Investissement Québec launches $375M Compétivert green solution initiative

CPE News (3/19/2021) – Investissement Québec (IQ) has launched Compétivert initiative to encourage businesses to adopt clean technologies and environmentally responsible practices in order to become more competitive while reducing their environmental footprint.

The initiative is IQ’s responses to the Québec government’s Plan for a Green Economy.

The Compétivert initiative provides creative financing and support solutions as well as concrete tools to encourage businesses in every region of the province to act quickly.

Investissement Québec has set itself a funding target of $375 million over three years (2021–2024) for cleantech innovation projects, to be drawn from its own funds and Québec government funds, with additional capital from financial institutions, investment funds and private partners.

photo credit: Investissement Québec

News Release

THE COMPÉTIVERT INITIATIVE: LEVERAGING THE GREEN ECONOMY TO MAKE BUSINESSES MORE COMPETITIVE

Montréal, March 19, 2021 – Investissement Québec is launching the Compétivert initiative to encourage businesses to adopt clean technologies and environmentally responsible practices in order to become more competitive while reducing their environmental footprint. This plan is a response from Investissement Québec to the Québec government’s Plan for a Green Economy.

The initiative was unveiled today by Investissement Québec President and CEO Guy LeBlanc and Sylvie Pinsonnault, Senior Vice-President, Business Solutions and Strategies, with the support of Premier François Legault and Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation.

The Compétivert initiative provides creative financing and support solutions as well as concrete tools to encourage businesses in every region of the province to act quickly.

Investissement Québec is seeking to become a key player in the shift to a responsible and sustainable economy. The Corporation has set itself a funding target of $375 million over three years (2021–2024) for cleantech innovation projects, to be drawn from its own funds and Québec government funds, with additional monies from financial institutions, investment funds and private partners.

Flexible solutions that meet businesses’ needs

To assist businesses with this process, Investissement Québec has introduced a suite of brand-new solutions designed to meet their primary needs.

• The Compétivert financing solution was created for businesses looking to carry out projects that involve implementing clean technologies or environmentally responsible practices. This solution’s terms include a moratorium of up to 48 months on principal repayment to ensure that project rollout can be monitored closely and that the necessary flexibility is available.

• The Compétivert matching investment solution complements the investment funds sponsored by Investissement Québec. It supports businesses developing cleantech in Québec through the acquisition of equity stakes. This innovative venture capital solution, a first for Investissement Québec, is geared to businesses in the startup and post-startup stages that have recorded sales, subsequent to a proof of concept, to a strategic stakeholder or diverse client base. It rounds out the solutions available in the market and provides innovative industry businesses with quick access to the capital they need to support their growth.

• The Compétivert industrial environmental performance diagnostic is a new personalized technology support service. Developed by Investissement Québec – CRIQ’s technical experts, it provides a framework for analyzing industrial processes and procedures and identifying cost-effective steps and projects to be carried out on a priority basis in order to achieve lasting productivity. The recommendations are based on best practices and clean technologies that can help businesses become more productive and competitive and maximize the economic and environmental payoffs. The Compétivert industrial environmental performance diagnostic may be eligible, under certain conditions, for a grant from the Ecoleader Fund representing up to 50% of its value. The program’s eligibility criteria are available on the fondsecoleader.ca website.

Awareness activities, including master classes featuring experts and entrepreneurs, are also planned. Content, tips and success stories will also be available throughout the Compétivert initiative.

For a greener Québec

Investissement Québec has been active in the cleantech industry for about 15 years and has observed a constantly increasing number of funding and investment requests from the sector. Its teams are working hard to meet that demand, whether by financing or investing in businesses or by supporting specialized investment funds. For its part, Investissement Québec – CRIQ offers technology support services to businesses that want to boost their productivity in keeping with sustainable development principles.
Investissement Québec’s Compétivert initiative also supports the Québec government’s 2030 Plan for a Green Economy, particularly its commitment to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions substantially. Industry is the second-largest GHG producer, accounting for 30% of emissions, following transportation, which generates 45% of emissions. It is therefore crucial that businesses take action and help bring about a green, low-carbon economy. After all, businesses benefit too: The global cleantech sector is expected to be worth $23 trillion in 2030.

Many benefits await businesses that reduce their environmental footprint, including lower production costs, higher demand from consumers and prime contractors, and greater appeal to workers. That commitment can also help bring down the cost of access to capital and open doors to new sources of funding.

A commitment inspired by best practices

Climate change is already having an impact on the environment, people and the economy. It is one of the biggest challenges we face in the years ahead.

Investissement Québec is committed to ensuring that its responsible investment and sustainable financing practices are informed by best practices. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors will be taken into account in all financing operations no later than April 1, 2022, by applying a new responsible investment and sustainable financing policy. The Corporation is also embarking on a multi-year process to integrate the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the sustainability objectives of the United Nations in order to set carbon intensity reduction targets for its portfolio.

To learn more about the Compétivert initiative and see the fact sheets for these financial solutions and the industrial environmental performance diagnostic, visit competivert.com.

Quotes

“Clean technologies have enormous potential. Québec businesses have every reason to develop and leverage them to boost their competitiveness and take their rightful place in local and export markets. Through the Compétivert initiative, we are supporting their shift to a responsible and sustainable economy with customized financial solutions, strategic support from our experts in every region of Québec, and technological assistance from Investissement Québec – CRIQ.”
Guy LeBlanc, President and CEO of Investissement Québec

“As we have said, our vision is clear : More than ever, the environment has to be a driver of Québec’s economy. With Compétivert, Investissement Québec will help our businesses significantly reduce their environmental footprint. This initiative will also ramp up Québec’s shift to a greener, more dynamic and more sustainable economy.”
Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation

“When we unveiled our Plan for a Green Economy last November, we announced that the funding spent on fighting climate change would be further enhanced by the actions of partners like Investissement Québec. The launch of an initiative like Compétivert delivers on that commitment and shows just how much tackling climate change is now part of the mission of all Québec government economic actors, who see many opportunities to be seized.”
Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change


ABOUT INVESTISSEMENT QUÉBEC
Investissement Québec’s mission is to play an active role in Québec’s economic development by spurring business innovation, entrepreneurship and business acquisitions, as well as growth in investment and exports. Operating in all the province’s administrative regions, the Corporation supports the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes with investments and customized financial solutions. It also assists businesses by providing consulting services and other support measures, including technological assistance available from Investissement Québec – CRIQ. In addition, through Investissement Québec International, the Corporation also prospects for talent and foreign investment and assists Québec businesses with export activities.

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Information:

Gladys Caron
Vice-President, Media, Communications and Public Affairs
Investissement Québec
Tel.: 514 873-1518