Since the beginning of the pandemic, Canadian cleantech industry associations, including the Canada Cleantech Alliance, Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre, the Alberta Cleantech Industry Alliance, the Ontario Cleantech Industry Association, and Écotech Québec, have jointly undertaken multiple surveys of their members to identify and quantify COVID-19 impacts to the cleantech sector.
The research surveys achieved broad representation across 10 sub-sectors. Research included collecting quantitative data on key metrics of business performance (jobs, investment, debt and revenue) and early-stage recovery programming. Two surveys were conducted in March/April 2020, each with over 200 respondents, and a third was conducted in Aug/Sept 2020, with 175 respondents.
The cleantech industry is rapidly growing across Canada. There are hundreds of promising, innovative companies that are generating jobs, driving revenues, attracting overseas investments and moving forward on their vision of a green future economy.
With COVID-19, many companies are experiencing devastating impacts from cancellations of major industry events and withdrawal of deal flow and financing opportunities, leading to a loss of jobs and risk to our global competitiveness in the sector.
In the recent Speech from the Throne, the federal government committed to ensuring that Canada is the most competitive jurisdiction in the world for clean technology companies. Reaching this goal is now all the more critical, as Canadian cleantech plays a crucial role in achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and in Canada’s prospects for an accelerated energy transition. In 2018, clean technology activities contributed $26.6 billion to Canada’s GDP, and accounted for roughly 1.4% of Canadian GDP. It also supported 194,900 high-quality jobs, with incomes above the national average.
This briefing report contains a review and summary of a research-based engagement process that sought to understand the immediate and short term needs of these companies as they responded to the COVID-19 health and economic crisis. We hope these insights provide information to all levels of government on how best to support cleantech companies with their programs and funding during this disruptive economic period, and how their current and recent programming has contributed to the stabilization of this industry.
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