Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

1. Overview of the Federal Government's Approach to Sustainable Development

The Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) 2013–16 guides the Government of Canada's sustainable development activities, as required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act. In keeping with the objectives of the Act to make environmental decision making more transparent and accountable to Parliament, NRCan supports the implementation of the FSDS through the activities in this supplementary information table.

NRCan’s approach to sustainable development is aligned to both the FSDS (organized by Themes > Goals > Targets > Implementation Strategies) and to the department’s Program Alignment Architecture and Performance Measurement Framework (organized by Strategic Outcomes > Programs > and Sub-Programs). This Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy presents the planned contributions and expected results for Theme I – Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality, Theme II – Maintaining Water Quality and Availability, Theme III – Protecting Nature and Canadians, and Theme IV – Shrinking the  Environmental Footprint – Beginning with Government.

2. Themes I to III: Department and Agency-Led Targets

3.  Themes I to III: Implementation Strategies

Sub-program 1.1.2 - Forest Products Market Access and Diversification

2013-16 FSDS Implementation Strategies

Goal 1: Climate Change FSDS Theme I

Target 1.1: Climate Change Mitigation

Implementation Strategies for International Work on Climate Change:

1.1.57 
Analyze key forest carbon options for climate change mitigation, ensure that Canada’s international climate change objectives related to forests are advanced in international meetings, and continue to develop Canada’s National Forest Carbon Monitoring, Accounting and Reporting System to provide annual forest-related greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory estimates.

Expected Result(s) and PMF Indicator(s)


Sub-program 2.1.1 - Renewable Energy Deployment

2013-16 FSDS Implementation Strategies

Goal 1: Climate Change FSDS Theme I

Target 1.1: Climate Change Mitigation

Implementation Strategies for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy:

1.1.46
Promote the production of clean renewable electricity.

Expected Result(s) and PMF Indicator(s)


Sub-program 2.1.3 - Alternative Transportation Fuels

2013-16 FSDS Implementation Strategies

Goal 1: Climate Change FSDS Theme I

Target 1.1: Climate Change Mitigation

Implementation Strategies for Clean Transportation:

1.1.23

Support fuel producers’ capacity to produce renewable alternatives to gasoline and diesel.

Expected Result(s) and PMF Indicator(s)


Sub-program 2.1.4 - Energy Efficiency

2013-16 FSDS Implementation Strategies

Goal 1: Climate Change FSDS Theme I

Target 1.1: Climate Change Mitigation

Implementation Strategies for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy:

1.1.41
Promote the adoption of energy efficient products and practices that contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions.

Expected Result(s) and PMF Indicator(s)


Sub-program 2.2.1 - Materials for Energy

2013-16 FSDS Implementation Strategies

Goal 1: Climate Change FSDS Theme I

Target 1.1: Climate Change Mitigation

Implementation Strategies for Clean Transportation:

1.1.25
Develop advanced materials technologies for use in new energy-efficient vehicle design, with a view of reducing the environmental impacts in transportation.

Implementation Strategies for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy:

1.1.43
Develop new materials technologies in clean power generation, safe and reliable energy distribution and energy efficient end-use for use in industry.

1.1.44
Develop new materials technologies to transport fossil fuels more efficiently, with a view of reducing the environmental impacts from energy transportation.

Expected Result(s) and PMF Indicator(s)


Sub-program 2.2.2 - Green Mining

2013-16 FSDS Implementation Strategies

Goal 1: Climate Change FSDS Theme I

Target 1.1: Climate Change Mitigation

Implementation Strategies for Clean Technology and Industry:

1.1.7
Work with industry stakeholders and technology developers to reduce the environmental footprint and impacts of the mining industry.

Implementation Strategies for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy:

1.1.42
Support S & T of innovative solutions for environmental challenges in the energy sector with a view of reducing the environmental impacts and producing and using energy in a more clean and efficient way.

Expected Result(s) and PMF Indicator(s)


Sub-program 2.2.3 - Clean Energy Science and Technology

2013-16 FSDS Implementation Strategies

Goal 1: Climate Change FSDS Theme I

Target 1.1: Climate Change Mitigation

Implementation Strategies for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy:

1.1.42 
Support Science & Technology of innovative solutions for environmental challenges in the energy sector, with a view of reducing the environmental impacts and producing and using energy in a more clean and efficient way.

