How $20 could go a long way toward a greener recovery

Who: The Green and Just Recovery Movement, and Sid Lee.

What: “The Green New Bill,” a reimagining of a Canadian $20 bill to illustrate how a $20 investment in a greener economy now, as part of a pandemic recovery, could turn into a $307.85 bill in terms of GDP growth within 10 years.

When & Where: This is a social-led campaign launched last week just ahead of the Federal Government’s Speech from the Throne on Wednesday. There is no paid media behind it, just the social networks of the partner organizations involved.

Why: The Green and Just Recovery Movement, a coalition of environmental groups, contends that the historic economic setback caused by the pandemic could be an opportunity for fundamental change that would lead to a more sustainable and equitable Canada.

Sid Lee was asked to come up with a campaign that would emphasize the importance of change just ahead of Prime Minister Trudeau’s Throne Speech. “For this campaign, we wanted to create a powerful and educational symbol to show everyone that a green recovery is also good for the economy,” said David Allard and Jonathan Lavoie, Sid Lee’s associate creative directors, in an email.

Who is in the coalition:  The Green Budget Coalition, Strathmere Group, CAN-Rac (Climate Action Network), Corporate Knights, the Task Force for a Resilient Recovery, and the David Suzuki Foundation.

How: Sid Lee created a sort of interactive infographic on Instagram, which details how exactly investments in things like greening the power grid and heavy industry, or supporting electric vehicle development, will lead to GDP growth. The proposed investments are calculated as part of $20. In other words, if $1.23 of the  $20 is invested in greening the power grid now, it will have a GDP impact of $52.38. They’re also working on AR filter that will turn an actual $20 into a visual representation of a $307.85 bill.

Biggest challenge to the project? “Finding the exact return on investment,” said Allard and Lavoie. “We collaborated with renowned Canadian economists to make sure that the number we put out there is accurate, solid and supported by research.”

Quote: “One of the main goals of this initiative is to get more people educated on this subject,” said Allard and Lavoie. “Working on this project, we realized that not everyone is aware of how beneficial it is to invest in a green economy. If, with this project, more Canadians believe that investing in a green economy is better for the recovery, it is a great sign of success.”


David Brown