Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

Introduction

The 2019 to 2022 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (2019-22 FSDS) presents the Government of Canada’s (GoCs) sustainable development goals and targets, as required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act.

As an integrated energy and environment strategy, the 2020-23 Defence Energy and Environment Strategy (2020-23 DEES) allows Defence to support the GoC to meet the commitments set out in the 2019-22 FSDS, and implement changes outlined in Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy (SSE).

The targets in the 2020-23 DEES contribute to the Greening Government, Healthy Wildlife Populations, and Safe and Healthy Communities goals in the FSDS.

Context: Greening Government

As the largest user of energy and the single largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the federal government, Defence has a key role to play in helping the GoC reach its net-zero target. The Defence team considers energy and environmental factors in all areas of our business and is committed to reducing GHG emissions from its infrastructure and commercial light-duty vehicle fleets.

The real property portfolio is facing a considerable range of evolving pressures. According to the Horizontal Fixed Asset Review (HFAR) led by Treasury Board Secretariat, all custodial departments face similar pressures brought on by an accumulation of deferred maintenance. Improvements are needed to comply with health and safety, workplace risk mitigation, environmental legislation and sustainability standards while addressing the demand for infrastructure to support operational requirements in the Arctic, for continental defence, to avoid climate change impacts, and to support the GoC’s Indigenous Reconciliation agenda.

The affordability and market availability of technological solutions remain a challenge for reducing GHG emissions from real property and military equipment. The HFAR has identified funding sustainability as an impediment for implementing policy-related premiums such as greening. The Department of National Defence (DND), like many other custodial departments, has an older real property portfolio that requires significant investments in order to improve its environmental performance. With no new funding, greening is competing for the same funds as program delivery which affects our green project planning.

There are also challenges to come with the acquisition of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). In FY 2021-22, manufacturers were struggling to deliver orders due to COVID-19, microchip shortages and mineral shortages required for battery manufacturing. Many of the new ZEV vehicles identified to come out in 2020 have been pushed back to 2022 and 2023, and therefore are not available for purchase. Achieving the hybrid/ZEV light duty vehicle fleet target is dependent on future market availability. 

Context: Healthy Wildlife Populations

Defence administers large tracts of land across Canada that provide habitat for many species of flora and fauna, including those considered endangered or at risk. Defence is centralizing information that was previously maintained at individual Defence establishments into a national geographic information system to enable national planning that will reduce or avoid impacts of Defence activities on the environment.

The purpose of this goal is for all species to have healthy and viable populations.

Context: Safe and Healthy Communities

Defence manages its contaminated sites consistent with Treasury Board policy, by prioritizing sites based on human health and environmental risks using approved criteria, developing and implementing management strategies, executing projects, and reporting on results. Defence will continue to leverage the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan to clean up contaminated sites to reduce its environmental liability related to real property.

Defence uses a high volume of hazardous substances such as ammunition, explosives, gases, and flammable liquids and has a responsibility to manage them properly to protect the safety of personnel and the environment. Defence is committed to managing hazardous materials with care throughout their lifecycle, reducing their use where and when possible, and to seek out less hazardous alternative substances that meet Defence needs.

This goal supports Canadians to live in clean, sustainable communities that contribute to their health and well-being.

Greening Government Communities FSDS target(s) FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Starting point(s) Performance indicator(s) Target(s)
Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target

Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from federal government facilities and fleets by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 (with an aspiration to achieve this target by 2025) and 80% below 2005 levels by 2050 (with an aspiration to be carbon neutral)

All new buildings and major building retrofits will prioritize low-carbon investments based on integrated design principles, and life-cycle and total-cost-of ownership assessments which incorporate shadow carbon pricing

Reduce GHG emissions by 40% below 2005 levels by 2025 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050

Performance indicator: % GHG emissions reduction in Department of National Defence (DND) buildings and commercial light-duty vehicle fleet relative to a 2005 baseline

Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS): GHG reductions from the DND infrastructure and commercial light-duty vehicle portfolio are critical to achieving the Government of Canada’s FSDS goal

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG): 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), 13 (Climate Action)

 

Revise the Green Building Directive to include construction renovation and demolition waste, net-zero, and available industry standards on embedded carbon requirements by 2021

Performance indicator: Complete Green Building Directive by 2021
 

FSDS: Buildings built to the latest industry standards for green construction produce less GHG emissions

SDG: 7, 9, 11, 12, 13

 

Develop net-zero carbon ready designs for two residential building archetypes by 2023

Performance indicator: Complete net-zero building designs for two residential building archetypes by 2023
 

FSDS: The net-zero carbon (or net-zero carbon ready) construction will reduce energy consumption leading to reduced GHG emissions from building operations

SDG: 7, 9, 11, 12, 13

Departments will adopt and deploy clean technologies and implement procedures to manage building operations and take advantage of programs to improve the environmental performance of their buildings

Assess 75% of eligible bases or wings for an energy performance contract and move 50% to the implementation phase by 2023

Performance indicator: % of eligible bases assessed, % of energy performance contracts moved to the implementation phase
 

FSDS: Implementation of energy performance contracts will reduce energy consumption leading to reduced GHG emissions from building operations

SDG: 7, 9, 11, 12, 13

Fleet management will be optimized including by applying telematics to collect and analyze vehicle usage data on vehicles scheduled to be replaced

See administrative fleet

 

 

