TORONTO, Oct. 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada requires a new, holistic approach
to better evaluate links between environmental quality and economic
performance, according to a TD Economics report.
Currently the term "green economy" is used to describe a wide range of
activities, but it lacks a standardized definition, making it difficult
to measure and assess progress. Narrow approaches to defining the term
result in labelling some economic sectors as 'green' and others as
'brown', and often excludes green initiatives being undertaken in
sectors outside the 'green economy' umbrella. This siloed approach
diminishes the progress that industry, government and citizens have
"Canadians should rethink the relationship between the environment and
the economy. Rather than viewing environmental progress and economic
growth as being conflicting objectives, acknowledging the progress
being made on both fronts can be empowering and creates promise that
even more can be achieved," said TD's Chief Economist, Craig Alexander.
To this end, the report proposes a balanced approach to measure "the greening of the economy," which factors in the combination of "consumer,
corporate and policy efforts to increase operational efficiency and
minimize environmental impact while fostering economic growth,
diversification and competition."
Greening consists of a four-step successive process that is common to
all sectors of the Canadian economy: regulatory compliance, managing
operational efficiency, environmental improvements through the supply
chain, and the creation of new products and services. When this process
is applied to how industries are currently performing, the following
trends were found.
Environmental considerations are increasingly embedded into corporate
Improving environmental efficiency frequently results in cost
Incentives to reduce environmental impact are a strong driver of
Corporate responsibility is a driver for improving environmental
"Environmental considerations have become heavily entrenched in
corporate Canada's behaviour," said Mr. Alexander. "Indeed, many
businesses have recognized that more environmentally-sustainable
policies and practices are not just good for their brand and
reputation, but can also lead to cost savings, new products, business
models and new revenue opportunities."
The report did note that differences between sectors of the economy
meant that greening efforts varied. As such, sectors should not be
compared to each other, instead, benchmarks should be found and made
"Canada needs to do more on conservation, emissions, sustainability,"
said Karen Clarke-Whistler, Chief Environment Officer, TD Bank Group.
"But this report demonstrates that the environment is a key component
of the economy. By measuring the 'greening' of the economy we have a
means of measuring our progress."
To read the full detailed report and analysis of industries, please go
to www.td.com/economics to find "The Greening of the Canadian Economy" report under today's
date, Wednesday, October 2, 2013.
SOURCE: TD Bank Group
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