A circular economy is also good for the bottom line

“In our current economy, we often take materials from the Earth, make products from them, and eventually throw them away as waste – the process is linear. In a circular economy, by contrast, we stop waste being produced in the first place,” according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international organization whose mission is to accelerate the transition to a circular economy.

Haven’t heard of a circular economy? This video by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation provides a quick introduction.

The World Economic Forum refers to the circular economy as the "business opportunity of our time. It strengthens local economies in a socially-inclusive way, creating far more jobs than taking the traditional linear approach to waste." A circular economy is good for business, people and the environment.

East Port Properties is the developer and operator behind 351 Water Street in St. John's, the first LEED® Gold certified building in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Using seawater from St. John’s Harbour as an energy source for both heating and cooling, together with the use of automated technologies and good management practices, has resulted in a 35% reduction in energy use, as evidenced by the actual operating costs of the building.

The building’s HVAC systems recover energy from waste heat sources whenever possible, including from the building’s general exhaust and tenant server rooms.

During construction, a waste reduction program was implemented to reduce waste and increase diversion of materials. Post construction, the facility features a meaningful and measurable workplace waste diversion program including a building composting program.

351 Water Street is located next to public transit lines, includes bike racks and storage, shower facilities and reserved parking for carpooling. The parking garage also has two Electric Vehicle charging stations on each level.

According to Kim Saunders, property manager at East Port, "high-performance sustainable buildings help reduce operating cost, while providing healthy workspaces. They also increase the ability to attract and retain high-quality tenants which is good for the bottom line."

Here are some additional examples of local companies that are helping to contribute to the circular economy:

  • In 2020, Crombie REIT completed an $111 million redevelopment of the Avalon Mall that included the introduction of a number of energy efficiency measures to reduce overall consumption, such as lighting and mechanical upgrades, and the implementation of a composting and recycling program. The completed project received BOMA BEST Gold certification.

  • Furniture ReUse at Robin Hood Bay - The City of St. John’s, in partnership with Home Again Furniture Bank and Habitat for Humanity ReStore, divert gently-used furniture and household items to individuals and families in need.

  • The Battery Café engaged an outside expert to conduct a trash audit, which led to the implementation of several sustainable practices improvements.

Learn more about the circular economy here and let us know if you’re aware of any other circular economy businesses in St. John’s. Reach us at advantage@stjohns.ca

City Initiatives

$27.8 million investment in St. John's public transit announced

The City of St. John’s, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Government of Canada are investing more than $27.8 million to enhance St. John’s public transit infrastructure.

This funding will support the purchase of eight accessible hybrid transit buses which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change, while increasing wheelchair accessibility on conventional transit service in St. John’s.

Funding will also go towards the construction of shared-use paths throughout the city. Read the full details.

City of St. John’s to attend Business Bootcamp

Our Economic Development Team will be on hand at the St. John’s Board of Trade’s Business Bootcamp May 16-17, providing insight, guidance, and connections to help your business grow.

The Business Bootcamp is a new kind of conference, built for busy businesspeople who don't have time to sit back, zone out, and take it all in. Instead, it’s going to be a sleeves-rolled-up, fast-pace look at topics relevant to various industries in the province.

Drop by our booth at the M2M Marketplace, located in the Crush Lounge at the Delta St. John’s Conference Centre.

News Briefing

Memorial University, ICC Canada to benefit from $91.6 million investment

A landmark research investment by the federal government will position Canada and Inuit as world leaders in sustainable Arctic shipping and support the creation of the Qanittaq Clean Arctic Shipping Initiative.

Memorial University and the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) Canada are co-leading a global partnership to address and respond to the increase in Arctic shipping, the related environmental impacts affecting Arctic communities and to support Inuit communities’ needs for safe and cost-efficient resupply. Read the full story.

Insight Business Consulting program

Memorial University’s Research Innovation Office is accepting applications for its Insight Business Consulting program. The program matches early-stage technology companies with students, providing companies with creative solutions, new insights, knowledge and resources, while students gain real-world experience and industry connections. The application deadline for MBA students and start-up companies is Wednesday, May 17 at 3 p.m.

Call for mentors: Genesis' Evolution program

Looking to help build the next generation of amazing companies in Newfoundland and Labrador? Genesis’ Evolution program helps entrepreneurs explore and validate their business ideas, with the help of a network of top industry experts and advisors to provide valuable guidance and feedback. Mentors from varied backgrounds and experience levels are welcome to apply. The summer cohort of Evolution runs weekly from June 7 to July 26.

At a Glance

Hollyland and Labrador: Documentary on The Newfoundland and Labrador Film and Television Industry by Tristram Clark, written and hosted by Tara Bradbury, tells the story of the particularly exciting times the Newfoundland and Labrador film industry is experiencing, bringing in about $100 million annually and providing close to 1,000 jobs. Watch the video.

City of St. John's ocean-tech company Whitecap Scientific is making noise well beyond the shores of where it's based, turning heads with its real-time 3D mapping technology. Read the full story from SaltWire.com

There is no doubt a new chapter is being written in our province’s history. For the last seven consecutive quarters, Statistics Canada is reporting that the population of Newfoundland and Labrador has grown by over 12,000 people. For the first time in 50 years, enrolment of children in our schools is increasing. Read the full statement from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

St. John’s-based trophi.ai has raised a $3.3M seed round led by Halifax venture capital fund Build Ventures, and plans to use the money to hire 10 to 15 people. A test version of its product boasts a 10,000-person waitlist. Read the full story from Entrevestor

During 9 days of shooting, the production of Disney’s Peter Pan & Wendy spent over $9.7 million locally while filming at stunning locations from Signal Hill to Tickle Cove. Audiences around the world are being introduced to the sweeping landscapes of Newfoundland and Labrador showcased in this new epic story. See the full article.

