Green Economic Transition in South Simcoe

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					 Information and Communications
          Technologies &
     Green Economic Transition
Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities
                 Submitted To:
                 Nottawasaga Futures
                 39 Victoria St E
                 Alliston, ON
                 L9R 1V5
                 Attn: Valerie Ryan
                 Chief Executive Officer




                 Submitted By:
                 Michael Weaver
                 Faculty of Environmental Studies
                 York University
                 4700 Keele Street
                 Toronto, Ontario
                 M3J 1P3
                 Email: weaverm@yorku.ca
                                       TABLE OF CONTENTS


Executive Summary                                                    1

I. Job Creation and the Green Economy                                2

II. What are Information Communications and Technologies (ICTs)?     3

III. ICT Sector in Canada: Global Leader or Laggard?                 3

IV. Green ICT: Energy Conservation and Cost Savings                  4

V. Smart Grids, Smart Buildings and Smart Motors                     5

VI. Smart Logistics and Green Supply Chains                          6

VII. Smart Waste Management Strategies: Waste-to-Energy             6-7

VIII. Virtual Goods and Services                                     8

IX. Moving Forward: Promoting Green ICTs in South Simcoe             9

       Federal Support for Green ICT                                9-10

       Provincial Support for Green ICT                            11 -12

       Good, Green Procurement at the Municipal Level              12-13

References                                                         14-18
ICTs & Green Economic Transition : Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities                    1


                                   EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
      This report explores exciting opportunities that Information and Communications
Technologies (ICTs) can offer South Simcoe communities in managing the transition to a green
economy. ICTs are essential in enabling innovations that create good, green jobs, strengthen local
businesses and maintain healthy communities.

        The ICT sector uses a lot of energy and is currently responsible for approximately 2% of
global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, roughly equivalent to the airline industry. (Gartner, 2007)
However, ICTs can greatly improve energy efficiency and productivity across all sectors of the
economy. ICTs make products and processes “smarter” by maximizing the quality and quantity
of data available to individuals and organizations while minimizing energy use through
conservation and automation. ICT-enabled innovations that make electrical grids, buildings,
motors and logistics “smarter” are forecast to deliver up to 7.8 Gt carbon dioxide (CO 2) or 15% of
total global emissions savings by 2020. The overall carbon savings would be 5 times greater
than the ICT sector's own carbon footprint and translate into approximately $1 trillion (US) in cost
savings. (GeSI, 2009)

        In addition to making greener products and smarter services, Canada's ICT sector creates
highly-skilled, well-paid jobs and makes a significant contribution to the national and local
economies. Between 2002 and 2008, the sector grew 4.7% annually, twice the rate of the
economy generally, accounting for $59.2 billion or 4.8% of the country's Gross Domestic Product
(GDP). (Industry Canada, 2009) Growth in Green ICT can facilitate more sustainable
socioeconomic development in rural regions through better access to information, increased
productivity and competitiveness, and improved economic coordination among industries and
between sectors. South Simcoe communities are well-positioned to take advantage of innovations
in ICTs and take the lead in transitioning to the green economy.

ICTs & Green Economic Transition : Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities summarizes :

    Benefits and Challenges presented by ICTs in the short-, medium- and long-terms

    Energy Conservation and Cost Savings opportunities for Businesses and Municipalities

    Government Procurement and other Public Policies and Programs that promote Green ICTs

Highlights of Green ICT opportunities for South Simcoe:

    Smart Grids, Smart Buildings and Smart Motors

    Smart Logistics and Green Supply Chains

    Smart Waste Management

    Virtual Goods and Services


Prepared for Nottawasaga Futures, Green Economy Transition Centre                         May 2010
Written by Michael Weaver
ICTs & Green Economic Transition : Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities                  2


I. Job Creation and the Green Economy
      The worldwide crash in financial markets of 2008 resulted in significant losses of jobs and
personal savings for many Canadians. The ensuing global recession has hit Ontario harder than
most provinces in Canada, accounting for 59% of the nation’s permanent job losses last year,
(Mackenzie, 2010) including large losses in the manufacturing and related sectors in South
Simcoe. While North American and international financial markets have largely recovered their
monetary values over the past year, many Canadians remain unemployed or underemployed.

