Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy 2020 to 2023

October 2020

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List of acronyms

COVID-19
Coronavirus disease
DSDS
Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
FSDS
Federal Sustainable Development Strategy
GHG
Green House Gas
IT
Information Technology
OECD
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
PCSD
Recommendation on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development
PSPC
Public Service and Procurement Canada
SEA
Strategic Environmental Assessment
SDG
Sustainable Development Goal

Section 1: Introduction to the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

The 2019 to 2022 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) presents the Government of Canada’s sustainable development goals and targets, as required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act. The purpose of this Act is to provide the legal framework for developing and implementing a FSDS that will make environmental decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament. In keeping with the Act, the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canadian Heritage) supports the goals laid out in the FSDS through the activities described in this Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS).

Section 2: Sustainable Development at the Department of Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage’s mandate as set out in the Department of Canadian Heritage Act centers on fostering and promoting “Canadian identity and values, cultural development, and heritage.” Given the mandate and responsibilities of the Department, Canadian Heritage will continue to play a key role in promoting and celebrating an inclusive society that strengthens and sustains the Canadian social contract and promotes innovation and economic prosperity.

Under the Federal Sustainable Development Act, the Government of Canada acknowledges the need to integrate environmental, economic and social factors in the making of all decisions by government. Canadian Heritage contributes to all three pillars of sustainability in Canada. In December 2019, the Prime Minister reiterated this commitment to climate action in all mandate letters to cabinet ministers. Of note, the Minister of Canadian Heritage’s mandate includes working with the national museums to increase Canadians’ awareness of climate change.

Canadian Heritage’s programs promote an environment where Canadians can experience dynamic cultural expressions, celebrate our history and heritage and build strong communities. Beginning with the recognition of the ongoing presence and inherent rights of Indigenous Peoples, Canadian Heritage is responsible for nurturing our nation’s unique experience as a multicultural, bilingual, treaty nation with shared values of human rights, which are the makings of a sustainable social fabric. Canadian Heritage contributes to economic sustainability by pursuing opportunities to promote and invest in Canadian creative industries and Canadian creators at home and abroad. Following the 2019 election, two secretariats were transferred to Canadian Heritage. The Youth Secretariat is responsible for the federal implementation of Canada’s Youth Policy and supporting the Prime Minister’s Youth Council. The LGBTQ2 Secretariat promotes LGBTQ2 equality and rights, and addresses discrimination against LGBTQ2 communities. To achieve its objectives, Canadian Heritage collaborates with a wide range of partners from the private sector, creative enterprises, Indigenous governments and organizations, public institutions and non-governmental organizations and engages with Canadians through programs that support a wide range of activities from youth exchanges, to commemorations and celebrations, to high performance sports and multiculturalism.

Context: response to the coronavirus disease and sustainability

As a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Canadian Heritage has taken on a new way of working that reduces the Department’s environmental footprint. Widespread telework as a result of public health restrictions has reduced the emissions caused by:

In particular, a series of ministerial town halls and roundtables conducted virtually between summer and fall 2020 include the participation of hundreds of stakeholders from across the country, without the environmental impacts caused by in-person events. Canadian Heritage has developed tools to facilitate telework, including the adoption of new videoconferencing capabilities. The habits developed during this period will improve the sustainability of Canadian Heritage’s operations even after public health restrictions are lifted.

While the Department’s mandate is not directly linked to Canada’s environmental ecosystem, the rise of new technologies and digital platforms, accentuated by the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic, provides the Department with opportunities to introduce more environmentally friendly tools in its policies, programs and procedures.

Beyond the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy

The Department has the opportunity to inform Canadians’ understanding of environmental sustainability and more specifically the arts, culture, heritage and sport sectors. Sustainable development activities at Canadian Heritage include:

Greener celebration and commemoration programs and services

Environmental considerations are now part of several official national celebrations and commemorations for which Canadian Heritage is responsible and, in the context of physical distancing measures due to COVID-19, the Department successfully introduced the first virtual Canada Day celebrations in the summer of 2020. Thematically, the Department will start providing ideas of environmentally friendly best practices or activities to funding recipients under Celebrate Canada (National Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Canadian Multiculturalism Day, Canada Day and the Saint-Jean Baptiste) and Commemorate Canada. Logistically, the Department has implemented a greening strategy aimed at reducing the environmental impact of celebrations and festivities in the National Capital Region, which includes:

