September 27, 2004

StatsCan reports 8% growth in revenues for Canadian environment industry

Canada's environment industry earned $15.8 billion in revenues from environmental goods, environmental services and environment-related construction projects in 2002, up 8% from 2000, Statistics Canada (StatsCan) reported last week. Its latest biennial profile of the industry also cites growth in the number of environmental firms, which reached 7,967 in 2002, up from 7,493 in 2000.

An "industry" that cuts across conventional industrial classifications, the environment industry comprises businesses that make goods and services used to measure, prevent, limit or correct damage to water, air and soil. The increase in the number of firms reflected growth in the environmental consulting services sector, where the number of firms rose from 993 to 1,510 over the period. Firms selling "eco-efficiency" technologies designed to decrease material inputs, recover valuable byproducts and reduce energy consumption continue to grow at a faster rate than average within the industry, says StatsCan.

Revenues from the sale of environmental services reached $7 billion in 2002, accounting for 44% of total environmental revenues. As in previous years, sales of waste management and remediation services made up the largest proportion of these revenues, some $5.1 billion in 2002, up from $4 billion in 2000. This 27% increase was to be expected given the increased waste generation by Canadian businesses and households; higher reclamation and decommissioning expenditures by the mining, oil and gas and petroleum and coal products industries; and various initiatives directed at brownfield redevelopment during the period.

Environmental activities related to consulting engineering and analytical services ($638 million) and water and wastewater management services ($470 million) also made significant contributions to total environmental services revenues in 2002.

The sale of environmental goods yielded revenues of $6.6 billion in 2002. Half of this amount ($3.3 billion) came from the sale of recyclable materials, some of which were materials collected through municipal recycling programs. An additional $1.2 billion in revenues were generated from the sales of systems, equipment and supplies for water supply and conservation as well as wastewater management and sewage treatment.

The environment industry earned $2.2 billion from a range of environment-related construction projects, such as construction of water and sewage treatment plants and other water-related infrastructure, which generated about $118 million in revenue. In comparison, the industry earned $2 million from the construction of renewable energy production facilities.

Small- and medium-sized establishments continued to dominate the Canadian environment industry in 2002. Small establishments (those with fewer than 100 employees) made up 93% of all firms in the industry and their revenues represented 54% of the total. Total employment in firms reporting environmental revenues in 2002 reached 159,720. This total includes all workers who performed environmental and non-environmental activities.

Export markets represented the source of 9% of environmental revenues during the period. Most of the $1.4 billion in environmental export revenues came from exports to the U.S. ($1.1 billion), Europe ($121 million) and Asia ($113 million). The top exports were goods and services related to waste and remediation ($405 million), air ($343 million) and water ($212 million).

The report, Environment Industry: Business Sector, 2002 (16F0008XIE) is now available on the StatsCan Web site, (click on Our Products and Services, then Internet publications; choose Free, then Environment). More information is also available from Rowena Orok at StatsCan, 613/951-0344.

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