Canada and the Green Economy

A test bed for valuing natural assets



Online global/PDF-technical/environmental-publications/ tech-afb-catge.pdf

“Canada has a complex relationship with global efforts to move to a green economy. Its policy makers and business-leaders need to balance the country’s vast natural resources – and the economic growth that they can foster – with the need to develop in a low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially-inclusive manner.”

ACCA preface

Canada and the green economy

In 2012, we were commissioned by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) to research and write a succinct report on the nature of the green economy and what it means for Canada – particularly from the perspective of Canadian companies and the accountancy profession. The report drew on insights from business participants at two ACCA conferences on the subject in Toronto and Vancouver. We also undertook extensive research into leadership thinking and analysis on the state of the Green Economy and the key investments, incentives and dynamics that were driving its evolution in the wake of the 2008 economic crash and the 2012 Rio+20 Earth Summit.

The report explores Canada’s unique economy and its wealth of natural assets, from water resources to forestry and the Athabasca tar sands. The report considers the significance of Canada’s withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol and also highlights case-studies of the green economy’s emergence across different provinces, drawing on the experience of Walmart (retail), Better Place (sustainable motoring), Loblaw (sustainable fisheries), Domtar (sustainable forestry) and Vancity (banking).

The report also identifies the central role of the accountancy profession in facilitating transition to a green economy through the application of its particular expertise in identifying appropriate indicators of value creation, ensuring accurate measurement and data collection, and paying rigorous attention to the nature of current and emerging risks and the value at stake.