A Bold Green Recovery Roundtable Discussion with Toby Heaps
Adapted from Fall 2020’s entrepreneurship@UBC Immersion Week
evolution is a podcast shining light on our ecosystem’s stories of innovation, impact, and hustle throughout their venture-building journey. Join us as we build community and knowledge related to entrepreneurship during the course of COVID-19.
The topic that should be on everyone's mind? Climate change. A Bold Green Recovery Roundtable Discussion with Toby Heaps, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, Corporate Knights, is another incredible live session that came from our entrepreneurship@UBC Immersion Week, with speakers Jeanette Jackson, CEO, Foresight; Janice Larson, Strategic Policy, Planning & Partnerships, Muse & Effect Consulting; John Steen, Director of the Bradshaw Initiative in Minerals & Mining; Terri Lynn Morrison, Director of Strategic Partnerships & Communications, Indigenous Clean Energy; and EiRs and Co-leads of our Climate Venture Studio at entrepreneurship@UBC, Paul Needham and Shannon Bard. These experts discuss the climate emergency, how innovators can be a force for change and the role of entrepreneurs in creating a better future.
To read a full transcript, see below:
MJ Araujo: Hi everyone and welcome. Today's episode is from a past entrepreneurship@UBC Immersion Week Session features a roundtable discussion with Toby Heaps around the report he co-wrote called Building Back Better with a Bold Green Recovery. Without further ado, here is Shannon Bard introducing the session.
Shannon Bard: Hello, everyone. My name is Shannon Bard and I'm an Entrepreneur in Residence at entrepreneurship@UBC. I'm also the Co-lead of the new Climate Venture Studio, along with Paul Needham, who will be our roundtable facilitator today. Now, just before we begin, I would like to acknowledge that UBC’s Vancouver Point Grey Campus is situated on the traditional ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam people. I'd also like to acknowledge that we have many people that are joining us from near and far, both on the panel and also in the audience, and just wanted to acknowledge the traditional owners and caretakers of their respective lands as well.
Now, the climate emergency is the most pressing issue that we have faced in society today. As entrepreneurs and innovators, we have a responsibility to be keeping that climate emergency at the core of everything that we're doing, and to positively impact our future, and how we can create a more sustainable and greener world. So as UBC’s venture building program, or entrepreneurship@UBC, we're really at the forefront of innovation on campus. We're working across faculties and departments of the university. We're working with researchers and students who share this cause, and are commercializing different innovations into companies. And these will literally change the world. So if you're turning into sessions for the first time today, we have just announced that entrepreneurship@UBC and the Foresight Cleantech Accelerator have signed a memorandum of understanding, and we're committed to creating pathways to commercialization for breakthrough innovations that are coming out of the at UBC through our new Climate Venture Studio. So this collaboration is going to leverage Foresight’s flagship accelerator programming and their robust network of different mentors and corporate partners. It's going to help us to take technological innovations to tackle widespread climate challenges, from the ideation stage all the way to large-scale impact, provide that support all along the funnel. So Foresight is going to be collaborating with entrepreneurship@UBC to create these opportunities for our ventures to be successful in achieving market readiness, and addressing real-world sustainability challenges. So I'm so pleased that Janette Jackson, who's the CEO for Foresight is joining us today as an expert commentator. And we'll be hearing from her in just a minute.
But first, I'm going to introduce my fellow Entrepreneur in Residence and the Co-lead of the Climate Venture Studio, our facilitator today, Paul Needham. Paul is a multi-time entrepreneur. He recently returned from India where he created a rooftop solar leasing company that provides clean energy services to farmers and shopkeepers in rural India. And I'll pass it over to you now, Paul.
Paul Needham: Thank you so much, Shannon. So we are gathered here today, from the comfort and safety of our homes and offices, keeping our physical distances from each other, but also contemplating how we might come together to address the three major crises that we now must confront: the public health emergency, the economic damage it has wrought, and the biggest and most complex of all, the climate emergency.