Other examples of how the department helps frame sustainability as a Canadian cultural value include: the theme for Canada History Week 2020 (“Environmental History”) and the planning of a digital-only press conference kit for the Canadian delegation at the 2019 Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, the first such occurrence since the creation of the book fair. Although, Canada’s year of participation as Guest of Honour of the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2020 has been postponed to 2021 due to the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada will re-launch its Guest of Honour year in October 2020 with a virtual program featuring Canadian authors and artists. Programming throughout Germany will feature literary and cultural events culminating with a spotlight on Canada for the five days of the Book Fair in October 2021.

Green investments

The Department uses its funding mechanisms to facilitate Canadians’ sustainability practices. As an example, the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund supports cultural and heritage institutions in their efforts to reduce the environmental impact of their facilities and activities. The Department also supports stakeholders under its portfolio by conducting research and analysis of sustainability practices through an inventory of best practices in the arts sector, exploring energy sustainability for heritage institutions and measuring the environmental impact of investments in the cultural sector. Contribution agreements for 2020-21 will encourage National Sport Organizations and Multi Service Sport Organizations funded by Sport Canada to support and adopt innovative solutions to lower carbon emissions or adopt other green practices. The Canadian Conservation Institute is currently supporting stakeholders to combat climate change and its impact on heritage by investing in a Geographic Information System to help Canadian heritage institutions reduce their energy consumption and adapt to hazards and risks.

Sustainable Practices

Canadian Heritage’s exploration of digital solutions extends to services provided to Canadians, such as distributing the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms electronically, and exploring opportunities to replace the requirement of wet signatures on documents related to grants and contributions with digital signatures, or similar tools. Several efforts to digitize operations relate to the backend work to expand and improve online service for funding applicants at Canadian Heritage. The Department envisions a digital environment that allows Canadian Heritage to continually improve its service to Canadians. Following the Minister of Canadian Heritage’s announcement of a COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations, the Department set up an online portal to simplify the application process and to streamline the review of applications. At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, with employees working remotely, having the ability to electronically approve documents became a critical need. An internal working group chaired by the Department’s information technology branch, with members from the corporate finance and human resources branches, will assess and implement the ideal solution for remote approval of documents across the organization.

While these modifications apply primarily to corporate procedures, by exposing Canadians to digital solutions, these initiatives present citizens with concrete tools that may help reduce their carbon footprint, thus allowing the Department to lead by example.

Environmentally friendly Workplace

The renovations for Les Terrasses de la Chaudière complex in Gatineau (built in 1978) led by the department of Public Service and Procurement Canada (PSPC) will provide Canadian Heritage headquarters employees with more environmentally friendly work spaces in the coming years. Indeed, during these renovations, Canadian Heritage’s allocated space will be converted to meet Government of Canada Workplace Standards that include activity-based workplaces. It is expected that by the end of the 2021-22 fiscal year, Government of Canada Workplace spaces will represent 7.5% of the Department’s national envelope. This action will help reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and allow public servants to work in a smarter, greener and healthier way. PSPC, owner of Les Terrasses de la Chaudière complex, submitted a DSDS for 2020-23. Canadian Heritage will continue to support and work with PSPC in achieving its objectives to transform Les Terrasses de la Chaudière into a workplace which maximizes the best environmental practices.

Environmentally friendly Initiatives and best practices

The Evaluation Services Directorate is currently working on a scan of environmentally friendly initiatives in Canada and abroad. This research will identify best practices in the sectors for which Canadian Heritage is responsible including the arts, heritage, major events and sport. The scan will also include ecological initiatives in the government operations context to provide the Department with additional existing environmentally friendly practices to consider implementing.

In addition to informing how Canadians perceive sustainable development, the breadth of the activities above demonstrates that the question of sustainability is being built into the Department’s corporate culture, which goes beyond the targets identified under the FSDS goal of Greening Government (for examples, see Section 4).

Federal Sustainable Development Strategy goal: greening government

Canadian Heritage supports the Federal Sustainable Development Act and the goals and targets of the FSDS that govern carbon emissions in Canada. Given that the Department’s programs and policies affect Canada’s economy and social fabric more directly than its environmental ecosystems, Canadian Heritage is not responsible for leading any targets from FSDS areas beyond the goal of Greening Government.

