In order to remain the “go to” organization for policy and market innovation, Sustainable Prosperity conducts research and development into emerging issues. In particular, we focus on market-based instruments, conducting original research in areas where we can make a unique contribution.

Top Policy Research Priorities
  • Effectiveness and Limits of Market-based Instruments (MBIs)
  • Greening Canada’s Economy: Specific Policy Opportunities
  • Emerging Environmental Pricing Reform (EPR) Issues
  • Developing New Environment/Economy Indices & Greening the GDP
  • Innovation, Productivity, and Fiscal Sustainability:

Sustainable Prosperity's Submission to the Draft Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario

Sustainable Prosperity commends the Government of Ontario for its ambitious Draft Strategy for a Waste-Free Ontario: Building the Circular Economy and we welcome the opportunity to provide input. SP is not an expert in all aspects of waste management and resource recovery, but we do have some expertise to share on potentially enhancing waste diversion and resource recovery outcomes through the use of economic instruments.

Improving Audit Mechanisms for Environmental Information Disclosure Programs

Studies founded both in economic theory and empirical research have shown that when firms self-report their pollution, their environmental performance improves. However, the success of this approach depends upon compliance by firms, and budgetary constraints for enforcement provisions of environmental information disclosure programs may limit their effectiveness in promoting environmentally beneficial outcomes. A fine-based enforcement system can usually deter non-compliance, but requires (especially when fines are capped) sufficiently high audit probabilities to do so. These probabilities can be costly for regulators to achieve.

Environmental Taxes in Canada

This Issue Summary is based on recent work conducted by Sustainable Prosperity that categorizes environmental taxes in Canada based on their goals and objectives. The research shows that while environmental taxes are used across Canada, the vast majority of environmental taxes are not designed with a specific environmental objective.

Bonds and Climate Change 2014

This is the third annual update of the Bonds and Climate Change report and its Canadian supplement. Since the first report in 2012, the climate bonds landscape in both Canada and the world has changed dramatically.

Growing Risk, The impact of changes in agricultural production on consumer expenditures in Canada

Environmental trends, particularly declining water availability, soil depletion, and climate change, will impact food production in Canada and globally. These trends will change the growing conditions for agriculture by impacting temperatures, rainfall patterns, length of growing season, and fertilizer requirements. In some scenarios they may have a positive impact on agricultural productivity, and in other scenarios the effect is likely negative.

Bonds and Climate Change 2013

In our 2013 Canadian supplement to this year's Bonds and Climate Change report(external link) by the Climate Bonds Initiative, Sustainable Prosperity found that Canada's C$5.7 billion-dollar green bond universe is starting to mature.

Porter Hypothesis Meta-Analysis: Summary

Despite twenty years of intense research by policy makers and academics alike, there is little consensus on the extent to which (if at all) well-designed environmental regulation may spur technological innovation and enhance competitiveness. This lack of clarity presents a significant challenge to the formulation of environmental policy that safeguards both economic and environmental sustainability.

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Economy-Wide and Emerging Issues

Economy-Wide and Emerging Issues

About the Project

The goal of this project is to shed light on the relationship between economic activity and the environment by exploring the linkages between changes in our natural capital and our measures of productivity generally, and through the construction of an environmentally adjusted measure of productivity specifically.

While it is now commonly accepted that economic activity and the state of our environment are linked, many economic measures still fail to incorporate the environment – both the things we draw from it and the pollution we release into it. By developing and calculating measures of productivity that include natural capital, Canada may be able to better understand these linkages. This, in turn, may lead to the identification of strategies that can help Canada become more efficient and innovative in the use and protection of natural capital, and thus more productive and more prosperous.

Using the forestry sector as a case study, this project aims to construct an environmentally adjusted measure of multifactor productivity. In doing so, we aim to add another layer of understanding to the environmental and economic performance of this sector. The proposed measure will have relevance to the Canadian economy as a whole.