I'm very, very pleased to be joined today by five great thinkers and doers to discuss bold green recovery and Canada's special responsibility and opportunity to build back better and to lead. The problem with introducing such esteemed experienced and impressive achievers is the length and breadth of their bios, so please forgive me in advance for providing very brief summaries of their remarkable careers. The conversation will be led today by Toby Heaps, the CEO and Editor in Chief and Co-founder of Corporate Knights magazine, really the voice of clean capitalism. As one of the world's largest circulation magazines focused on the intersection of business and sustainability, Corporate Knights is the most prominent brand in the clean capitalism media space. In 1998, Toby played centerfield for Yugoslavia's National Baseball team. So thank you for joining us, Toby.
Following Toby, we'll hear from Janice Larson. Janice is a policy planning and partnerships consultant with over 22 years of experience in public policy development and implementation. She's led a career in public service as the Executive Director Regional Innovation initiatives with the BC Ministry of technology, innovation, and Citizen Services but also with the BC Ministry of advanced education. Also with the BC Ministry of Transportation, also, as the Director of Renewable Energy Development with the BC Ministry of Energy and really so much more. In 2008, Janice traveled all the way across Canada on a vehicle powered not by hydrocarbons, not by solar energy, but by carbohydrates. She cycled amazing.
We also are going to hear from John Stean, Professor, Ernst and Young distinguished scholar and global mining futures at the University of British Columbia, and Director of the Bradshaw research initiative on minerals and mining. For John, one Ph.D. in biochemistry wasn't enough. So he completed another, a Ph.D. in Business Strategy from the University of Queensland. So he's particularly well qualified to speak about the challenges and opportunities for translating research into impact.
We also are privileged to have Terri Lynn Morrison joining us today, Terri Lynn is the newest member of the team at Indigenous Clean Energy. A Mi'gmaq [Meeg mahg] from Listuguj [Lis-tu-guj], Quebec, Terri Lynn brings 20 years of experience working for Indigenous communities, and as Project Director of the MIU Wind Farm, developed a major 150MW wind project that will continue to deliver benefits for the Mi'gmaq [Meeg mahg] communities and indeed all of Canada for many decades to come.
And finally, I'm very pleased to welcome CEO of Foresight, Jeanette Jackson. Jeanette’s a multi award-winning sustainability champion, a sought-after public speaker and a leading advisor to the clean tech industry. Thank you Jeanette for joining us. Thank you, all of us for joining us,
Toby I'm going to hand it over to you now. We're very interested to hear your perspective on building back better.
Toby Heaps: Thanks, Paul. We've heard people say the environment and economy go together? Well, we people have been saying it for a long time. People wished it was true it wasn't always true, and a lot of times it wasn't true. But in the last five or 10 years, in particular, in more and more parts of the economy that are a bigger piece of the economic pie. The solutions have been growing faster than the problems. I guess it goes back to about 2018. Corporate was looking at the progress in Canada, implementing decarbonization. And the pace of change wasn't keeping up with where we needed to go or where the rest of the world was going. Carbon Tax was not really serving the purpose. And so we started to look at what the role of the financial sector could be. And we did a report with the Toronto finance International, which is sort of like the trade lobby group for all the big banks and pension funds to look at what would be the economic opportunity if the financial sector was to drive decarbonization.
In order to do that, we had to do sort of a quick kind of analysis on the major sources of carbon, which is pretty easy to get from green Environment Canada, and then look at what were the opportunities technologies to decarbonize the power system, the transport system for building, electrify the buildings, decarbonize industry, energy sector, and what will be the capital requirements to do that? And then how would that be financed and what could be the financial fees. One of the interesting things in that study was the financial sector, namely the pension funds, big insurance companies, of which we have a large number of the world's most significant investors by size, because of our pension fund structure. Some of our family-owned businesses like power Corp, and Brookfield, which are more publicly held but founded by some families, were that we had a huge opportunity to make money in the burgeoning sort of sustainable Wealth Management space. In the burgeoning global green infrastructure space which is starved for capital, especially in emerging markets where they're prepared to pay a yield, and not necessarily implementing all these projects. So what we discovered was there was a potential $110 billion opportunity over five years for the Canadian financial sector, which is a pretty significant piece of revenue.
