2023 Changemakers demonstrate Canadian leadership in sustainability innovation
May 8, 2023
SDTC proudly announces annual list of Canada’s Sustainability Changemakers
May 08, 2023 – Ottawa, ON
Today, SDTC is proud to announce Canada’s Sustainability Changemakers for 2023: a list of ten Canadian companies showing outstanding growth and a track record of delivering on SDTC’s mandate of environmental and economic benefits for Canada. Each of these ten leading organizations has challenged the status quo to provide Canadian-made solutions with potential global impact.
Canada’s Sustainability Changemakers is the first made-in-Canada list recognizing homegrown innovation in sustainable technologies. The companies were chosen as Canada’s Sustainability Changemakers following a rigorous evaluation process consisting of five criteria:
- Annual revenues of over $10 million;
- A compound annual growth rate of 20% or more over the last three years;
- Sustainable benefits and impact measured per SDTC’s proprietary methods of quantifying environmental benefits;
- A global footprint; and
- A Canadian presence and contribution to the local economy: at least 50% of the workforce and significant operations must be Canada-based, and the company must demonstrate job growth.
Each of the ten Changemakers has shown remarkable growth and a commitment to solving Canada’s most pressing environmental problems. From coast-to-coast, entrepreneurial spirit and a dedication to technology and innovation, environment and economy embody a Changemaker.
“Being one of Canada’s Sustainability Changemakers comes from leadership, excellence, and commitment to sustainability in Canada and worldwide. The transformative environmental and economic impact created by these companies is already seen today and will bring us closer to a clean and prosperous future. Congratulations, and thank you to all of 2023’s changemakers.”
- Leah Lawrence, CEO, SDTC
Canada’s Sustainability Changemakers for 2023 are:
- Enerkem, based in Montreal, QC, commercializes its ground-breaking clean technology that uses non-recyclable waste and residual biomass to produce biofuels and circular chemicals for the hard-to-abate sectors. Its technology tackles the dual threats of waste management and dependency on fossil fuels products while contributing to the development of a circular economy for a sustainable, net-zero future. Enerkem Alberta Biofuels, located in Edmonton, is the world’s first commercial-scale biorefinery dedicated to producing advanced biofuels and circular chemicals using non-recyclable municipal solid waste (MSW). Supported by a workforce close to 300-strong, the company has various operational and permitted projects worldwide. In March 2023, Canada Infrastructure Bank announced a $277M investment in the Varennes Carbon Recycling project, building the world’s first large-scale biorefinery using Enerkem’s technology coupled with an electrolyzer to produce biofuels and circular chemicals.
- Hifi, based in Calgary, AB, develops fibre optic sensing systems inclusive of sensors, hardware & visualization software, artificial intelligence (AI) / machine learning data algorithms for monitoring pipelines, and other community infrastructure. When installed along the length of a new or existing asset such as a pipeline, fibre optic sensors can monitor every centimetre of the pipeline, detecting potential leaks and adding extra layers of safety and operational intelligence. Hifi’s technology has been or is currently deployed across over 3,000,000 meters of pipeline assets and over 1000 downhole wells globally. Hifi has seen steady and significant growth in sales through contracts with major companies in Canada, such as the 1200KM TransMountain Expansion Project, while expanding their market focus to include the emerging energy (H2 & CCUS infrastructure), mining, and water sectors.
- KEY (KEY DH Technologies), based in Collingwood, Ontario, develops innovation-driven businesses in the deuterium and hydrogen industries, serving global markets. KEY’s three primary operating companies include Hydrogen Optimized, a developer of the patented RuggedCell™ water electrolysis systems for the large-scale production of green hydrogen; Isowater®, a world-leading supplier of deuterium oxide produced using near-zero emissions technology; and deutraMed™, a breakthrough deuterium science and innovation company that provides clients with high-value deuterium-containing products for specialized applications along with IP-driven research and services. In recent years, KEY has shown significant revenue growth in its deuterium businesses, serving customers in the life sciences, high technology, and environmental science sectors in North America and beyond. It has created dozens of highly skilled jobs in Canada and is expanding its manufacturing operations in Ontario to meet the growing demand for its products.
