Statistics Canada
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Protecting and managing the environment

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Protecting the environment means more than preventing pollution and cleaning up our messes. For most businesses, it also requires continuing improvements in product design, technology and operations. Many businesses can reduce their pollutants while also cutting costs and improving productivity.

Primary and manufacturing industries spent $6.8 billion on environmental protection in 2002—24% more than in 2000. This increase was partly driven by new environmental regulations and industries’ efforts to reduce pollutants like GHG emissions.

Businesses spent just over $1 billion to reduce GHG emissions in 2002. The oil and gas industry led the spending at $245 million, followed closely by the pulp, paper and paperboard industry, at $242 million.

The private sector invested $428 million in 2002 for prevention and control of water pollution. It also spent $1.5 billion to protect air quality—75% of that spending was by the oil and gas, electric power, and petroleum and coal products industries. Businesses invested $1.4 billion in pollution prevention equipment, as well as $907 million in pollution abatement and control systems for treating wastes.

In 2002/2003, the Canadian government spent $6.9 billion on pollution abatement and control systems, of which $2.9 billion went to sewage collection and disposal and $2.0 billion went to waste collection and disposal. Local governments spent 92% of these allocated expenditures.

The federal government spent another $349 million, in 2003/2004, on research and development for pollution prevention and environmental protection—$200 million more than it spent in 1995/1996 for this purpose.