Updated: Feb 17
Mid-morning of last Wednesday, FoodCycler representatives attended a Green Growth webinar held by the EDC (Export Development Canada).
"We feel strongly that sustainable business is a journey, not a destination. Education opportunities like the EDC Webinar allow us to keep up to date on what's possible in the greentech industry."
(Bradley Crepeau, CEO - FoodCycler)
The organization held the meeting in the hopes of mapping a forward trajectory for greentech solutions at home and abroad. Guillermo Freire, VP for Project Finance (EDC) and Sara Wilshaw, Chief Trade Commissioner and Assistant Deputy Minister (Global Affairs Canada) helmed the webinar.
“The goal is to ‘build back, better’,” says Wilshaw, explaining about the new (and generous) funding available through CanExport in response to Covid-19.
“Canada’s goal is to become the most competitive country in clean energy tech.”
Cleantech initiatives are being plugged federally as a strategy to increase trade diversity and ensure that Canada is less reliant on our southern neighbours as our primary trade partners. Similar initiatives can be cited worldwide; for example, South Korea recently made available $99.1 million to support green initiatives at home.
“We need to become more competitive on the world scale. The Canadian market is just too small on its own,” says Wilshaw.
With these new supports in place, cultural diversity and gender equality in trade and manufacturing are sure to benefit, as more innovative, creative and profitable products take to market.
As Canada aims to be more competitive on the global scale for sustainable solutions, the drive to de-carbonize our industry is of paramount importance.
Toby Heaps, CEO & EIC (Corporate Knights) goes on to estimate that $800 billion in the form of grants and loans would be required to eliminate the hold fossil fuels have on our economy.
While this number seems astronomical, the projected return is equally impressive.
“With this type of investment, Canada would add 6 million new jobs and $1.6 trillion over the next decade. And that’s huge-”
states Heaps. To Corporate Knights CEO, Canada’s de-carbonization would place the nation at the international forefront of eco-tech solutions come 2030.
Aside from the environmental aspects, why is the move toward greentech and de-carbonization of such importance for Canada’s economy?
“We’re seeing, across the world, that low-carbon solutions are growing much faster than high-carbon solutions,” says Heaps. With great innovation comes great diversity: “Greener options are now available for a cheaper cost.”
The EDC believe that the draw toward greentech development is not a question of federal or provincial policy, but one guided by economics.
In the building sector alone, “green development” has increased exponentially - marking the most historically impressive growth in that sector. Keep in mind that ten of the fifteen top property management companies in the world are domestic, and the greening of the building sector could positively affect Canada’s economy more acutely than anywhere else.
Strides are also being taken in the food production sector, in the form of plant protein innovation. “Canada now has access to a huge opportunity, to align with healthier, more efficient food production in plant-based proteins,” says Heaps.
Green energy, too, is a hot topic world-wide: non-combustion carbon fibers (or bitumen) have the potential to double revenue generation at home over the coming decade. Companies are converting toward sustainable energy after centuries-long reliance on combustion products (or fossil fuel-reliant technologies).
To conclude the webinar, Heaps made a final call to action to Canadian businesses.
“We can be the suppliers or the buyers on the global space. We have all the resources we need to be the suppliers, and we need to act on that.”
FoodCycler agrees wholeheartedly and hopes that Canadian companies join us in acting sooner rather than later.