            The Chinese characters for crisis reflect "danger" and "opportunity." All crises
            necessitate rapid, measured responses, yet there is real danger if we do not seize the
            opportunity now to build the strong foundation of a green economy that assures future
          job creation and sustainable economic growth. Investments in creating good, green jobs
in South Simcoe communities will help guarantee that such a crisis does not happen again. Green
jobs “contribute appreciably to maintaining or restoring environmental quality and avoiding future
damage to the Earth's ecosystem... and also need to be good jobs…with adequate wages, safe
working conditions, and workers rights.” (United Nations Environment Program, 2008) Green jobs
are “high-quality jobs that are saved or created by policies that will shift our economy towards
greater sustainability…creating and implementing technologies to preserve our environment.”
(Thompson, 2009) Green jobs include many familiar occupations ranging from construction and
manufacturing to engineering and finance, as well as new occupations for young adults and youth
with new skill sets.

      Several recent studies have shown that
investments in clean energy result in more jobs
per dollar than money spent in the fossil fuel
economy. One reports show that for every $1
million dollars invested, only 4 jobs are created
in the fossil fuel economy compared to 10 jobs
generated in the green economy. (Pollin, 2009)
Other analysts found the ratio to be even
greater than 3-to-1, with 17 green jobs created
for every 5 in the fossil fuel economy. (Gereffi,
Dubay and Lowe, 2009) These figures include
direct jobs (for example smart electricity meter
manufacture and sales), indirect jobs (for
example, the supply chain for smart meter
production, installation and maintenance) and
induced jobs (ie. those jobs created by money
spent by new wages). Data represented in
Figure 1 shows the employment impacts of
spending on fossil fuels, energy efficiency and
renewable energy in the United States. (Boyce and Riddle, 2010)                         Figure 1


Prepared for Nottawasaga Futures, Green Economy Transition Centre                       May 2010
Written by Michael Weaver
ICTs & Green Economic Transition : Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities                                          3


II. What are Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs)?
       The ICT sector is defined as “the combination of manufacturing and services industries,
which electronically capture, transmit and display data and information.” (Statistics Canada, 2003)
Examples of products made by ICT companies 1 are cellphones, satellites, computer monitors,
microchips and fiber optic cables that enable information processing and communications by
electronic means. All of the hardware and software that make up a smart electricity meter are ICTs
that can provide consumers and producers with information to monitor the cost and use of energy
in real-time. As smart technologies enable green innovations in energy conservation and
renewable energy generation ICTs will play an important role in competitiveness and future
economic growth in Canada. (Industry Canada, 2009)

III. ICT Sector in Canada: Global Leader or Laggard?
       Over the past two decades, ICTs have been a key driver of national economic growth in
Canada. Total revenues in the ICT sector rose 19% between 2002 and 2008, growing 4.7%
annually, at twice the rate of the economy generally. This growth accounted for $59.2 billion or
4.8% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2008. (Industry Canada, 2009a) During
the same period, overall employment in ICT increased 10.4% and now there are approximately
600,000 Canadians employed directly in ICT production and sales, accounting for 3.3% of total
employment across the country (Industry, Canada, 2009b) Workers in the ICT sector are well
compensated, earning an average of $61,971 in 2008, or 47% more than the economy-wide
average. Even the lowest paid ICT workers ($50,836), employees in the electronics components
industry, earned 20.6% more than the national average. (Industry Canada, 2009a)

       The economic downturn has affected the ICT sector, with employment falling 3.1% since the
last quarter of 2008, compared to a 2.9% decline across the whole Canadian economy. (Industry
Canada, 2009c) Although exports to the European Union and Asia Pacific economies have been in
decline since 2006, ICT exports to the United States have fallen significantly since 2008,
exacerbating the growing trade deficit ($22.1 bn) and losses in manufacturing jobs. (Industry
Canada, 2009a) These downward trends correspond with declines in research and development
investments and present serious concerns as the Canadian ICT sector's global competitiveness is
not keeping pace with developments in other parts of the world. Academic and industry studies
show that Canada performs poorly across a wide range of innovation indicators and Canadian
companies are ”rarely at the leading edge of new technology and too often find themselves a
generation or more behind the productivity growth achieved by global leaders.” (Conference Board
of Canada, 2010) A comprehensive review of broadband Internet services and policies from
around the world ranks Canada 22nd out of 26 countries overall, 20 th in speed and 25th in price –
only the Slovak Republic had higher costs for consumers. (Berkman Centre for Internet & Society,
2010) The report of the Expert Panel on Business Innovation calls for a “fresh discussion of
innovation in Canada” and points to ICTs as the sector with the highest priority for innovation-
based business strategies. (Nicholson, 2010)

1 Definition of ICT company: “Any company or organization which, as a principal part of its business, provides a service
  for the point-to-point transmission of voice, data or moving images over a fixed, internet, mobile or personal
  communication network, or is a supplier of equipment which is an integral component of the communication network
  infrastructure, or procedures equipment or software associated with the electronic storage processing or transmission of
  data.” (GeSI, 2009)