The more interesting piece of that whole analysis was that what would be the cost, the capital costs of decarbonizing the whole Canadian economy? So we finished that and then 2019 kind of came along. We did a sort of another initiative to sort of seeing what would be a capital plan for Canada to fully decarbonize, how much would it cost? Then 2020 hit, and we were really kind of revving up to try and get the political consensus for allocating 1 or 2% of GDP per year, to invest in the green economy to really kickstart these opportunities. And the pandemic hit just after we were in Ottawa and asking people, briefing ministers officials, and they told us that these ideas were way too big, and we had to take a few zeros off of them. And they were never going to happen, the pandemic it and then all of a sudden, the direction we and others got was, okay, bring back the big ideas, the number of zeros is no longer a constraint, these sort of vaults are open. And so we listed some of the top modelers in Canada, Ralph Torrie, and Celine Bak.
Ralph Torrie is one of the top energy greenhouse gas modelers in the world. And we worked with him to create some open-source models, which are on our website, you can download for free in Excel for the power system, the transport system, and the building sector, both the commercial and the residential, to answer sort of some key questions, which is, how much would it cost to decarbonize all of these huge sectors in the Canadian economy? How much greenhouse gases would be reduced? If we were to do this, and we were optimizing, trying to get down as close to zero as possible, but it was less than zero, because we had to deal with impractical, practical limits. How many jobs would this create, and how much savings would this lead to, and we were hopeful. We weren't going to cook the analysis, but we were hopeful that when we went through this, we would figure out some number that wasn't too crazy high, about how much it was gonna cost to decarbonize the economy, and somehow it would kind of balance out. And what we found is, if the policies is well crafted, and there's green strings attached to the free money that the federal government can hand out, in the sort of order of about 1% of GDP, it's quite possible to decarbonize the economy in a way that has quite positive impacts on the economy in terms of growth, and jobs.
From a total sort of cost perspective, we found that if the government was to inject 1% into the economy across six different themes, but really three themes, kind of dominating 60% of that, and those three themes being the deep retrofit in the electrification of our building SOC, residential and commercial. And then at $20 billion r&d deployment grant strategies are crowding additional private capital, to innovate in the electrification of the transportation sector, namely batteries, and cars and do the same thing for the natural resource sector. Such as low carbon economy, minerals, copper, nickel, cobalt, a whole host, lithium, and sustainable aviation, biofuels, and clean hydrogen. They're tremendous, tremendous growth markets for us to be able to capitalize on. So at a sort of headline number, what we found is that if you put that 1% in it over the first five years, it works out to about $110 billion, it crowds in six times more than that from the private sector and other sources $681 billion. Through multipliers, non-counting induced, distracted interact, you get gross value added in the neighborhood of about $1.6 trillion, and so it's pretty significant.
The economy, from a jobs perspective, creates about 6 million job-years, over the time period. So a lot of jobs and a lot of GDP growth. And from the energy savings perspective, it reduces our energy bills, both pumps and power, and utility bills by $43 billion a year. Bringing that home to the individual who's driving an Eevee vehicle, they'd be saving about $900 per year, and mostly through that it’s cheaper to move the car with electricity, and then gas. And the average household would be saving about $1400 a year through its deep retrofit and electrification. And one of the interesting things we found was if you electrify the building stock, this is Ralph's modeling, a lot of people think that would boost the total demand for electricity but in fact, it nets out if you do it at the same time. If you combine the deep retrofit with electricity the buildings are so much more efficient than even though they're using electricity now for heating purposes, they overall are using less electricity than they were before because they become more efficient.
