We are living through the most important decade for climate action. To meet our current climate targets, we must drastically reduce our carbon emissions by 2030, and this offers an incredible opportunity for us to collectively build a better future.
Businesses are an intrinsic part of this movement: the green economy in Canada is growing, and fast! Demand for low carbon technologies is set to soar over the next 10 years, and the shift towards a greener economy has the potential to create millions of new jobs globally. The future economy is low carbon, and it’s already on the way.
Canadian cities are home to most of our small and large businesses. They are our economic hubs. They are also a major source of carbon emissions and are vulnerable to climate risks, from flooding, to heat waves, to air quality issues. In the face of these challenges, many cities are acting quickly to find opportunities to strengthen their climate resilience and accelerate the transition towards local low carbon economies.
On a large scale, projects like the Circular Cities and Regions Initiative and Green Economy Canada strengthen local circular economy networks and create business sustainability hubs. At the local level in Ottawa, city programs like the upcoming e-cargo bike pilot program and the Better Homes Loan Program aim to improve sustainable transportation infrastructure and energy efficiency in buildings around the city, in ways which can directly benefit businesses seeking to cut their emissions. These initiatives are building the groundwork for our region’s future low carbon economy.
Engaging in Ottawa’s Future Economy
Figuring out where to start can be overwhelming, but for any local businesses seeking to engage in the future economy, the first step is understanding and lowering your carbon use. This can be done in many different ways, from improving your building’s energy efficiency, to electrifying company vehicles. Lowering carbon use has many benefits; it avoids expense, particularly when it comes to energy costs. It positions businesses at the cutting edge of the market, attracting customers and ensuring that no one is left behind in the transition to net zero.
Once carbon use has been cut, the second step for businesses is keeping abreast of trends. This could include participating in the circular economy whenever possible, by looking into alternative procurement options involving upcycled materials, and forging new partnerships. It could also involve keeping up to date with emerging legislation like incentives or subsidies that could benefit your business and help you reduce your carbon impact.
Wherever you are on your path towards the future economy, Ottawa Green Business is here to support you! From workshops and general sustainability tips to personalized sustainability planning and impact accounting, Ottawa Green Business offers different services depending on your goals and capacities. Whether you are just starting to figure out how to lower your carbon use, or you’re looking to decarbonize your supply chain, joining our network gives you access to resources and connections to help you along the way.
We imagine the future Ottawa is one with a network of strong, green businesses, supporting a strong, local, sustainable economy, which prioritizes both people and the planet. We look forward to building this Ottawa with you!