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:

Beneficial Corporations Issue Summary

The “B Corp” certification promises that a company meets social and environmental standards: B Corporations include these goals in their founding legal documents. There are over 500 certified B Corporations in the United States, and over 47 in Canada. British Columbia has created a new legal type of company, called “community contribution corporations”.

Sustainable Prosperity’s report will be of interest to those working in social finance or corporate law, to policy-makers, and to sustainability-focused entrepreneurs.

Related Materials:

SP White Paper

Jurisdictions from Germany to China are developing policies to spur new forms of green economic development. For Canada, the concept involves challenges and opportunities, particularly in light of the importance of the natural resources sector to our prosperity. Sustainable Prosperity’s latest White Paper, entitled Towards a Green Economy for Canada provides the basic state of knowledge and framework for developing a definition of a green economy that would be relevant to policy makers and the private sector.

Green Bonds

As fixed-income securities that raise capital for projects with specific environmental benefits, the Green Bonds Policy Brief states, green bonds are an important mechanism for transitioning to a low carbon, resource efficient and resilient economy. The bonds can be used to fund a variety of projects including public transit, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Bonds and Climate Change

The study, entitled Bonds and Climate Change : The State of the Market in 2012, concludes that over US$174 billion of climate and/or green “themed” bonds have already been issued by corporations and international financial institutions, and that the market – both from the supply of new bonds to the demand for such bonds from institutional investors – is growing rapidly.

National Capital

Countries like Norway are using this framework to understand how the “drawing down” of non-renewable natural capital (mostly their offshore oil reserves) leads to increases in other forms of capital in their society. This gives them a unique perspective on the long-term basis for their prosperity, and helps to justify some of the choices they are making in energy policy. Such a framework, and the information it provides to policy makers and to the general public, would be of great utility in the Canadian context.

Sustainable Investment in Canada

Dana Krechowicz and Alex Wood contributed two chapters to the recently released book - Evolutions in Sustainable Investing: Strategies, Funds and Thought Leadership, edited by Cary Krosinsky, Nick Robins and Stephen Viederman. Dana and Alex co-authored the chapter on sustainable investment in Canada, and Dana wrote a case study on Northwest and Ethical Investments.

Options for Managing Industrial Air Pollution in Canada

Options for Managing Industrial Air Pollution in Canada discusses how industrial emitters are responsible for a large proportion of emissions of smog and acid-rain-causing pollutants. The current approach to reducing the emissions of air pollutants at the provincial/territorial level in Canada largely consists of command and control regulations, with some exceptions; this, and the need to continue to make improvements in air quality, suggest that there is scope for the greater adoption of economic instruments for air quality management.


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.