Launching the Net-Zero Challenge to recognize and support businesses transitioning to cleaner operations
August 26, 2022 – St-Constant, Quebec
Businesses across Canada are developing cleaner ways of doing business not just to reduce harmful emissions, but also to be more resilient and competitive in the 21st centuryeconomy.
Today, during an event at Lafarge Canada’s St-Constant cement plant, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced the launch of the Net-Zero Challenge, a new national voluntary initiative for businesses operating in Canada. Businesses that join the Challenge commit to developing and implementing credible and effective plans to transition their facilities and operations to net-zero emissions by 2050.
Minister Guilbeault announced a number of founding participants that have joined Canada’s Net-Zero Challenge. The Cement Association of Canada hosted the event and is one of the 12 Canadian organizations that have joined the Net-Zero Challenge, making a commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The Canadian cement industry is a prime example of an entire industry that is in the process of transitioning to net-zero emissions, in close collaboration with the Government of Canada.
Action on climate change must be taken seriously and that is why credibility and accountability are built into the design of the Net-Zero Challenge. For companies to join and remain in the program, they must meet minimum requirements, submit annual progress reports, and produce five-year updates of their net-zero plans. Companies that fail to meet the requirements will be removed from the program.
Companies will benefit from technical guidance, best practices, a community of peer businesses and the opportunity to highlight their commitment to achieving net-zero emissions. The Net-Zero Challenge also includes various participation tiers to encourage ambition and track progress in net-zero planning. The participation tiers begin at the Bronze level and go up to the Diamond level.
Canada’s recently announced 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan highlights the actions needed to reduce emissions in various sectors of the economy. The steps taken by businesses to reduce their emissions will complement the investments and regulatory measures that the Government of Canada is taking to fight climate change and strengthen Canada’s clean economy.
Businesses interested in joining the Net-Zero Challenge can learn more by visiting the Net-Zero Challenge website.
“Businesses planning for the future can see already that it pays to be part of the low-carbon economy of the 21st century. The Net-Zero Challenge is designed to challenge businesses, big and small, to transition to cleaner ways of doing business, and offers both the tools and recognition to support their efforts. At the same time, the Net-Zero Challenge will be backed by solid reporting requirements so that we can be sure that businesses are meeting its high standards. I encourage businesses to look into joining!”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“Canada is well-positioned to become a world leader in the net-zero economy. By working with industry, we will see Canadian companies and innovators bring in more sustainable technologies, create more jobs and more growth, and help make the world a better place for everyone. Together, we can create a sustainable market that achieves net-zero emissions by 2050 and advances Canada’s commitment to clean growth.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“Climate change is our industry’s most significant challenge. By charting a credible, transparent path to net-zero emissions, our industry continues its history of leadership in building the sustainable world of tomorrow. We are proud to be a founding participant in the Net-Zero Challenge. It is one more example of our pursuit of proactive partnerships with governments, the construction sector and civil society to support reductions in our carbon emissions by up to 40% by 2030 and net zero by 2050.”
– Adam Auer, President and CEO, Cement Association of Canada
The founding participants joining the Net-Zero Challenge include:
- Aviva Canada
- BASF Canada
- Cement Association of Canada (Ash Grove Cement, a CRH Company; Federal White Cement, Ltd.; Lafarge Canada; Lehigh Hanson; and St Marys Cement, a Votorantim Cimentos Company).
- Edmonton Regional Airports Authority
- General Motors of Canada Company
- Greater Toronto Airports Authority
- Loblaw Companies Limited
- Ottawa International Airport Authority
- Shell Canada Limited
- Vancouver Airport Authority
- Woodfibre LNG Limited
The Net-Zero Challenge builds on the momentum of global net-zero initiatives. This made-in-Canada approach is meant to be complementary to and aligned with many other international net-zero initiatives. This includes the United Nation’s Race to Zero Campaign aimed at accelerating the momentum towards a decarbonized economy and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
Companies that join the Challenge will develop a credible and robust plan to achieve the commitment of reducing emissions to net zero. The Net-Zero Challenge is open to all businesses in Canada, and will provide a framework, guidance and a community of peers to support companies in their net-zero planning.
With over 120 countries around the world moving quickly to decarbonize towards net zero, it’s essential that the business community lead the shift toward Canada’s net-zero economy. These companies realize that taking action on climate change is good for business and is in fact expected by more and more of their Canadian and global customers.
- Canada’s Net-Zero Challenge website
- Quotes from participating companies
- Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan
- Joint statement: Canada's Cement Industry and the Government of Canada announce a partnership to establish Canada as a global leader in low-carbon cement and to achieve net-zero carbon concrete
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
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