Oil and gas continues to lead in environmental protection spending
Canada’s oil and gas industry continues to spend more on environmental protection than any other sector, according to the latest federal data.
Statistics Canada reports that oil and gas producers spent $3.1 billion on environmental protection in 2019, the highest of all 20 industries in the annual survey.
More than 1/3 of Canadian spending on environment
The investment by oil and gas producers represents more than a third of total environmental protection spending in Canada. It is more than three times the amount spent by the next-highest industry on the list, Mining and Quarrying, at $882 million. Primary Metal Manufacturing was third, with $786 million spent in 2019.
Greater investment in machinery and equipment
Statistics Canada’s report of environmental protection spending includes operating costs, like salaries and services, as well as capital costs, like machinery and equipment. To be considered as investment in environmental protection, the money must be used to prevent, reduce or eliminate pollution or other environmental degradation, or restore the environment from a degraded state.
Oil and gas is the only industry that spent more in 2019 on environmental protection machinery and equipment (59%) than on salaries and services (41%). By comparison, 35% of Mining and Quarrying’s spend went to capital costs and 65% on operating expenses.
Across sectors, businesses spent the most on wastewater management ($3.3 billion), followed by solid waste management ($1.9 billion) and air pollution management ($1.6 billion).
Alberta leads in environmental protection spending
The highest expenditure by province occurred in Alberta, where companies in all sectors spent nearly $3.4 billion on environmental protection in 2019. This represents almost 40% of spending across the country, which Statistics Canada says is because of the prominence of the oil and gas industry. Next highest was businesses in Ontario, which spent approximately $2 billion on environmental protection in 2019.