Welcome!

News Feed Item

High consumption and throwaway habits make Canada an environmental laggard

OTTAWA, Jan. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Canada throws away more garbage per capita than any other country in the developed world. That, combined with heavy usage of energy and water, gives Canada a 'C' grade and a ranking of 15th out of 17 countries in The Conference Board of Canada's How Canada Performs-Environment ranking.

 
HIGHLIGHTS
Canada, Australia and the United States, the three lowest ranking countries, share similar characteristics of large land area and resource-intensive economies.
Several of Canada's dismal results are due to overconsumption.
Canadians use more than nine times the water per capita that Denmark does.


"Our large land mass, cold climate and resource-intensive economy make us less likely to rank highly on some indicators of environmental sustainability, but many of our poor results are based on our inefficient use of our resources," said Len Coad, Director, Director, Energy, Environment and Technology Policy. "Canada must promote economic growth without further degrading the environment. Encouraging more sustainable consumption is crucial to achieve that objective."

A 15th place ranking, the same as in 2009, place Canada ahead of only Australia and the United States. These three countries are similar: they are three largest countries in terms of land area, and they are the most resource-intensive economies in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Canada does show some excellent environmental results. Forests are generally well-protected and well-managed. Air quality has improved modestly, energy use per person is down and water quality is still high.

But several of Canada's dismal results are due to overconsumption. In addition to generating the most waste, Canadians' water withdrawals are nearly double the average of the other countries and are lower only than the United States. And despite some improvement, Canadians are still the largest users of energy in the developed world.

Waste: In 2009, Canada generated 777 kilograms of municipal waste per capita - the 17 country average was 578 kg. Most of the waste goes to landfills or incinerators - of the 34 million tonnes generated in 2008, 26 million went there for disposal.

Energy: Canada's energy use is a mixed picture. Canadian greenhouse gas emissions per capita in 2010 earned a "D" grade, likely because of increased exports of natural resources. Yet GHG emissions per capita fell by almost five per cent between 1990 and 2010. Similarly Canada ranks 17th and last for the highest level of total energy consumption, but energy intensity decreased by almost 20 per cent between 1990 and 2009.  And Canada improved the share of its electricity produced by nuclear and renewable sources (mostly hydroelectric power) from 72 per cent in 2000 to almost 78 per cent in 2011.

Air quality: Canada's performance on all four air quality indicators in this analysis improved between 1990 and 2009. Yet, compared to most other countries, Canada still emits higher levels per capita of nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Water: At a glance, Canada enjoys abundant and safe water. For example, Canada earns an 'A' grade for water quality and ranks 4th on this indicator. Yet, regions such as the Prairies, southern Ontario and southern Quebec have water quality concerns, due in part to municipal water discharges (still, despite upgrades, one of the largest sources of pollution in Canadian waters). Furthermore, Canada's water withdrawals are nearly double the 16-country average, and Canadians use more than nine times the water per capita that Denmark does.

Forest management: Canada is a top performer in its forestry practices. Canada gets an 'A' grade and ranks second only to Japan on use of forest resources, and earns a 'B' grade for its change in forest cover between 2005 and 2010.

Biodiversity: Canada gets an "A' for the proportion of threatened species as a share of all species. Nevertheless, the number of species at risk in Canada is increasing, although federal biodiversity action plans have been prepared for the agriculture and forestry sectors. In contrast, Canada's Marine Trophic Index declined between 2000 and 2006, so Canada gets a "D" grade and ranks last on this indicator. The Marine Trophic Index is a measure of the extent to which a country is fishing for smaller species that are further down the food chain, so it measures the overall level of depletion of fish stocks.

How Canada Performs is a multi-year research program at The Conference Board of Canada to help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada's socio-economic performance. The How Canada Performs website presents data and analysis on Canada's performance compared to 16 peer countries in six performance categories: Economy, Innovation, Environment, Education and Skills, Health, and Society.

SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, will discuss how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He will discuss how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" ...
The essence of cloud computing is that all consumable IT resources are delivered as services. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, demonstrated the concepts and implementations of two important cloud computing deliveries: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). He discussed from business and technical viewpoints what exactly they are, why we care, how they are different and in what ways, and the strategies for IT to transi...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Niagara Networks exhibited at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, in November 2016. Niagara Networks offers the highest port-density systems, and the most complete Next-Generation Network Visibility systems including Network Packet Brokers, Bypass Switches, and Network TAPs.
Virtualization over the past years has become a key strategy for IT to acquire multi-tenancy, increase utilization, develop elasticity and improve security. And virtual machines (VMs) are quickly becoming a main vehicle for developing and deploying applications. The introduction of containers seems to be bringing another and perhaps overlapped solution for achieving the same above-mentioned benefits. Are a container and a virtual machine fundamentally the same or different? And how? Is one techn...
Extreme Computing is the ability to leverage highly performant infrastructure and software to accelerate Big Data, machine learning, HPC, and Enterprise applications. High IOPS Storage, low-latency networks, in-memory databases, GPUs and other parallel accelerators are being used to achieve faster results and help businesses make better decisions. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at NVIDIA, focused on some of the unique ways extreme computing is...
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Information technology (IT) advances are transforming the way we innovate in business, thereby disrupting the old guard and their predictable status-quo. It’s creating global market turbulence. Industries are converging, and new opportunities and threats are emerging, like never before. So, how are savvy chief information officers (CIOs) leading this transition? Back in 2015, the IBM Institute for Business Value conducted a market study that included the findings from over 1,800 CIO interviews ...
"We host and fully manage cloud data services, whether we store, the data, move the data, or run analytics on the data," stated Kamal Shannak, Senior Development Manager, Cloud Data Services, IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, will discuss the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information,