Prepared for Nottawasaga Futures, Green Economy Transition Centre                                              May 2010
Written by Michael Weaver
ICTs & Green Economic Transition : Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities                    4


IV. Green ICT : Energy Conservation and Cost Savings
      At the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen, Denmark in
December 2009, the international community signed onto the Copenhagen Accord. The
agreement intends to cap the global average temperature rise below 2°C with signatory countries
expected to make significant GHG emissions reductions to stave off the worst effects of climate
change. If no additional policies are implemented global GHG emissions are expected to increase
25-90% by 2030 and the world faces an average temperature rise of 3°C. (UNFCCC, 2009)

        During the UN conference, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) organized a
joint side-event with World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on "The effective use of ICTs
and the IP system for mitigating climate change." Presenters discussed multiple opportunities to
harness advanced technologies to dramatically reduce emissions across a wide range of industry
sectors. While the ICT industry itself is currently responsible for approximately 2% of global GHGs,
roughly equivalent to the airline industry, (Gartner, 2007) the Business-As-Usual (BAU) projections
forecast ICT emissions to increase to 4% of the global total by 2020. However, as ITU Secretary-
General stated: "ICT is the single most powerful tool humankind has at its disposal to avoid
potential climate catastrophe." (ITU, 2009) ICT networks have the potential to be 10,000 times (4
orders of magnitude) more efficient than they are today (Greentouch, 2009) The Global e-
Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) Report details how ICTs could deliver approximately 7.8 Gt CO2 of
emissions savings, reducing global GHG emissions by 15% in 2020. The ICT enabled carbon
savings would be 5 times greater than the total emissions from the entire ICT sector, translating
into approximately $946.5 bn US in cost savings. (GeSI, 2009) Individual country reports show
that by 2020 ICTs can help deliver emissions reductions of 14% in Great Britain (Sustainable
Development Commission, 2010), 13-22% in the United States. (Neves, 2010) As shown in Figure
2, it has been estimated that Canada can realize ICT-enabled reductions between 20 to 36 million
tonnes a year, representing cost savings of $7-$13 bn annually. (WWF Canada, 2009)




       Figure 2

Prepared for Nottawasaga Futures, Green Economy Transition Centre                         May 2010
Written by Michael Weaver
ICTs & Green Economic Transition : Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities                     5


V. Smart Grids, Smart Buildings and Smart Motors
        ICTs are essential to improving
current systems to make them less
energy- and carbon-intensive. With the
exception of deforestation, man-made
GHG emissions result largely from power
generation and fuel use in transportation
and heating. ICTs can play an important
role in helping to improve efficiency in
energy       generation,     transmission,
distribution and consumption. ICTs save
costs by integrating processes that
conserve energy while allowing for
alternative ways for organizations to
operate and individuals to learn, live, work
and travel. Figure 3 shows how energy
efficiency and conservation initiatives
provide greater overall benefits than
renewable energy generation. (Benoit,
2009)                                                                                 Figure 3

        Smart technologies make optimal use of resources to make current products and
processes less inefficient. “Smart grids” refer to technologies that transform the current electrical
grid into a two-way network where information and energy flow back and forth between consumers
and producers. Smart grids are required to enable renewable energy generation and storage, as
illustrated in Figure 4, and could reduce global emissions by 2.03 Gt CO2 for a savings of $124.6
bn. The worldwide market for smart grid technologies is expected to rise to $171.4bn in 2014,
                                                      from $69.3 bn in 2009. (OECD, 2009)

                                                      “Smart buildings” use sensors and other ICTs
                                                      to control heat and light so that they are used
                                                      only when needed.            These intelligent
                                                      structures and processes can save 15% of
                                                      North America's building emissions. Global
                                                      sales of energy management system
                                                      software and energy efficient windows are
                                                      expected to surpass $69 bn and $5 tn
                                                      respectively by 2020. (Schenker, 2010)

                                                     “Smart motors” in industry and vehicles
                                                     reduce electricity and fuel consumption by
                                                     improving automation and optimization of
                                                     variable speed systems. Greater adoption of
                                                     smarter motors can achieve savings 0.97 Gt
                                                     CO2 and $124.6 bn. (GeSI, 2009)
Figure 4


Prepared for Nottawasaga Futures, Green Economy Transition Centre                          May 2010
Written by Michael Weaver
ICTs & Green Economic Transition : Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities                    6


