Green building helps drive Canada's economic growth
The green building industry generated $23.45 billion in gross domestic product in Canada during the last decade and represented nearly 300,000 jobs across the country in 2014, according to a new report.
The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and The Delphi Group report titled “Green Building in Canada: Assessing the Market Impacts & Opportunities” details the wide economic impact green building has had in Canada, reports the website sourceable.com. The industry’s connected jobs outnumbered those in Canada’s oil and gas extraction, mining and forestry industries combined, the study found.
Canada is a global leader in green building with the highest number of LEED buildings per capita in the world, sourceable.com said. The report finds, when indirect and induced contributions are included, the overall economic impact of Canada’s LEED projects certified from 2005–15 will lead to $128 billion in gross output over their lifetime, $62.3 billion in total GDP, and create 701,700 jobs.
“By quantifying the significant economic value and growth of green building and LEED certification in Canada, we are demonstrating that green building is not just good for the environment, but it is also good for the economy,” said Thomas Mueller, president and CEO of the Canada Green Building Council. “It is clear that Canada’s current economy would benefit from increased investment in green building and sustainable infrastructure.”
Designed to support accelerated market transformation to high-performing, healthy green buildings and communities in Canada, the report provides an overview of the current status of activities in Canada’s green building industry. The report, sponsored by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) highlights many significant impacts and findings including:
- Ontario and British Columbia have more green building jobs as a percent of their total labor force than any other areas of the country in 2014 – equal to 2.1 and 1.6 percent, respectively, due in part to greater market leadership, progressive building code requirements, provincial and municipal green building policies.
- Companies active in the construction and trades segment accounted for the largest percentage (55 percent) of green building employment and GDP in Canada, equal to approximately 164,445 jobs (approximately 13 percent of Canada’s total construction workforce) and $13.13 billion dollars in GDP.
- The market penetration of LEED-certified buildings in Canada has been growing over the last decade, from 0.8 percent across all asset classes for the period of 2004-09, reaching 10.7 percent for all new construction floor space (for the period of 2009 to 2014). Leading the way, 22 percent of all new commercial buildings, and approximately 30 percent of all new institutional buildings constructed in Canada over the last five years were LEED-certified.