CaGBC urges govt. to prioritize green building initiatives

The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has launched a new initiative designed to rally support for an economic recovery that includes green building initiatives.

Real Property Association of Canada (REALPAC), Canadian Urban Institute, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), and more have lent their support to encourage government decision-makers to direct stimulus spending toward green building projects.

According to CaGBC research, Canada’s green building sector contributes $47.9 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) and employs almost half a million people. As part of a new report coming this fall, a government stimulus package that prioritizes green building can contribute almost $150 billion to the economy and employ 1.5 million people by 2030.

“We firmly believe investments in green building will not only help to reignite Canada’s economy, but [also] provide opportunities that no other sector can offer,” said Thomas Mueller, CaGBC president. “Green buildings offer an immediate financial return on investment as they are less expensive to operate and are healthier for occupants. Even better, they will benefit Canadians for years to come by driving sectoral innovation and creating skilled jobs, all while reducing the carbon impact from buildings.”

Following an unprecedented global health crisis, Canada is presented with the challenge of reigniting a stalled economy, CaGBC said. Like the 2008 recession, governments are likely to turn to economic pillars such as construction and infrastructure to create urgently needed jobs.

Such a massive investment will have far-reaching impacts for Canadians well into the future, but as Canada battles this pandemic and its economic fallout, the government must not overlook the opportunity to achieve its commitment of net-zero emission by 2050, CaGBC said.

“In these difficult times, it is easy to lose sight of other challenges we face right now,” said Mueller. “Canada has less than 10 years to reach its 2030 targets on carbon reduction. Without targeted action today, future generations will suffer from significant environmental, economic, and social disruptions that will outpace the impact of COVID-19.”

CaGBC asks building industry leaders to add their voice to the call for a green recovery which prioritizes green building and shapes the low-carbon industry of tomorrow.

CaGBC will be publishing the full Green Building in Canada report in September, including a deep dive into the national and regional green building market.