VI. Smart Logistics and Green Supply Chains
        Today, our current systems for the globalized trade of goods and services require long-
distance transportation fueled by cheap, dirty energy. The logistics of getting goods from producer
to consumer includes all steps in packaging, transport, storage, purchasing and disposal are
inherently inefficient – energy is used and wasted at each link in the chain. For example, vehicles
often carry little or nothing on return journeys and transportation emissions are large contributors
to man-made GHGs in Canada. “Smart Logistics” comprise a “range of software and hardware
tools that monitor, optimize and manage operations, which helps reduce the storage needed for
inventory, fuel consumption, kilometers driven and frequency of vehicles traveling empty or
partially loaded.”(GeSI, 2009) As energy costs rise it is imperative to make logistics operations
more efficient. ICT-driven applications could achieve global emissions reductions up to 1.52 Gt CO2
e with energy savings worth $441.7 bn. Supply Chain management software sales are projected
to reach $8.3 billion this year. (Schenker, 2010)

        Green purchasing agreements allow small and medium sized businesses procuring similar
goods and services to benefit from greater economies of scale while reducing logistical costs
across the supply chain. Businesses can pool their resources to maximize both economic and
environmental benefits of their organizational purchases. BuySmart Network is an online source
of information and education on sustainability purchasing in Canada that “supports organizations
in their efforts to buy smarter, greener, and with more social consciousness.” (see
www.buysmartbc.com) The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) is “North
America's fastest growing network of socially responsible businesses, comprised of over 80
community networks representing over 21,000 independent business members across the U.S.
And Canada.” (see www.livingeconomies.org) The Greater Toronto Airport Area Partners in Project
Green offers businesses in the Pearson Airport Eco-Business Zone to reduce the cost of energy
retrofits by providing access to the Clinton Climate Initiative Purchasing Alliance (CCI PA). The PA
states that it “negotiates reductions in the cost of energy saving technologies by leveraging the
incremental sales opportunities of our clients” and provides “discounts in costs ranging between
5% to 45%” on products such as 3M solar control window film and florescent lamps from GE. (see
www.partnersinprojectgreen.com)

VII.   Smart    Waste     Management
Strategies – Waste-to-Energy
       Waste is the last link in the logistics
chain, but by no means the least important.
At the present time, the provincial government
of Ontario is developing Extended Producer
Responsibility (EPR) legislation for waste
reduction and recycling. The forthcoming
amendment to the Waste Diversion Act will
make producers responsible for their products
environmental impacts over their entire life-
cycle. More environmentally friendly products
and     more     investment    in    innovative
technologies like ICTs are expected as a result                                      Figure 5

Prepared for Nottawasaga Futures, Green Economy Transition Centre                         May 2010
Written by Michael Weaver
ICTs & Green Economic Transition : Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities                     7

of producers assuming liability for inefficiencies in materials, design and resulting waste streams
of their products. Under EPR, producers will add the cost of waste management to their product
cost, either discretely or through specific fees. Consumers will see these additional costs when
purchasing products and materials. When waste is no longer perceived as disposable, unwanted
byproducts but rather reusable inputs and valuable resources. organizations look for new and
better ways to reduce waste, optimize their operations and keep their products affordable.

        Municipal and regional governments play significant roles in reducing and eliminating the
need for waste disposal. In April 2010, the County of Simcoe implemented EPR for ICT products
with expanded Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) collection. More broadly, the
County is currently redeveloping its Regional Waste Management Strategy. The ultimate goal is to
achieve “zero waste” over the long-term by prioritizing avoidance and diversion over waste
disposal. ICT-enabled Waste-to-Energy (WTE) facilities can play an important role in “zero waste“
strategies, particularly as favorable options for residuals management in organics diversion.
Producers and processors of organic wastes across the province, especially in the agricultural and
food-processing sectors, are beginning to adopt composting and WTE technologies that rely on
various ICTs for essential functions. Figure 5 illustrates the circular closed-loop supply chain by
which “waste” can be transformed into a productive and low- or no-cost source of energy.
Anaerobic digestors work in a similar fashion to the human digestive system, with methane and
CO2 or “biogas” produced as the result of composting organic materials. Since anaerobic digestors
are highly automated ICTs are essential components in the efficient mechanical operation and
control of the whole WTE system ranging from liquid crystal display panels to fuel cells and from
fiber optic cables to electrical grid wires,

