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Canada’s Cleantech Industry Tackles Challenges from Energy to Agriculture

$17 billion in revenue. 55,000 jobs. 800 companies and growing.

Canada’s rapidly growing cleantech sector has now surpassed traditional industries such as aerospace, automotive, and pharmaceuticals. Cleantech—technology focused on making products and industrial processes more sustainable, environmentally friendly, and efficient—includes innovative work on biofuels, water management, oil and gas, agriculture, and more.

Organizations like Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) help bring cleantech to market by investing in sustainable companies, while government initiatives and tax incentives have helped spur sustainability-minded innovation across many economic sectors. Considering the importance of renewable energy, it comes as little surprise that international markets play a significant investment role in Canada’s cleantech industry, with 34% of the industry’s revenue coming from the US.

Innovation in Cleantech

Companies whose products are unrelated to cleantech have stepped up their efforts with more environmentally friendly industrial practices, investing in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and finding ways to operate more sustainably. From an increase in “green” office buildings to pollution-reduction campaigns, Canadians are innovating for the future.

EVP interviewed leadership from several pivotal cleantech leaders in Canada:

Reclamation from Wastewater Systems

Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies has done groundbreaking work to protect water resources with its nutrient management solution which optimizes wastewater treatment and helps to protect precious water resources by upcycling essential but otherwise polluting nutrients into a fertilizer that significantly reduces run-off. Ostara Co-founder and CEO, Phillip Abrary, proudly shared, “Ostara commercialized a solution for not just recovering nutrients from wastewater streams, but transforming them into a high-purity, high-performing, Root Activated™ fertilizer called Crystal Green®.” To learn more about how the “Ostara Nutrient Recovery Solution” transforms cities, read here.

Smart Grid for Canada

Schneider Electric Canada (a division of Schneider Electric SA based in France) creates sustainable solutions for electric utilities. Hoping to harness local talent at Ryerson University to develop a smarter electricity grid for Canada, the company recently opened the Schneider Electric Smart Grid Lab at Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Energy. “Our platform of energy measurement and monitoring is a flagship, world-leading product line,” stated President Juan Macias.

Reducing Chemical Waste

Potash, a potassium compound especially used in agriculture or industry is one of Canada’s most important trade commodities. One of its industry leaders, Western Potash, is pioneering a new extraction method that reduces chemical waste byproduct and lowers the environmental impact on nearby agricultural lands. “This selective solution mining process has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and utilize recycled water from nearby cities. No one has tried something like this in Saskatchewan. If it’s successful, it would be a much cheaper, much more environmentally friendly, and a much quicker way to extract potash from the deposits around Saskatchewan,” stated Project Director Matthew Wood.

High Fidelity

“Hifi’s technology addresses the pipeline industry challenges of space and time—where the leak is and how long it’s been leaking—through high fidelity, fully distributed fiber optic sensing along every centimeter of the pipe, with the integration of acoustics, temperature, vibrations and strain optimized for long distance,” explained Hifi Engineering President and CEO Steven Koles. This innovative cleantech company plans to be a game-changer in Canada’s oil and gas industry.

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