Canada's Environmental Business Sector

Ottawa, Canada - Statistics Canada has published an update report on the Environmental Business Sector in Canada. The most recent report, based on 2004 survey results, is now available. This report presents estimates pertaining to businesses involved in sales of environmental goods (including environment-related construction) and environmental services.
These estimates are based on data collected via the Environment Industry Survey in combination with data from several other Statistics Canada surveys and data sources.

The following are the Highlights of the 2004 Report as published by Statistics Canada. The full report is available at the link below.

Canadian firms earned $18.5 billion from sales of environmental goods and environmental services in 2004. This represented an increase of almost 17 percent compared to 2002 when revenues totaled $15.8 billion.

Environmental goods and services are used to measure, prevent, limit or correct environmental damage (both natural or by human activity) to water, air, soil as well as problems related to waste, noise and ecosystems. They also include clean or resource-efficient technologies that decrease material inputs, reduce energy consumption, recover valuable by-products, reduce emissions and/or minimize waste disposal problems.

Sales of environmental goods, including construction, increased by 14.8% between 2002 and 2004, from $8.8 billion to $10.1 billion. Firms operating in the wholesale trade sector (mostly of recyclable materials) earned almost half of the total revenues from sales of environmental goods in 2004.

Sales of goods related to water supply, treatment and conservation earned $3.4 billion (this includes the construction of facilities such as water treatment plants and pumping stations, water distribution mains, sewage treatment and disposal plants and sanitary and storm sewers).

Air pollution control technologies constitute a small but growing area, which includes catalytic converters, emissions recovery systems, and equipment for air filtration and emissions monitoring. Between 2002 and 2004, these revenues grew by almost 29 percent, from $521.2 million to $671 million.

Revenues from sales of environmental services grew by over 20% over the same time period, going from $7 billion to $8.4 billion. With the exception of environmental education, training and information, revenues grew for all types of environmental services.

Small but growing areas of environmental service are environmental management systems and research and development. Waste management and remediation accounted for two-thirds of all environmental service revenues in 2004.

Goods and services to reduce greenhouse gas emissions include the manufacturing or servicing of renewable energy systems (wind turbines, solar systems, small scale hydroelectricity) and sales of products that reduce energy consumption.

Altogether, these products generated $771.6 million in revenues in 2004, up by 24% compared to 2002.

Industry sectors

Environmental consulting and waste management and remediation are two sectors of the Canadian economy that have a predominantly environmental focus. Between 2002 and 2004, revenues earned for the production of environmental goods and services grew for establishments in both the environmental consulting and waste management and remediation sectors.

Firms involved in hazardous and non-hazardous waste management reported an increase in revenues (for all environment-related production) of 12.6%, from $3.7 billion in 2002 to $4.2 billion in 2004.

Environmental consulting revenues increased by 25%, reaching $806.4 million in 2004.

Wholesale trade, mostly of recyclable materials, is another sector that has grown. Between 2002 and 2004, revenues reported for environment-related production increased by 16.1% from $4.6 billion to $5.3 billion. This increase coincides with sizeable increases in the prices for raw materials such as metals and minerals.

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