Canadian Heritage actively encourages sustainable workplace practices that support reduced carbon emissions. For example, the Department has implemented measures fully aligned with the federal Policy on Green Procurement to the extent that environmental provisions are included in all departmental tender documents. To continue reducing its carbon footprint, the Department is implementing a new policy of one primary electronic device per user, which encourages each employee to use one primary source of technology, such as a laptop or tablet, rather than use multiple devices. The Department’s Printer Strategy eliminated personal printers; an average of 30 employees shared one printer, instead of the original ratio of four to one. At the time of drafting this strategy, employees lack access to all network printers as most work remotely due to the physical distancing measures following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once employees return to the office, the targets will be maintained. The Mobile Workforce Initiative encourages employees to attend meetings with only their mobile devices to avoid excessive use of paper, and the Department’s videoconferencing project promotes the use of teleconferences and videoconferences over face-to-face meetings in order to reduce travel and the subsequent burning of fossil fuels.

Departmental investments in the tools necessary to promote employee mobility has led the Canadian Heritage to become an early adopter of PSPC’s GCCoworking pilot project, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. GCCoworking established five coworking spaces in the National Capital Region (located in South, West and East, Downtown Ottawa, and Gatineau), and five other sites across Canada (Vancouver, Selkirk, Toronto, Laval and Dartmouth) with the objective to help reduce employees’ commute time and GHG emissions and thus contribute to work-life balance.

The Department of Canadian Heritage’s actions also directly support the following Sustainable Development Goals and targets of the United Nations’ (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development:

Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production
Target 12.7 - Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities.

Goal 13 – Climate Action
Target 13.2 - Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and Planning

Canadian Heritage is well positioned to lead a sustainable strategy in the arts, culture, and in sport by influencing a wide range of partners from the private sector, creative enterprises, public institutions and non-governmental organizations that serve Canadians, including the Department’s own employees. The Department is a low carbon emitter, based on the criteria for the FSDS goal of Greening Government, which puts a heavy emphasis on departments that own real estate and have significant fleets. The next section highlights the Department’s contributions to the goal of Greening Government.

Section 3: Commitments for Department of Canadian Heritage

Greening Government: The Government of Canada will transition to low-carbon, climate resilient and green operations

Responsible Minister:
All ministers
Program(s) in which the departmental actions will occur:
Internal Services

This goal captures commitments from the Greening Government Strategy, as well as reporting requirements under the Policy on Green Procurement.

FSDS target: By 2022, departments have developed measures to reduce climate change risks to assets, services and operations.
FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target Starting point(s) Performance indicator(s) Target(s)
1.1. Increase training and support on assessing climate change impacts, undertaking climate change risk assessments and developing adaptation actions to public service employees, and facilitate sharing of best practices and lessons learned. 1.1.1. Continue the implementation of a policy of one primary source of technology per employee (i.e.: laptop or tablet), rather than multiple devices.

This action encourages public service employees’ understanding of climate change while providing a tangible way for them to contribute to climate change action. It also reduces the demand for energy and leads to a reduction in GHG emissions.

This action supports UN Sustainable Development Goal target 13.2

Indicator: Percentage of employees using one primary source of technology for day-to-day operations.

Baseline: 100% as of 2019-20.

Target: Maintain the percentage of employees using one primary source of technology at 100%.

1.1.2. Conduct Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) and ensure compliance with the Cabinet Directive on Policy, Plan and Program Proposals.

By factoring climate variability in the Departmental operation and decision-making processes, this action contributes to the government’s adaptation to a changing climate. This approach is consistent with the government’s risk management approach of enhancing the protection of public assets and resources and strengthening planning and decision-making.

This action supports UN Sustainable Development Goal target 13.2

Indicator: Percentage of Memorandum to Cabinet, Treasury Board Submissions and other proposals have been assessed for environmental considerations.

Baseline: 100% as of 2019-20.

Target: 100% of these documents include environmental considerations.

1.1.3. Canadian Heritage encourages alternative work arrangements, and as such, is an early adopter of PSPC’s two-year GCCoworking pilot project with the objective to help reduce employees’ commute time.

