Policy Initiatives

Balancing Environmental Sustainability and Economic Growth


Reducing our environmental footprint is a top economic and social vision. CME believes this must be accomplished without undercutting the global competitiveness of Canadian manufacturing. An effective balance needs to be struck between environmental sustainability and economic growth.

Why It Matters

Lowering greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts is critical to a sustainable future. However, manufacturers must balance sustainability against the costs it creates – an increased tax and regulatory burden – and the impact of those costs on their ability to successfully compete for business.

The Challenges

Governments are placing increasingly stringent policies and regulations in place to achieve their environmental objectives. However, with these increased demands comes increased pressure on manufacturers, including the need to:

  • Improve environmental performance to satisfy customer demands;
  • Understand and comply with complex and constantly changing regulatory measures;
  • Cope with rising business costs from tax and regulatory changes;
  • Reduce production waste and improving recycling efforts; and
  • Lower emissions and energy costs;

When these cost pressures are not felt in other countries, Canadian manufacturers could find themselves unable to compete for business. If environmental regulations are less stringent in other countries, that could result in carbon leakage that increases global GHG emissions while undercutting domestic industry.

How CME is Helping

CME’s focus is on creating a business climate that improves environmental performance and preserves or enhances economic competitiveness. This includes:

  • Ensuring all new or changing regulations balance the needs of the environment and the economy;
  • Improving education on environmental regulatory issues;
  • Ensuring all carbon pricing revenues are recycled back into manufacturing to support investment in new technologies; and
  • Creating investment support programs to help manufacturers invest in new and more efficient processes.

Graph Canadian economic growth and GHG emissions Graph Inverse relationship between capital spending and emissions intensity