Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency - 2017-2020 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

 

August 2017

Section 1: Context for the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

The 2016-2019 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) presents the Government of Canada’s sustainable development goals and targets, as required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act. In keeping with the objectives of the Act to integrate environmental, social and economic considerations into decision making, and make such decisions more transparent and accountable to Parliament, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) supports reaching goals laid out in the FSDS through the activities described in this Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS).

 

Section 2: Sustainable Development at the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

ACOA will contribute to four objectives of the 2016-2019 FSDS:

Goal 2: Low-Carbon Government

Goal 3: Clean Growth

Goal 5: Clean Energy

Goal 8: Sustainably Managed Lands and Forests

FSDS Goal: Low-Carbon Government

The Government of Canada, through its FSDS, aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from federal government buildings and fleets. ACOA will continue to support the transition to a low-carbon economy through green procurement and to promote sustainable travel practices.

For example, ACOA will ensure the integration of environmental performance considerations into the procurement process, including planning, acquisition, use and disposal. In addition, ACOA will continue to work on implementing more robust video and teleconferencing capabilities.

FSDS Goal: Clean Growth

The Government of Canada, through its FSDS, will implement its Mission Innovation commitment to invest in clean energy research, development and demonstration. ACOA recognizes that clean technologies provide the pathway to GHG emissions mitigation and more sustainable growth in all areas of the economy, including transportation, natural resources development, manufacturing, construction and utilities. In the context of the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change and the Atlantic Growth Strategy, ACOA is working with Provinces – as well as with regional Indigenous organizations, industry stakeholders and experts – to explore how to stimulate economic growth, create jobs, grow clean tech firms, foster exports, and drive innovation to transition to a low-carbon economy, leveraging regional strengths.

ACOA has committed significant investments in clean growth and clean technology in support of the Innovation and Skills Plan. For example, ACOA is contributing to the annual regional development agency (RDA) target of $100 million in aggregate support for clean technology, from existing resources.

FSDS Goal: Clean Energy

The Government of Canada, through its FSDS, will generate its electricity from renewable and non-emitting sources, will contribute to the North American goal of 50% clean power generation, and will trend toward renewable electricity capacity compared to overall electricity sources. ACOA will work with provinces to advance the Canadian Energy Strategy, with the objective of ensuring the sustainable development and use of the full range of Canada's energy assets as Canada moves toward a lower-carbon future. Actions are underway in three areas:

FSDS Goal: Sustainably Managed Lands and Forests

The Government of Canada, through its FSDS, aims to conserve terrestrial areas and inland water through networks of protected areas and other effective, area-based conservation measures. The Government of Canada has committed to significantly increase carbon sequestration in lands and forests. It has also committed to work with partners to promote innovation and clean technology in the forest sector and increase economic benefits for Canadians, including Indigenous peoples.

Work under this goal will support progress toward the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada, and the global conservation objectives of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity – in particular, by supporting Canada’s commitment to conserve at least 17% of the country’s terrestrial areas and inland water by 2020, and by helping to ensure continued progress in sustainable forest management.

For example, in 2017-18, ACOA will continue to support a national initiative to combat the spruce budworm in Atlantic forests to reduce its negative impacts and create opportunities for economic development in the region.

Section 3: Commitments for ACOA

Low-Carbon Government: The Government of Canada leads by example by making its operations low-carbon

Responsible Minister: All ministers

Low-Carbon Government FSDS target FSDS contributing action Corresponding
departmental
action
Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target Starting point, where available, and performance indicator for departmental action Program in which the departmental action will occur
Reduce GHG emissions from federal government buildings and fleets by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, with an aspiration to achieve this reduction by 2025 Support the transition to a low-carbon economy through green procurement Ensure the integration of environmental performance considerations into the procurement process, including planning, acquisition, use and disposal.
Monitor and analyze green purchase trends.
Ensure and track the completion of Green Procurement training for all departmental acquisition cardholders.
Environmentally responsible acquisition, use and disposal of goods and services. Reach a 100% rate for departmental acquisition cardholders having completed the Green Procurement training by the end of fiscal year 2017-18.
Maintain at 95% the proportion of toner cartridges recycled relative to the total value of all toner cartridges purchased in the given fiscal year.
For paper usage, maintain at 95% the proportion of copy paper containing a minimum of 30% recycled content.
Prioritize the use of paper from responsible sources (i.e. certified to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council) for outsourced printing.
Internal Services
Promote sustainable travel practices Continue with the implementation of more robust video and teleconferencing capabilities, thereby reducing the need to commute and travel for in-person meetings.
Ensure green fleet procurement by following the Step by Step: How to buy Green Passenger Cars and Light Trucks guidelines.
Increase usage of sustainable practices for employee travel. Continue the upgrades to the video conferencing system in major boardrooms across the regions and at Head Office.
100% of vehicle purchases for the Agency are supported by a strong rationale demonstrating that hybrid or fuel-efficient vehicles have been considered.
Internal Services