Part of the key to making this work is we need to move quickly because the whole world is now piling in on green recovery packages. We have a large debt, we need to figure out what is our next growth engine. I think that the main message I would leave is, we've tended to come at the green economy from the green perspective, it's time to come at the green economy from the economic perspective because the solutions are really growing faster than the problems. Whether it's the building green building sector, the transportation, electrification, transportation, the energy, the sort of decarbonization and renewed rise of the renewables, or food in terms of the rise of sustainable and organic and plant-based proteins as well, the solutions are all growing much faster than the problem.
The companies who are laying down big, putting their money on the solutions are winning big compared to the companies that are sticking with the status quo. And that goes, not just for companies, but for countries. I would say probably the most inspiring thing about the whole project was that we did and ended up involving 4000 people from across the country. Hundreds of analysts and experts from across the country feeding into it and then were able to inform some of the discussions going on at the federal level. The template was picked up by some leaders nationally as a template for experimenting in other countries, including by the Prince of Wales, in the UK, with some initiatives leading to the Glasgow Climate Summit. So creating these open source transparent models where people can change assumptions was a really valuable resource. So anyone in this field who wants to dig deeper, you can go to the white papers for each of the different six segments, Corporate Knights, I think it's four slash green recovery, data recovery, you can Google it, it comes out pretty quick. And it's all free, you can use it as you want. I think it's a great resource, a lot of Ralph Tori's sort of lifetime work went into that and it can give people a crystal ball.
The most inspiring thing that came out into this whole thing is that when you look at the stuff that's growing really fast, and you look at what Canada has, it becomes really, really clear about what we should do. We have everything you need to win on the battery side, we have all the minerals you need to make those batteries for vehicles, we have carbon fibers in the bitumen, which could be a market larger than the best heydays of the oil sands markets over $100 billion a year of exports. We're the largest exporter in the world of policies, major plant protein, and we have the cheapest green hydrogen and blue hydrogen in the world right now. So in the green building sector, we have 12 of the 40 largest real estate investors on the planet headquartered in Canada. That's astounding, so if we nail this green building process, financing technology here, we have these platforms, these management platforms to export that excellence around the world and achieve greenhouse gas reductions around the world but also boost our competitiveness. So this is really about the economy now and maybe I'll just stop there because we have some amazing panelists with us. I would be really curious to hear how this might apply to the things that you're looking at and to get into the discussion. Thank you.
“The most inspiring thing that came out into this whole thing is that when you look at the stuff that's growing really fast, and you look at what Canada has, it becomes really, really clear about what we should do. We have everything you need to win on the battery side, we have all the other all the all the minerals you need to make that batteries for vehicles, we have we have a carbon fibers in the bitumen, which could be a market larger than the best heydays of the oil sands markets over $100 billion a year of exports.”
Paul Needham: Thank you so much, Toby, Janice.
Janice Larson: Thank you, Toby. And thanks to entrepreneurship@UBC for getting us all together to talk about this. Toby, I really must thank you and your colleagues for pulling together such a clear and thoughtful synthesis of all those big chewy reports. I think you have identified the right themes for us to focus on. I couldn't agree more that this is a singular opportunity for governments to attach green strings to build back better funds.
I'm particularly moved by the opportunity and the imperative to tackle the built environment for all of the reasons that were identified in your synopsis. It's the fastest and the easiest, and arguably the most democratic way to achieve action. Everyone lives and works or plays in or around a building. Buildings are something everyone across the country can get involved in and be part of and see and feel and experience the benefits from those retrofits, and the paybacks are so big. And I say that because I built and live in a net-zero energy Passive House, I'm walking the talk, it's got solar panels on it, it's very comfortable, very healthy, I can go on ad infinitum about how much I strongly believe in that. I'm also very moved by the harnessing and harvesting of all of the values from our agricultural and forestry, natural capital. We have a great opportunity there to gain a wide cross-section of Canadians in this opportunity and address some very serious liabilities and risks at the same time.
