Health Canada Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy 2021-22

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Organization: Health Canada

Published: February 2021

February, 2021

Contents

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. In keeping with the purpose of this Act to provide the legal framework for developing and implementing a FSDS that will make environmental decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament, Health Canada supports the goals laid out in the FSDS through the activities described in this Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS).

On an international level, United Nations Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015 to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity by the year 2030. The 2030 Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets. The SDGs apply to all countries and integrate the three dimensions of sustainable development: social, economic, and environmental. Health Canada’s DSDS indicates how the department’s work links to the SDGs.  

Section 2: Sustainable Development Vision and Context in Health Canada

Health Canada has a responsibility to continue to help Canadians maintain and improve their health by recognizing that human well-being cannot be sustained without a healthy environment. It is with this goal in mind that the department executes its responsibilities as a regulator, a catalyst for innovation, a funder, and a trusted source of health information.

Health Canada advances work on multiple fronts where environmental health and human health intersect, such as air and water quality; climate change; environmental contaminants; pesticides; healthy food choices; and contaminated sites. In addition, the department is taking concrete steps to improve the environmental sustainability of our own operations, through measures such as ‘right-sizing’ the fleet, improving energy efficiency, and reducing waste.

Health Canada contributes to five of the 13 goals identified in the FSDS:

FSDS Goal: Effective Action on Climate Change

Climate change is a critical global problem that could affect future generations' ability to meet their basic needs. Adaptation, a key factor in addressing climate change, is about making smart, informed, forward-looking decisions that take future climate conditions into account.

Health Canada contributes to this goal by conducting climate change and health research. The department also helps decision-makers, such as health regions, develop and implement evidence-based adaptation measures by increasing knowledge, capacity and tools. In addition, the department provides funding, through HealthADAPT, to support the health sector in delivering projects to help prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change.

FSDS Goal: Greening Government

The Greening Government Strategy sets a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from federal operations by 40% by 2025 and by at least 90% below 2005 levels by 2050 (with an aspiration to be carbon neutral). The government also aspires to reduce emissions by an additional 10% every 5 years starting in 2025.

Health Canada’s commitments under this goal advance work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our facilities and our fleet, as well as action in other areas such as adapting to climate change, transitioning to clean energy, integrating environmental considerations into procurement decisions, and taking steps to reduce single-use plastics in our operations.

FSDS Goal: Clean Drinking Water

Clean drinking water is a fundamental human need, and helping to ensure that all Canadians have clean water to drink is a federal government priority. Providing safe drinking water requires a great deal of knowledge and coordination among multiple stakeholders, including governments, businesses and individuals across Canada.

Health Canada supports this goal through its work with federal, provincial and territorial partners to develop and/or update health-based drinking water quality guidelines and guidance documents for use by all jurisdictions in Canada to use as the basis for their own drinking water requirements.

FSDS Goal: Sustainable Food

Canada's food system, including agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries and food and beverage processing, provides safe and healthy food for Canadians, helps ensure long-term food security, and is an important part of our economy.

Health Canada contributes to this goal by encouraging the uptake of the new Canada’s Food Guide, which promotes food literacy and skills that can support healthy eating, safe food handling and help reduce food waste. The department will also take steps to re-design food regulations to reduce impediments that prevent industry from bringing innovative products to market, while protecting the health and safety of Canadians.

FSDS Goal: Safe and Healthy Communities

It is important that Canadians enjoy a clean, safe environment that contributes to their health and well-being. Among other things, this means reducing pollution to improve air quality, protecting them from harmful substances and preventing environmental emergencies (or reducing their impact if they do occur).

Health Canada plays an extensive role in advancing work under this goal. Science and outreach conducted in collaboration with other federal departments, help to increase knowledge and raise awareness related to the health impacts of indoor and outdoor air quality, through things such as the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards, the Air Quality Benefits Assessment Tool, and the Air Quality Health Index.

As part of its ongoing commitment to reducing the risks posed by chemicals to Canadians and their environment, Health Canada will conduct further research, monitoring and surveillance (including bio-monitoring), and risk assessments regarding chemical substances and human health, and take appropriate action to mitigate these risks.