We love home. The sense of belonging within our communities is highest in Newfoundland and Labrador and well above the national average – 58% versus a 47% average – according to Statistics Canada.

Spectacular, breathtaking, jaw-dropping – we’re all those things, but we’re also something else altogether. Watch the latest video from Destination St. John's that showcases our beautifully unique destination, backed by the incomparable Kellie Loder's lyrics, music and voice.

Government of Canada Business Supports

Protecting the inventions and creations that drive your business

Get the most out of your ideas and learn how to protect what you create. Whether you are applying for your first patent or trademark, or you want to build an intellectual property strategy for your business, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office has the tools and resources you need to protect what drives your business.

Upcoming Courses and Events

Book your spot!

May 9-11 Canadian Women in Ocean Industries Leadership 2023 Conference

May 11 Econext and the Canada-Spain Collaboration in Sustainable Marine Technologies and Blue Economy + Eureka/Eurostars Opportunities (Webinar)

May 15 The Globe and Mail's Future Workforce (How will Canada compete?) (Virtual)

May 16-17 St. John’s Board of Trade's Business Bootcamp 2023

May 17 Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador's Service Best Training

May 17 WRDC TechConnect: Find Your Future in Tech (Virtual)

May 24-25 Economic Developers Association of NL's 2023 NL Economic Development Conference

May 28-Jun 1 Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society's 57th Congress

May 30-Jun 1 Energy NL's Annual Conference and Exhibition 2023

May 31 Business and Arts Newfoundland and Labrador's Fundraising 101

Jun 1-2 Oceans Research in Canada Alliance's 2023 National Meeting

Jun 5-13 Gardiner Centre's Fundamentals of Project Management (Online)

Jun 5 Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs' (NLOWE) Annual General Meeting

Questions About Starting a Business

Our knowledgeable staff are here to help

Starting a new business is a busy and exciting time, and requires careful planning. Here at the City of St. John's Business Information Centre, we know our way around town and we'd be happy to connect you to the programs, resources and contacts you need to help make it happen. Get in touch. We're here to help.

We'd love to hear from you

Do you have a good St. John's business news story to tell? Do you have feedback on what you would like to see covered in our monthly publication? Send your ideas to advantage@stjohns.ca

Latest Economic Indicators

City building permits

as of May 1, 2023

Commercial permits

Up 85% from $19,654,033 in 2022 to $36,272,924 in 2023

Industrial permits

Valued at $29,000 for 2022 and $40,000 for 2023

Government/institutional permits

Up from $317,288 in 2022 to $4,070,341 in 2023*

Residential permits

Down -24% to $17,703,219 for 2023 over $23,225,511 for 2022

Repair permits

Down -74% from $438,042 in 2022 to $113,715 in 2023

Total value of all permits for 2023

Up 33% to $58,200,200 for 2023 over $43,663,874 for 2022

*This data does not include the full range of permit activity undertaken by the provincial government and Memorial University.

Business approvals

Specialty pharmacy, 181 Mundy Pond Road

The wharf at Quidi Vidi, 11 Barrows Road

Breathe Well Respiratory Clinic Inc., 140 Stavanger Drive

The Indian Bawarchi Inc., 101 Long’s Hill

Rock Vapour, 320 Torbay Road

Pizza Hut, 35 Danny Drive

Pipers, 430 Topsail Road

Pedego Canada Electric Bikes, 172 Water Street

Retail shop, 323 Kenmount Road

Mama Africa, 31 Malta Street

Peter’s Pizza Takeout, 502 Topsail Road

Studio Alba Inc., 655 Topsail Road

The Artisans Loft, 166 Water Street

Venor, 140 Water Street

room + spaces, 430 Topsail Road

Home-based businesses

Hair salon, 13 Carondale Drive

Discover Chiropractic Ltd., 146 Campbell Avenue

Family home childcare, 5 Sinnott Place

Family home childcare, 604 Main Road

Courier office, 7 Dunlea Street

Home office, 7 O’Dea Place

Personal counselling services, 114 Bonaventure Avenue

Total business approvals for 2023 = 65 (regular = 48 and home-based = 17)

Labour force characteristics as of April 2023

Labour force – 122,100 (down -1.6%)

Unemployment rate – 4.9% (down -2.2ppts)

Employment – 116,100 (up 0.8%)

Participation rate – 64.9% (down -2.7 ppts)

St. John's CMA, seasonally adjusted, three-month moving average. Percentage change reflects the same month previous year. Source: Statistics Canada.

Economic indicators

The New Housing Price Index for St. John’s Metro was 106.2 in March 2023 (up 1.4%*)

The Consumer Price Index for St. John’s Metro was 155.6 in March 2023 (up 3.6%*) 

Retail trade for Newfoundland and Labrador was $987 million in February 2023 (up 9.2%*)

*St. John's CMA, same month in the previous year. Source: Statistics Canada

Twitter  Facebook  Linkedin  Instagram

Subscribe to our social media channels to get the latest from Advantage St. John's.