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Canada's cleantech sector now leads the G20

March 29, 2018



The world's leading cleantech innovations of the next decade are likely to emerge from Canada


Canada's cleantech sector ranks fourth in the world and first among the G20 according to the 2017 Global Cleantech Innovation Index (GCII). Canada jumped ahead of the US, Israel, and the UK, climbing from a seventh place global ranking in 2014. The report attributes Canada's improvement to its tripling in the number and value of cleantech funds and domestic investors targeting the sector.


The Index is produced by the Cleantech Group (CTG) and the global conservation organization, WWF, with support from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth and the Swedish Energy Agency. GCII ranks countries by their potential to produce entrepreneurial cleantech start-up companies that will commercialize clean technology innovations over the next ten years. The index is the average of four equally-weighted pillars, built from 21 metrics and condensed into 15 indicators, which are drawn from both third party research and CTG's proprietary data. 


Some of the major take-aways include:


Canada's cleantech sector is defined by its innovative and entrepreneurial culture. The country ranks third in the general innovation drivers which are a measure of the conditions that facilitate the development of entrepreneurial activity and innovation in a country. This is certainly echoed by another recent survey which placed Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver among the top 10 cities in the world for startup culture and business opportunities (ranked 2nd, 5th and 6th respectively). 


Moreover, the report singled out Canada and Finland for their leadership in national regulatory quality and government effectiveness, praising the ability of their governments to formulate and implement policies that promote the development of the private sector. Canada ranked high for government policies which support cleantech, public R&D expenditure in the sector, the country's market attractiveness for renewable energy investment, and the level of start-up access to private finance via cleantech funds and domestic investors. Indeed, Canada, US and UK were highlighted as leaders in this space.


Canada was found to be one of four countries from which 75% of the world's successful cleantech companies emerge (along with the US, UK and Germany). Canada places fourth in the evidence of emerging cleantech innovation index pillar, which identifies early signs of cleantech innovation by measuring the flow of environmentally related patents and early-stage venture capital. According to the report, top countries in this pillar share strengths in early-stage investment activity, while also scoring high in the number of successful cleantech start-ups. 


Finally, Canada benefits from an established manufacturing industry with a strong export focus across several industrial sectors, while also scoring high within the Global Manufacturing Competitiveness.


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