We are in a forest fire ecology that has been, you know, burning up in a very dramatic fashion over the past decades with all of the modeling and all of the research indicating that we're in for more rather than less of it. So one of the ways we mitigate that risk and mitigate those liabilities is to go into and look at our forest, as more than just two by fours are more than just structural lumber, but to look at it for the full spectrum of biorefining and bio-economy opportunities that that forest presents. While also addressing some serious liabilities that governments have to pay for in the form of forest fire management etc. So that also takes us into you know, the circular economy and the bio-economy also a full team engagement here across all sectors of our economy, All parts of our society have access to materials, lots of biomass materials, that that that are considered waste, or considered a liability that present enormous opportunity for new technologies. I mean, here we are in a jurisdiction with 84% of our landmass covered in forests, and, you know, 158 million acres in agriculture, we've got a lot of biomass. We've got a building industry that isn't using a lot of that biomass and things like for example, wood foam core insulation, that's a product you can use biomass to create. And it's a very desirable product in the high-performance building passive house industry, and we aren't making any of it in Canada to speak of, we're actually having to go to Austria to get this material. What is the opportunity we're missing here with all of our abundant biomass? So again, circular economy and bio-economy opportunities are unnatural for this country.
A third area that really compels me, as addressed in the Corporate Knights synopsis is our opportunity for decentralized energy production. So again, getting into where the buildings are, and where the energy is being used to democratize the development of production and distribution of energy, so that it's used, so that's produced where it's used. And it allows every homeowner, every building owner, every building, every company with rooftop real estate, to become an energy CEO, as well as, an owner and operator of whatever business they're involved in. There's more opportunity to engage a broader cross-section here. I think the case is very compelling. It's been compelling since Sir Nicholas Stern, wrote his report back in 2006, about the costs associated with addressing climate change. But I think we could further sharpen and strengthen this case, by adding to those GDP numbers, some of the costs of managing the risks and some of those liability costs that haven't really been I think added into the GDP costs. Like the costs of fighting forest fires, for example. The costs of managing groundwater pollution because we're overtaxing certain watersheds with agricultural biomass that could be used in bioenergy by refining, etc. And we're also not really adding in and we should, the health costs, the health costs of pollution, the health costs of the particulate matter and forest fire, smoke, etc. If we add those costs into those GDP numbers as well, then we're getting to some really sizable and really compelling numbers that not only incurable policy wonks like me but citizen taxpayers and voters and governments will respond to.
“A third area that really compels me, as addressed in the Corporate Knights synopsis is our opportunity for decentralized energy production. So again, getting into where the buildings are, and where the energy is being used to democratize the development of production and distribution of energy, so that it's used, so that's produced where it's used. And it allows every homeowner, every building owner, every building, every company with rooftop real estate, to become an energy CEO, as well as, an owner and operator of whatever business they're involved in.”
— Janice Larson
Paul Needham: Thank you so much, Janice. And your words mean so much because we know you've spent your career working on policies pushing these things through and you deeply understand the challenges of moving the needle. John Steen, I'd love to hand it over to you and get your remarks and reflections on the report.
John Steen: Thanks, Paul. It's a real privilege to be in such a group of people, but special thanks to Toby for this report. I think in the past, we've tended to think about the environment, in opposition to business, it's you can have one or the other. I think we need positioning pieces like this, where we show that addressing climate change, sustainability, is good business. In fact, it is the only business future that we have. So we need a lot more of this sort of thinking. I guess my area of focus is Mining and Metals. I remember being at an industry conference in Colorado, some of the world's biggest mining companies about three years ago, and just started to round the numbers on what electrification meant. The numbers that we're coming up with, in terms of medals for batteries, for electric cars, were enormous, though, they were staggering. And they surprise themselves. At that point, you know, Tesla was seen as a bit boutique. Even three, four years ago, we were seeing solar at a pretty high price, you know, is it going to be competitive with fossil fuels? Not sure. Well, guess what, innovation has continued and now we're seeing solar energy at a penny a kilowatt-hour. I'm not sure exactly what I pay here in Vancouver, but it's about 12 cents a kilowatt-hour. We're just seeing these energy prices crash because there's so much innovation coming through, in renewable energy. They absolutely smash fossil fuels, they smash coal, even at low gas prices, we're seeing renewables being the best cheapest option for energy. So that's fantastic.
