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Environmental management and technologies in the business sector


Businesses today are involved in a variety of practices aimed at preventing or reducing environmental degradation generated from their production activity. During the 1990s, the environmental regulation context changed. Increasingly, governments have relied on voluntary initiatives undertaken by businesses to reduce pollutants and waste, as opposed to regulations. However, at the same time, the federal authorities have undertaken to revise the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), in order to increase federal power for environmental regulation but with strong emphasis put on promoting pollution prevention. Consequently, businesses today are looking at alternative ways to limit impacts from their operations on the environment.

Environmental Management and Technologies in the Business Sector presents a profile of business demand for environmental processes and technologies, pollution prevention methods and environmental practices, such as environmental management systems and voluntary actions. What types of treatment processes are the most popular ones for reducing gas emissions, liquid, solid and hazardous waste, noise, radiation and vibration, for saving energy or for site reclamation? What is the market for environmental processes and technologies? What pollution prevention methods are used more frequently? What additional environmental practices have businesses adopted (for instance, are voluntary programs more popular than eco-labelling?)?

This paper is based on results from the Survey of Environmental Protection Expenditures. For the first time, the survey asked detailed questions on the type of environmental process or technology used and the adoption of environmental practices. The paper is a complement to both 1996-1997 and 1998 Environmental Protection Expenditures in the Business Sector reports (Catalogue no. 16F0006XIE).

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