This action encourages public service employees’ understanding of climate change while providing a tangible way for them to contribute to climate change action. The use of these locations can also contribute to reducing GHG emissions and promote work-life balance.

This action supports UN Sustainable Development Goal target 13.2

Indicator: Number of employees participating in the GCCoworking project.

Baseline: A total of 54 employees asked to participate in GCCoworking project in 2019-20.

Target: No target identified yet as GCCoworking locations were closed in March 2020 and remained closed at the moment of finalizing this DSDS due to the physical distancing measures following the outbreak COVID-19 pandemic.

1.1.4. Canadian Heritage encourages alternative work arrangements with the objective to help reduce employees’ commute time.

This action encourages public service employees’ understanding of climate change while providing a tangible way for them to contribute to climate change action. The use of this alternative can also contribute to reducing GHG emissions and promote work-life balance.

This action supports UN Sustainable Development Goal target 13.2

Indicator: Percentage of employees who avail themselves of telework arrangements.

Baseline: While around 35% of Canadian Heritage employees officially opted for telework arrangements in 2019-20 through the signing of an agreement, an internal survey revealed about 62% of employees actually telework as of 2019-20.

Target: no target identified because telework is voluntary, under regular circumstance, although mandatory at the time of drafting this strategy, due to the physical distancing measures following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department will continue to encourage employees’ uptake of this alternative work arrangement.

1.1.5 Actively participate in Interdepartmental senior management meetings and forums that support the FSDS and the greening of government.

Participation at Assistant Deputy Minister and Director General committee meetings and forums that support the objectives of the FSDS. By participating in these meetings and forums, Canadian Heritage officials become aware and share best practices and lessons learned on climate change impacts, thus creating a common understanding of the FSDS objectives across the Government of Canada.

This action supports UN Sustainable Development Goal target 13.2

Indicator: Percentage of meetings attended.

Baseline: 100% as of 2019-20.

Target: 100% meeting attendance.

1.1.6 Canadian Heritage actively looks at opportunities to improve and modernize its management practices towards more efficient and greener solutions.

This action supports adaptation to climate change as it allows managers to complete their management responsibilities in a paperless environment. The Financial Management Branch currently requires managers to exercise their delegated financial authorities electronically as it pertains to procurement, Grants & Contributions and invoice approval. Delegated managers also have a suite of reporting tools and dashboards available on their desktop.

Actions to support the strategy:

  • Electronic Approvals
  • Electronic Signature
  • Financial Dashboards and Reporting

This action supports UN Sustainable Development Goal target 12.7

Indicator 1: Uptake of the SAP-STAR financial management system solution for financial delegation approval activities.

Baseline: 80% of Financial delegation approval activities done electronically as of 2019-20.

Target: 100% of Financial delegation approval activities done electronically.

1.1.6. Canadian Heritage actively looks at opportunities to improve and modernize management practices towards more efficient and greener solutions.

This action supports adaptation to climate change as it allows managers to complete their management responsibilities in a paperless environment. The Financial Management Branch currently requires managers to exercise their delegated financial authorities electronically as it pertains to procurement, Grants & Contributions and invoice approval. Delegated managers also have a suite of reporting tools and dashboards available on their desktop.

Actions to support the strategy:

  • Electronic Approvals
  • Electronic Signature
  • Financial Dashboards and Reporting

This action supports UN Sustainable Development Goal target 12.7

Indicator 2: percentage of Grants & Contributions approved using e-signatures.

Baseline: 0%.

Target: 100% of Grants & Contributions funding agreements.

FSDS target: Other—Actions supporting the Goal Greening Government
FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target Starting point(s) Performance indicator(s) Target(s)
[This section is for actions that support the Greening Government Goal but do not directly support a FSDS target] 2.1. Departments will use environmental criteria to reduce the environmental impact and ensure best value in government procurement decisions. 2.1.1. Ensure green procurement is included in the performance evaluation of managers and functional specialists of Canadian Heritage’s Contracting and Material Management Directorate.

This action commits managers to support the objectives of green procurement as it relates to the goal of Greening Government.

This action supports UN Sustainable Development Goal target 12.7

Indicator: Percentage of managers and functional specialists of procurement and materiel management whose performance evaluation includes support and contribution towards green procurement in the current fiscal year.

Baseline: 100% as of 2019-20.