As Toby said, there's a lot to be excited about, we can get very bogged down in problems, but there's a hell of a lot to be excited about. But there's a catch. There's a catch, there's always a catch. Where are you going to get all the copper from? Where are we going to get all the nickel from? All of these renewable technologies require metals. And if you looked at the battery day from Elon Musk the other day, Elon Musk is getting very, very interested in mining because he knows that unless we can have a secure supply of these metals at a low price, this transition that's going so well is going to be compromised. The innovation that's really happening fantastically in these renewable technologies, we have to get that same level of innovation intensity into the supply chain, into how these metals are produced, recycled, and the circular economy absolutely plays a role here as well. We all need more metals, we don't have enough metals now in the economy, to sustain where we need to go. To give you a sense of how big that is, this is just a little factoid that I keep repeating to people, we would need as much copper in the next 30 years, as we have produced in the whole of human history. If we don't manage to achieve that, then all of this transition is put at risk. If we don't find a way to decarbonize mining, and to make mining itself sustainable, the transition itself will jeopardize the whole climate change process. So this is really a must-win area, it provides huge opportunities for entrepreneurs to find ways to process metals to recycle metals. That in the ways that save water in the ways that produce zero co2 in a way that creates jobs for local economies. So we really have to rethink mining. And I think we're just starting to get to that point, but for entrepreneurs, there's a huge opportunity.
I want to use an example of how the barriers to technology in mining are breaking down, I'll just choose one example. Quantum physics, okay, what's the connection between quantum physics and mining? I'm pretty sure that no one on the call is going to come up with an answer. But one of the challenges we have in mining is we have to use enormous quantities of energy, getting past waste rock, to get to the ore that's actually worth getting out of the ground. Wouldn't it be great if we could take an Xray, it'd be like you're taking the X-ray in, in a hospital, and using particle physics, muon tomography now, muons are things that come in cosmic rays out of space, we can actually see deep into the earth now, and this is a technology that's been commercialized at UBC, we can actually target the ore body so that we don't have to remove all this waste rock. Huge saving in energy, a huge saving in time. It's just an example of how it's very hard to say, what is mining technology and what isn’t. We’re saying that the boundaries between different technologies and mining just collapse. Digital, definitely coming in there as well. So huge opportunities for entrepreneurs out there. And miners know that they are reaching out into different areas of knowledge trying to find solutions because they know that they have to do it.
One more idea, this is my gold wedding ring. I've got no idea where it comes from. I know the shop, I've got no idea where the metal comes from. When you drive your EV, you don't know where the cobalt comes from. You don't know where the copper comes from. You can't make a choice, when you buy your Tesla or whatever, whether it comes from a good source or a bad source. We need a lot of entrepreneurship in actually making the invisible visible, right. So it's not just in how they're produced. It's about getting visible supply chains. And fortunately, we have technologies like blockchain and other technologies that are able to help us to do this. So there are enormous opportunities. And I think it's a really wide-open space right now.
“If we don't find a way to decarbonize mining, and to make mining itself sustainable, the transition itself will jeopardize the whole climate change process. So this is really a must win area, it provides huge opportunities for entrepreneurs to find ways to process metals to recycle metals."
— John Steen
Paul Needham: Fantastic, really, really interesting. John, thank you for your comments.Terri, Lynn, I'd love to pass it over to you and hear your perspective on the bold green recovery. I know you were very involved as a key contributor to the project and report.
