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Montreal’s Climate Plan: 6 Opportunities Businesses Need to Know in 2021

A few weeks ago, the city of Montreal unveiled its Climate Plan for 2020–2030. This 10-year plan introduces 46 actions that the city sets out to reach its ambitious goals of carbon neutrality by 2050. Businesses and organizations play a significant role in the city’s green transition, and those seizing opportunities early will put themselves at a comparative advantage. 

1. Jump onto Circular Economy 

Whether you’re in manufacturing or retail (or any industry), you need to find your way in the circular economy, if you haven’t started already. The city of Montreal will continue and increase its support for circular economy initiatives through programs, hubs, and investment funds. Incentive programs will also be developed to support business in the transition to a circular economy, so keep an eye out for them! 

2. Rethink transportation 

Electrification of vehicles has long been on our radar since the release of Quebec’s Green Plan (read our article on how businesses can adapt to Quebec’s Green Plan here). By 2035, Quebec will ban the sale of gas-fueled vehicles and Montreal is leading the way of electrifying mobility. 

  • There will be a large and growing demand for commercial electric vehicles and charging stations. 
  • Electric vehicles are also finding their ways in the urban delivery industry, as there will be incentives and projects deployed to increase zero emission deliveries. 
  • To supplement robust public transportation like the metro and buses, the city will continue its support for services such as car sharing, the taxi industry and carpooling services. 

3. Incentive for remote work

One more way to eliminate transportation-based emissions? Reducing work-related travel! The city is introducing incentive programs for large businesses to reduce staff solo car trips and encouraging senior managers to favour telework for all positions that allow it. If you’re already pondering the decision whether your business should transition back to in-person work, our article next week will break down the pros and cons of remote work. Stay tuned!

4. Renovate and innovate 

The Climate Plan makes it clear that amongst all building owners and developers, early adopters of environmental innovations will be rewarded. Montreal is offering financial aid programs with residential, commercial and industrial purposes to adopt environmental innovations. 

  • Sustainable or ecological construction and energy efficiency projects will be encouraged by the city with resources and support. 
  • Since oil heating systems produce significant GHG emissions, the city will incentivize electrifying residential building heating systems.
  • Changes in urban planning opens up opportunities for converting open-air parking lots into greening projects and real-estate developments in line with sustainable practices. 

5. Invest in sustainable food systems 

Beyond the lively restaurant and cafe culture of Montreal, our city is also investing in food by focusing on urban agriculture and food waste. There are several initiatives in place to promote urban agriculture and innovation in this sector in Montreal. Developing urban agriculture aligns with the city’s greening plan while it also contributes to food resiliency. The city also plans to launch a strategy to reduce food waste by 50 per cent by 2025. With tonnes of food wasted every year in various stages from farm to table, businesses have many opportunities for innovation in efficiency gains through waste reduction, food-processing and redistribution.

6. Network and collaborate 

The city is planning to not only provide resources to businesses to be more sustainable, but also to set up groups and spaces for various agents of change.

  • Industrial hubs will be created to facilitate networking among industries, stores and community organizations to encourage more involvement in circular economy practices.
  • As initiated by the Quebec government, there will be innovation zones that will host industrial, entrepreneurial, knowledge, networking and collaborative activities to nurture emerging technologies.

 

With ambitious GHG emissions targets, the city of Montreal placed a significant emphasis in municipal stakeholder involvement for the success of the plan implementation. The city will be integrating climate criteria into its decision making, taking GHG emissions impact into consideration and whether it helps achieve the city’s climate goals, which means every company will need to address it sooner than later. This new era of sustainability presents challenges but also opportunities for businesses to place sustainability in the forefront of business strategy. With this breakdown, we hope Montreal businesses will take advantage of this opportunity to thrive on these changes.

Want to seize opportunities in any of the above fields of sustainability? Book a free consultation with us HERE.