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Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 1 International Conference of Establishment Surveys.

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Presentation on theme: "Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 1 International Conference of Establishment Surveys."— Presentation transcript:

1 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 1 International Conference of Establishment Surveys Session 71: Survey of Environmental Protection: Experience and Challenges Environment Surveys of Establishments: the Canadian Experience Thursday, June 21 st, Montréal, Québec

2 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 2 Overview Environment Survey Program at Statistics Canada Business Environmental Protection Expenditures –What we measure and the challenges –How we define environmental protection expenditures –How we survey businesses –Survey redesign Industrial Water Survey –Background and development –What is measured –How is it defined? –Challenges Final comments

3 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 3 Environment survey program at Statistics Canada Limited environmental information collected since the 1970s and 1980s Development of 1 st dedicated environment survey in late 1980s Federal Governments Green Plan for a Healthy Environment

4 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 4 Environment survey program at Statistics Canada Four established surveys –Survey of Environmental Protection Expenditures –Environment Industry Survey (currently undergoing conceptual redesign) –Waste Management Industry Surveys: Business and Government New surveys – ongoing or in development –Households and the Environment Survey (began for 2006 reference year) –Industrial Water Survey (began for 2005 reference year) –Survey of Municipal Source Water Quality (in development) –Agricultural Water Survey (in development)

5 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 5 Survey of Environmental Protection Expenditures

6 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 6 Environmental protection expenditures Demand during the mid-1980s and 1990s for business expenditures to protect the environment to support joint work by Statistics Canada and Environment Canada Limited environmental data related to capital and repairs expenditures for pollution abatement and control collected In 1989, a pilot survey of Pollution Abatement and Control Expenditures was developed A second driving force was the development of the Environmental Protection Expenditure Accounts (component within the Canadian System of Environmental and Resource Accounts) and Growing demand within policy departments led to secured Data Gaps funding at the sunset of the Green Plan

7 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 7 Development of the Survey of Environmental Protection Expenditures (SEPE) The Pollution Abatement and Control Survey in 1989 was conducted by the Investment and Capital Stock Division of Statistics Canada –Progressive in its content – included PAC end-of-pipe and change in processing techniques (P2) –Sales on own use of PAC-recovered materials –Most challenging, perhaps, were questions on estimating physical reduction in emissions resulting from PAC and P2 investments –Statistics on capital and operating expenditures collected only for end-of-pipe retrofit and equipment projects – change in processing techniques excluded Lessons learned –Definition of an environmental protection expenditure –Difficulty in providing physical measures

8 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 8 Refinement of the survey A second survey was not conducted until 1994 Conducted within the National Accounts and Environment Division –Coverage narrowed to primary and manufacturing industries identified as being the heavier polluters –Questions restricted to financial and other descriptive statistics –More detailed questions on integrated processes (pollution prevention) capital and operating expenditures and environmental practices A clear definition of an environmental protection expenditure is particularly important as businesses began implementing solutions based on integrated processes and technologies Subjective interpretation will likely always exist but for comparisons over time, consistent applications of methodology crucial for respondents and data users Introduction of the compliance criterion in the 1994 survey reference year Also included anticipated environmental protection expenditures

9 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 9 Other challenges Lack of classification of environmental goods or technologies –Difficult to use other information sources (such as administrative data or economic surveys) since current product classifications are too general –Industries using many different processes that would necessitate the development of a large number of customized questionnaires Expenditure questions on the survey are mainly split into general categories of expenditures instead of by process or technology –Environmental monitoring –Pollution prevention –Pollution abatement and control –Protection and restoration of wildlife and habitat –Environmental assessments and audits –Site reclamation and decommissioning –Environmental charges –etc.

10 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 10 Evolution of survey content Survey content has evolved to include, for various years: Use of environmental processes and technologies (focussed mainly on end-of-pipe) Transition to more environmentally friendly technology and renewable energy use Questions on environmental management practices Modules on greenhouse gas mitigation efforts Modules on the adoption of improved systems or equipment to reduce energy consumption Mid- 1990s 2006

11 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 11 Challenges Businesses have to contend with many other surveys from Statistics Canada and many other sources Business, particularly small and medium-sized, may not be as familiar with concepts such as pollution prevention, pollution abatement and control or climate change Businesses may have difficulty separating their environmental protection expenditures from other types of expenditures (particularly operating expenses), mainly because their accounting system do not track them Despite the definition provided on the questionnaire, businesses may over- report their environmental protection expenditures Businesses have had difficulty providing a breakdown of their operating expenses by media (air, water, waste, noise) Businesses have had difficulty reporting their purchases of environmental services Must carefully manage questionnaire size and detail (i.e. number of questions, detail of financial information, classification of information etc.). We have an obligation to keep response burden to a minimum