Terri Lynn Morrison: I'll be quick. So three things that I want to touch on today. First of all, talking about the relationship that we have. So we're identifying that there are three crises happening right now in the country, in terms of what's going on with the health in the pandemic, and what I want to add to that I believe that there's a fourth crisis that exists. And that's our relationship with Indigenous peoples in this country. We need to get down to the fundamentals of what a successful relationship looks like whether you're dealing with a business partner if you're looking to go into development, it all starts with the foundations of any successful relationship success, respect, trust, honesty, having integrity, those things are often a goal forgotten. And I believe that we have to be more mindful of that when we're doing business. So to answer John's comment in terms of not knowing where the product the metals are being sourced from, I can almost guarantee that that metal is coming out of an indigenous community’s territory or land. So there's an opportunity that exists to create meaningful partnerships. It's being done already. Right now, indigenous communities are the largest single owner of clean energy assets apart from the crown and private utilities in this country. We are already doing it. In terms of a circular economy. That is how we live. I was raised in a community where you were taught to take only what you need, to use every part of what you're taking, from harvesting a salmon, the head and the tail are used for bait, everything goes back to whether it's to feed the fish. However, that is essential when you're seeing indigenous communities in the news at the forefront, stopping development, it's because they are trying to protect their way of life. And that is really about ensuring that that circular economy is able to maintain itself so that we are able to get the food, the water, and everything that we need to continue living. I think that there's a lot of lessons to be learned in terms of how indigenous people just live on a day to day. But to come back to the conversation today that we're having in terms of the building back better. What is on the horizon?
For indigenous communities, bioenergy and energy efficiency and housing is the biggest employer for communities and the biggest opportunity that exists. If we're able to build homes that are lower to operate and maintain, that provide healthier air, better quality in terms of no mold growth, we're thinking about communities where there's overcrowding, our communities that are off the grid that are relying on diesel, there's a huge untapped opportunity there and something that we need to continue moving forward on. In terms of bioenergy, the trifecta that exists between managing the lens, using the indigenous knowledge that we have in terms of how the forest is being regenerated. Having control of the feedstock and undoing that energy conservation, there's a huge opportunity there for business development and for employment, also to stimulate the economy and protect the environment at the same time. So I will pass it back to you because I know we're running short on time. But thank you very much.
“First of all, talking about the relationship that we have. So we're identifying that there are three crises happening right now in the country, in terms of what's going on with the health in the pandemic, and what I want to add to that I believe that there's a fourth crisis that exists. And that's our relationship with Indigenous peoples in this country. “
— Terri Lynn Morrison
Paul Needham: Thank you so much. Terri Lynn. Jeanette.
Jeanette Jackson: All right, four minutes of fame, right. Thank you. Well, first of all, thank you for having me. And I do want to acknowledge how excited we are in terms of the partnership between entrepreneurship@UBC and Foresight. We really need to look at UBC as a world-class, knowledge center academic institution with so many opportunities to not only validate existing technologies but research and development and commercialize really great innovation. So it's really great to see the Climate Venture Studio come to life. I want to acknowledge also, Toby a little bit back to you here, one of the things that you highlight on the carbon tax, unfortunately, in Canada, we just haven't had a lot of certainty around a carbon tax. And certainty is what drives investment and business and deals and transactions. So I really liked your comment about the carbon tax. I also wanted to acknowledge that one of the things that came out of this report was the fact that there is an evolution of capital markets. And we're seeing it more aggressively now, in the last six months, there's a lot of diversification and a lot of divestment from traditional investment portfolios from some of the largest institutions that can really capitalize on our transition to a green economy.
In terms of the actual content in the report, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I think I saw once in a generation, this is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And as noted, it's good for business, and it's good for sustainability. Being green is great for business. One thing I loved about the report is its positioning, I thought it was very comprehensive and practical. I think that you know, it's really important that we acknowledge that Canada has a very dynamic environmental and economic landscape, BC and Alberta and Ontario and Quebec, the Maritimes and Prairies were not the same. But there are definitely unique ways, such as what's been presented in this report and these recommendations that we can thread the needle and bring people together to collaborate on things like the built environment and distributed energy models and things like that. So really, really exciting.