Divert at least 75% (by weight) of non-hazardous operational waste from landfills by 2030

other

Establish a baseline for non-hazardous waste and develop a reduction and diversion plan by 2023

Establish baseline and completed plan by 2023
 

FSDS: Diverting and reducing waste will help to reduce Scope 3 GHG emissions. Diverting waste from landfills also reduces landfill gas emissions and recycling reduces emissions from the extraction and production of virgin materials

SDG: 11, 12, 13

Divert at least 75% (by weight) of plastic waste from landfills by 2030

other

See non-hazardous waste

 

 

Divert at least 90% (by weight) of all construction and demolition waste from landfills (striving to achieve 100% by 2030)

other

See Green Building Directive

 

 

Our administrative fleet will be comprised of at least 80% zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2030
 

Fleet management will be optimized including by applying telematics to collect and analyze vehicle usage data on vehicles scheduled to be replaced

100% of DND commercial light-duty vehicle fleet purchases will be ZEVs or hybrid when available, with a ZEV procurement target of 50% by 2023

Performance indicator: % available vehicles that meet operational requirements purchased that are ZEVs or hybrid

FSDS: Replacing conventional vehicles with hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electric vehicles will reduce GHG emissions

SDG: 7, 11, 12, 13

By 2022, departments have developed measures to reduce climate change risks to assets, services and operations
 

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

Develop an adaptation risk assessment framework and assess DND programs as well as critical infrastructure by 2023

Performance indicator: Complete framework by 2023; % of identified programs assessed
 

FSDS: Incorporating the impacts of climate change into policy, programs, and operations is paramount to adapting to a changing climate and ensuring resilience

SDG: 13

Assess the impacts of climate change on Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Canadian Army (CA) and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) activities, by 2023

Performance indicator: The RCN, CA and RCAF identify the impacts of climate change on its activities and operations in 3 separate reports by 2023
 

FSDS: Incorporating the impacts of climate change into policy, programs, and operations is paramount to adapting to a changing climate and ensure resilience

SDG: 13

By 2021, adopt climate-resilient building codes being developed by National Research Council Canada

See Green Building Directive

 

 

Use 100% clean electricity by 2025
 

other

Use 100% clean electricity by 2022, where available, and by 2025 at the latest by producing or purchasing renewable electricity

Performance indicator: % of clean electricity consumption across provinces with carbon-intensive grids (Alberta, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, and Ontario)  

FSDS: The use of clean electricity eliminates GHG emissions from the grid in jurisdictions with emitting generation sources

SDG: 7, 9, 13

Actions supporting the Goal:

Greening Government

Minimize the use of carbon-intensive and hazardous materials in construction and renovation

See Green Building Directive

 

 

The potential use of alternative energy options in national safety and security-related fleet operations will be examined

Develop a strategy for aviation fuels that supports the GoC’s goal of achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2050

Performance indicator: Complete strategy by 2023
 

FSDS: In preparation for the potential use of sustainable aviation fuels, developing a strategy for aviation fuels supports the GOC’s goal of achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2050

SDG: 7, 12, 13

Complete baseline energy and fuel use evaluations for select marine vessels by 2023

Performance indicator: % of select ships with baseline energy and fuel use evaluations  

FSDS: Optimizing energy performance will reduce the Navy’s energy consumption and GHG emissions

SDG: 7, 9, 12, 13

Departments will use environmental criteria to reduce the environmental impact and ensure best value in government procurement decisions

In partnership with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), complete industry consultations to inform a new National Master Standing Offer on sustainable packaging by 2023

Performance indicator: Complete industry consultation by 2023
 

FSDS: Factoring sustainable packaging into procurement will reduce the environmental impact and ensure best value in government procurement decision

SDG: 11, 12, 13

Greening Government - Other

Achieve an energy efficiency of 85% for fossil-fuel electrical generation and distribution utilities in major deployed camps by 2023

Performance indicator: Efficiency of electrical generation and distribution utilities, with a target of 85%

FSDS: Modern and energy efficient deployable camps will reduce energy consumption leading to reduced GHG emissions

SDG: 7, 9, 11, 12, 13

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Healthy wildlife populations FSDS target(s) FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Starting point(s) Performance indicator(s) Target(s) Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target

Actions supporting the Goal:

Healthy Wildlife Populations

Healthy Wildlife Populations - Other Implement a centralized geographic information system (GIS) tool for species at risk information and capture 40% of historic data by 2023 

Performance indicator: % of historic data entered into the system

FSDS: Implementation of a centralized geographic information system will support compliance with the Species at Risk Act and the protection of species at risk, their residences and critical habitat on DND lands 

SDG: SDG 15 (Life on Land) 

 

Safe and Healthy Communities FSDS target(s) FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Starting point(s) Performance indicator(s) Target(s) Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target

Actions supporting the Goal:

Safe and Healthy Communities

Demonstrate leadership on assessing and remediating contaminated sites  Reduce DND’s contaminated sites liability by an average of 10% per year by 2023 

Performance indicator: % of reduction in contaminated sites liability based on the closing liability of the previous year 

FSDS: By managing contaminated sites in a manner that is consistent with TB Policy, DND is reducing risks to human health and the environment

SDG: SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) 

Safe and Healthy Communities - Other Develop a project plan, including costs, timelines and alternative products to eliminate Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) Class B foam at DND locations, by 2023 

Performance indicator: Complete project plan by 2023

FSDS: Managing harmful substances protects human health and the environment, and benefits Canada’s economy

SDG: 3, 9, 12 

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