        Each individual WTE operation requires a unique “recipe” of waste “ingredients” from local
sources to achieve to ensure that so that biogas is produced from the chemical breakdown or
digestion of the materials. A proper mixture of the organic feedstock can be produced from a wide
variety of materials including food processing wastes, livestock manure, kitchen wastes, fats, oils
and grease and yard wastes. Loblaws has a contract to to send the organic trimmings from 47 of
its stores across southwestern Ontario for biogas production in London. (Austin, 2009)
Vandermeer Greenhouses, one of Canada's largest growers of chrysanthemums, received the
2009 Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation for implementing a high yield anaerobic digestor at
their operation in Niagara-on-the-Lake. (Meyers, 2010) In this case, the waste feedstock
producing biogas is composed mostly of leftover grape skins and pits from local wineries and non-
saleable dog food from a nearby manufacturer. The wine and dog food companies save costs
diverting their waste from landfills and instead transporting it to the greenhouse free-of-charge.
Since the chrysanthemum growers are able to produce more than enough energy to heat and light
the entire operation from the organic wastes, they can generate additional revenue by selling any
excess carbon-neutral electricity into the larger electricity grid. The “green” energy is sold at a
premium price under long-term contract to the Ontario Power Authority through the renewable
energy Feed-in-Tariff program. As discussed earlier, smart grids and smart meters allow renewable
energy generators to maximize their economic returns by selling the energy to the grid when
demand for electricity is highest or at “peak.” Further economic and environmental benefits result
when the odorless organic byproduct left over from the digestion process is used and/or sold as a
high quality fertilizer. WTE facilities can also foster local employment and provide good, green jobs
for rural communities. A recent study estimates that the approximately 30,000 tonnes of organic
waste potentially available in Simcoe County annually could create the demand for 8-30
permanent jobs across the region just in organics processing alone. (Lura Consulting, 2010)


Prepared for Nottawasaga Futures, Green Economy Transition Centre                         May 2010
Written by Michael Weaver
ICTs & Green Economic Transition : Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities                    8


VIII. Virtual Goods and Services
       In addition to enabling greater energy efficiency and conservation across all economic
sectors, ICTs are dual purpose technologies that also allows for the replacement of energy- and
carbon-intensive goods and services with virtual equivalents. The most common examples of
“dematerialization,”     are online media, online social networks, E-commerce, E-paper,
Videoconferencing and telecommuting. These services and products replace their material
counterparts and significantly reduce their energy-related emissions. Listening to music or
watching a movie online saves 1 kg of CO2 per CD/DVD; E-paper and e-books eliminates 1 tonne of
CO2 per tonne of paper (GeSI, 2009). Videoconferencing and telecommuting vastly reduce
transportation emissions from business travel while saving time and improving employee
productivity. IBM's Academy of Technology hosted a Virtual World Conference and then an Annual
Meeting in 2008 that took place entirely in a 3-D virtual world online (Figure 6). The return on
IBM's initial investment of $80,000 saved over $250,000 in travel costs and $150,000 in
additional productivity gains, for a total of $320,000 saved. (SecondLifeGrid, 2009)

       A variety of web-based energy auditing tools are available for individuals and organizations
interested in improving their energy use. The RETScreen Clean Energy Project Analysis Software 2
decision support tool, funded by the federal government, can be used free-of-charge to evaluate
the energy production and savings, costs, emission reductions, financial viability and risk for
various types of Renewable-energy and Energy-efficient Technologies (RETs). IBM's Virtual Green
Data Center3 (Figure 7) offers organizations opportunities to view energy efficient products like as
IBM's server and storage systems “in action.” Visitors can learn how to conduct a remote energy
audit of their own data centers and become familiar with IBM products designed to improve output
and save energy through reduced cooling requirements, virtualization (reducing the number of
computers by consolidating applications) and “cloud computing” (sharing resources across
networks). (Wright, 2010)

        ICT-enabled virtual worlds are on the cutting edge of e-service provision for education,
training, remote team collaboration, project design and human resources (when recruitment and
interviewing, for instance). Canadian colleges and universities have begun providing web-based
courses and training sessions that take place entirely in 3-D virtual worlds. In 2009 Memorial
University won a national award for a Marine Engineering course that incorporated classroom
theories and principles into an immersive environment where students could design and
construct their own shipyard. Loyalist College provides virtual world simulation for guards-in-
training before working on as Customs officials at the “real” US-Canadian border. (Figure 8)




       Figure 6                                Figure 7                       Figure 8
2 http://www.retscreen.net/
3 secondlife://IBM%20Business%20Center2/186/37/32

Prepared for Nottawasaga Futures, Green Economy Transition Centre                         May 2010
Written by Michael Weaver
ICTs & Green Economic Transition : Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities                     9


IX. Moving Forward: Promoting Green ICT in South Simcoe
       This last section begins by addressing current government programs and public policies
intended to support greater adoption of green ICT in Canada and Ontario generally. The report
concludes by focusing on the local and regional scale and recommends specific policies that
South Simcoe communities can implement at the municipal level to ensure that they benefit from
innovations in ICTs and take the lead in transitioning to the green economy.

