Canadian corporates aim for environmental edge

An organisation representing a huge chunk of Canada's corporate clout has launched a task force to look at how the country could become a world leader in environmental technologies and sustainable development.

The Canadian Council of Chief Executives, whose members lead companies with a collective annual revenue of $750 billion, has set up an Environmental Leadership Initiative with an overall goal to develop a 'comprehensive and realistic' plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

While the official line is that nothing is carved in stone and the task force will be open to all suggestions, the assumption is that its proposals will favour a technological solution based on Canada's strong environmental industries sector.

"Climate change is a serious challenge, for Canada and for the world," said
Thomas d'Aquino, chief executive and president of the CCCE.

"As the heads of major corporations across all sectors of our economy, we are committed to doing our part in shaping an effective strategy for national success and global leadership.

"To confront the global environmental challenge, the world will need to employ a
wide variety of innovative and affordable technologies that can reduce the
environmental impact of human activity.

"Canada can be a leader in the development and deployment of advanced processes and products, but only if we have a healthy economy and a policy framework that encourages private sector investment and innovation."

The task force will be made up of 25 CEOs from all sectors and regions of the country.

"Canadian businesses already have invested a great deal in making our
operations and products more energy-efficient, developing new
technologies to reduce emissions and costs, and shaping sustainable
business models," said Richard Evans, CEO of aluminium giant Alcan and joint chairman of the task force.

"We realise that we can and must do more as a business community. However, this must be part of a broader, more integrated set of policies and efforts at both the federal and provincial levels that involve all Canadians."

Whilst it will be business led, the task force aims to work with government at all levels and will seek advise from environmentalists and the scientific community.

It has already enlisted a number of prominent Canadian academics to its cause who will sit on an advisory panel.

Sam Bond



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