- Saltworks, from Richmond, BC, provides cutting-edge industrial wastewater treatment and lithium refining solutions. Their technologies allow users to recycle wastewater, remove contaminants, reduce energy consumption, and recover valuable resources. With manufacturing operations anchored in their 200,000 ft2 facility in Richmond, BC, Saltworks has seen significant revenue growth, expanding and diversifying into a broad range of global markets such as semiconductors, automotive, mining, and manufacturing, where their solutions are in demand.
New companies for 2023
- MARA Renewables, from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, is a world-class Canadian biotechnology company, manufacturer, and leading global supplier of its patented algal-derived omega-3 oil DHA. It meets the growing needs of plant-based and environmentally conscious brands and consumers, providing functional, innovative ingredients that improve human nutrition without depleting our planet’s most valuable natural resources. In 2021 alone, Mara supplied enough DHA-rich fatty acids to the nutritional supplement and food and beverage markets to offset an estimated 7.3 billion fish (anchovy). In recent years, Mara has expanded its operations in Canada as well as in the UK and has seen high revenue growth through exports. They plan to continue to accelerate the commercialization of new products and to expand into new markets.
- Electrovaya, from Mississauga, ON is a pioneering leader in global energy transformation, focused on preventing climate change by supplying safe and long-lasting lithium-ion batteries without compromising energy and power. Electrovaya is a technology-focused company with extensive IP, that designs, develops, and manufactures proprietary lithium-ion batteries, battery systems, and battery-related products for energy storage, clean electric transportation, and other specialized applications. Selling to leading OEMs, they’ve generated 4 times revenue since 2019. Their revenues have grown exponentially from $4.9M USD in 2019 to over $19M USD in FY2022. They are currently on track to exceed $42M USD in FY2023 (September 30, 2023). Electrovaya is contributing to the Global battery supply chain, ensuring value add and jobs in Canada.
- Minesense, from Vancouver, BC is a pioneer in industrial IoT, providing real-time, sensor-based ore data and sorting solutions for large-scale mines. Their fast, scalable, and robust mineral sensing platform creates transformational value by delivering precise, accurate, real-time grade control and ore routing decisions at the point of extraction for maximum resource conversion and metal recovery, reducing the CO2 emissions and the consumption of wear materials, energy, water and reagents during the whole mining process. With Minesense’s growing manufacturing operations and an expanding set of customers from B.C. to South America, they’re delivering economic and environmental benefits to Canada and Globally.
- WestGen is a clean energy technology company based in Calgary, Alberta focused on empowering the energy evolution. Westgen’s purpose is to support the energy industry in this evolution and contribute to addressing the dual challenges of energy poverty and climate change. Westgen aims to be a catalyst of this change by creating solutions which meet the economic, operational, and technical application needs of customers. Its Engineered Power On Demand (EPOD) systems eliminate methane venting from pneumatic devices and can be configured to supply on- or off-grid devices with compressed air or electricity. Founded in 2019, WestGen’s targeted approach has led to fast adoption of its technology by large O&G customers and rapid employment growth.
- GREENMANTRA Technologies, based in Brantford, Ontario, is a leader in molecular recycling that transforms hard to recycle waste plastics into value-creating polymers with application as additives in a wide range of industrial products. GREENMANTRA has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2010 and their polymer products are used as performance enhancers and processing aids in asphalt roofing, asphalt roads, extruded plastic pipes, and other plastic processing applications with useful lifespans of 20-50+ years. In 2015, and 2018, GREENMANTRA secured financing from SDTC to scale up its manufacturing operations in Canada to support growing customer demand. GREENMANTRA annually diverts millions of pounds of plastic waste from our oceans and landfills into new applications
- Ecopia AI, from Toronto, ON Ecopia AI is a Canadian technology company digitizing the world using artificial intelligence (AI) by creating high-definition (HD) vector maps. Ecopia leverages AI to mine geospatial imagery inputs (ie. satellite images, aerial images) to rapidly generate accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date 2D and 3D maps at a continental scale. Ecopia’s mapping data is enabling various sustainability initiatives with a global impact, including the expansion of rooftop solar deployment, informing climate adaptation decisions, and humanitarian aid. Ecopia has successfully bootstrapped the business by selling mapping data to global customers and is engaged with government organizations across the world.
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