Sustainability Alignment Manual: Using Market-Based Instruments to Accelerate Sustainability Progress at the Local Level

The Sustainability Alignment Manual has been developed through a partnership between Sustainable Prosperity and Dr. Amelia Clarke from the University of Waterloo’s School of Environment, Enterprise, and Development.

It offers municipalities an inventory of market-based instruments that support the eight environmental topics most prevalent in a Sustainability Community Plan:

  • Transportation
  • Water
  • Wastewater and stormwater
  • Solid waste
  • Air quality and energy
  • Land-use
  • Climate change
  • Food security
  • Ecological diversity
  • Section 1 explains how aligning municipal price signals can contribute to the municipal SCP implementation and revenue gaps.

    Section 2 reviews the main families of market-based instruments (MBIs).

    Section 3 contains inventories of local government MBIs for each of the eight most-prevalent topics within SCPs, and provides important considerations for their use.

    Section 4 is a glossary of terms surrounding the MBIs listed in Section 3, offering a description of each MBI and the range of topics they can each support.

    Thank you to the Metcalf Foundation for financial assistance for this project.

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    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.