Target: 100% of evaluations of managers and functional specialists of the Contracting and Material Management Directorate.

2.1.2. Acquire audiovisual equipment, Information Technology (IT) hardware, and office furniture through mandatory PSPC’s acquisition mechanisms, embedded with green procurement clauses.

Continue to acquire IT hardware and audio-visual equipment, through the department of Shared Service Canada’s system for procurement.

This action bolsters a common approach to sustainable procurement across government in keeping with recommendations in the FSDS.

This action supports UN Sustainable Development Goal target 12.7

Indicator: Percentage of audiovisual equipment, IT hardware, and office furniture purchased via mandatory PSPC and Shared Services Canada’s acquisition mechanisms.

Baseline: 100% as of 2019-20.

Target: 100% of audiovisual equipment, IT hardware, and office furniture purchased via mandatory PSPC and Shared Service Canada’s acquisition mechanisms.

2.1.3. Eliminate personal printers thereby increasing the ratio of number of employees per printer.

Actions to support strategy:

  • Review printing requirements in a remote work context
  • Assess whether employees will require ability to print to do their work
  • Assess impact on current policy and practices

Canadian Heritage currently provides shared network printing for the majority of employees, with the exceptions of senior management and the accommodation of special circumstances.

This action reduces the demand for energy, which is an important environmental criterion for procurement.

This action supports UN Sustainable Development Goal target 13.2

Indicator: Ratio of employees per printer.

Baseline: 9 employees per printer as of 2020-21

Target: Reduce the current ratio to average 30 employees per printer.

Note: at the time of drafting this strategy, employees lack access to all network printers as most work remotely due to the physical distancing measures following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

2.1.4. Move to digital funding applications by creating an online service delivery channel aligned to the Government of Canada’s Digital Operations Strategic Plan.

Canadian Heritage currently requires applications for funding to be sent by potential clients by either mail or by email as PDF files. Those PDF files are often printed, saved and managed. An online service delivery channel will reduce energy and material use by streamlining and simplifying the funding application process, avoiding the creation, transport and management of paper.

This action supports UN Sustainable Development Goal target 13.2

Indicator: Number of Canadian Heritage program components receiving and processing funding applications digitally.

Baseline: 3 of 90 program components.

Target: 18 program components representing 30% of Canadian Heritage application volume by 2023-24.

2.2. Support for green procurement will be strengthened, including guidance, tools and training for public service employees. 2.2.1. Require procurement and material management specialists to complete the most current Canada School of Public Service Green Procurement course.

This action ensures the necessary level of subject matter expertise to manage actions that support Low Carbon Government effectively.

This action supports UN Sustainable Development Goal target 12.7

Indicator: Percentage of specialists in procurement and materiel management who have completed training on green procurement.

Baseline: 100% as of 2019-20.

Target: 100% of specialists in procurement and materiel management have completed training on green procurement.

2.2.2. Implement the best practice of requiring acquisition card users to take training in green procurement.

This action allows the Department’s functional experts in procurement to educate and inform users and carry out due diligence of sustainable development practices.

This action supports UN Sustainable Development Goal target 12.7

Indicator: Percentage of acquisition cardholders trained on green procurement.

Baseline: 100% as of 2019-20.

Target: 100% of acquisition cardholders are trained on green procurement.

Section 4: Integrating Sustainable Development at Canadian Heritage

Policy coherence for development

In December 2019, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) adopted the recommendation on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development (PCSD), a methodology to strengthen the capacity of governments to design, implement and monitor coherent and integrated policies for sustainable development. The OECD recommends policy integration to achieve PCSD, defined as aligning mandates, policies and sectoral objectives to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and policy decision making that takes into account the interactions (synergies and trade-offs) among social, economic and environmental areas, with a view to addressing multiple dimensions of sustainable challenges.

Canadian Heritage has integrated environmental considerations into its operational processes and instruments to the extent that key templates and delivery mechanisms, such as common-use procurement tools and the development of approval process for Memoranda to Cabinet, include a requirement to consider issues of environment and sustainable development. By strict adherence to the directives of the lead environmental authorities: the Treasury Board’s Centre for Greening Government; the Sustainable Development Office at Environment and Climate Change Canada; and, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, the Department endeavours to stay true to its commitment to the objectives of the FSDS.

