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The environment is a cause for great concern that has given rise to new practices in recent years within organizations. It has become a separate sector that can be divided into four major subsectors:

  • environmental protection (environmental services and clean technologies for the management of waste, water, sites and air quality);
  • energy (energy savings, energy efficiency and renewable energy);
  • natural resource management (agriculture, fish and wildlife);
  • sustainable mobility (mass transportation, transportation electrification and carpooling).

The environmental sector is very large. In Québec it includes more than 1,600 businesses and organizations with more than 32,000 workers, putting Québec in second place in Canada for the most businesses and employees in the sector.

The duty of all players in society to take concrete action to protect the environment has fostered the appearance of standards to improve the practices of government organizations and private companies. The adoption of sustainable development standards by Québec businesses in all industries has had a direct impact on their management. Among other things, the introduction of the ISO 14000 standard has pushed businesses to develop integrated environmental management practices.

It is also in large part due to environmental standards that the number of organizations and services developing around environmental technologies is constantly rising.

Environmental standards, many of which are incorporated into the certification programs of the BNQ, have an extremely positive effect on the development of businesses, especially those in Québec’s environmental sector.