In addition, work related to the Canadian Health Measures Survey and the Northern Contaminants Program provide invaluable data and research for scientists, health and environment officials, and communities to help inform decisions and develop policies aimed at reducing exposure to chemicals and contaminants.

The department also works with federal partners and provincial authorities to strengthen emergency preparedness in order to minimize the impacts on public health, safety, property and the environment and provides human health advice to other federal departments that are cleaning up contaminated sites. Finally, by implementing a new Integrated Approach to Pesticide Evaluation for both the pre- and post-market programs, Health Canada can ensure that pesticides are evaluated with modern scientific standards in a timely manner and that Canadians continue to be protected from unsafe products and substances.

Going Forward

Health Canada contributes to the implementation of the 2019-22 FSDS through the actions and initiatives described in the following section. In keeping with the objective of the DSDS to be forward-looking, it includes longer term commitments, but will also be updated annually to allow for new actions to be incorporated as we monitor our progress and develop new approaches. The department will provide a detailed account of progress through the Departmental Results Report (DRR) and progress will also be reflected in the FSDS e-strategy updates.

Section 3: Commitments for Health Canada

Effective Action on Climate Change: A low-carbon economy contributes to limiting global average temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius and supports efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius

Responsible Minister: Minister of Environment and Climate Change; supported by a whole-of-government approach to implementation

Table 1
Effective Action on Climate Change FSDS target(s) 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)
Program(s) in which the departmental actions will occur

Actions supporting the Goal: Effective Action on Climate Change

Work with partners on climate change. Increase knowledge, capacity and tools to support evidence-based adaptation measures to protect health from extreme heat as a result of climate change. By increasing knowledge, capacity and tools, Health Canada helps decision makers, such as health regions, develop and implement evidence-based adaptation measures to protect health from extreme heat as a result of climate change. For example, Health Canada’s efforts support the creation and maintenance of heat alert and response systems, real-time heat morbidity and mortality surveillance systems, the dissemination of heat health information, and the development of training. These efforts are important in protecting health since the frequency of extreme heat events in many Canadian locations is modelled to at least double by 2050. This work therefore contributes to the FSDS goal of effective action on climate change.

This work links to SDG 13: Climate Action and targets 13.1,13.2, 13.3, and SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goal and target 17.17.

Starting Point: In 2019-20, 77% of health regions in Canada had implemented evidence-based adaptation measures to protect health from extreme heat.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of health regions implementing evidence-based adaptation measures to protect health from extreme heat.

Target: 80% by March 31, 2026.

Climate Change

Develop a solid base of scientific research and analysis on climate change. Conduct climate change and health research and analysis with a broad range of partners, and disseminate information regarding the risks of climate change to the health of Canadians and the health system.

By conducting research and analysis, and disseminating information, Health Canada helps inform effective action on climate change. For example, a report currently under development entitled Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action will provide information on current and projected impacts from climate change on the health of individual Canadians, their communities and health systems. It will also support the development of needed adaptations by health and emergency management decision-makers at local, provincial/territorial and national levels, as well as by community organizations that work with the most vulnerable in our society. As such, this report will support initiatives that contribute to the FSDS goal of effective action on climate change.

This work links to SDG 1: No Poverty and target 1.5; SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and target 11.b; SDG 13: Climate Action and targets 13.1, 13.2, and 13.3; and SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals and target 17.17.

Starting Point: Previous assessments, including Human Health in a Changing Climate: a Canadian Assessment of Vulnerabilities and Adaptive Capacity (2008) and ‘Chapter 7: Human Health’ in Canada in a Changing Climate: Sector Perspectives on Impacts and Adaptation (2014) are available online.

Performance Indicator: Public release of the Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action Report.

Target: By December 2021.

Provide support and funding for climate resilience. Provide funding to support the health sector in preparing for and adapting to the impacts of climate change.

Through HealthADAPT, a climate change and health adaptation capacity building program, Health Canada will provide $3 million over three years to support 10 health authorities (including provincial/territorial ministries of health; province-wide, regional and local health authorities; and public health units) in delivering projects that will help prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change. This funding will therefore support the FSDS goal by helping to fund evidence-based action on climate change.

This work links to SDG 1: No Poverty and target 1.5; SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and target 3.4; SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and target 11.b; SDG 13: Climate Action and targets 13.1 and 13.3; and SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals and target 17.17.

