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ARCHIVED - Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

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In 2008, the government put into effect the Federal Sustainable Development Act with the intent of increasing the transparency and accountability of environmental decision-making. To do so, it created the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS), which is a plan comprising all the activities that the government intends to pursue to support sustainable development. The activities are categorized into 4 themes:

Theme I – Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality

Theme II – Maintaining Water Quality and Availability

Theme III – Protecting Nature

Theme IV – Shrinking the Environmental Footprint – Beginning with Government

For more information on the FSDS, visit Environment Canada’s website:
Some 27 federal departments and agencies contribute to the FSDS, and each of these organizations has its own Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS). Similar to the FSDS, the DSDS contains activities that contribute to sustainable development.

Through the commitments outlined in its DSDS, NRCan works to improve the quality of life of Canadians by creating a sustainable resource advantage.

To realize this vision, the department not only considers sustainability in policy-making, but also conducts science in which the principles of sustainable development are rooted. NRCan employs many tools to integrate sustainable development considerations into decision-making, such as the Public Participation Policy (formerly referred to as the New Engagement Policy). This policy ensures the collection and use of stakeholder knowledge and expertise for the purpose of furthering the consideration of sustainable development in decision-making. For more information on the department’s management of sustainable development, visit NRCan’s website:

Furthermore, 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. For more information on SEA at NRCan, visit NRCan’s website:

Highlighting NRCan’s Contributions to Sustainable Development Through Integrated Planning and Reporting

NRCan reports on its plans and priorities and tracks progress on results through two key reports that are published annually:

  • The Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP)
  • The Departmental Performance Report (DPR)

These documents also highlight how NRCan contributes to the four theme areas of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

The DSDS links below provide further details on the department’s contributions to implementation strategies identified under the FSDS.


DSDS 2013-2014 (RPP)

DSDS 2012-2013 (RPP)

DSDS 2011-2012 (RPP)
NRCan’s first report on its DSDS, which is integrated with NRCan’s RPP for 2011-12.


DSDS 2012-13 (DPR)

DSDS 2011-12 (DPR)

NRCan’s first report on all the results of its activities that contribute to the DSDS, which is integrated with NRCan’s DPR for 2011-12.

DSDS 2010-11 (DPR)

Reporting on select NRCan activities contributing to the FSDS that sunset in fiscal year 2010-11. Please note that some of these activities, such as the Clean Energy programs, were renewed in Budget 2011.

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