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Green technology: Montréal sets the tone

October 6, 2022

Transport electrification, building decarbonization, the agriculture sector’s shift to digital—Greater Montréal is teeming with projects in the cleantech industry. JLL and Alstom come to mind as both companies have opened innovation centres for sustainability, also 7Gen, which has set up in Montréal and provides fleet electrification for fleet managers.

How can Montréal drive cleantech projects? How can foreign investors contribute to the decarbonization of our economy? Key stakeholders in this booming industry shared their thoughts at a panel organized by Montréal International as part of the C2 Montréal event.

Left to right: Nathalie Ouellet (moderator), Catherine Bérubé (Cycle Capital), Olivier Marcil (Alstom), Teodora Toteva (Montréal International), Frédéric Bel (7Gen)

According to Teodora Toteva, Director, Clean Technologies at Montréal International, the cleantech ecosystem’s diversity is a game changer for investors. “Clean technology is one of the most promising sectors in Québec. The province has more than 1,000 organizations, 15 university campuses, public research centres and a vast pool of highly skilled talent. Both public and private sectors are engaged, which gives us a big boost in the fight against climate change.”

As for Catherine Bérubé, VP at Cycle Capital, she has seen tremendous engagement in the field. “There are many opportunities in Greater Montréal to develop projects in AgTech, sustainable mobility and green chemistry. We have plenty of start-ups, players who are very ambitious in cleantech. We have many solutions ready to transform our economy. We just need to act quickly.”

Specifically, the city’s sustainable mobility sector has some notable winning factors, according to Olivier Marcil, VP of Public Affairs, Alstom. He says Québec and Greater Montréal stand out in particular as more than 99% of the electricity the province produces is from clean and renewable sources. “We are a Canada-wide supplier of subway trains powered by renewable energy. We are proud of that, but what about other types of transportation such as trains, planes and trucks? We still have a long way to go.”

That is the mission 7Gen has set for itself. The Vancouver-based company recently set up offices in Montréal to support local companies in the electrification of their fleet. The company’s VP, Frédéric Bel, explained that despite the high costs associated with this type of project, Québec is one of the most generous and engaged provinces, as proven by the electrification of some 10,000 school buses under way. “Québec, and obviously Greater Montréal, is one of the best spots to launch a green technology project due to its ecosystem and the government incentives. But we need to do more to accelerate the transition.”

The panel was moderated by Nathalie Ouellet, sustainability and strategy consultant.

5 reasons to invest in Greater Montréal’ cleantech sector

  1. Montréal is the top city in Canada for university research funding
  2. The cleantech ecosystem in Québec accounts for 85,000 jobs and 1,000 organizations
  3. Québec is the No. 1 renewable energy producer in North America
  4. The IT sector facilitates the development of smart infrastructures
  5. There are a dozen international organizations focused on sustainable development in Montréal

To learn more about opportunities in Greater Montréal, check out our industry profile.