Toronto/Calgary – In honour of Earth Day (April 22), the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released a new report on the environment that shows a majority of small business owners believe it is possible to grow the economy and the environment at the same time.
“It’s easy to think that, in order to protect the environment, we need to have more laws and taxes. But CFIB’s report shows that small businesses are already taking responsibility to protect the environment because they personally believe in this approach,” said Monique Moreau, Vice-President of National Affairs at CFIB.
The report, Green Growth: How SMEs are working toward a greener future, is based on a CFIB survey that reveals that a majority of small business owners have already been implementing environmentally friendly measures such as introducing or expanding recycling, reducing their electricity usage or using more environmentally friendly products in their business.
How to help small business go even greener?
“It is essential that governments not only include small businesses in the conversation around issues such as emissions reductions and climate change, but also recognize the work that they are already doing to help the environment,” reminded Moreau. “The best way for governments to help small businesses ‘go green’ is to provide them with information, tools, and resources tailored to their reality to ensure they can continue investing in both their business and the environment.”
The report found a majority of small business owners are motivated by their own personal views, such as their commitment to do their part to protect the environment for their children and grandchildren. Half of small business owners also identified the potential cost savings as a motivation for implementing environmentally friendly measures.
Punitive measures such as carbon taxes, and additional fees or regulations, may not be the most effective course of action to encourage small businesses to go green. Rather, a strong majority (91%) preferred that government instead focus on raising awareness on existing energy efficient measures, on research and innovation of clean tech (86%), and on increased financial incentives for energy efficiency such as tax credits or rebates (84%).
“Until we know what kind of environmental policy will be implemented south of the border, it would be premature to place an undue burden on Canadian SME’s through new taxes and regulations,” warned Moreau.
Read the report “Green Growth: How SMEs are working toward a greener future.”
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.