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Sales of environmental and clean technology goods and services, 2015

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Released: 2017-10-30

Canadian businesses sold over $3.4 billion worth of environmental and clean technology goods manufactured in Canada in 2015, while sales of related services accounted for almost $3.8 billion. If waste management services are included, the total revenues of environmental and clean technology services rise to $11.1 billion.

These revenues represent a partial picture of activity in Canada's Clean Technology sector.

Environmental and clean technology goods

Canada's efforts to transition to a low-carbon economy were reflected in strong sales of equipment for renewable energy technologies, supplying (for example) wind, solar, and hydro power generation projects. Companies reported $1.3 billion in revenues in this sector, accounting for 38% of total sales of environmental and clean technology goods.

Companies also profited from Canada's commitment to providing reliable waste management services in its continued bid to protect the environment. Sales of non-hazardous waste management equipment ($616 million) and industrial wastewater and municipal sewage treatment technologies ($526 million) amounted to one-third of the total value of goods sold in Canada's clean technology sector in 2015.

The sale of equipment and technology necessary to respond to spills or legacy environmental clean-up projects totalled $361 million.

Canada's manufacturers capitalized on changing and emerging markets, with sales for smart grid and energy storage technologies totalling $328 million. In turn, sales related to the monitoring and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution totalled $76 million. Included in the latter category is equipment required for carbon sequestration and clean coal technologies, as companies switch to new methods to manage the carbon output resulting from their production activities. Businesses selling products supporting the manufacture of bioenergy and biomaterials reported sales of $51 million in 2015.

Environmental and clean technology services

Site remediation and emergency environmental services generated almost $1.5 billion in revenue in 2015, while environmental consulting firms providing services such as environmental assessments and audits took in just over $1.9 billion.

Companies supplying energy-efficiency services, such as green building certification and energy efficiency consulting services, generated $280 million in sales in 2015.

The largest category of service revenues is from the provision of waste management services. Private sector waste management service providers reported revenues of almost $7.3 billion, based on data from the Waste Management Industry Survey. Waste management services include activities such as collection of waste, recyclables and organics, and the operation of landfills, transfer facilities, and recycling and organic processing facilities.

Exports and employment in the environmental and clean technology sector

Canadian businesses exported $1.2 billion worth of environmental and clean technology goods and services in 2015, with more than 80% going to the United States. The remainder was distributed among other international markets.

In 2015, environmental and clean technology jobs provided employment for about 23,000 Canadians. The waste management industry employed just over 38,000 people in full and part-time positions in 2015.

  Note to readers

Clean technology

With the exception of Waste Management and Environmental Consulting services, these data are derived from the Survey of Environmental Goods and Services. Waste management services revenue and employment data are based on the Waste Management Industry Survey. Revenues from environmental consulting services are based on the 2015 Annual Survey of Service Industries: Consulting Services.

As part of the federal government's initiative to develop its Clean Technology Data Strategy, Statistics Canada expanded the Survey of Environmental Goods and Services in 2015 to incorporate a partial suite of clean technology goods and services. Further expansion in this area will take place in future survey cycles.

Clean technologies are defined as follows:

  • Any good or service designed with the primary purpose of contributing to remediating or preventing any type of environmental damage;
  • Any good or service that is less polluting or more resource-efficient than equivalent normal products which furnish a similar utility. Their primary use, however, is not one of environmental protection.

The survey captures revenues from several areas of Canada's growing clean technology sector. A comprehensive measurement of clean technology sales in Canada's economy is available through Statistics Canada's Clean Technology Satellite Account, of which the Survey of Environmental Goods and Services is one of several components. The Clean Technology Satellite Account captures all economy-wide transactions in the clean technology sector, such as clean energy and scrap metals, while the Survey of Environmental Goods and Services produces data on a clearly specified subset of goods and services that are narrower in scope than those captured in the Clean Technology Satellite Account.

Changes to the survey methodology were made for the estimates of environmental goods. For this reason, comparison of the 2015 estimates to earlier estimates of the Survey of Environmental Goods and Services should be made with caution. This is particularly the case with the category-specific estimates.


The publication Clean technologies and the Survey of Environmental Goods and Services: A technical reference guide, 2012 and 2015 (Catalogue number16-511-X) is now available online.

Contact information

For more information, to request data tables, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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