Environmental Issues in Canada – How Can We Solve Them?
Industrialization has been an essential part of growth within Canada, a leader in the group of countries with the 10 largest economies in the world and a member of the G8. Our economy thrives on 3 main industries, service, manufacturing and natural resources, with the latter being a large part of our exported commodities. These industries have created countless jobs, with more than 75% of the workforce in the service industry and improved the general standard of living by providing access to products previously unavailable. However, it has not been without its faults, causing many negative effects on the environment.
Canada’s Plan for a Better Environment
As a nation with a strong and diversified economy, industrial growth is a key contributor and should continue to be developed for an increased Gross Domestic Product, which in 2021 was around 1.99 trillion U.S. Dollars. With a large part of the Canadian economy depending on the mining of natural resources, including gold, copper, zinc and nickel, as well as our involvement in the oil industry, environmental issues must be taken into consideration. Although industries have implemented many innovative solutions such as environmental engineering, wastewater technologies, clean energy and many more, the need is even greater and the Government plans to continue its push for sustainable development.
- In collaboration with territories, provinces and other partners, the Canadian government has invested $790M+ in efforts to conserve and protect nature.
- The country has committed to protecting 25% of each land, inland water and oceans by 2025, to be increased to 30% by the end of this decade.
- The Canada Nature Fund seeks to protect our environment through conservation and preservation, as well as with initiatives to recover at-risk species.
Canada has committed to being and staying a global leader when it comes to conservation and the protecting of nature, implementing many programs to combat the countless environmental issues we’re currently facing.
Environmental Crises in Canada
As the environment rapidly changes, it continues to become more apparent the impact humans have had on our planet. While some actions have taken time to come to light as harmful, and research frequently brings new information to our attention, educating ourselves on the issues and ways we can combat them has never been more important.
- Climate Change
- Prediction: The number of serious weather events, such as droughts and floods, will continue to increase at the current rate of industrialization, further emphasizing the need for industries to take green initiatives.
- Laws to counter adverse effects: As one of the governments most active regulators, Environment and Climate Change Canada administers over 70 regulations as per the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, to regulate certain activities of industries, other levels of government, trading partners and Canadians in all regions.
- During the 2014 New York Climate Change Summit, it was Barack Obama who said, “We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last to be able to do anything about it.”
- Wasted Natural Resources
- Prediction: According to the International Resource Panel Report, the use of natural resources is expected to double by 2050, making it imperative to find alternatives to traditional vehicles, such as electric vehicles (EV).
- Laws to counter adverse effects: Carbon pollution pricing and fuel excise tax have been implemented to aid in reducing of greenhouse gas emissions while encouraging innovation among industries.
- On December 3, 1907, Theodore Roosevelt said, “To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.”
- Prediction: Climate model simulations suggest the earth’s temperature could be anywhere between 1.1 to 5.4°C (2 and 9.7°F) warmer in 2100 than it is today.
- Laws to counter adverse effects: Among the strictest in the world, Canada forest laws enforce sustainable forest management practices across the country, as well as institute practices for forest regrowth. These acts include but are not limited to the Forestry Act, Natural Parks Act, Species at Risk Act and Plant Protection Act.
- During the COP26 climate summit in 2021, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was quoted saying, “We have to stop the devastating loss of our forests…end the role of humanity as nature’s conqueror, and instead become nature’s custodian.”
At this rate, and without change, there will be irreversible damage to the planet, effecting the quality of life for people around the world. Each person, business and industry has a responsibility to take action and make the necessary changes to reduce their carbon footprint.
With more awareness and the realization of the severity of the situation, businesses and industries are beginning to invest in solutions for a greener tomorrow. This is being made easier through support from the government and the innovative technologies being worked on by some of the brightest minds around the world.
- Green Innovation and Technology
There are many steps industries can take on the path to having a more positive impact on the environment, while also benefitting their businesses. By onboarding new talent, and utilizing technology to optimize processes, companies can innovate and improve on production. Through energy management, pollution reduction and recycling materials, including using them during product design, among other things, will reduce emissions and lower operating costs.
- Apple Inc. uses 100% recycled aluminum when making their coveted “MacBooks”, reducing their carbon footprint by up to 50%.
- To promote green innovation, companies can use technology that consumes less energy, effectively lowering their carbon footprint and reuse raw materials while recycling all that is possible.
- EnerSavings energy management solutions promote green innovations by offering services that aid in the reduction of carbon footprints and GHG emissions.
- Clean and. Affordable Energy
Although many industries still rely on fossil fuels for their production capabilities, a sustainable future is still attainable. Cleaner, more affordable energy solutions include renewable sources, offering less pollution and at a more cost-effective rate. A few of these options utilize solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, which are already popular choices for many businesses looking to do their part for a greener tomorrow. The new up and coming solution more companies are turning to is electric vehicles (EV) charging stations to accommodate the growing demand.
- Intel, one of the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturers, utilizes 3,102,050,000 kWh of renewable energy annually from solar, wind, and biomass.
- While it may not be feasible for all industries to make such drastic changes at a fast pace, there are other options that can be used to begin the process. LED retrofits, upgrading HVAC systems, or installing EV charging stations are all steps in the right direction.
- Conservation of Resources
The increased demand for natural resources has resulted in a rise of consumption but without conservation, complete depletion is inevitable. Planting trees to control soil erosion, maintain the ecosystem, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and conserve wildlife are all methods used to mitigate the impact of declining natural resources. Other increasingly popular ways for minimizing waste of resources such as water and electricity include meticulous use and recycling for reuse in manufacturing facilities.
- Nike, Inc., the world’s largest supplier of athletic shoes, created an app called the Making app, allowing designers access to their sustainability index to help choose which materials yield the greenest products. They also use post-consumer recycled materials in a few of their products.
- On a smaller scale, businesses can make production more efficient with LED light technology and HVAC system solutions, reducing operating expenses and their carbon footprint.
Businesses of all varieties through multiple industries can benefit from the use of energy management solutions that boast green innovation and technology. Clean, affordable energy and resource conservation is more easily accessible than imagined.
How to use Energy Management Solutions
Simple changes to common everyday issues can help commercial and industrial buildings become more sustainable. Through LED lighting, HVAC system solutions and EV charging solutions, companies can reduce operating expenses by up to 75% all while lowering their carbon footprint. As growth is not expected to slow down, innovations continue to be created to help save the environment and improve sustainability. With these energy management solutions offered by EnerSavings, your company can join countless others with a common goal of providing a greener tomorrow for future generations.
EnerSavings – Your Trusted Energy Advisors
A trusted Canadian energy advisor, EnerSavings offers solutions such as LED lighting, HVAC system solutions and EV charging stations, among others. To help reduce operating expenses and your carbon footprint, we can begin by conducting a free audit at your commercial or industrial facility. Find out how we’ve been able to help others on LinkedIn or Instagram and contact us for information on how you can benefit from our services at email@example.com or 1-800-874-3470. Sustainability starts today, let’s take this step together.