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Final Progress Report on NRCan's Sustainable Development Strategy - Moving Forward


Moving Forward was formulated as a results-based action plan, guided by a unified, forward-thinking vision and an organizational commitment to sustainable development that encompasses the Department’s diverse activities. NRCan’s SDS is a key tool to address the challenges and opportunities related to sustainable development through the Department’s policies, programs, science and technology, legislation, regulation and operations.

The purpose of this final progress report is to provide an account of the actions taken by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) over the three-year period (2004-06) covering the Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS) from its tabling to completion on March 31, 2007. The goal is to demonstrate the way in which the Department’s actions have contributed to the advancement of sustainable development in Canada and abroad. As part of the Department’s commitment to transparency and continuous improvement, NRCan has published a series of annual reports to illustrate progress towards achieving four long-term Key Results. These yearly Progress Reports are posted on NRCan’s Sustainable Development Web site.

This final progress report consolidates the accomplishments in these annual reports, and provides an account of progress against micro level targets, thus describing how NRCan contributed to its vision for a sustainable future.

This SDS demonstrated how NRCan took steps to optimize the contribution of natural resources to sustainable development. It set out in a new direction by establishing focussed priorities—essentially, the “transformative pieces” where NRCan made this Strategy the change-management tool necessary to support the shift towards sustainable development. Moving Forward concentrated on four key areas where the Department’s activities could spur or create measurable results on the ground, which were considered to be the most significant to the natural resource sectors by NRCan, its clients and partners; however, given the breadth of sustainable development, it did not attempt to encompass all the sustainable development issues of concern to NRCan, nor all of its relevant activities.

Moving Forward presented commitments—actions supported by specific, time-bound targets—arrayed around the four Key Results that were deemed the most important objectives to be achieved by NRCan within the timeframe of the Strategy:

  • Canadians make better decisions that advance sustainable development.
  • Canadians are taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change.
  • Canada is globally recognized as a responsible steward of our natural resources and is a leader in advancing sustainable development internationally.
  • NRCan demonstrates its commitment to sustainable development in its operations.

At the beginning of the SDS process, it was acknowledged that a department acting alone could not turn sustainable development into reality. This holds true today — making sustainable development the Canadian way of life still requires the support and participation of all levels of our society. However, like good governance, sustainable development is a process of continuous improvement, and learning to be careful stewards of our resources has involved some good lessons. Our knowledge has grown over the years, and we are better able to identify emerging issues and new opportunities, which enable us to help improve the prosperity and quality of life of all Canadians.

Summary of Results

The success of Moving Forward is summarized by Key Result in the table (below). Overall, NRCan’s endeavours to accomplish the goals set out in its SDS can be approximated as follows:

  • 82.6% of the targets were completed
  • 5.1% are in progress (to be completed within the time frame outlined in the target, beyond the SDS time frame of March 31, 2007)
  • 7.7% have been revised (corrective actions were undertaken to improve the success factor of these targets)
  • 3.6% targets were terminated (activities are no longer part of NRCan’s programs)
  • 0.5% of the targets were not completed (1 out of 195 targets)
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