The real property sector is a significant energy and resource consumer and plays a sizable role in the production of greenhouse gases, consumption of water, and the production of solid waste. With the environment becoming one of the top issues in public policy, REALpac and its Member companies have become leaders in sustainable green building practices; with the help of government, Canadian commercial real estate can further emerge as a global leader in this space.
REALpac is participating in consultations with Environment Canada on the 2017-2020 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. The FSDS is the guiding environmental and sustainability policy document for the Government of Canada. Discussions focused on sustainability issues in the commercial real estate sector.
REALpac along with other key industry stakeholders are seeking enhanced federal income tax incentives for Major Energy Retrofits ("MERs”) in the commercial and multi-family building sectors. Currently, these expenditures are treated like any other fixed capital investment, generally allocated a tax depreciation rate of only 4%. REALpac and its coalition partners are advocating for tax incentives that, if designed correctly, will deliver the following significant benefits:
• Increased investment in MERs and renewal of Canada’s building stock;
• Enhanced job creation and profitability in the retrofit and building sectors; and,
• Reduced energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollution.
Beyond tax incentives, REALpac believes there are opportunities to help reduce the impact of commercial buildings on the environment. REALpac trusts the following recommendations will help both the industry and the federal government achieve its goals, targets, and implementation strategies related to sustainable development:
• A national environmental policy on energy, indoor air quality, recycling, and use of renewable resources;
• A "national environmental body” to oversee these programs, similar to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US;
• Support for bringing the EnergyStar program to Canada;
• Voluntary Green Building rating cer tificates;
• Commitment of the federal government (and funding to PWGSC and other federal government department building owners) to achieve LEED NC Gold for all new buildings, and LEED EB Gold for its entire inventory over the next 10 year period;
• Updates to the National Model Building Code to incorporate not only energy saving initiatives, but also water, materials, indoor air quality, and recycling initiatives;
• A new "green depreciation” platform allowing accelerated depreciation of energy, water saving, indoor air quality, and materials saving equipment wider than currently exists;
• Ongoing monitoring and policy effectiveness evaluation;
• A national environmental policy on water consumption;
Federal Sustainable Development Strategy
- Next Phase of Canada's Economic Action Plan: Pre-Budget 2012 Consultation
- Canada's Economic Action Plan: Pre-Budget 2011 Consultation
- Planning for a Sustainable Future: Response to A Federal Sustainable
Development Strategy for Canada Consultation Paper (March 2010), submitted
to Federal Sustainable Development Office, Environment Canada
Building Incentives for the Real Property Sector" Sent to the National Round
Table on the Environment and the Economy
REALpac Members: To download the Submissions to Government, select the Member Resources item from the menu, sign-in, then select Advocacy Items.
Contact Brooks Barnett, Manager, Government Relations & Policy, 416-642-2700 x224.