Sustainability

The Conference Board of Canada advances our understanding of how to achieve sustainable economic growth. Our work examines how changes in our energy systems, built environment, mobility, and government policies can allow Canada to achieve its economic, quality of life, and environmental objectives.

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Recent releases

While building back better we need #naturenow

Pre-pandemic, the climate crisis was already critical. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had released its landmark report, the United Nations had declared 2020 a “Nature Super Year,” and a record number of communities across Canada declared climate states of emergencies. COVID-19 may have slowed our pace of life and created a temporary dip in emissions, but our need to address the climate challenge is still very much alive and urgent.

Op-ed  |  4-min read
Roger Francis & Samantha Page—December 10, 2020

The power behind transition: A national energy system strategy

Canada is an energy bank. We need to treat it like one. We require an energy system strategy that would allow Canada to lead (not follow) market opportunities and leverage our capital to transition to a low carbon future. An energy system strategy will allow us to better monitor and achieve our transition.

Op-ed  |  4-min read
Roger Francis—December 7, 2020

The future of sustainable urban environments after COVID-19

The time to support a vision for public transportation is now. The pandemic has highlighted the role of public transit in sustainable urban centres, and two visions of the future are taking shape. In short, a future of automobile-centric sprawl.

Op-ed  |  3-min read
November 27, 2020

Liquefied Natural Gas Development in B.C. and Its Impact on Indigenous Communities

Industrial development drives economic potential for Indigenous people. Realizing that potential requires a long-term commitment by Indigenous leaders, industry, and governments to build prosperity aligned with Indigenous values and community development.

Issue Briefing  |  15-min read
November 9, 2020

Economic impacts of very small nuclear reactors in remote off-grid mining

Cost-competitive and zero-emissions mining is an opportunity for Canada. Very small modular nuclear reactors (vSMRs) offer this potential paradigm shift. Why does this matter? Northern, remote, and off-grid mines are an important part of Canada’s mining future.

Summary for executives  |  4-min read
October 28, 2020

Going nuclear: Zero-emissions mining in a material world

Canada’s energy transition has material issues. The climate change impact of energy materials is prominent among them. Canada’s mining industry can remedy this challenge with the adoption of low-carbon energy sources to power production.

Commentary  |  4-min read
October 14, 2020

Balancing power with capital: Sustainable finance in Canada’s circular plastics economy

Life is wrapped in plastics. Their global production has experienced a ten-fold increase in the last 50 years—unmatched by any industrial material.

Commentary  |  4-min read
October 7, 2020

Hydrogen is back—but will it break through?

Hydrogen is the fuel for a zero-emissions world. We’ve heard that before and it hasn’t happened. For a breakthrough, innovative and sustainable forms of hydrogen supply, in targeted end-uses, must lead the way.

Commentary  |  3-min read
August 6, 2020

Unlocking the Grid: Overcoming Barriers to Electricity Storage in Alberta

Increased economic demands for electricity, temperature fluctuations due to climate change, and disruptions caused by extreme weather events all add up to an increasingly ambiguous future for energy.

Issue briefing  |  11-min read
August 6, 2020

A Rising Tide: The Economic Impact of B.C.’s Liquified Natural Gas Industry

British Columbia is becoming the focal point of a new Canadian industry—liquefied natural gas. It will generate investment, growth, employment, taxes, and royalties for B.C., provinces and territories, and the federal government for decades to come.

Issue briefing  |  5-min read
July 27, 2020

Keeping it cool: Data use and our warming planet

Historically, the GHG emission impacts of rising internet use have been offset by rising efficiency and use of renewable energy. However, the pandemic-induced spike risks increasing the carbon footprint of data flows.

Commentary  |  3-min read
July 22, 2020

The driven consumer and the future of energy

Canada is starting to reopen in anticipation of a post-COVID world. Local media are commenting on increased vehicle traffic. Daily accident reports are almost back to normal, and congestion is growing. Our collective consumer bounce-back has begun..

Commentary  |  3-min read
June 19, 2020

A Chance to Lead: Overcoming Barriers to Sustainable Finance

Two things are vital to the Canadian energy sector’s survival in the sustainable finance marketplace: effective disclosure, and high-integrity data. This briefing looks at how to achieve these goals.

Issue briefing  |  14-min read
April 24, 2020

Measuring What Matters: An Energy-System Perspective on Sustainability

A clean energy growth economy will sustain our environment, create wealth, and enhance our standard of living. Taking Canada there requires a long-term transformation that balances the need for environmental protection, economic growth, and social prosperity.

Issue briefing  |  15-min read
March 27, 2020

Canada’s Clean Eenergy Growth Economy Regional Input Tour

Canada’s energy system is transitioning to a model that balances environmental protection, economic growth, and a prosperous society.

Online experience  |  2-min read
March 13, 2020

Nuclear Energy: A Crossroad in a Climate Emergency

Small modular nuclear reactors, or SMRs, may be the future of nuclear energy. As we struggle to deal with the global climate emergency, the ability of SMRs to produce electricity and heat without emissions or intermittency is compelling. But if Canada is to harness the potential of these small reactors, it must overcome several challenges..

Briefing  |  15-min read
January 7, 2020

Tipping the Scales

Carbon pricing is now in place across Canada. Its main aim is to encourage behaviours and technology adoptions that lead to reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. But carbon pricing can also result in unintended—and undesirable—consequences.

Report  |  80-min read
November 4, 2019

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Babatunde Olateju

Senior Research Associate

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