An engineer uses a computer to design solar panels.

Accelerating the Green Transition

The green transition: An opportunity for SMEs to grow and contribute to tomorrow’s economy

By helping to create a sustainable, inclusive economy, Quebec’s SMEs can meet consumers’ and workers’ expectations and seize business opportunities among prime contractors with environmental requirements. Businesses that make the green shift thus ensure they are attractive and competitive so they can continue to grow while contributing to the well-being of their community.

Our vision

CED is convinced that our economy’s long-term competitiveness rely in large part on innovation and greener, more inclusive growth among Quebec’s businesses and communities.

SMEs drive our regional economies, but their operations may be linked to approximately 30% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. Their contribution is therefore essential for us to reach our targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In Quebec, SMEs indicate they are aware they need to adapt their business practices, but they do not always have the resources or expertise to put into place the necessary technologies, practices, and investments.

To guide SMEs effectively through this transition towards a more sustainable business model, it is important for the Government of Canada’s assistance to align with responsible investment principles that emphasize environmental, social, and governance criteria. CED is determined to provide more support for the green transition among SMEs and regional economies by prioritizing strategic investments in clean technologies, organizations that integrate ecofriendly practices into their operations, and regional ecosystems that support SMEs that take action.

By choosing to act today to boost the environmental transition among businesses and regions, CED is helping Canada reach its targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, while helping build a resilient, sustainable, competitive economy for tomorrow.

Our actions

What we are already doing

Ongoing support for the development and adoption of clean technologies: A priority since 2016

Green investment target
surpassed by 60%
in 2020-2021

What we will do to move forward


Double the green investment target by 2025-2026 to $50 million per year

Make conditions more flexible for SMEs that take action (please contact the business office that serves your region)

Environmental Scorecard

Survey clients’ green practices and green elements in projects that are the subject of new applications for financial support under CED’s programs, as of April 1, 2023


Strengthen ecosystem support to help SMEs take action (in development)


Create a Minister’s Advisory Committee on the Environmental Transition of Businesses


The Advisory Committee's aim is to provide insight and recommendations to the Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec on the challenges that small and medium-sized businesses face in accelerating their environmental transition while seizing business opportunities. The committee's work will also help CED go further in integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into its interventions.


The advisory committee consists of nine members chosen for their relevant experience, knowledge and insight. In the spirit of inclusiveness and representation, the committee may include representatives from the following sectors or groups: financial sector, manufacturing sector, sectoral organisation, SMEs and major prime contractors, NPOs, Indigenous communities, academia and research.

Experts or persons of interest in a relevant field may be invited to participate in a committee meeting on an ad hoc basis.


Committee chair

Geneviève Morin - President and CEO, Fondaction


  • Alain Bédard - A/Director, The First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Sustainable Development Institute
  • Corinne Gendron - Full Professor and Director of the Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development Research Chair, École des sciences de la gestion, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
  • François Labelle - Professor of Business Strategy and Social Responsibility and Research Member of the Institut de recherche sur les PME (InRPME), Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR)
  • Karl Blackburn - President and CEO, Quebec Council of Employers
  • Louis Roy - Founder and CEO, Optel
  • Manuela Teixeira - President and CEO, Old Chelsea Square
  • Marina Soubirou - Executive director, Technopole maritime du Québec
  • Michel Lafleur – Full Professor and Director, Centre de formation en environnement et développement durable (CUFE), Université de Sherbrooke
  • Nancy Goudreau - Managing Director, Sustainable Financing, Mouvement Desjardins
  • Véronique Proulx - President and CEO, Manufacturiers et exportateurs du Québec

Our positive impact across Quebec

Christian Babin, founder of Kuma Brakes, stands in the center of the warehouse and holds a wind turbine brake pad in his hands.

Kuma Brakes: A company with the wind in its sails

Discover how a Gaspesian SME produces brakes for more than 50% of the wind turbines in North America.

Hugo satellite

GHGSat: Measuring greenhouse gases from space

GHGSat specializes in high resolution teledetection of greenhouse gas emissions.

HO at work on Kamilo Beach, Hawaii.

Hoola One Technologies: Restoring ecosystems affected by plastic pollution

Discover an innovative solution to clean beaches and shorelines.

Our interventions align with government of Canada priorities

2021 Speech from the Throne
The fight against climate change and the environmental transition are Government of Canada priorities.

2022 Federal Budget
A series of measures focused on green economic growth to help businesses remain competitive in the emerging net-zero economy and build a more prosperous future for all workers and their communities.

2030 Emissions Reduction Plan – Delivering Clean Air and a Strong Economy for Canadians
$9.1 billion in additional investments and new measures to set Canada on a path towards a sustainable economy and make the country a global leader in the green transition to cleaner processes and technologies. This plan is based on the solid foundations of the Pan‑Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change and strengthened climate plan.

Learn more about CED