To better address the multiple dimensions of sustainable challenges, Canadian Heritage is currently working on several initiatives to integrate sustainable development into its internal policy and operational processes. During the 2020-21 fiscal year, the Department conducted a planning exercise aimed at integrating sustainable development in its corporate performance management profile, especially to reflect the link between the UN SDG and Departmental core responsibilities. Canadian Heritage activated its Business Continuity Plan in March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thus interrupting this exercise, which is set to resume in fall 2021.

Leadership

The Department of Canadian Heritage’s strategy for 2020 to 2023 is drafted in the context of the Prime Minister’s announcement that Canada will pursue a green economy recovery plan in response to COVID-19, thus accelerating Canada’s environmental shift.

Canadian Heritage is exploring how upcoming policy and planning initiatives could prioritize the environment as a central objective. Specifically, the Department is seeking to identify initiatives that could further departmental priorities while:

Over the course of September and October 2020, the Department has supported a stakeholder engagement process focused on the post-pandemic recovery of the cultural, heritage and sport sectors. Hundreds of stakeholders have participated in town halls and roundtables hosted by the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Parliamentary Secretaries. Through this engagement, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Parliamentary Secretaries asked stakeholders to put forward ideas about how to best advance the resiliency of their sectors. In addition to economic viability, participants have been specifically asked to think about how environmental sustainability, equity and inclusion can be advanced in their sectors. These discussions have generated valuable feedback. Additionally, a dedicated roundtable on the ‘green recovery’ of the cultural, heritage and sport sectors allowed participants from various industries (e.g. television and film, theatre, sporting events, tourism) to discuss environmental challenges and opportunities. The key points on environmental sustainability from this engagement will be taken into account as the Department approaches policy development, program design, and funding proposal development over the coming months.

The Department is represented at several platforms within the Government of Canada for the advancement of policy coherence for sustainable development. Indeed, Canadian Heritage contributes to the national strategy on the UN SDG led by Employment and Social Development Canada, by supporting the revision of the Canadian Indicator Framework. This work includes the Department’s membership to the interdepartmental SDG Working Group.

Awareness

Education plays a crucial role in raising awareness of sustainable development challenges and opportunities for improvement. GroupEco, a volunteer group at Canadian Heritage, is promoting change in day to day behaviour. The group’s activities and campaigns are contributing to the reduction of the environmental footprint of employees, both at work and at home. Awareness-building activities include, point in time promotions such as green Christmas, recycling of writing instruments and small electronics, and the use of reusable food containers and reusable water bottles. GroupEco also hosts “Canadian Environment Week”, a major event during which the group promotes many sustainable activities in collaboration with different external parties (including the cities of Gatineau and Ottawa).

Several sectors within the Department are converting to paperless offices to help reduce Canadian Heritage’s carbon footprint. This includes the implementation of electronic business processes using digital tools for corporate operations in finance, communication and audit. Following these efforts, the corporate communications service was also able to eliminate its paper record holding facility entirely and re-purpose the office space. The Department is currently exploring options to develop a GHG emission offset strategy to alleviate the negative environmental impacts of Canadian Heritage employees’ international travel, in the context of their employment. This strategy would be two pronged; the first step would be to estimate GHG emissions for every international travel, using the International Civil Aviation Organization’s calculator, and as a second step, the Department would adhere to a carbon offset initiative, such as programs offered by Air Canada or Trees Canada, to neutralize carbon dioxide emissions caused by international travel.

Strategic Environmental Assessments

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

Public statements on the results of Canadian Heritage’s assessments are made public when an initiative has undergone a detailed SEA. 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.

The Department’s SEA process has proven to be an effective analytical tool to assess the environmental impact of policy, plan and program proposals in the arts, culture and sport. Consequently, decision makers remain aware of the potential positive and negative issues regarding sustainable development. Canadian Heritage will also continue to outline environmental considerations and responsibilities in contribution agreements and partnership agreements governing a range of projects and initiatives such as the hosting of sporting events like the Canada Games, and festivals and celebrations including Canada Day. The Strategic Planning Directorate leads the SEA process in conjunction with the Cabinet and Parliamentary Affairs Directorate and the Financial Management Branch who deal specifically with Treasury Board submissions.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2019.
Catalogue No. CH1-25E-PDF
ISSN: 1929-3399

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