Young Canadians Want Companies To Take Action On Climate Crisis, Singling Out Landfill Waste

Reduce, reuse and reimagine: Co‑operators new sustainable claims process designed to improve community resilience and climate risk

Toronto, ON (June 4, 2024) – Landfill anxiety is top-of-mind for many Canadians, according to a new survey from Co‑operators which shows eight in 10 Canadians (78 per cent) agree the country generates too much waste. Two-thirds (65 per cent) also believe this waste is more than can be responsibly managed. While many Canadians have already adopted good habits to reduce waste in their daily lives, over six in 10 (62 per cent) are interested in learning more about living sustainably.

The onus, though, is not solely on individuals: three-quarters of Canadians (75 per cent) say it’s critically important for companies to responsibly manage their waste. The demand for corporate responsibility was most prominent among younger Canadians. Nearly half (49 per cent) of Gen Z believe that sustainability is more the responsibility of corporations than individuals, compared to less than a quarter (23 per cent) of Boomers. However, this older generation was the most likely to take individual actions that help prevent sending waste to landfill (78 per cent compared to 49 per cent for Gen Z and 57 per cent Millennials).

Canada is sending over 26 million tonnes of waste to landfill every year.[1] In 2023 our customer claims resulted in 116,000 tonnes of waste – that’s nearly the weight of the CN Tower. It’s unsustainable,” said Craig Bran, Vice President, Claims at Co‑operators. “Our survey found that nearly half of Canadians aren’t even considering where their insurance-related waste is going – but we are. That’s why we implemented sustainable claims – it reduces waste by prioritizing repair over replacement, and when we must replace we empower our clients to live a more sustainable life by providing more sustainable options.”

Co‑operators survey, commissioned as part of Claim Changers  – an awareness raising initiative aiming to change the way Canadians think about insurance and sustainability – revealed only a quarter of Canadians (23 per cent) know that repair or restoration is an option for insurance claims, and only one in five Canadians (19 per cent) who filed insurance claims in the last five years say they’ve been given the option to repair rather than replace. Canadians want the option to repair though, with two-thirds (65 per cent) saying they would prefer to repair items if they can be restored to their original condition.

The survey conducted by Co‑operators uncovered additional insights as it relates to Canadians and their sustainability goals:

  • 50 per cent say sentimentality would most influence their interest in repairing vs. replacing.
  • Women (69 per cent) are 10 per cent more likely than men to prefer repairing an item – but less likely to know that it is an option (80 per cent vs 72 per cent).
  • Generational differences impact sustainability mindsets. Boomers are the most likely to engage in individual actions such as recycling and composting (83 per cent), avoiding sending waste to landfills (78 per cent), and avoiding products with excessive packaging (50 per cent).
  • Quebecers are the most likely to believe Canada generates too much waste (85 per cent) and more likely to prioritize supporting sustainable companies (61 per cent).
  • Like Co‑operators, Canadians see the value in whole-of-society solutions. Six in 10 (61 per cent) agree that Canadians in rural environments need better waste management programs and nearly seven in 10 (68 per cent) say that Canadians in urban environments need better education on sustainable purchasing behaviours, waste mitigation and repairing.


1. Government of Canada: Solid waste diversion and disposal.

About the Survey

The national online survey of 1,500 adult residents of Canada was conducted between May 8 and 14, 2024. The sample was randomly drawn from a panel of potential survey respondents (Leger Opinion). Post-stratification weights were applied to the sample based on 2021 census population parameters to ensure representation by province, age, and gender. An associated margin of error for a probability-based sample of this size would be ± 3 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About Co-operators

Co‑operators is a leading Canadian financial services co-operative, offering multi-line insurance and investment products, services, and personalized advice to help Canadians build their financial strength and security. Co‑operators has more than $64 billion in assets under administration and has been providing trusted guidance to Canadians for the past 78 years. The organization is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. Achieving carbon neutral equivalency in 2020, the organization is committed to net-zero emissions in its operations and investments by 2040, and 2050, respectively. Co‑operators is also ranked as a Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizen in Canada. For more information, visit

Source: The Co-operators Group Limited

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