Starting Point: The Climate Change and Health Adaptation Capacity Building Program was launched in June 2018.
Funded health system actors have not yet completed their projects and implemented adaptation measures.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of funded health system actors that have taken evidence-based adaptation measures to reduce the health effects of climate change.

Target: 80% by March 31, 2022.

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


Responsible Minister: All ministers

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

Table 2
Greening Government Commitments FSDS target(s) 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)
Program(s) in which the departmental actions will occur

Reduce 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. Adopt and maintain approaches and activities that reduce Health Canada’s energy use and improve the overall environmental performance of department-owned buildings.

Health Canada will take actions to reduce the demand for energy or switch to lower-carbon sources of energy that will lead to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from building operations.

This work links to SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy and target 7.3.

Starting Point: GHG emissions from buildings in fiscal year 2005-06 = 20.8ktCO2e.

Performance Indicator: Percentage change in GHG emissions from facilities from fiscal year 2005-06

  • GHG emissions from buildings in 2021-22 (ktCO2e).

Target: 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 (includes fleet and facilities).

Starting Point: New initiative.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of custodial facilities with building-level water meters.

Target: 100% of custodial facilities with building-level water meters by March 31, 2022, in order to start reporting total potable water use.
Internal Services
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. Identify opportunities to facilitate awareness about energy use and technologies that improve environmental performance in order to improve the environmental performance of department-owned buildings. Understanding the range of applications for clean technology in building operations, raising awareness about energy use, and promoting initiatives to improve energy efficiency will help Health Canada to ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support more efficient production and consumption.

This work links to SDG 9: Industry Innovation and Infrastructure and target 9.4.

Starting Point: New initiatives.

Performance Indicator: Number of communication messages designed for lab employees related to energy efficiency.

Target 1: Two communication messages delivered to Health Canada lab employees related to energy efficiency best practices for Chemical Fume Hoods (CFH) use and maintenance by March 31, 2022.

Target 2: Two communication messages delivered to Health Canada lab employees related to energy efficiency best practices for freezer use and maintenance by March 31, 2022.

Starting Point: In 2019-20, Health Canada began using RETScreen, a Clean Energy Management Software system for energy efficiency, renewable energy and cogeneration project feasibility analysis, as well as ongoing energy performance analysis.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of building fit-ups, refits, major investments and new construction projects that use RETScreen to inform potential energy efficiency improvement decisions by March 31, 2022.

Target: 100% (annual).

Starting Point: In 2019-20, an energy performance feasibility analysis was completed, in partnership with Natural Resources Canada, at the Health Canada Radiation Protection Building in Ottawa, ON.

Performance Indicator: Number of energy performance feasibility analyses completed in partnership with Natural Resources Canada.

Target:  One energy performance feasibility analysis completed by March 31, 2022.

Starting Point: New initiative.

Performance Indicator: Number of energy performance contracts initiated to improve low-carbon performance of buildings.

Target: Three energy performance contracts initiated at the Radiation Protection Building in Ottawa, ON by March 31, 2022.

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

Use telematics analysis to right-size the fleet.

Promote behaviour change – e.g. car sharing initiatives and public transportation options.

Rationalization of fleets via retirement of emitting vehicles can reduce GHG emissions.

This work links to SDG 13: Climate Action.

Starting Point: GHG emissions from fleet in fiscal year 2005–06 = 1.6ktCO2e.

Performance Indicator: Percentage change in GHG emissions from fleet from fiscal year 2005-06

  • GHG emissions from fleet in 2021-22
  • Overall fuel consumption (LGE).

Target: 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 (includes fleet and facilities).

Starting Point: Annual target.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of employee air travel booked centrally to allow for tracking of GHG emissions.

Target: 100% (annual).

Internal Services
Divert at least 75% (by weight) of non-hazardous operational waste from landfills by 2030 Other. Track and disclose waste diversion rates by 2022.

Assess the waste stream to inform future decisions and options to divert operational waste from landfills.

Health Canada will:

  • Take actions that reduce the generation of non-hazardous operational waste to help to reduce Scope 3 emissions for the production, transport and disposal of material.

  • Divert waste from landfills to help reduce landfill gas and transport hauling emissions.

