The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) recently launched a new initiative designed to rally support for a green recovery that includes green building. Industry leaders Real Property Association of Canada (REALPAC), Canadian Urban Institute, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and more have lent their support to encourage government decision-makers to direct stimulus spending toward green building initiatives.

According to research from CaGBC, Canada’s green building sector already contributes $47.9 billion to the GDP and employs almost half a million people. As part of a new report coming this fall, a government stimulus package that prioritizes green building can contribute almost $150 billion to the economy and employ 1.5 million people by 2030.

“We firmly believe that investments in green building will not only help to reignite Canada’s economy, but provide opportunities that no other sector can offer,” said Thomas Mueller, president and CEO of CaGBC. “Green buildings offer an immediate financial return on investment as they are less expensive to operate and are healthier for occupants. Even better, they will benefit Canadians for years to come by driving sectoral innovation and creating skilled jobs, all while reducing the carbon impact from buildings.”

Following the unprecedented global health crisis of COVID-19, Canada is presented with the challenge of reigniting a stalled economy. Like the 2008 recession, governments are likely to turn to economic pillars such as construction and infrastructure to create urgently needed jobs.

Such a massive investment will have far-reaching impacts for Canadians well into the future. But as Canada battles this pandemic and its economic fallout, the government must not overlook the opportunity to achieve its commitment of net-zero emission by 2050.

“In these difficult times, it is easy to lose sight of other challenges we face right now,” said Mueller. “Canada has less than ten years to reach its 2030 targets on carbon reduction. Without targeted action today, future generations will suffer from significant environmental, economic, and social disruptions that will outpace the impact of COVID-19.”

CaGBC will publish the full Green Building in Canada report in September. The report will provide a deep dive into the national and regional green building market.

In the meantime, the CaGBC is asking building industry leaders to add their voice to the call for a green recovery that prioritizes green building by providing feedback here.

Featured image credit: Vancouver Convention Centre (LEED certified).

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