Federal Support for Green ICT

        The Expert Panel on Business Innovation concludes that “too many businesses in Canada
are technology followers, not leaders” in hope for “a fresh discussion on innovation in Canada is
needed, one that focuses on the factors that influence adoption of innovation-based business
strategies.” (Nicholson, 2010) At present Canadian businesses are not leaders in green ICT due in
part to the lack of market incentives like carbon pricing and traditionally weak private and public
investments in clean energy and energy conservation technologies across Canada in general, A
recent report from a Washington-based think-tank decries the slow pace of the United States'
progress in developing domestic clean energy markets, infrastructure and human resources. The
report warns that the US risks getting left behind in the clean energy race as Germany, Spain,
China and other countries are “making huge investments to seize the economic opportunity
provided by the historic shift from fossil-based energy to renewable, low-waste electricity and fuel”
– a global market expected to be worth $2.3 tn by 2020. (Gordon, Wong and McLain, 2010) The
most recent budgetary comparisons of public spending at the federal level in North America show
that clean energy investments in the United States exceed those in Canada by ratios of either 14-
to-1 or 18-to-1 on a per capita basis depending on the study. (Weis, 2010)

        In June 2009 the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, hosted leaders from
business, academic and consumer organizations at a Forum on the Digital Economy in Ottawa
seeking to help develop a national agenda for ICTs and reestablish Canada's position as a global
leader. The Forum recognized that “Green ICT has emerged as a major challenge and opportunity”
and that the “global financial crisis and economic downturn have prompted other countries to
raise the economic stakes in the digital economy of the future.” Forum participants were asked to
consider “What is the best way to apply these ICT infrastructures so as to complement and support
investment in the development of 'smart' infrastructures and services in other sectors of the
economy, such as energy and transportation, in order to enable 'Green Growth'?” (Maclean, 2009)

       The March 2010 Speech from the Throne recognized “our energy resource endowment
provides Canada with an unparalleled economic advantage that we must leverage to secure our
place as a clean energy superpower and a leader in green job creation.” The speech also noted
that the digital economy would “drive the adoption of technology across the economy.” (Canada,
Governor General, 2010) The 2010 Federal Budget comprised Part 2 of “Canada's Economic
Action Plan” and announced that the government will develop a Digital Economy Strategy. Michael
Geist, University of Ottawa Law professor who holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-
commerce Law remarked recently that “while the delays [in developing a strategy] have been
marked by a gradual hollowing-out of the Canadian tech sector and sliding global rankings on
network and wireless connectivity, Clement has firmly established himself as the most committed
Industry Minister on digital issues since John Manley in the late 1990s.” (Geist, 2010) Between


Prepared for Nottawasaga Futures, Green Economy Transition Centre                         May 2010
Written by Michael Weaver
ICTs & Green Economic Transition : Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities                    10

January and November 2009, Minister Clement and other federal officials had over 20 meetings
with Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), Canada's leading business lobby group
for the ICT sector, (Naumetz, 2010)

       On May 10, 2010, Minister Clement, the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian
Heritage and Official Languages, and the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources
and Skills Development, jointly unveiled the much-anticipated “national consultation aimed at
building consensus among governments, the private sector, academia and the Canadian public in
developing a digital economy strategy.” (Industry Canada, 2010a) The consultation is being hosted
online (www.digitaleconomy.gc.ca) until July 9, 2010 where Canadians can submit, share and rate
ideas on five key themes: Innovation Using Digital Technologies, Digital Infrastructure, Growing the
ICT Industry, Canada's Digital Content and Building Digital Skills. In addition to the public
consultations online, a number of “roundtable meetings” will be held with business and academic
leaders focusing on specific aspects of a digital economy strategy. Upon completion of the two-
month consultation process, the government intends to “review the information and use it to
inform the development of a national digital economy strategy.” (Ibid) Questions of how to finance
the strategy have been omitted from the consultation but “many policy solutions involve minimal
government expenditures – developing digital skills training programs, ensuring broadband access
for Canadian communities, and fostering the creation and promotion of Canadian new media are
just some of the objectives that come with a price tag attached.” (Geist, 2010)

        Canada's Minister for International Trade and Honourable Member of Parliament for York-
Simcoe Peter Van Loan is actively negotiating international agreements, like the Anti-Counterfeiting
Trade Agreement (ACTA) and Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The Harper
government has frequently stated support for drafting new national copyright legislation to address
online security and privacy issues. (Flaherty, 2010) If implemented as proposed, these
international treaties and new national laws that comply with them would have significant yet
largely uncertain impacts on public and private investments in green ICT in Canada. Sweeping
changes would be made to domestic legislation affecting intellectual property rights, foreign
ownership and investment regulations, as well as laws relating to government procurement at all
levels, including municipal governments.

