A Selection of the Biggest Canadian Environmental Industry News of 2010

jennifer Bjorkman | February-14-11

As we are well on our way into 2011, here is a reflection on some of the top influential Canadian environmental industry news from last year (not in any particular order). If you think there is anything missing from the list, please share your thoughts!

1.  Gulf Spill
One of the most talked about environmental events of 2010, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had many people questioning the future of this ecologically sensitive environment. As one environmental professional pointed out, as individuals we must all try to stop events like this from happening, rather than pointing the blame. Click here to gain more insight into the thoughts of certified Environmental Professionals following the incident. 

2.  A Growing Sector in a Struggling Economy
While struggling industries were hopeful for the end of a recession, the Canadian environmental sector was booming. With increased diversification in the industry and the rise of emerging markets, the environmental sector will only continue to grow - driving environmental employment not only in Canada, but throughout the globe. Learn more about emerging environmental markets and what’s driving them in ECO Canada’s 2010 Canadian Environmental Sector Trends Report.

3.  Greater Recognition for Environmental Professionals 
With the increased growth in the environmental sector and rising spotlight on the industry, certification provides a way to separate the self-proclaimed experts from the real ones. For over a decade, ECO Canada has offered professional designations specifically for environmental professionals. In August 2010, in an effort to increase recognition of qualified Environmental Professionals throughout Canada, ECO Canada merged these previously seven separate designations into one solid designation – the Environmental Professional (EP) certification, creating a clear and strong identity for environmental professionals. 

4.  Climate Change
Although the cause and consequences continue to spark a debate, we can all agree global warming has become a heated (no pun intended) topic of discussion. Whatever your stance, working together to address environmental issues is never a bad thing. Organized by the WWF, Earth Hour 2010 was the biggest earth hour yet, with over 128 countries joining in to raise awareness for sustainability issues.

5. The “Green” Economy
An expansive emerging industry, the “Green” Economy encompasses a wide variety of definitions and occupations. In such a significant segment with several meanings it is important to create a clear definition and understanding of this growing industry. Learn more about this developing sector in ECO Canada’s latest report Defining the Green Economy

6. A Snapshot of Canadian Environmental Employment
As the environmental sector continues to grow and evolve, ECO Canada is focused on creating a clear definition of environmental employment. The unique Profile of Canadian Environmental Employment, prepared in 2010 by ECO Canada represents the most comprehensive estimate of environmental employment and use of environmental skills in Canada. It is the first study performed by ECO Canada that measures the number of workers employed in specific environmental occupations.

7.  Canada’s Oil Sand Industry
Canada’s Oil Sand industry draws quite a lot of attention, good and bad. According to the Canadian Association for Petroleum Producers (CAPP), the Canadian Oil Sands account for 6 per cent of Canada’s GDP and 26 per cent of all Canadian exports. This resource attracts a large amount of concern regarding the environmental impacts of its extraction. In an effort to bring attention to the diligence of environmental professionals, CAPP recently launched a national advertising campaign explaining the oil refining process and debunking myths about the industry.

8. Environmental Regulation
In a constantly evolving sector, changes in policy and regulation are expected. According to the 2010 Canadian Environmental Sector Trends Report prepared by ECO Canada, direct government spending on the environment, environmental regulation, and incentives to encourage environmental investment were key drivers of environmental growth this past year.

9. A fury of Natural Disasters
The Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) recognized 2010 as the worst year for natural disasters in two decades. Devastating natural disasters such as the Haiti earthquake and the Russian heat waves were among the deadliest, while other catastrophes left many helpless, such as the Pakistan floods which displaced over 20 million people. Margareta Wahlstrom, UN Secretary-General for Special Representative for Disaster Reduce, recently spoke out; "unless we act now, we will see more and more disasters due to unplanned urbanisation and environmental degradation."

10. Greener business practices
Corporate environmental sustainability have been becoming a focus and priority as the many of organizations develop initiatives, strategies, and products focused on incorporating greener business practices including greater efforts towards pollution prevention and waste elimination. 

ECO Canada wants to know what you think was the biggest environmental industry news of last year and why. Share your thoughts below!