12 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 12 Survey redesign The Survey of Environmental Protection Expenditures is undergoing a thorough re-design for the 2006 reference year –Sample sourced from Statistics Canadas central Business Register –New sample design based on probability sampling using weighting –New edit and imputation system based on generalized systems –Generalized system for outlier detection –Further automation and enhancement of confidentiality screening –Automated table generation to allow for faster dissemination of results –From a long and short questionnaire to a single long questionnaire Enhancements to the qualitative estimates –The old edit and imputation system could only be used with quantitative cells –Qualitative estimates based on reported values only and biased to larger establishments –New system will estimate for non-response with weighting for non-sampled portion

13 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 13 Electronic reporting Since the 1995 reference year survey, an electronic version of the questionnaire has been available –Microsoft Excel format –Sent to respondents who contacted Statistics Canada to receive it Over time, Excel version of questionnaire received modest improvements –Grew in popularity but was time consuming to manage internally For the 2006 reference year, in conjunction with the redesign, a fillable Adobe PDF electronic questionnaire was developed –Ability for respondent to fill in questionnaire and save their data –Identical to paper questionnaire –Includes simple edits during completion and a data verification stage once questionnaire filled out –Will improve accuracy of the OCR scanning system the 2006 survey will use Not a true Electronic Data Reporting system but rather a respondent aid

14 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 14 Redesign challenges Methodology – at the beginning of building imputation and estimation system One of the biggest challenges is finding relationships between the environmental variables we are collecting information on and economic variables Analysis has shown inconsistent relationships between environmental protection expenditures (capital and operating) with overall business expenditures, employment size, or revenues Challenging for the methodologists to design edits and imputation formulas based on donor information for the establishment or similar establishments collected on other business surveys

15 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 15 Industrial Water Survey

16 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 16 Industrial Water Survey (IWS) Statistics Canada assisted Environment Canada in the administration of an industrial water survey from 1972 until 1996 Information collected: intake and discharge volumes, water use, types of water treatment as well as cost information Canadian Federal Governments decision to create a national water quality indicator catalyst for a revival of the survey Cooperative project between Statistics Canada, Environment Canada and Health Canada to review and update the survey and to maximize comparability with the 1996 survey

17 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 17 Survey development Three survey questionnaires developed for three industry sectors for the 2005 reference year: –Manufacturing, thermal power generation and mining Detailed statistics to be collected on water use and management, such as: –Water intake by source, water treatment, purpose and recirculation/reuse –Water discharge, including type of treatment prior to discharge and point of discharge –Operating and maintenance costs for water acquisition, treatment of intake water, treatment of discharge water –Capital expenditures on water intake, discharge or treatment facilities –Questionnaires customized for unique operating characteristics of each sector Feasibility study approved for Oil and Gas extraction for 2006 reference year Survey slated be conducted every two years

18 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 18 Survey development - continued The draft questionnaires were tested in several locations across Canada using one-on-one interviews with potential respondents in the three sectors Second objective was to develop a sound methodological framework from sample selection through to final estimates The IWS is the first of the current dedicated environment business surveys to use methodological support from Business Survey Methods Division and linked to Statistics Canadas central Business Register –Probability sample design and use of generalized systems for edit and imputation, outlier detection, weighting, table production and confidentiality assurance

19 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 19 Challenges Statistics Canadas central Business Register lacking environmental variables for sampling purposes – such as drainage basin codes or other environmental geographies The volume data was not always available. For many industries in many jurisdictions there is no requirement to monitor water intake or discharge Financial information was often not readily available to the respondents, causing some non-response to these questions or best guess estimates Some respondents felt that the rationale for some of the questions in the survey was unclear Some respondents felt more explanation and guide was needed when answering the questions. An improved reporting guide is being developed May have to survey at the location level, rather than establishment

20 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 20 Challenges - continued Locating the appropriate individual within an establishment to complete the survey was sometimes difficult Respondents indicated that they already report the information to other government departments There seemed to be a significant demand for electronic reporting capabilities. In fact, one industry association developed an EXCEL questionnaire for their membership which was used extensively –The development of an fillable Adobe PDF for the IWS survey likely if the SEPE version proves successful –STC also in the process of developing a new EDR system for business surveys

21 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 21 Presentation conclusions On the one hand, Lack of standard classifications limits options to data compilation and comparability Difficult for respondents to provide estimates related to environmental protection expenditures or water use and discharge, particularly when no metering exists STC does not currently measure expenditures made that are beyond compliance Difficult to design imputation system for environmental variables Environmental geographies not present in central business register Competing data needs (such as physical data versus financial data) results in multiple people having to fill out one questionnaire in an organization

22 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 22 Presentation conclusions – continued On the other hand, Businesses are more familiar with environmental concepts such as pollution prevention Businesses are often keen to report their environmental protection efforts Response rates consistently between 75% and 85% Business survey infrastructure incorporating needs of environmental surveys Although the environment survey program has often been in a feast or famine, growing concern for the environment has resulted in greater resources for developing environmental statistics and indicators

23 Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Division des comptes et de la statistique de l'environnement 23 Thank-you! Jeff Fritzsche Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Statistics Canada


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