        Recognizing that the Government of Canada purchases approximately $2.5 billion per year
of ICT goods and services, the digital economy strategy discussion paper states that “Governments
can promote private sector innovation by being a smart and demanding purchaser and a model
user of advanced technologies and services.“        For example, in 2009, the federal government
adopted the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star certification system for energy
efficient appliances including ICTs. Other national governments, including the EU, Switzerland,
Australia and Japan, have done so as well. As “model users” of next-generation products and
technologies developed by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Canada, governments
can use their purchasing powers to help Canadian companies develop sales and a credible client
reference will helping drive ICT uptake in the private sector. (Industry Canada, 2010b) The Small
and Medium-sized Enterprise Innovation Commercialization Program, was announced in Budget
2010, will provide $40 million in a two-year pilot initiative to adopt and demonstrate the use of
innovate ICTs developed by Canadian SMEs. (Flaherty, 2010) By purchasing Canadian green ICT
products governments have significant opportunity to help develop Canada's domestic market for
environmental goods and services.


Prepared for Nottawasaga Futures, Green Economy Transition Centre                         May 2010
Written by Michael Weaver
ICTs & Green Economic Transition : Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities                    11

Provincial Support in Ontario for Green ICTs

        Section VII of this report makes reference to Ontario's forthcoming EPR legislation and the
OPA's Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program as examples of policies that may help encourage green ICT for
smart waste management. The FIT program is a provincial procurement in Bill 150, also known as
the Green Energy and Green Economy Act (GEGEA), which became law in May 2009. The GEGEA
supports various corporate, community and cooperative forms of ownership for renewable energy
projects and encourages energy conservation measures such as the development of smart grids
and integrated energy systems that rely on ICTs for their functioning. 4 In the Ontario Budget for
2009 the Emerging Technologies Fund pledged $250 million over 5 years to focus in part on clean
technologies and ICTs. (Duncan, 2009)

       Similar to the federal EnergyStar policy discussed above the GEGEA's FIT program is an
example of a green purchasing mandate for public agencies. In addition to provincial green
procurement policy for renewable electricity generation, the GEGEA also seeks to foster a culture
of conservation in the public service by applying a Procurement Duty to consider energy
conservation when public agencies acquire goods and services. Section 8 (1) states that the
Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, require public agencies to consider energy
conservation and energy efficiency in their acquisition of goods and services and to comply with
such requirements as may be prescribed for that purpose. Another initiative to conserve energy
contained in the GEGEA gives the province the power to create regulations requiring public
agencies, including municipalities, to develop a Conservation and Demand Management (CDM)
plan. CDMs provide a summary of annual energy consumption for each of the public agency’s
operations with forecasts of the expected results of current and proposed activities and measures
to conserve energy. At the present time, no regulations for CDMs have been implemented, nor
have procurement targets for domestic content been determined as prescribed in Bill 150.
(Government of Ontario, 2009)

        As stated earlier in Section IV and illustrated in Figure 3, conservation measures have the
greatest potential for energy- and cost-savings out of all ICT-enabled green energy initiatives. The
GEGEA created a mandate for the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) to report annually
on the progress of activities to “reduce the use or make more efficient use of energy” in Ontario.
In volume one of the first Annual Energy Conservation Progress Report Rethinking Ontario's
Energy Conservation Strategy ECO Gord Miller warns that “The government’s approach to energy
conservation appears uncoordinated and improvised, with no clear plan” and recommends a a
comprehensive energy conservation strategy be developed with public participation: “We need a
strategy that addresses conservation of all sources of energy. We already consume much more
energy for transportation than we do for electricity, and most future growth in Ontario’s energy
consumption is expected to come from the transportation sector.” (ECO, 2010) Canada's cold
northern climate also requires considerably more thermal energy for space and process heat than
electricity, ICT-enabled smarter buildings and motors (see Section V), logistics and greener supply
chains (see Section VI) and smart waste-to-energy systems (see section VII) are all essential
elements to integrate into a comprehensive strategy for multi-fuel energy conservation.

4 For further discussion of the scope of changes to environmental assessment procedures,
municipal consultation processes, and other impacts of Bill 150 for South Simcoe communities
see Lloyd Swail (2010).


