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Sales of environmental and clean technology goods and services, 2015

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Released: 2017-12-11

Ontario businesses sold almost $2 billion worth of the environmental and clean technology goods manufactured in Canada in 2015, the most of any province. Quebec was second, at almost three-quarters of a billion dollars in sales. Together, the two provinces accounted for more than three-quarters of all domestically manufactured environmental and clean technology goods sold in 2015.

These sub-national results, derived mainly from the Survey of Environmental Goods and Services, follow the national release which reported total Canadian sales of $3.4 billion for goods related to environmental and clean technologies. Nationally, sales of related services accounted for almost $3.8 billion.

In Ontario, sales of equipment and technology for the production of renewable energy made up 61.1% ($1.2 billion) of that province's total. In Quebec, sales of goods supporting smart grid development and energy storage ($121 million) accounted for 36.8% of total national sales in this area.

British Columbia ($161 million) and Alberta ($135 million) followed in terms of sales for environmental and clean technology goods. In British Columbia, 42.5% ($68 million) of revenues were generated through sales of smart grid and energy storage technologies.

These revenues represent a partial picture of activity in Canada's clean technology sector.

Environmental and clean technology services

Ontario businesses providing environmental and clean technology services generated just over $1.3 billion in revenues in 2015. When revenues from waste management services are included, the total rises to $4.2 billion. Alberta sales of waste management services totalled $1.3 billion, while environmental consulting services took in just under $773 million. These two activities accounted for 85.2% of Alberta's $2.4 billion in sales of environmental and clean technology services.

In Ontario, sales of site remediation and emergency environmental services generated $637 million in sales in 2015, while Alberta companies generated $312 million and British Columbia firms had sales of $270 million.

Exports and employment in the environmental and clean technology sector

Together, Ontario ($600 million) and Quebec ($247 million) businesses exported almost $850 million worth of environmental and clean technology goods and services in 2015. This accounted for 71.7% of all Canadian exports in this sector. Of this total, just over $670 million went to clients in the United States. British Columbia sold $64 million worth of environmental and clean technology goods and services to international clients, while the Atlantic provinces exported around $46 million.

In 2015, about 11,000 people held environmental and clean technology positions in Ontario, while almost 4,000 people were employed in this sector in Quebec. Waste management services provided jobs for another 15,000 people in Ontario and 7,000 people in Quebec.

  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 any process, good, or service that reduces environmental impacts through:

  • environmental protection activities that prevent, reduce, or eliminate pollution or any other degradation of the environment;
  • resource management activities that result in the more efficient use of natural resources, thus safeguarding against their depletion; or
  • the use of goods that have been adapted to be significantly less energy or resource intensive than the industry standard.

The survey captures revenues from several areas of Canada's clean technology sector. A comprehensive measurement of clean technology sales in Canada's economy is available through Statistics Canada's Environmental and Clean Technology Products Economic Account, of which the Survey of Environmental Goods and Services is one of several components. The Environmental and Clean Technology Products Economic 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 Environmental and Clean Technology Products Economic 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 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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