January 26, 2004

First comprehensive statement sets out CEO Council's environment, business policies

The Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) has released a comprehensive policy statement articulating its position in seven major public policy issues, including the environment, corporate and public governance, encouraging innovation and competitiveness, fostering human and community development, fiscal and tax policy, North American integration, and national defence. The 41-page summary is the first of its kind to be produced in the Concil's 27-year history.

"At a time of major political transitions federally and provincially, we are making it faster and easier than ever for Canadians to find out where the country's business leaders stand on major national and international issues," said CCCE president Thomas d'Aquino.

The environmental section of the paper addresses sustainable development, trade and the environment, climate change, environmental leadership, and improving environmental and social information. Government policy, it says, should enable Canadian industries to become among the most efficient producers of natural resources and manufactured goods internationally, and a growing supplier of environmentally enhanced products and services to global markets. The CCCE says Canadian-based companies should adhere to the same environmental protection and resource efficiency standards in their international operations as they do within Canada.

With regard to trade, the paper says developed countries must encourage coherent, transparent approaches to global environmental issues in order to allay the concerns of emerging countries that environmental standards may become a disguised form of protectionism.

Concerning global climate change, the CCCE calls for the federal government to establish a sound, cost-effective strategy for implementing Canada's commitments under the Kyoto Protocol which will clearly articulate the responsibilities and costs for all Canadians. Noting that Canadian companies currently invest more than $5 billion per year in environmental protection measures, the paper says climate change goals for Canadian industry must reflect economic and competitive realities and not penalize already efficient firms with arbitrary targets.

Canadian enterprises have been leaders in demonstrating that enhanced environmental performance adds value and contributes to long-term success, says the CCCE, adding that Canada needs to improve its system of measuring the state of our environment and its contribution to national prosperity.

In addition to releasing the policy platform, the CCCE launched its redesigned Web site, www.ceocouncil.ca/en/. Built around the seven themes of the platform, the new site features increased content and enhanced search capabilities. The paper may be viewed in pdf format on the site.

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