Expected Result(s) and PMF Indicator(s)


Sub-program 2.3.1 – Forest Ecosystem Science and Application

2013-16 FSDS Implementation Strategies

Goal 1: Climate Change FSDS Theme I

Target 1.1: Climate Change Mitigation

Implementation Strategies for International Work on Climate Change:

1.1.50
Work to implement Canada's commitments concluded in international climate change negotiations such as mitigation targets and actions; short-and long-term financing; mechanisms for technology and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation; adaptation actions; and provisions for transparency and accountability of climate change actions. (ECCC, NRCan)

Goal 5: Biological Resources FSDS Theme III

Target 5.3: Sustainable Forest Management

Implementation Strategies for Sustainable Forest Management:

5.3.1
Provide scientific knowledge of Canada’s forest ecosystems to industry and non-governmental organizations, with the view of enabling the establishment of practices to mitigate the environmental impact of natural resource development.

Expected Result(s) and PMF Indicator(s)


Sub-program 2.3.2 - Groundwater Geoscience

2013-16 FSDS Implementation Strategies

Goal 3: Water Quality and Water Quantity FSDS Theme II

Target 3.12: Water Resource Management

Implementation Strategies for Water Resource Management:

3.12.6
Provide governments and industry with access to necessary groundwater geoscience information.

Expected Result(s) and PMF Indicator(s)


Sub-program 3.1.3 - Forest Disturbances Science and Application

2013-16 FSDS Implementation Strategies

Goal 1: Climate Change FSDS Theme I

Target 1.2: Climate Change Adaptation

Implementation Strategies for Climate Change Adaptation:

1.2.4
Support adaptation by enabling the integrated assessment of the implications of climate change for Canada’s forest sector.

Goal 4: Conserving and Restoring Ecosystems, Wildlife and Habitat, and Protecting Canadians FSDS Theme III

Target 4.6: Invasive Alien Species

Implementation Strategies for Invasive Alien Species:

4.6.3
Help governments, agencies and industry manage risks to natural resource sectors, infrastructure and human health by providing scientific knowledge on forest disturbances, including pests.

Expected Result(s) and PMF Indicator(s)


Sub-program 3.1.4 - Climate Change Adaptation

2013-16 FSDS Implementation Strategies

Goal 1: Climate Change FSDS Theme I

Target 1.2: Climate Change Adaptation

Implementation Strategies for Climate Change Adaptation:

1.2.11
Work with governments and communities in the North (north of 60° latitude) to ensure that they have information on adaptation measures, including for resource development and infrastructure.

Expected Result(s) and PMF Indicator(s)


Sub-program 3.1.5 - Geohazards and Public Safety

2013-16 FSDS Implementation Strategies

Goal 4: Conserving and Restoring Ecosystems, Wildlife and Habitat, and Protecting Canadians FSDS Theme III

Target 4.7: Environmental Disasters, Incidents and Emergencies

Implementation Strategies for Environmental Disasters, Incidents and Emergencies:

4.7.4
In accordance with mandated responsibilities, provide environmental information to reduce the risk of, and advice in response to, the occurrence of events such as polluting incidents, wildlife disease events or severe weather and other significant hydro-meteorological events as applicable. (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada [AAFC], Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada [INAC], Department of Fisheries and Oceans [DFO], Environment and Climate Change Canada [ECCC], Health Canada [HC], Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada [ISED], NRCan, Parks Canada [PC], Public Health Agency of Canada [PHAC], Public Safety Canada [PS], Public Works and Government Services Canada [PWGSC], Transport Canada [TC])

Ensure other levels of government, private sector and professional organizations involved in emergency management in Canada have access to accurate hazard information and hazard mitigation knowledge products for decision making (e.g., in the event of landslides, tsunamis, and radiological and nuclear incidents). (NRCan)

Expected Result(s) and PMF Indicator(s)

4.  Theme IV: Targets and Implementation Strategies

Goal 6: GHG Emissions and Energy

Target 6.1: GHG Emissions Reduction

The Government of Canada will reduce GHG emissions from its buildings and fleets by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.

Departmental Target

17% below 2005 levels by 2020

Scope and Context

NRCan established a departmental initiative in 2010 called Low Carbon (LoC) NRCan. The focus of LoC is reducing GHG emissions in the building portfolio through a variety of activities and energy efficiency projects in support of NRCan’s overall reduction target of 17%. NRCan’s building portfolio accounts for approximately 96% of the department’s GHG emissions and fleet accounts for the remaining 4%.

NRCan has already made major strides in reducing GHG emissions from its vehicle fleet as it focuses on alternative strategies to reduce employee reliance on ground transportation. NRCan’s vehicle fleet has been reduced from 406 vehicles in 2005-06 to 227 as of end of FY 2014-15.

Performance Measurement

Expected result

Reduce the carbon footprint and energy consumption of federal operations.

