Restaurants Canada applauds federal action to help foodservice businesses invest in sustainability

Published May 30, 2019

TORONTO, May 30, 2019 – Restaurants Canada welcomes today’s announcement from the federal government regarding its Climate Action Incentive Fund, which acts on recommendations to help foodservice businesses reduce their environmental footprint while improving their bottom line.

“Canadian restaurateurs recognize that sustainability is important to their success. But with their average profit margin being less than 5 per cent, environmental policies must encourage choices that help not hurt their operations,” said David Lefebvre, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Federal and Quebec. “Restaurants Canada applauds the federal government for taking steps to help foodservice businesses continue working toward sustainable growth.”

Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, unveiled two new proposed programs, subject to Royal Assent of the Budget Implementation Act, that will help small and medium-sized businesses be more energy-efficient, save money, and contribute to national targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the Climate Action Incentive Fund, small and medium-sized businesses in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick — the four provinces where the federal price on greenhouse gas emissions applies — could be eligible to:

  • Receive refunds between 25 per cent and 50 per cent on the cost of new energy-saving equipment such as appliances, which could include fridges, dishwashers, heating and cooling equipment, anti-idling devices and high efficiency boilers.
  • Funding of up to 25 per cent of eligible costs for energy-efficient retrofits and other projects to improve energy efficiency, reduce their energy use and save money.

In addition, the federal government plans to open up a new call for proposals for smaller projects from small and medium-sized businesses across the country under the Low Carbon Economy Fund Partnerships stream. Approximately $10 million will be available to help businesses make investments to improve energy efficiency, reduce pollution and save money.

The federal government has also invited Restaurants Canada to participate in an External Advisory Committee, which will provide practical advice to help refine and improve the ongoing delivery of Climate Action Incentive Fund programs for small and medium-sized businesses.

“Restaurants Canada is proud to champion environmental policies that can help fuel success for foodservice businesses,” said Lauren van den Berg, Restaurants Canada National Vice President, Government Relations. “As the fourth-largest source of private sector jobs, a thriving, sustainable foodservice industry is vital to communities across the country. We look forward to continuing our work with all levels of government toward progress in this area of critical importance for the future of foodservice and the planet as a whole.”

Restaurants Canada was recently recognized with the 2019 ENERGY STAR® Recruit of the Year Award for raising awareness of opportunities to improve environmental sustainability within the foodservice industry.

Environmental sustainability is a growing concern for Canadian restaurateurs. Nine out of 10 foodservice operators responding to a 2018 Restaurants Canada survey said they plan to continue or improve on their current level of environmentally sustainable operations over the next three years.

About Restaurants Canada

Restaurants Canada represents a growing community of more than 30,000 businesses, advancing their potential through services, research and advocacy. Canada’s foodservice sector is an $89 billion industry, directly employs 1.2 million Canadians, is the number one source of first jobs and serves 22 million customers every day.

Marlee Wasser

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