Submitter and Co-author information

Cristian T. Palameta, Cristian PalametaFollow

Type of Proposal

Oral presentation

Streaming Media


Odette School of Business

Faculty Sponsor

Fazle Baki

Start Date

24-3-2015 1:00 PM

End Date

24-3-2015 1:50 PM

Importance of the Project

The purpose of the research is to demonstrate a better understanding of industries’ dependency and Canada and United States trading behaviours with different constraints such as change of economic conditions, new government policies and influences of employment to name a few. The research should help understand trade sustainability (based on financial, social and environmental factors) and to list ways of increasing the sustainability of certain industries. The interested parties for this study would be government officials as well as provincial leaders. The research will provide these parties with a better understanding of the sustainability of industry trade and recommend the to identify issues that will maintain or improve the sustainability of those industries.

The project has many important factors to consider. Firstly, the Canadian economy has had two critical economic changes in the last year; the fall of the Canadian Dollar as well as the slump of crude oil prices. These factors have had both positive and negative reactions on international trade. Secondly, the close proximity of cities on the US-Canadian border has allowed a strong economic success for cities such as Windsor and Detroit and Niagara Falls and Buffalo. Thirdly, Canada and the United States are the biggest trade partners in the world and understanding the theory behind why (competitive advantage) and how to maintain it will be beneficial.

The field of sustainability will address how trades in certain industries change as economic conditions change, stronger competitive advantage elsewhere and government and trade policies. The sustainability model will help bring criteria to what will affect the international trade and better demonstrate what criteria has a greater effect than others. Many papers have been written on Sustainability Index but none have discussed cross border sustainability. Singh, Murty, Gupta and Dikshit have written a paper on the Sustainability Index called Development of composite sustainability performance index for steel industry. Focus in this paper was on social, environmental and financial performances factors and we have included these factors into our criteria. The research will find what is holding up the sustainability of certain industries such as cheaper labour (foreign exchange effect) and resource availability (lumber) etc.

Existing State of Knowledge

From existing knowledge, sustainability index is broken down into three components; environmental, societal and economic factors. These are described in multiple academic papers such as "Sustainability performance evaluation in indsutry by composite sustianability index" by Li Zhou, Hella Tokos and Damjan Krajne and "Development of composite sustainability performance index for steel industry" by Rajesh Singh, H.R Murty, S.K Gupta and A.K Dikshit.

The next step is to take the criteria developed in these papers about the sustainability index and develop indicators that related to Canada and US cross border supply chain. This allows us to understand the sustainability of the international trade for different industries and measure their strengths and weakness compare to a developed benchmark.

Research Question

Understand the drivers (indicators) behind the sustainability of different Canadian Industries.


The project will introduce industries that have had a great importance on Canada and United States trade. To simplify the process, we will focus on the social, economic and environmental impact on solely the Canadian economy. The industries will be chosen based on their impact on trade as well their effect on GDP. Some industries will be chosen to get a more accurate and consistent result when comparing industries. The chosen industries will consist of both strong and weak ) industries. Strong products are determined based on top trading amounts and economic effects (GDP indicator) and weak products are industries that cant survive sustainability trade and have decline constantly in trading figures while not affecting economic conditions. We have placed importance on five industries and will be focusing on this when discussing the research.

  • Energy and Mining
  • Automotive
  • Machinery
  • Forestry
  • Agriculture

We develop the sustainability indices using the Analytical Hierarchy Process. The process determines the weights for our criteria by comparing each criteria to each other and ranking the pair by a number from 1-9, 1 being the same weighting and 9 being extremely preferred and the same tasks will be done when analyzing industry to industry (each industry will be compared to each other for each of the criteria developed). The following criteria are chosen:.

  • Effect on GDP
  • Infrastructure (Time, Safety and Environmental considerations)
  • Government Policy (Financial and Environmental)
  • Economy of Scale
  • Profit Margins
  • Resources Availability
  • Employment Factors

Your Findings

The final goal is to find how Canadian industries can maintain a sustainable trading relationship with the United States through the listed criteria we have developed. Some of the factors we would like to discover are how will the foreign exchange, crude oil price and new bridge plan play a factor in this international trade.


Mar 24th, 1:00 PM Mar 24th, 1:50 PM

Development of an Industry Wise Sustainability Index for United States and Canada Trade