“Green Building in Canada: Assessing the Market Impacts and Opportunities,” a new market impact report by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), states sustainable design and construction is driving the country’s economic growth.
In 2014, green building generated $23.45 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) and produced 297,890 full-time jobs, which totals more employment than the oil and gas extraction, mining, and forestry industries combined.
Canada has the highest number of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) buildings per capita in the world. The report states when indirect and induced contributions are included, the overall economic impact of Canada’s LEED projects certified between 2005 and 2015 will lead to $128 billion in gross output over their lifetime, $62.3 billion in total GDP, and create 701,700 jobs.
“This report showcases the impressive market transformation that is underway across the country in the green building and sustainability industries,” said CaGBC’s CEO, Thomas Mueller. “By quantifying the significant economic value of green building and LEED certification, we are demonstrating green building is not just good for the environment, but it is also good for the economy. It is clear Canada’s current economy would benefit from increased investment in green building and sustainable infrastructure. We believe that a national, cross-sector strategy, led by industry and supported by all levels of government, would help further accelerate the market transition toward an economy that benefits from reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”
Ontario and British Columbia had more green building jobs as a percentage of their total labour force than any other area of the country in 2014. Their respective 2.1 and 1.6 per cent was due in part to greater market leadership, progressive building code requirements, and provincial and municipal green building policies.
Market penetration of LEED-certified buildings has been growing over the last decade from 0.8 per cent across all asset classes for 2004 – 2009 to reaching 10.7 per cent for all new construction floor space. Leading the way, 22 per cent of all new commercial buildings and approximately 30 per cent of all new institutional buildings constructed in Canada over the last five years were LEED-certified.
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