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Study examines industry expenditures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Ottawa, ON -- Businesses spent $955 million on greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction technologies in 2004, down from $1.3 ...


Ottawa, ON — Businesses spent $955 million on greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction technologies in 2004, down from $1.3 billion in 2002, according to a new study published in June 2008 by Statistics Canada in EnviroStats.

These reductions in spending were largely a result of the completion of major projects in the oil and gas extraction and electric power generation, transmission and distribution industries.

Declines in GHG emission reduction expenditures were reported in 12 of the 16 industries covered by the survey. Overall, operating expenditures to reduce emissions decreased 10% to $576 million, while capital investments fell 41% to $379 million.

Very large establishments spent the most in 2004, with average spending to reduce GHG emissions equal to $1.2 million per firm. Large firms spent on average $814,000, compared with $194,000 for medium firms and $79,000 for small firms.

Compared with other businesses, small firms directed the largest proportion of their total environmental protection expenditures towards reducing GHG emissions. Spending to reduce GHG emissions made up almost one-third of their total environmental protection expenditures, compared with about one-tenth for very large firms.

Energy conservation is a widely used method to reduce GHG emissions. Almost 6 in 10 businesses used energy conservation technologies in 2004. The likelihood businesses used these processes increased with establishment size.

Energy management or monitoring systems were the most common technology or process used to conserve energy. Waste energy recovery and reuse and the implementation of an energy audit were also popular methods of conserving energy.

Over one-quarter of establishments reported that they adopted new systems or significantly improved old systems or equipment in order to reduce GHG emissions.

Note: This release is based on data from the Survey of Environmental Protection Expenditures and compares GHG reduction activities and expenditures of businesses by establishment size. Very large firms were those that employed 1,000 people or more, while large firms employed 500 to 999 employees, medium firms employed from 100 to 499 workers and small firms employed fewer than 100 workers.