Policy Framework for Environmental Performance Agreements

Table of Contents

Published: June 2001

Policy Framework for Environmental Performance Agreements (PDF; 1.13 MB)

Environmental performance agreements allow parties with common objectives to address a particular environmental issue.

In June 2001, the federal Minister of the Environment released Environment Canada's Policy Framework for Environmental Performance Agreements. Since then, environmental performance agreements have been negotiated and developed based on the principles and design criteria outlined in the Policy Framework.


Over recent years, industry, environmental non-government organizations and government have demonstrated that they can work together to protect the environment. Environment Canada has entered into a number of partnerships through memoranda of understanding and other written agreements that lead to environmental improvements.

Countries around the world are increasingly relying on public/private partnerships and agreements to protect the environment. As a result of experience acquired both in Canada and internationally, there is a growing understanding of the design and conditions required to make such agreements work.

In this policy framework, Environment Canada sets out the design criteria that it believes are essential to make these agreements both effective and credible. Environment Canada is signaling its willingness to engage in environmental performance agreements with industry and other interested stakeholders to protect the environment. The department looks forward to working with industry, provincial governments and non-government organizations in these new partnerships, which will benefit Canadians and the environment.

In his appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development in May 2000, Environment Minister David Anderson stated that Canadians need to harness the forces of competition, innovation and entrepreneurship to make the environment cleaner and safer. This policy framework is an important element of the "new architecture" of environmental management that the Minister discussed with the Committee--an architecture based on partnerships, knowledge and incentives.

As experience is gained in applying this policy framework, this document may be revised from time to time.

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