largest Clean-tech venture fund, recently reached $200 million in commitments.
Canada has also made a push towards developing a Circular Economy and will be hosting the World Circular Economy Forum in September 2020, the first time the forum is being held in North America.
Regardless of the oil sands debate, Canada is geared towards sustainable and green growth in many other sectors. That will require businesses that understand sustainability and how to achieve it through their internal and external operations.
Sustainability rests on a strong business case. Toronto is an ideal location for CSE’s Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program, Leadership Edition 2020, April 23-24, 2020. This is CSE’s first Toronto training this year (October’s was sold out!).