Another point that I wanted to talk about is investment leverage, really clearly in the report, it talks about how $100 billion can turn into $700 billion, and I may be not 100% accurate on those numbers. But what we know is that when the Canadian government makes an investment, it's usually a 10:1 opportunity if it's done with the right mechanisms in place. Front loading is normal. In the report, they recommended a bit of a front-load that's very common with cluster strategy, you need to excite the market with some capital to get things going. At the end of the day, industries and investors, do step up.
One area that's not my sweet spot is on the policy side, but it's unfortunately, always a factor. We just completed our core cluster strategy report for the province of BC. I'm a serial entrepreneur. I love the industry and capital conversations, but at the end of the day, every company, every partner, and even at the government level, we all know that policy plays a critical role, it's always a factor. We need to find a way to address the policy considerations that need to be enacted for these opportunities to come to fruition. And we also need to help the government focus on what the goals are not how we get there. The market can dictate how we get there.
I want to highlight exports quickly, it's no secret that 75+ percent of our clean tech companies export to international markets. We're seeing Europe, a trillion dollars in green new deal funding, we have the opportunity not only to build back better Canada, but to become one of the world leaders in clean tech exports. I'm thinking built environment, hydrogen ccus, energy transportation, just to name a few. Over the last month and a half, we've also been resurveying over 200, clean tech companies across the country, understanding how COVID-19 has impacted them. Are they recovering faster than other sectors? Obviously, we know tourism is going to be an anomaly for quite a long time. But what we are seeing is that they are seeing internationally that a lot of investment is going into the sectors and so they're confident they're hiring back, they're getting consultants, they're getting projects, they're continuing with customer discovery. In fact, one of the only positives of COVID-19 is that people are in front of their computers and answering calls or emails.
Another funnel of two more quick points. There has been a report by the International Energy Agency that came out a couple of days ago, what it does highlight is that early-stage companies need support to scale quickly to meet all of these targets. And I know that doesn't necessarily feed 100% into this report. This is where we get into the grits of what universities are working on what independent entrepreneurs and innovators are working on. And I think there's an opportunity to look at how we scale the companies and apparently that will account for over 35% of the opportunities and GHG reductions. I have a few other comments. Janice, obviously, we've gone for too long not looking at the opportunity cost of not investing in sustainability and clean tech, so I love that approach. John on the mining and metal side 100% agree, I was gonna bring up some sort of blue sky, I know, we always talk about it, what's in the box and what's possible now, but some folks do argue things like fusion and other alternative energy sources should be also considered moving ahead. At the end of the day though, we all need to store that power somewhere and mining becomes more and more important. And then Terri Lynn, I just wanted to acknowledge how important it is that we do encourage all aspects of all communities to be engaged in these conversations. So let's move ahead with a bold green recovery. At the end of the day, the government sets the tone, they create the confidence in our working environment to be able to go out and raise money to go out and do deals. And so really excited about how this platform document has created an environment for those discussions. That's my spiel. Thank you.
“ It’s no secret that 75+ percent of our clean tech companies export to international markets. We're seeing Europe, a trillion dollars in green new deal funding, we have the opportunity not only to build back better Canada, but to become one of the world leaders in clean tech exports.”
— Jeanette Jackson
Paul Needham: That's fantastic. Thank you so much, Jeanette, for leaving us on a very high note. Canada really has an opportunity to play here, we have an opportunity to lead. We have the people, we have the resources, we have the will to partner and to create positive outcomes. Thank you so much, Toby. Thank you, Terri, Lynn. Thank you, Janice. Jeanette, John, for joining us today and for sharing your perspectives. I’ll hand it off to Shannon for a few closing remarks.
Shannon Bard: Thank you so much. That was a wonderful session. I just wanted to thank Paul for facilitating Toby for providing that wonderful synopsis of the report. And again, to thank Janette and Terri Lynn, John, and Janice for a really thought-provoking discussion. This has really been an important conversation, a conversation that we need to have we need to listen to and we need to act upon. So thank you to everyone who participated, and I'd like to adjourn our Roundtable. Thank you.
MJ Araujo: Thank you for joining us and we hope to see you next time. In the meantime, stay safe and stay healthy.