Colleges and institutes supporting the transition to a net zero economy

Ottawa, April 22, 2021 – As we celebrate Earth Day, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is releasing a brand-new position paper to highlight the critical role its members across the country can play to help Canada achieve net zero emissions by 2050. This commitment was reaffirmed in the recent federal budget, and will require a whole-of-country approach that includes strong leadership from post-secondary education.

More specifically, we need ingenuity in the development and teaching of new green skills, seeking new business opportunities for Canadian companies, and innovating scientific and technological solutions within a green economy. With their extensive footprint across the country, expertise in equipping learners with job-ready skills, and an applied research innovation pipeline to small and medium businesses (SMEs), Canada’s colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics are ideally positioned to support Canada’s transition to a net zero future.

“Achieving net zero emissions is an objective we cannot ignore, but it will have repercussions across Canada, and in all sectors of the economy”, noted CICan president and CEO, Denise Amyot. “It is our responsibility to ensure that all Canadians are equipped to drive change but also adapt to the requirements of a green economy. Colleges and institutes have a critical role to play on both fronts. They already train workers with the green skills needed to achieve net zero emissions, and support innovation, through applied research, and ongoing collaboration with employers and the communities they serve.”

The position paper, titled “Canada’s colleges and institutes: Leading the way to a net zero carbon future” provides a roadmap for supporting the net zero objective and shows how the contribution of colleges and institutes rests on four pillars: green skills for a net zero future, applied research and living labs, indigenous knowledge and nature-based solutions and leveraging their green campuses.

For more information, read the full report.

About Colleges and Institutes Canada

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the voice of Canada’s publicly-supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics, and an international leader in education for employment with ongoing programs in over 25 countries. CICan’s members add over $190B to Canada’s economy each year and contribute to inclusive economic growth by working with industry and community partners to offer more than 10,000 programs to learners in urban, rural, remote, and northern communities.


For more information:

Julien Abord-Babin
Senior Strategic Communications Officer
Colleges and Institutes Canada
Phone: 613-746-2222 ext. 3131
Twitter: @CollegeCan