Canada climbed three places to rank fourth in the 2017 Global Cleantech Innovation Index, owing in part to its tripling in the number and value of cleantech funds and domestic investors.

2017 Global Cleantech Innovation Index ranking
2017 Rank Country Score
1 Denmark 4.07
2 Finland 3.96
3 Sweden 3.86
4 Canada 3.76
5 U.S.A. 3.59
6 Israel 3.56
7 U.K. 3.37
8 Germany 3.33
9 Norway 2.90
10 Switzerland 2.89

The GCII is provided by the Cleantech Group (CTG) and the global conservation organization, WWF, with support from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth and the Swedish Energy Agency. GCII ranks countries by their potential to produce entrepreneurial cleantech start-up companies that will commercialize clean technology innovations over the next ten years. The index is the average of four equally-weighted pillars, built from 21 metrics and condensed into 15 indicators, which are drawn from both third party research and CTG's proprietary data. Among the 40 countries included in the study, Canada ranked no lower than 6th across each of the four pillars, listed from “A” to “D” in figure-1 below.

Figure-1: Framework of the Global Cleantech Innovation Index

Canada ranked no lower than 6th across each of the four pillars


Canada's cleantech sector is defined by its innovative and entrepreneurial culture

Canada ranks third in the general innovation drivers index pillar, trailing only Sweden and the United States. General innovation drivers are a measure of the conditions that facilitate the development of entrepreneurial activity and innovation in a country. The set of indicators demonstrate whether conditions for starting a business, cleantech or otherwise, are present in a country, and rely on data provided by the Global Innovation Index and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Authors of the report praise Finland and Canada for their leadership in national regulatory quality and government effectiveness, signaling the ability of their governments to formulate and implement policies that promote the development of the private sector.

Canada, U.S.A and the U.K. offer cleantech start-ups the best access to private capital

Canada ranks fourth for cleantech specific drivers, an index pillar that measures a government's level of cleantech-supportive policy, public R&D expenditure in the sector, the country's market attractiveness for renewable energy investment and the level of start-up access to private finance via cleantech funds and domestic investors; Canada, the U.S.A. and the U.K. were highlighted as leaders.

Canada, U.S.A, the U.K. and Germany produce 75% of all successful cleantech start-ups

Canada places fourth in the evidence of emerging cleantech innovation index pillar, which identifies early signs of cleantech innovation by measuring the flow of environmentally related patents and early-stage venture capital. According to the report, top countries in this pillar share strengths in early-stage investment activity, while also scoring high in the number of successful cleantech start-ups. In fact, Canada was found to be one of four countries from which 75% of the world's successful cleantech companies emerge.

Canada's established manufacturing industry helps support cleantech commercialization

The evidence for commercialized cleantech index pillar gauges a country's ability to support fully commercialized cleantech companies. The pillar includes measurement of cleantech commodity import and export, renewable energy consumption data, cleantech late-stage privatization, M&As and IPOs and the number of publicly traded cleantech companies listed in major indices. The top six ranking countries found within this pillar, which includes Canada, benefit from an established manufacturing industry with a strong export focus across several industrial sectors, while also scoring high within the Global Manufacturing Competitiveness.

Read the full report: The Global Cleantech Innovation Index 2017