Prepared for Nottawasaga Futures, Green Economy Transition Centre                         May 2010
Written by Michael Weaver
ICTs & Green Economic Transition : Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities                     12

        This report has explored in detail how growth in green ICT can facilitate more sustainable
socioeconomic development in rural regions through better access to information, increased
productivity and competitiveness, and improved economic coordination among industries and
between sectors. The ICT-enabled innovations discussed in this report all rely on a dependable
digital infrastructure that is accessible and affordable. Developing and implementing a digital
economy strategy will require the "active engagement of all stakeholders, including ICT producers,
consumers, researchers, teachers and users. It will also require cooperation between
governments.” (Industry Canada, 2010b) Several recent initiatives that combine funding from
different public and private sources to finance the construction of high-speed broadband internet
aimed to reduce broadband infrastructure gaps and lessen the digital divide between rural and
urban areas are of immediate importance to South Simcoe Communities. In particular, The “Rural
Connections…The Ontario Municipal Rural Broadband Partnership Program” initiative of the
McGuinty Government has already approved 47 project proposals for local broadband
infrastructure construction to provide Ontario's rural and remote families and businesses with
dependable, high-quality access to the world wide web and free internet training sessions to
residents. On May 14, 2010 the program was extended with an additional $4 million allocated for
rural municipalities in southwestern and central Ontario to submit new proposals. The province
will provide one-third of approved project costs, up to $1 million, while “municipalities,
communities, telecommunications providers, and other private partners” would contribute the
remaining two-thirds. (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, 2010) Bell Alliant
has proposed the installation of 2.5 GHz wireless broadband equipment on existing cellular towers
across Simcoe County expecting to be available to 95% on Simcoe County residents. (County of
Simcoe, 2010a)

A Good, Green Procurement Policy for South Simcoe Municipalities

        Although there are myriad ways for municipalities to creatively fund and provide incentives
for green growth (Thomson, 2010) public procurement is one of the most important tools for
promoting more sustainable consumption and production patterns, especially for local and
regional economic development. The County of Simcoe's Procurement, Fleet and Property
Department (PF&P) manages and assists with the procurement of more than $178 million in
goods and services for the County's 22 departments and 30 facilities, using competitive methods,
electronic procurement and other approved sourcing methods. (County of Simcoe, 2010b) ICTs
are essential for green procurement. Since at least 2008, when the County purchases goods and
services its staff is obliged to : “consider how the environment may be affected by procurement
decisions made, to seek out environmentally friendly products, services and vendors and to
provide these options to internal customers, to include “impact on the environment” as a decision
factor when evaluating quotes, tenders and proposals including the disposal phase of the
procurement where applicable and to to seek out industry best practices as we work to develop a
“green procurement” section for the County's procurement policy.” (County of Simcoe, 2008) In
the Waste Management Strategy that will be proposed to County council this June, Stantec
consultants echo Simcoe County's intention to adopt a municipal green procurement policy across
all departments. However, in the proposed strategy a “green procurement panel” would be formed
within the next year and within 2 to 3 years a policy would be formally adopted. (Stantec, 2010)
There is no reason for further delay in the adoption of a policy immediately, regardless of the time-
line identified in the waste management strategy as best practices are already well-established.

Prepared for Nottawasaga Futures, Green Economy Transition Centre                         May 2010
Written by Michael Weaver
ICTs & Green Economic Transition : Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities                      13



       A good, green procurement policy for South Simcoe municipalities will guarantee that public
funds used for purchasing goods and services are used responsibly. While saving the County and
its residents energy costs and reducing waste, green procurement helps support the most
innovative companies develop and market the very best green products, including local SMEs and
other regional competitors. One does not have to look far for municipalities that are leading the
way in Ontario. The City of Barrie is currently seeking to attain the status of a “fair-trade” city by
assuring that the workers who make and deliver goods and services purchased with public monies
are treated properly. (Burton, 2010) In November 2009, the City of Toronto amended its
sustainable energy plan to include a “Commitment to prioritize procurement of local green goods
and services, where feasible, when implementing various recommendations in The Power to Live
Green.” (Toronto, 2009) The County of Simcoe and local municipalities in South Simcoe have the
power to use their procurement strategies to take advantage of innovations in ICTs and take the
lead in transitioning to the green economy - political will, confidence and determination are all that
are required.




Prepared for Nottawasaga Futures, Green Economy Transition Centre                          May 2010
Written by Michael Weaver
ICTs & Green Economic Transition : Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities                   14


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ICTs & Green Economic Transition : Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities                       15



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Prepared for Nottawasaga Futures, Green Economy Transition Centre                         May 2010
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ICTs & Green Economic Transition : Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities                   16



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Prepared for Nottawasaga Futures, Green Economy Transition Centre                         May 2010
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ICTs & Green Economic Transition : Opportunities for South Simcoe Communities                   17

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