Clean Growth: A growing clean technology industry in Canada contributes to clean growth and the transition to a low-carbon economy

Responsible Minister: Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister of Natural Resources

Clean Growth FSDS target FSDS contributing action Corresponding departmental
action
Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target Starting point, where available, and performance indicator for departmental action Program in which the departmental actions will occur
Implement our Mission Innovation commitment to double federal government investments in clean energy research, development and demonstration, by 2020, from 2015 levels Invest in technologies to reduce GHG and air pollutant emissions Support economic development projects that foster the development, commercialization, export and adoption of clean technologies. Where appropriate, ACOA will collaborate with regional and provincial stakeholders, including postsecondary institutions, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous communities and research centres, when making those investments. Budget 2016 commits RDAs to double expenditures in clean technology to $100 million, from existing resources, starting in 2016-17. ACOA will more than double its annual aggregate support for clean technology and the scaling up of clean tech firms. ACOA annual spending ($) for economic development projects that foster the development, commercialization, export and adoption of clean technologies, and the scaling up of clean tech firms. Enterprise Development; Community Development; Policy, Advocacy, Coordination

Clean Energy: All Canadians have access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy

Responsible Minister: Minister of Natural Resources

Clean Energy FSDS target FSDS contributing action Corresponding
departmental
action
Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target Starting point. where available, and performance indicator for departmental action Program in which the departmental actions will occur
By 2030, 90% and, in the long term, 100% of Canada’s electricity is generated from renewable and non-emitting sources Promote collaboration and work with partners on clean energy Facilitate development of the region’s renewable energy sector by fostering collaboration, common understanding and communication among governments, and between governments and the private sector, to maximize and expedite the development of clean and renewable energy resources in the region. This will be done through the Atlantic Energy Gateway (AEG) initiative. Foster collaboration, common understanding and communication among governments, and between governments and the private sector.
Maximize and expedite the development of clean and renewable energy resources in the region.
Number and type of AEG meetings per fiscal year.
Number and type of collaborative joint initiatives per fiscal year.
Policy, Advocacy, Coordination

Sustainably Managed Lands and Forests: Lands and forests support biodiversity and provide a variety of ecosystem services for generations to come

Responsible Minister: Minister of Environment and Climate Change; Minister of Natural Resources

Sustainably Managed Lands and Forests FSDS target FSDS contributing action Corresponding departmental
action
Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target Starting point, where available, and performance indicator for departmental action Program in which the departmental action will occur
By 2020, at least 17% of terrestrial areas and inland water are conserved through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures Build capacity and provide support In 2017-18, support of intervention measures to prevent the spread of spruce budworm in the forests of the Atlantic provinces. Support the prevention of the spread of spruce budworm in the forests of the Atlantic provinces. Annual ACOA expenditures ($) for the project. Enterprise Development

 

Section 4. Integrating sustainable development

In keeping with its mandate to increase opportunity for economic development in Atlantic Canada, the Agency’s programming efforts concerning sustainable development focus on projects that create economic benefits for the region. ACOA’s sustainable development vision for Atlantic Canada’s economy is a growing, diversified and sustainable economy.

In order to achieve its sustainable development vision and objectives, ACOA fosters practices that promote sustainable development in its internal operations and project investment activities. ACOA initiatives related to sustainable development are incorporated into the department's procurement planning, tracking and reporting systems.

ACOA sets an example in its internal operations by:

ACOA senior management is responsible for integrating sustainable development principles into the department's policies, programs and operations.

ACOA will consider the environmental effects of initiatives subject to the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, as part of its decision-making processes.

ACOA will continue to ensure that its decision-making process includes consideration of FSDS goals and targets through the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process. A SEA for policy, plan or program proposals includes an analysis of the impacts of the given proposal on the environment, including on FSDS goals and targets.

Public statements on the results of ACOA’s detailed assessment will be made when an initiative is announced. The purpose of the public statement is to demonstrate that the environmental effects, including the impacts on achieving the FSDS goals and targets, of the approved policy, plan or program have been considered during proposal development and decision making.

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