Vancouver is known as a place where the environment is top of mind, so it stands to reason the city is leading the way in making the world greener and cleaner. Vancouver has quickly become known as a major cleantech hub, with hundreds of cleantech companies boasting global and cross-sectoral expertise. Supportive government policies and programs promote innovation making clean technology a major pillar under Vancouver’s Green Economy umbrella.
- Vancouver is at the forefront of global innovation, especially in fuel cell solutions, power electronics, and waste/wastewater treatment technologies.
- Vancouver is home to world-leading companies, such as Westport Inovations (advanced natural gas engine-maker), General Fusion (nuclear fusion), Ballard Power Systems (hydrogen fuel cells) and Saltworks Technologies (waste water remediation).
- Many Vancouver-based cleantech companies are highly successful in export markets, taking advantage of Vancouver’s strategic location as a gateway to the US and Asia, including wastewater treatment specialist BioteQ Environmental Technologies, and renewable biofuel leader Nexterra Systems Corp.
- Approximately 70 per cent of the 200+ cleantech companies located in British Columbia (BC) are based in Metro Vancouver, employing more than 3,500 people. Metro Vancouver is also home to the world’s largest hydrogen and fuel cell industry, with a 16 per cent global market share.
- Vancouver’s cleantech companies are supported by an entire ecosystem of different organizations with technical and financial assistance, including the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program, Sustainable Development Technologies Canada, and the Foresight Cleantech Acceleration Centre.
Vancouver has become a hub for cleantech because of decades of innovative, green policy from both the City and the Provincial government. With the world’s first carbon tax instituted in 2008, as well as game-changing goals and strategies for the city, including the Greenest City Action Plan and the 100% Renewable Strategy. The Greenest City Action Plan (GCAP) includes commitments to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions, both from City operations and the community, and cross-cutting goals across ten-sectors. The 100% Renewable Strategy aims to remove all carbon-based energy from the city by 2050, means that the regulatory environment to spur innovation could not be stronger.
The world regards Vancouver as a true pioneer and innovator in all things green. For those interested in harnessing the power of business to advance green thinking and effect environmental change, there’s no better place to be.