International Conference of Establishment Surveys - 2007 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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International Conference of Establishment Surveys - 2007

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  1. 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

  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 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)

  4. Survey of Environmental Protection Expenditures

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Survey redesign • 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Industrial Water Survey

  14. 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 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

  15. 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

  16. 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 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

  17. Challenges • 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

  18. 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

  19. Thank-you! Jeff Fritzsche Environment Accounts and Statistics Division Statistics Canada 613-951-2812