Performance indicator Targeted performance level
Updated GHG reduction implementation plan in place by March 31, 2015. Completed in March 2015
GHG emissions (kt CO2 equivalent) in fiscal year 2005–06. 32.32 kt
GHG emissions (kt CO2 equivalent) in fiscal year 2016–17, not accounting for renewable power emission credits, if applicable 26.27 kt
Renewable power emission credits applied in fiscal year 2016–17 (kt CO2 equivalent). 0 kt
Percentage change in GHG emissions from fiscal year 2005–06 to fiscal year 2016–17, inclusive of renewable power emission credits, if applicable. 18.7% decrease
Adjustments made to base year GHG emissions. Yes. NRCan’s base year GHG emission levels (FY 2005-06) have been recalculated as a result of a change to the base year emissions factors by ECCC.

Goal 7: Waste and Asset Management

Target 7.1: Real Property Environmental Performance

As of April 1, 2014, and pursuant to departmental Real Property Sustainability Frameworks, an industry-recognized level of high-environmental performance will be achieved in Government of Canada real property projects and operations.

Performance Measurement

Expected result

An industry-recognized level of high-environmental performance will be achieved in Government of Canada real property projects and operations.

Target 7.2: Green Procurement

As of April 1, 2014, the Government of Canada will continue to take action to embed environmental considerations into public procurement, in accordance with the federal Policy on Green Procurement.

Link to Department's Program Alignment Architecture

Sub-Program 4.1.3: Asset Management Services

Performance Measurement

Expected result

Environmentally responsible acquisition, use and disposal of goods and services.

Departmental green procurement target: Copy paper

By March 31, 2017, 90% of copy paper will contain a minimum of 30% recycled content and be certified to a recognized environmental standard to reduce the environmental impact of its production.

Departmental green procurement target: Business Travel

By March 31, 2021, GHG emissions from business-related travel will be reduced by 25% relative to 2008-09.

Departmental green procurement target: Office Furniture

By March 31, 2017, 70% of office furniture purchases will include criteria to reduce the environmental impact associated with the production, acquisition, use and/or disposal of these.

Target 7.3: Sustainable Workplace Operations

As of April 1, 2015, the Government of Canada will update and adopt policies and practices to improve the sustainability of its workplace operations.

Performance Measurement

Expected result

Departmental workplace operations have a reduced environmental impact.

 

Goal 8: Water Management

Target 8.1: Water Management

As of April 1, 2014, the Government of Canada will take further action to improve water management within its real property portfolio.

Scope and Context

This would be overall water reduction for owned assets.

Existing Crown Buildings >1000m2 where metering exists

Performance Measurement

Expected result

Water is managed sustainably in Government of Canada real property operations.

 

5. Additional Departmental Sustainable Development Activities and Initiatives

N/A

6.  Sustainable Development Management System

Sustainable Development and NRCan’s Mandate

Sustainable development is central to the mandate of NRCan and essential to the future of the natural resources sector. NRCan is charged with the federal responsibility for ensuring the sustainable development of Canada’s energy resources, minerals and metals, and forests, and for providing the geographical and geological information base that supports decisions about Canada’s land-based and offshore resources. The Department of Natural Resources Act states that “in exercising the powers and performing the duties and functions assigned to the Minister ... the Minister shall have regard to the sustainable development of Canada’s natural resources and the integrated management thereof.”

The Department is also responsible for negotiating Science and Technology agreements with partners, and addressing market-access questions. It works with a variety of partners – governments, industry, academia, non-government organizations and individual Canadians – to ensure that sustainable development principles are integrated not only here in Canada, but also around the world. The work that NRCan conducts in these areas is captured under Strategic Outcome 2 (natural resource sectors and consumers are environmentally responsible).

Finally, recognizing linkages with its responsibilities related to regulations and economic development, NRCan supports the Government of Canada with the goal to ensure that Canada’s resource sector remains a source of jobs, prosperity, and opportunity within the context of a world that values sustainable practices and low carbon processes. NRCan helps streamline the review process for major resource projects, while strengthening environmental protection and enhancing consultations with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples in the project review and development process.

7.  Strategic Environmental Assessment

NRCan contributes to sustainable development by carrying out Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals and its guidelines.

NRCan also ensures that its decision-making process includes a consideration of the FSDS goals and targets through SEA. A SEA for policy, plan or program proposals includes an analysis of the impacts of the proposal on the environment, including on the FSDS goals and targets. NRCan’s detailed SEAs are always made public when respective initiatives are announced, demonstrating that environmental factors were integrated into the decision-making process.

This year, NRCan commits to the continued integration of SEA into its strategic decision-making processes, and to measure performance through the rate of compliance with the Cabinet Directive and its guidelines. The Department will also share its processes and tools with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and other departments and agencies involved in the federal community of practice on SEA.

For more information on SEA at NRCan, please visit the NRCan website:
www.nrcan.gc.ca/environmental-assessment-strategic/55

 

Supplementary Information (Tables) 2016-17