The expertise of Canadian clean technology firms is very broad. It includes water treatment and management, waste management and reclamation and, as Ms. Petrevan just mentioned, air treatment. So there is a wide range of expertise here, in Canada. Our context is also conducive to the development of those innovations thanks to the availability of numerous natural resources, strong leadership in the fight against climate change, as well as the research and development environment, which is very dynamic.
That fertile ground is an asset, but we could do better. Canada could be a world leader in clean technology. Despite all the assets I just listed, businesses must show the “techno-economic” benefits stemming from their innovations. So they are often searching for testing grounds or demonstration projects, also called storefronts. We are not talking about storefronts in a shopping centre; those are real demonstration projects in concrete operating conditions. Such projects are necessary to help businesses improve their marketing capacity. The government and Crown corporations—we think it is very important to also associate those corporations—have a purchasing power of several billion dollars a year. That is a tremendous tool to develop not only a healthier environment, but also an innovative sector like clean technology.
At CanadaCleantech, we prioritize six initiatives on the use of public markets that aim to stimulate the clean technology sector. Those six priorities are divided into two families.
The first aims to remedy the shortage of testing grounds or demonstration projects to test the benefits of Canadian clean technologies and demonstrate them. The objective is to help businesses market their clean technologies. The first measure is the creation of testing grounds or technological storefronts in departments and Crown corporations. We could talk about that further. The second initiative is about applying the quotas reserved for clean technologies to new public organization investments. The third initiative is the creation of spaces for exchange, referred to as marketplaces, between potential users of those technologies and Canadian innovators. Very often, people are unaware of what they don't know. It is very difficult to request technologies you don't know about. Those are the three priorities of our first family.
The second family, which consists of three initiatives, mainly focuses on the integration of best performance criteria in public tenders, so as to promote local technologies and achieve Canada's economic and environmental objectives. The first initiative is about taking into account the total cost of ownership in the calculation of costs related to the awarding of a government contract. We are talking about the total cost of ownership here, and not the cost of acquisition. The second initiative is the introduction of a premium related to exceeding minimum environmental standards in the scoring of tenders. Finally, the third initiative is about broader use of performance contracts. It's a matter of specifying what needs to be achieved and not how it needs to be achieved.
The application of our recommendations would accelerate the shift to a green economy and lead to much cleaner growth. It would directly benefit many innovative Canadian businesses, stimulate a very promising sector and create high quality jobs. It would also support the government in the achievement of its economic and environmental objectives and, most importantly, its greenhouse gas emission reduction objectives.