Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

 

Overview of the federal government’s approach to sustainable development

The 2013-16 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) presents 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, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) supports the implementation of the FSDS through the activities described in this supplementary information table.

Our Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

This Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy describes ACOA’s actions in support of Theme I: addressing climate change and air quality, and Theme IV: shrinking the environmental footprint, beginning with government. The report for 2016-17 presents a high-level overview of results and is the final report under the 2013-16 FSDS. Last year’s report is available on the Agency's website.

Departmental performance highlights

Theme I: Addressing climate change and air quality

Under Theme I, ACOA contributed to the 2013-16 FSDS through two implementation strategies for Goal 1: Climate change and Goal 2: Air pollution.

Implementation strategies - performance summary:

The Agency’s Policy, Advocacy and Coordination program (1.3) focused on energy and the environment through its advocacy work, promoting Atlantic Canada’s energy sector – including renewable energy – and facilitating the advancement of the region’s potential through the Atlantic Canada Energy Office. The energy and environment sectors were a focus also for ACOA’s Coordination sub-program through the Atlantic Energy Gateway (AEG) initiative. The AEG was launched to complement existing and planned utility and regional collaborative efforts as well as ongoing commercial activities within the region’s electricity sector. The AEG supports Theme I: Addressing climate change and air quality. Through the FSDS, the federal government has committed, “in order to mitigate the effects of climate change, [to] reduce greenhouse gas emission levels and adapt to unavoidable impacts.”[1] Strategies to meet this goal include “the development and generation of renewable energy and support [for] energy efficiency.”[2] The work of the AEG supports this strategy and will assist Atlantic Canada in developing a lower-carbon economy.

Theme IV: Shrinking the environmental footprint – beginning with government

Under Theme IV, ACOA contributed to the 2013-16 FSDS through implementation strategies for Goal 7: Waste and asset management.

FSDS goal FSDS target FSDS performance indicator FSDS performance results
Goal 7: Waste and asset management
Reduce waste generated, and minimize the environmental impacts of assets throughout their life cycle.
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.
Departmental approach to further the implementation of the Policy on Green Procurement in place Yes
Number and percentage of specialists in procurement or materiel management who have completed the Canada School of Public Service Procurement course or equivalent, in the given fiscal year. 9 of 10 designated employees completed the Public Services and Procurement Canada course in previous years. (Only one new designated employee was added in 2016-17.)
90%
Number and percentage of managers and functional heads of procurement and materiel whose performance evaluation includes support and contribution toward green procurement in the given fiscal year. 1 of 6 designated employees
16.6%
By March 31, 2017, 95% of copy paper, commercial printing and envelope purchases will contain a minimum of 30% recycled content and be certified to a recognized environmental standard to reduce the environmental impact of their production. Dollar value of copy paper, commercial printing and envelope purchases that meet the target objective relative to the total dollar value of all copy paper, commercial printing and envelope purchases in the given fiscal year.
Annual amount spent on copy paper, commercial printing and envelopes: $46,438
$35,514 / $46,438
(79%)
By March 31, 2017, 90% of purchases of imaging hardware will include criteria to reduce the environmental impact associated with the production, acquisition, use and disposal of the equipment. Dollar value of imaging hardware purchased that meets the target objective relative to the total dollar value of all imaging hardware purchased in the given fiscal year.
Annual amount spent on imaging hardware: $6,307
$6,307 / $6,307
(100%)
By March 31, 2017, 90% of toner cartridges will be recycled at end of life. Percentage of toner cartridges recycled relative to the total value of all toner cartridges purchased in the given fiscal year.
Annual amount spent on toner cartridges: $54,677
100%
($54,677 / $54,677)
Leverage common-use procurement instruments where available and feasible. Achieved
As required under ACOA’s internal procurement policy.
Train acquisition cardholders on green procurement. Achieved
All acquisition cardholders must complete the Green Procurement course before receiving their cards.
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.
Approach to maintain or improve the sustainability of the departmental workplace in place as of March 31, 2015. Yes
Maintain or improve existing approaches to sustainable workplace practices (printer ratios, paper usage and green meetings). Achieved
Sustainable workplace practices are used in accordance with ACOA’s internal Asset Management Policy and in accordance with the Government-wide Policy on Management of Materiel.
Dispose of e-waste in an environmentally sound and secure manner. Achieved
All e-waste has been processed in accordance with ACOA’s internal Asset Management Policy and in accordance with the Government-wide Directive on Disposal of Surplus Materiel.

Additional departmental sustainable development activities and initiatives

In Atlantic Canada, ACOA is also helping to develop clean technologies and more competitive, resource-efficient and sustainable businesses and communities through its funding programs. For example, ACOA provided funding to develop a next-generation arctic power system for remote off-grid Arctic communities: it consists of multiple wind turbines, diesel generators, an advanced energy storage system and distributed thermal energy storage units. A study was also funded that will clarify, assess and present the extent of the current low-carbon economy in the Atlantic region, and build a business case to further expand, develop and demonstrate its important role in helping Canada achieve its carbon reduction goals.

Additional information on ACOA’s programming is available on the Agency's website.

Sustainable development management system

ACOA is a participant in the FSDS. The FSDS represents a major step forward for the Government of Canada by including environmental sustainability and strategic environmental assessments as an integral part of its decision-making processes. ACOA is implicated under Theme I: Addressing climate change and air quality, and under Theme IV: Shrinking the environmental footprint – beginning with government.

ACOA’s decision-making and sustainable development practices

ACOA sets an example in its internal operations by:

Report on Strategic Environmental Assessments

During the 2016-17 reporting cycle, ACOA considered 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. As the Agency did not develop any initiatives that required a Strategic Environmental Assessment, no related public statements were produced.

 

[1] Environment Canada, Planning for a Sustainable Future: A Federal Sustainable Development Strategy for Canada 2013-2016, November 2013.

[2] Ibid.

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