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5 Important Reasons Why Canada’s Chemistry Sector Has A Key Competitive Advantage In The Clean Energy Challenge

April 30th, 2018

Climate change affects us all and although the chemical industry does not generally come to mind when considering ways to fight this global issue, chemistry is in fact a key player in understanding and promoting clean energy alternatives.

Advances in the creation of renewable raw materials, less hazardous chemicals, safer solvents, and other green chemistry advancements, continue to contribute to an increased development of green buildings, sustainable transportation, sustainable agriculture, and clean energy.

Canada has been particularly active in promoting and embracing clean energy and continues to adopt innovative solutions in the fight against climate change. Thus, whilst on a global scale the chemical manufacturing industry contributes to 7% of total GHG emissions, in Canada this sector accounts for less than 2% of the national GHG inventory. An impressive result.

Canada’s chemistry industry successfully reduced its GHG emissions by 67% on an absolute basis since 1992 and by 10% since 2005 by recognizing products and processes, by implementing best-available technologies during facility upgrades, and by using combined heat electricity applications within production processes[1].

Other than its strong commitment to contribute to the fight against climate change, Canada also benefits from 5 important key competitive advantages in the clean energy challenge:

  1. Canada has abundant low-carbon resources — natural gas and natural gas liquids.

This is possibly the biggest advantage the Canadian chemistry sector enjoys. Natural gas is comprised of about 92% methane (CH4) and has a bright future in the clean-energy market.  Not only can it be used to generate electricity, but it can also be used as a fuel for process heating, and as transportation fuel for vehicles with modified engines.

Taken individually, natural gas components have additional key functions:

  • Methane is an excellent feedstock for producing petrochemicals,
  • Natural gas liquids (NGLs), which include ethane, propane, butane and pentanes, are important building blocks for plastics and solvents, detergents, polypropylene, refrigerants, polystyrene, rubbers and more.


  1. Canada has an abundant supply of low emissions hydroelectricity and an important potential for developing biomass resources.clean energy

Over the years, hydropower has been the leading source of electricity in Canada. This source of electricity is clean and renewable. Hydropower’s GHGs are as low as wind power and are even lower in many cases[2].

Biomass accounts for the second largest share of renewable energy production in Canada (24%), the second largest after hydroelectricity (67%)[3].  Being a country with a vast amount of organic material, from forestry to waste, Canada has a huge potential for developing biomass resources that can be used as feedstocks and energy sources in chemistry production processes.


  1. Canada has modern chemistry facilities with upgraded equipment, reengineered processes and products.


Chemistry forms the backbone of energy efficient technologies and products. Canada’s modern chemistry facilities with their upgraded equipment, reengineered processes and products, coupled with one of the lowest GHG-intensive national electricity grids, add to the country’s carbon competitive advantage[4].


  1. Canada is the fifth largest capacity for renewable energy

With a capacity of 89 GW and renewable sources generating 64% of its total electricity, Canada offers foreign investors great opportunities across the entire value chain, from technology development to fuel supply and distribution[5].


  1. Canada’s chemistry industry is highly innovative and is working to shape the future of clean energy.

Canada’s chemistry industry is continually investing in green chemistry and clean technologies. It has been internationally recognized as the best in its class in energy efficiency and carbon emissions intensity. This sector has successfully reduced its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 67% since 1992. CIAC (Chemistry Industry Association of Canada) and its members are committed to promote renewable energy and a low-carbon economy. They optimize value-add transformation of resources in Canada, avoiding transport emissions, and they continue to focus on additional emissions reductions by[6]:

  • Investing in new plants and technologies
  • Innovating their processes
  • Conserving energy through improved energy and emissions tracking
  • Investing in combined heat and power facilities
  • Replacing higher-carbon fuels
  • Replacing or upgrading older boilers and heaters
  • Capturing carbon


CCC is a proud member of CIAC and RDC (Responsible Distribution Canada). We are committed to sustainability, the betterment of society, the environment and the economy. We encourage other companies to innovate and create safer and more environmentally-friendly products and processes.

Contact us today to learn more about our commitment to Renewable Energy, Responsible Care, and Responsible Distribution.



[1] Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, Chemistry: Essential to Canada’s Transition to a low-carbon energy future.

[2] Canadian Hydropower Association, https://canadahydro.ca/facts/

[3] Natural Resources Canada, http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/facts/renewable-energy/20069#L5

[4] Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, Chemistry: Essential to Canada’s Transition to a low-carbon energy future.

[5] The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, http://www.international.gc.ca/investors-investisseurs/sector-secteurs/energy-energie.aspx?lang=eng

[6] Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, Chemistry: Essential to Canada’s Transition to a low-carbon energy future.