  • Recover material via recycling to help reduce emissions for the extraction and production of virgin materials.

This work links to SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production and target 12.5.

Starting Point: New initiative.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of non-hazardous operational waste diverted from Health Canada’s custodial buildings in the National Capital Region (NCR) is reported publicly.*

* Applies to facilities over 10,000m2 within a municipality with a population of over 100,000 people.

Target: Report on waste diversion rates and disposal methods by March 31, 2022.*

* Diversion percentages will be based on industry average weight by waste stream multiplied by number of bins collected at each site.

Starting Point: In 2020-21, Health Canada completed the analyses of waste audits in its custodial facilities in the NCR, and prioritized the need for composting.

Performance Indicator: Pilot composting project to be initiated in the largest NCR facility, Sir Frederick Banting Research Centre (SFBRC) in Ottawa, ON.

Target: Composting available in the SFBRC facility by March 31, 2022 in Ottawa, ON.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of Health Canada’s regional custodial facilities that have waste audits completed.

Target: 100% by March 31, 2022 (n=2).

Internal Services
Divert at least 75% (by weight) of plastic waste from landfills by 2030 Other.

Track and disclose waste diversion rates by 2022.

Eliminate the unnecessary use of single-use plastics in government operations, events and meetings.

Implement initiatives and processes to facilitate plastic waste diversion from Health Canada’s operations.

Health Canada will:

  • Take actions that reduce the generation of plastic waste will to help to reduce Scope 3 emissions for the production, transport and disposal of material.

  • Divert waste from landfill to help reduce landfill gas and transport hauling emissions.

  • Recovering material via recycling to help reduce emissions for the extraction and production of virgin materials.

This work links to SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production and target 12.5.  

Starting Point: New initiative

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of plastic waste diverted is reported publicly.*

* Applies to facilities over 10,000m2 within a municipality with a population of over 100,000 people.

Target: Report on waste diversion rates by 2022*

*Pending clarification regarding the industry standard for co-mingled waste streams at the point of collection.

Starting Point: In 2020-21 a Nitrile Glove Recycling Program was initiated at the Longueil laboratory in QC.

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of Health Canada’s labs that have implemented the nitrile glove recycling initiative.

Target: 100% by March 30, 2022 (n=7).

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

Track and disclose our waste diversion rates by 2022.

Health Canada will:

  • Take actions that reduce the generation of construction and demolition waste to help to reduce Scope 3 emissions for the production, transport and disposal of material.

  • Divert waste from landfills to help reduce landfill gas and transport hauling emissions.

  • Recover material via recycling to help reduce emissions for the extraction and production of virgin materials.

This work links to SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production and target 12.5.  

Starting Point: New initiative

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of construction and demolition waste diverted*

* when projects meet the minimum threshold of $5M and in areas where diversion facilities exist

Target: Report on construction and demolition waste diversion rates and disposal methods by March 31, 2022.

Internal Services
Our administrative fleet will be comprised of at least 80% zero-emission vehicles by 2030 Fleet management will be optimized including by applying telematics to collect and analyze vehicle usage data on vehicles scheduled to be replaced

Use telematics analysis to right-size the fleet

Increase the percentage of departmental fleet that are zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) or hybrid, whenever operationally feasible

As conventional vehicles are replaced over their lifetimes with ZEVs, and/or the size of the fleet is reduced, a greater proportion of the fleet will be ZEV.

This work links to SDG 13:  Climate Action.

Starting Point: In 2019-20, telematics was installed on all vehicles in the Health Canada fleet to collect data that informs the management of the departmental fleet.

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of compatible and/or applicable vehicles logged via telematics.

Target: 100% (annual)

Starting point: In 2019-20, Health Canada had 188 vehicles in its administrative fleet, 23 of which were ZEV or hybrids.

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of new light-duty unmodified administrative fleet vehicle purchases that are ZEV or hybrid

  • Total number of vehicles in administrative fleet in 2021-22
  • Total number of new light-duty unmodified administrative fleet vehicles purchased in 2021-22
  • Total number of ZEV or hybrid purchased in 2021-22

Target: 75% (annual)

Starting Point: In 2019-20, Health Canada had 3 executive vehicles in its fleet, one of which was ZEV or hybrid.

