Environment Industry Survey

Detailed information for 2004




Every 2 years

Record number:


The purpose of the survey is to produce estimates of the production of environmental goods (including construction) and services by industry. The survey collects data on revenues from sales of environmental goods and services and employment related to this production.

Data release - July 26, 2006 (Due to a redesign, the survey will not be conducted for reference year 2006.)


The purpose of the survey is to produce estimates of the production of environmental goods (including construction) and services by industry. The survey collects data on revenues from sales of environmental goods and services and employment related to this production.

In September 1994, the Canadian government announced the Canadian Environment Industry Strategy (CEIS). This strategy consisted of 22 initiatives developed to address the growing Canadian environmental sector. Statistics Canada was asked to address Initiative 8 of the CEIS -- to establish a national statistical database on the environment industry. As a result, Statistics Canada began to collect information on establishments earning revenues from sales of environmental goods and services.

The pilot data collection was undertaken for reference year 1995, and was followed by a combined data collection for the years 1996 and 1997. From 1998 onwards, data collection has been undertaken every second year.

Some establishments involved in environmental production are not included in the Environment Industry Survey. Instead, the data for these establishments are obtained from other Statistics Canada surveys or other sources and they are then combined with Environment Industry Survey data to provide a more complete picture of environmental production while minimizing response burden. Information from the following surveys is combined with Environment Industry Survey data: Waste Management Industry Survey: Business Sector (record number 2009), the Annual Survey of Engineering Services (record number 2439), the Annual Survey of Service Industries: Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Services (record number 4717), the Survey of Environmental Protection Expenditures (record number 1903) and Consolidated Government Revenue and Expenditures (record number 1735). In addition, information on wholesale trade in recyclable materials originates from Statistics Canada's Business Register. Taken together, this information allows for the development of national and provincial estimates of revenues from sales of environmental goods and services and employment related to the production of these goods or the provision of these services. This information can be used by businesses for market analysis, by trade associations to study the performance of the environment industry, by governments to develop policies and by researchers.

Statistical activity

The Canadian System of National Accounts (CSNA) provides a conceptually integrated statistical framework for studying the state and behavior of the Canadian economy. The accounts are centered on the measurement of activities associated with the production of goods and services, the sales of goods and services in final markets, the supporting financial transactions, and the resulting wealth positions.

To produce financial statistics, the CSNA measures the economic dimensions of the public sector of Canada, including the financial inter-relationships among the thousands of entities that make up the three levels of government in Canada (federal, provincial and territorial, and local). In order to carry out this program, the CSNA maintains a universe of all public sector entities including their complex inter-relationships.

The Canadian System of Environmental-Economic Accounts provides a conceptually integrated framework of statistics (in physical and monetary terms) and analysis for studying the relationship between the environment and human and economic activity. It presents detailed statistics describing 1) the size of Canada's natural resource stocks and their contribution to national wealth; 2) the extraction of these same resources and their disposition among businesses, households, governments and the rest of the world; 3) the generation of various wastes (liquid, solid and gaseous) by industries, households and governments and the management of these wastes; and 4) the expenditures made by businesses, households and governments for the purposes of protecting the environment. The accounts are, to the greatest extent possible, compatible with the Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (CSMA). They were developed in response to the need to better monitor the relationship between economic activity and the environment.

Reference period: The reference period for the Environment Industry Survey is the 12-month fiscal period for which the final day occurs on or between April 1st of the reference year and March 31st of the following year.

Collection period: April through November of the year after the reference period.


  • Environment

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population consists of establishments operating in Canada that were involved either in whole or in part in the production of environmental goods or the provision of environmental services in all industries with the exception of environmental construction, waste management and wholesale trade in recyclable materials.

Instrument design

The Environment Industry Survey questionnaire has undergone various transformations since its inception in 1995. The original material was developed by the Environmental Accounts and Statistics Division with assistance from Industry Canada. A pilot study, involving a limited group of respondents, was performed as a means of initial testing of content and terminology. The basic revenue classifications have remained relatively constant over the cycles, with most significant changes involving the expansion of the number of categories of environmental goods and services.

