Toronto Sustainability Summit

Last week, we attended the first “Toronto Sustainability Summit” hosted by MaRS. Sparked by the release of the 2017 federal budget, a new spotlight is shining in the field of “Cleantech”. The conference commenced with a speech about the environment by Hon. Glen Murray, the Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, he discussed a new low carbon agenda and what companies can do to be more sustainable. The next keynote was with Andrew Bowerbank, the global director of sustainable building services at EllisDon. He discussed the need for corporations and big businesses to start rethinking the way they build to not only incorporate sustainability but to make it the priority. Jennifer Keesmat, Chief Planner at the City of Toronto moderated a panel discussion on the importance of planning and infrastructure on creating a sustainable livable city. The presenters discussed tangible ways to address innovation, and the challenges, breakthroughs and successes they’ve had in the field.

Here are some key highlights from the day:

  • The conference offered great hopes for a sustainable future and the new budget ensures that sustainability is top of mind and funding is available to help work towards this developing sector.

  • The budget promised 200 million in funding for cleantech and agri-food over 3 years and $2.2 billion to fund research and development in cleantech.

  • The Sustainable Development Technology Canada will invest $400 million over five years, starting in 2017–18, to recapitalize the SD Tech Fund™.

  • Funding supports new clean technologies that promote sustainable development, including climate change, air quality, clean water and clean soil.

The last session of the day focused on the entrepreneurial landscape and how to translate innovation into successful businesses. Tom Rand, senior advisor of cleantech at MaRS, dug into the challenges of investing in cleantech, especially given the longer return on investment. This is why government funding is so important, and why a well thought out strategy is crucial in approaching grant applications.

At Fairtax, we’re experts at program and project matching which gives us an edge when navigating the funding landscape. With significant funding available to this sector, we are keeping up to date on all things cleantech in order to find and attain suitable funding for clients in this developing sector. Our Grants & Incentives App is the perfect first step in finding out if your business is eligible for funding. You can also call us at 1-800-268-2880 to speak with one of our funding specialists directly.


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