Studies & Reports
New report urges environmental sustainability for Canadian manufacturers
By Mary Del
Manufacturers in Canada need to seize the opportunity to redesign their businesses now in order to remain globally competitive, according to a new report by RBC and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME).
Launched at CME Ontario’s 2010 Sustainable Manufacturing Summit, the joint report, Shifting markets, shifting mindsets: Creating value through cleaner and greener manufacturing, highlights the top environmental sustainability issues facing Canadian manufacturers and how they can capitalize on the business opportunities emerging in the new greener economy.
Manufacturers in Canada are among the largest consumers of energy in the country. However, a recent CME Ontario survey found that most manufacturers had implemented less than 42 percent of applicable, known technical best practices for energy management.
"This report is a ‘call to action’ for Canadian manufacturers," said Jayson Myers, president and CEO, CME. "It’s time manufacturers recognized the strategic importance of environmental sustainability to the future of their business and to the viability of the manufacturing sector in Canada at large."
Key findings from the report include: As stakeholders press for cleaner, greener products and services, environmental sustainability has moved from a compliance issue to a critical strategic planning issue for manufacturers. The top six environmental sustainability issues that manufacturing CEOs need to be aware of are:
• Air emissions – reducing the risk;
• Supply chains – leveraging systems for sustainability;
• Solid and liquid waste – towards "material parsimony";
• Energy – efficiency and beyond;
• Climate change – planning to adapt and prosper; and
• Water – hidden dependencies and opportunities.
"Canadian manufacturing is an essential part of the solution as we transition to a more sustainable, less carbon-intensive future, and RBC is committed to helping businesses navigate the ‘new normal’ of environmental sustainability," said Andrea Bolger, head, Business Financial Services. "Through this report, we hope to bring attention to the fact that focusing on environmental sustainability and working to reduce our environmental footprint makes good business sense."
The key to thriving in the emerging green economy is to understand the risks and opportunities that environmental sustainability presents to the manufacturing industry. The report is designed to help businesses develop a strategic plan that incorporates environmental impact into every business decision.