Starting with reference year 2002, questions were added on goods and services for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. During the development phase of this material, a series of one-on-one interviews with businesses were conducted to test the new material, as well as to collect feedback on existing survey questions.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

The Environment Industry Survey includes all identified establishments operating in Canada that were involved in whole or in part in the provision of environmental goods or services. The exceptions are Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Services, including Environmental Consulting Services (NAICS 5416), and Remediation Services (NAICS 562910). In both cases, a sample of all establishments in each category was selected from Statistics Canada's Business Register for inclusion in the Environment Industry Survey for reference year 2004. For Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Services, establishments with revenues in the lowest (first) percentile of all similar establishments on the Business Register were excluded, and the remaining establishments were divided into 3 groups per province/territory, based on revenues, and a random sample was drawn from each group. For Remediation services, the Environment Industry Survey included only those establishments with revenues above the first (lowest) percentile for all similar establishments on the Business Register in each province/territory.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2006-05-01 to 2006-11-30

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Environment Industry Survey questionnaires were mailed to 2856 establishments identified in the frame and the responses were returned by mail. The surveys were addressed to a contact person who was either responsible for, or had knowledge of, the environment-related operations of the establishment. Mail, telephone and fax follow ups were carried out to elicit response from non-respondents. Validity and flow edits were built into the BLAISE data capture system and were applied during data entry.

In some cases, the number of establishments comprising an enterprise was too large for conventional data collection. To facilitate reporting in these cases, data were collected through reporting entities known as provincial establishments. All establishments comprising a provincial establishment had to be part of the same industry group. The data contained in these reports were subsequently allocated to individual establishments based on related characteristics.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

Completed and captured questionnaires were checked using an automated edit program (BLAISE) which verified that all mandatory information was completed and that reported values were within acceptable ranges based on historical data. Data were corrected, where possible, with the assistance of the respondent.


Residual errors, missing data or inconsistencies were resolved by statistical adjustments using historical or administrative data, or by imputing (substituting) consistent data from respondents with similar characteristics.


As part of the production of final estimates, sampled data were weighted to produce estimates representative of the target population.

Quality evaluation

Year-over-year comparisons were made by industry group and by province/territory, while taking into account any changes in the survey or changes in government regulations or policies which may have an impact on the environment industry.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data which would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge or the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Two stages of disclosure control are used. MS FoxPro programs specifically written to identify cells that may contain confidential data are run against the cross tabulations. A decision is then made whether to suppress cells or to aggregate cells to avoid disclosure. The second step is an intensive peer review of all tabular data prior to publication. This manual verification ensures that both inter and intra tabular comparisons cannot be made that may lead to disclosure of confidential data.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Preliminary estimates are released for revenues from sales of technologies and services aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Revisions are sometimes made between the release of the preliminary data and the release of the detailed survey report. Once finalized, these estimates are released along with estimates related to all other environmental goods and services. Data are not seasonally adjusted.

The revision of the 2002 data resulted from follow-up consultations with respondents where large year-over-year differences were found in the data.

Data accuracy

The methodology of this survey has been designed to control errors and to reduce the potential effects of these. However, the results of the survey remain subject to error in a number of areas, including coverage, non-response, response, processing and, to a limited extent, sampling.

For the Environment Industry Survey, the mailing list for survey respondents is compared with various industry directories and supplemented with information from Statistics Canada's Business Register. Ongoing research is also done on the establishments contained in the frame in order to identify environment-related business activities. Together, these activities allow for the continual updating and verification of establishments contained in the survey frame.

A total of 2245 completed or partially completed questionnaires were received. In addition, 406 new establishments were identified as being in-scope for the survey.

The overall unweighted response rate for the Environment Industry Survey in 2004 was 78.6%, based the ratio of the number of fully and partially completed questionnaires to the total number of active in-scope establishments. Missing values were replaced with imputed values for key non-mandatory variables in the survey.

For additional information, see Statistics Canada catalogue no. 16F0008X, section 3 - Methodology and Data Quality. This publication can be accessed through the link "Publications" included in the side bar menu above.

For more information on data accuracy, follow the link below.

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