Publications

2022 Low-Carbon Transition Survey

Sustainable natural energy concept with wing turbines and photovoltaic panel under blue sky

INTRODUCTION

Canadian manufacturers are committed to creating a clean and healthy environment for all. For decades, CME and our members have worked with governments to improve and create common standards through effective environmental regulations and supportive programs.

The current focus of environmental action is the goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The global manufacturing sector is leading this race through the aggressive adoption of technology and the creation of innovative new products aimed at meeting rising consumer demand for more sustainable goods.

Canada and its manufacturers must become world leaders in this race. Many global industry leaders have pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050, and this means that they will increasingly demand that their supply chain partners, including those in Canada, implement comprehensive net zero strategies too. In addition, over time, consumers, governments, employees, financial institutions, and other key stakeholders will demand more stringent action.

While many of Canada’s top industrial companies have made commitments to be net zero by 2050 and are already taking aggressive action, previous CME surveys indicate that many small and medium-sized manufacturers are still taking a wait and see approach. Clearly, one of the biggest obstacles to getting started is related to cost. Transitioning to a low-carbon economy will be incredibly expensive for manufacturers, as it will require billions of dollars of investment and result in higher operating costs, both having negative implications for their competitiveness. Accordingly, substantial government support will be needed to help manufacturers move forward.

Against this backdrop, CME surveyed its members on their level of preparedness to transition to a low-carbon economy, the strategies they are implementing or planning to implement to meet climate targets, and the extent to which government enabling measures are helping or hindering these actions.