Announces new carbon reduction target and key objectives toward zero emissions

Export Development Canada (EDC) is committing to net zero emissions by 2050 across its business lines and in its own global operations. The Crown corporation’s plan will include interim reduction targets for the most carbon intensive sectors for 2023 and 2030, supported by sustainable finance objectives. 

“We understand the urgency in addressing climate change and we want to do our part. We are dedicated to helping Canadian businesses innovate, support longer-term business growth, and become more competitive on the global stage through strong ESG practices,” said Mairead Lavery, President and CEO at EDC. “As the transition to a low carbon economy accelerates, EDC’s commitment to net zero must build on the momentum established over the past decade. We know that significant work remains to be done. We are still in the early stages of our net zero journey, and working closely with our customers, stakeholders, financial industry peers and government partners to drive change, while adopting best practices and standards will help us achieve our climate objectives.”

EDC’s net zero plan, which is detailed in the Backgrounder: EDC and Net Zero, will be rolled out in phases. The organization is committed to transparency and will publicly disclose its 2030 target and any future interim targets and will detail its progress along the pathway to 2050 in line with emerging best practices in climate disclosure. 

As Canada’s export credit agency, EDC’s role is to help Canadian companies seize growth opportunities through international trade for the benefit of Canadians. In today’s global economy, strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices are a competitive accelerator. As such, EDC’s commitment to net zero by 2050 is focused on enabling Canadian businesses, including those in natural resources and energy sectors, to position themselves for growth by investing in their ESG performance. EDC is dedicated to supporting Canada’s exporters and trade-based economy and will take a proactive approach to helping its customers understand and mitigate ESG risks, seize opportunities, and innovate to reduce their emissions and environmental impacts. 

“EDC has an important role to play as a financial Crown corporation in promoting and supporting the transition to a low carbon economy. Regardless of where a Canadian company is in their ESG planning and performance, we are here to support them. We will encourage Canadian businesses to invest in their ESG performance to support their growth and will be expanding our financial solutions to help them innovate,” said Justine Hendricks, EDC’s Senior Vice President and inaugural Chief Sustainability Officer. “We recognize the amount of work and dedication it will take to achieve net zero and are motivated by what we can achieve together for a more sustainable future.” 

EDC’s commitment to and path toward net zero emissions by 2050 are aligned with the Government of Canada and the Paris Agreement, and builds on a strong foundation formed over many years. The Government of Canada, as EDC’s sole shareholder, recently issued its annual Statement of Priorities and Accountabilities for the organization. The document articulates the need for EDC to act with authority, transparency and accountability in support of Canada’s efforts to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, and the organization is fully committed to doing so.  

“As Canada works towards an inclusive and sustainable recovery, EDC has an important role to play in helping Canadian businesses take full advantage of opportunities to scale up and access international markets, while prioritizing Canada’s climate goals in all of its decisions,” said Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng. “The steps EDC has outlined to reach net zero will help keep our industries competitive and contribute to a more sustainable future for generations. I look forward to seeing EDC build on and accelerate its efforts to make a positive impact, while acting with integrity and transparency.”

EDC’s commitments to net zero by 2050 and strong ESG and disclosure practices are foundational to its operations and corporate strategy. EDC will achieve this goal through changing the way we do business in a responsible, meaningful and measurable way, supported by emissions reductions and sustainable finance targets that will be set along the path to 2050. 

At this time, EDC has set a 2023 target of reducing its financing support to the six most carbon intensive sectors by 40% below 2018 levels, and will set and publicly disclose 2030 science-based, sectoral emission intensity targets and a sustainable finance target by July 1, 2022. These initial interim targets will be focused on the most carbon intensive sectors (i.e., upstream oil and gas; airlines; cement manufacturing; metals smelting and processing; petrochemicals, refining chemicals and chemicals manufacturing; and thermal power generation), however, the organization will also be considering how to broaden targets to cover all sectors it supports. In light of its high carbon intensity, EDC will first focus its attention on the oil and gas industry, supporting Canadian companies as they innovate and reduce their emissions, while phasing out new direct government support for international carbon intensive fossil fuel projects and companies.

EDC remains focused on increasing its support to Canada’s cleantech sector and promoting innovative Canadian technologies that the world needs to help drive down emissions. In 2012, EDC identified cleantech as a corporate priority. Since then, we have facilitated approximately $13.5 billion in Canadian cleantech exports, which include companies focused on either climate mitigation or environmental protection goods and services. In 2020, EDC increased the number of cleantech companies it served by 29% year-over-year to 288 companies, facilitating $4.5 billion in cleantech exports, investments and trade opportunities. 

EDC will also bring its operational carbon footprint, both in Canada and abroad, to zero emissions by 2030 through a mix of reductions and, only as a last resort and ideally as an interim solution, purchasing carbon offsets.

Related Materials

Backgrounder: EDC and Net Zero

2020 Climate Disclosure Report

Climate Change Policy

About EDC

Export Development Canada (EDC) is a financial Crown corporation dedicated to helping Canadian companies of all sizes succeed on the world stage. As international risk experts, we equip Canadian companies with the tools they need – the trade knowledge, financing solutions, equity, insurance, and connections – to grow their business with confidence. Underlying all our support is a commitment to sustainable and responsible business. To help Canadian businesses facing extreme financial challenges brought on by the global response to COVID-19, the Government of Canada has expanded EDC’s domestic capabilities until December 31, 2021. This broader mandate will enable EDC to expand its support to companies focused domestically.

For more information and to learn how we can help your company, call us at 1-800-229-0575 or visit