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of executive vehicle purchases that are ZEV or hybrid

  • Total number of new executive vehicles purchased in 2021-22

  • Total number of ZEV or hybrid purchases in 2021-22

Target: 100% (annual)

Starting Point: New initiative

Performance Indicator: Relevant indicators will be established following the development of a National Fleet Management Strategy for the department that enables a fleet that is reliable, available, right-sized and ‘green’.

Target: Strategy and supporting implementation plan developed by March 31, 2022.

Internal Services
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.

Understand the wide range of climate change impacts that could potentially affect federal assets, services and operations across the country.

Factoring climate variability and change into policy, programs, and operations is one of the most important ways the government can adapt to a changing climate and 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 work links to SDG 13:  Climate Action.

Starting Point:  Beginning in 2020-21, Health Canada regularized the practice of reviewing Building Condition Reports to identify potential climate-related exposures.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of Building Condition Reports reviewed to identify potential climate-related exposures.

Target: 100% (annual).

Starting Point: New initiative.

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of site-specific climate change vulnerability and risk assessments completed on Health Canada-owned buildings in the NCR.

Target: 100% by March 31, 2022 (n=5).

Starting Point: New initiative

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of site-specific climate change vulnerability and risk assessments completed on Health Canada-owned regional buildings.

Target: 100% by March 31, 2022 (n=2).

Starting Point: New initiative.

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of custodial sites that receive the results of the climate change risk assessments and recommendations for incorporation into their Business Continuity Plans.

Target: 100% by December 30, 2022 (n=7).

Climate Change
Internal Services

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

Integrate climate change adaptation into the design, construction and operation aspects of real property projects.

Early adoption of the code in the construction of buildings demonstrates federal leadership in climate resilient buildings.

This work links to SDG 13:  Climate Action.

Starting Point: New initiative

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of real property projects that integrate climate resilient building codes and NRC energy and building code requirements in the project design process

Target: 100% (annual)

Internal Services
Use 100% clean electricity by 2025 Other. Purchase megawatt hours of renewable electricity equivalent to that produced by the high-carbon portion of the electricity grid. This includes the use of renewable electricity generated on-site or purchased off-site.

The use of clean electricity eliminates GHG emissions in jurisdictions with emitting generation sources.

This work links to SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy and target 7.2.  

Starting Point: New initiative  

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of clean electricity

  • Electricity consumption (kWh) in 2021-22
  • Electricity consumption (kWh) from non-emitting sources (including renewable energy certificates) in 2021-22.

Target: 100% by March 31, 2025.

Internal Services
Actions supporting the Goal: Greening Government Minimize embodied carbon and the use of harmful materials in construction and renovation. Specification of low embodied carbon materials in major construction and renovation contracts.

The use of low embodied carbon materials expands the market and encourages industry to adopt low carbon extraction, production and disposal practices. This will reduce Scope 3 emissions and other harmful environmental impacts.

This work links to SDG 12:   Responsible Consumption and Production and SDG 13: Climate Action.

Starting Point: New initiative

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of major* construction projects in which embodied carbon in building materials was minimized

*The Greening Government Strategy - Real Property Guidance has defined “major” as “Projects in which changes proposed to the building envelope and HVAC systems or the proposed value of work is more than 50% of the assessed value of the building”.

Target: 100% (annual)

Internal Services
Departments will use environmental criteria to reduce the environmental impact and ensure best value in government procurement decisions. Promote environmental sustainability by integrating environmental performance considerations into departmental procurement process, including planning, acquisition, use and disposal, and ensuring there is the necessary training and awareness to support green procurement.

Green procurement incorporates environmental considerations into purchasing and is expected to motivate suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of the goods and services they deliver, and their supply chains.

This work links to SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production and target 12.7.  

Starting Point: In 2019-20, 100% of procurement related documents, guides, and tools posted on Health Canada’s Materiel and Assets Management intranet site were reviewed and updated to reflect green procurement objectives.

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of procurement related documents, guides, and tools posted on Health Canada’s Materiel and Assets Management intranet site reviewed and updated to reflect green procurement objectives, where applicable

Target: 100% (annual)

Starting Point: In 2019-20, 98% of office supply purchased included criteria to reduce the environmental impact associated with the production, acquisition, use and/or disposal of the supplies (excluding purchases made on acquisition cards).

