Regional Reports / Canada

Report Reveals Canadian Attitudes Toward Sustainability

July 25, 2011
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MISSISSAUGA, Ontario - According to the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), the recently released LePage Report on Canadians’ Attitudes to Sustainability reveals that, while an overwhelming majority of Canadian homeowners view indoor air quality and using sustainable and green building products as important, only half are aware of products to improve indoor air quality and only one in five use green and sustainable building products.

The report showed that British Columbians lead Canada in adoption of environmentally sustainable building products and in knowledge of products that contribute to indoor air quality, followed by those in Ontario and Quebec. Albertans lag behind in adoption of environmentally sustainable products and overall in following sustainable practices in the home.

The LePage Report also illustrated that Canadian women are more likely to follow sustainable practices in the home than men. For instance, women are more likely than men to recycle, compost, choose organic household products, and choose organic local food. In addition to gender playing a role in the level of importance, age is also a key factor in selecting green and sustainable building products. Canadian homeowners aged 55+ are more likely to use these products than younger respondents.

Of those who were aware of products that contribute to indoor air quality, Canadians pointed to heating and ventilation systems, low VOC building construction materials, and bamboo and cork flooring as top examples. For green and sustainable building products, Canadians listed building construction materials, environmentally friendly non-toxic and low emission materials, renewable resources, recyclable materials, and energy efficient products, although those in Quebec were the least likely to think of energy efficient products.

Conducted by Vision Critical with over 1,000 Canadian homeowners, The LePage Report also found:

• An overwhelming majority of Canadian homeowners view home air quality (98 percent) and using sustainable and green building products (75 percent) as important. Women (76 percent) and those aged 55+ (82 percent) find home air quality very important.

• Regardless of importance, only half (49 percent) of Canadian homeowners are aware of products to improve home air.

• One in five Canadian homeowners use sustainable and green renovation/building products. British Columbian homeowners (27 percent) are the most likely to use sustainable and green renovation/building products and those in Alberta (15 percent) the least likely.

• Nearly all Canadian homeowners that look for sustainable/green products view performance (99 percent), price (97 percent), and product (92 percent) as important.

• Despite the perceived importance of sustainable and green building products, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Canadian homeowners who have used professional help have not asked them to use sustainable and green building products in home renovation projects. One-third (33 percent) have never asked for professional help for their home - of which the majority (54 percent) are not sure if they would ask a professional to use these products.

Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted this survey in January among a sample of 1,006 adult Canadian homeowners who are Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error is ± 3.0 percent.

Publication date: 07/25/2011

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