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International Conference of Establishment Surveys - 2007 Session 71 : Survey of Environmental Protection: Experience and Challenges Environment Surveys of Establishments: the Canadian Experience Thursday, June 21 st , Montréal, Québec Overview Environment Survey Program at Statistics Canada

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International Conference of Establishment Surveys - 2007

Session 71: Survey of Environmental Protection: Experience and Challenges

Environment Surveys of Establishments: the Canadian Experience

Thursday, June 21st,

Montréal, Québec


Overview l.jpg
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


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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)



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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


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Refinement of the survey Expenditures (SEPE)

  • 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


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Other challenges Expenditures (SEPE)

  • 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.


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Evolution of survey content Expenditures (SEPE)

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


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Challenges Expenditures (SEPE)

  • 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


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Survey redesign Expenditures (SEPE)

  • The Survey of Environmental Protection Expenditures is undergoing a thorough re-design for the 2006 reference year

    • Sample sourced from Statistics Canada’s 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


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Electronic reporting Expenditures (SEPE)

  • 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


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Redesign challenges Expenditures (SEPE)

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


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Industrial Water Survey Expenditures (SEPE)


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Industrial Water Survey (IWS) Expenditures (SEPE)

  • 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 Government’s 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


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Survey development Expenditures (SEPE)

  • 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


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Survey development - continued Expenditures (SEPE)

  • 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 Canada’s central Business Register

    • Probability sample design and use of generalized systems for edit and imputation, outlier detection, weighting, table production and confidentiality assurance


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Challenges Expenditures (SEPE)

  • Statistics Canada’s 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


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Challenges - continued Expenditures (SEPE)

  • 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


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Thank-you! Expenditures (SEPE)

Jeff Fritzsche

Environment Accounts and Statistics Division

Statistics Canada

613-951-2812

[email protected]


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