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of office supply purchases that include criteria to reduce the environmental impact associated with the production, acquisition, use and/or disposal of the supplies (excluding purchases made on acquisition cards).

Target: 90% (annual)

Starting Point: In 2019-20, 100% of information technology hardware purchases included criteria to reduce the environmental impact associated with the production, acquisition, use and/or disposal of the equipment (excluding laboratory and field equipment as well as purchases made on acquisition cards).

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of information technology hardware purchases that include criteria to reduce the environmental impact associated with the production, acquisition, use and/or disposal of the equipment (excluding laboratory and field equipment as well as purchases made on acquisition cards).

Note: This is done in conjunction with Shared Services Canada and/or Public Services and Procurement Canada as the IT procurement authority.

Target: 95% (annual)

Internal Services
Support for green procurement will be strengthened, including guidance, tools and training for public service employees. Ensure material management and specialists in procurement have the necessary training and awareness to support green procurement.

Green procurement incorporates environmental considerations into purchasing and is expected to motivate suppliers to green their goods, services and supply chain.

This work links to SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production and target 12.7.  

Starting Point: In 2019-20, 100% of specialists in procurement and materiel management completed training on green procurement or had included it in their learning plan for completion within a year.

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of specialists in procurement and materiel management who have completed training on green procurement or have included it in their learning plan for completion within a year.

Target: 100% (annual).

Internal Services

Clean Drinking Water: All Canadians have access to safe drinking water and, in particular, the significant challenges Indigenous communities face are addressed

Responsible Minister: Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs

Table 3
Clean Drinking Water
FSDS
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)
Program(s)
in
which the
departmental
actions
will occur
Actions supporting the Goal: Clean Drinking Water Work with partners on drinking water quality. Develop and/or update health-based drinking water quality guidelines and guidance documents in collaboration with Federal/Provincial/Territorial (FPT) partners.

Health Canada works with other federal government departments and agencies and the provincial and territorial governments to establish the science-based Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality, which are published in the Canada Gazette, Part I and online.  These guidelines and related guidance documents are used by all jurisdictions in Canada as the basis for establishing their drinking water requirements.  As a result, the development of these guidelines and guidance documents helps support the FSDS goal of ensuring all Canadians have access to safe drinking water in Canada.

This work links to SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and target 3.9 and SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation and target 6.1, 6.3 and 6.b.

Starting Point: In 2019-20, 77% of planned final water quality guidelines/guidance documents were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I and online.

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of planned final water quality guidelines/guidance documents published in the Canada Gazette, Part I and online.

Target: 100% (annual).

Water Quality

Sustainable Food: Innovation and ingenuity contribute to a world-leading agricultural sector and food economy for the benefit of all Canadians

Responsible Minister: Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food; Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Table 4
Sustainable Food FSDS target(s) 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)
Program(s)
in
which the
departmental
actions
will occur
Actions supporting the Goal: Sustainable Food Make healthier food choices easier. Advance core components of the Healthy Eating Strategy, launched in 2016, which include: improving healthy eating information; strengthening labelling and claims, improving the nutrition quality of foods; and protecting vulnerable populations (e.g. marketing to children).

By encouraging the uptake of the new Canada’s Food Guide, a key component of the Healthy Eating Strategy, the Department will raise awareness about healthy eating habits and improve the reach of the Food Guide recommendations as well as facilitate their integration across settings (e.g. schools, recreation facilities, daycares), thus supporting improvements to the food environment. The new Food Guide also promotes food literacy and skills that can support healthy eating, safe food handling and help reduce food waste.

The consumption of trans fats increases the risk of heart disease, one of the leading causes of death in Canada. To help improve the nutritional quality of foods, partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the largest source of industrially produced trans fats, were banned in Canada as of September 17, 2018, and should be out of the food supply by September 2020.

This work links to SDG 2: Zero Hunger and targets 2.1 and 2.2 and SDG 3: Health and Well-Being.

Starting Point: In 2017, 28.6% of Canadians reported eating fruits and vegetables 5 or more times a day.

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of Canadians who report eating fruits and vegetables 5 or more times per day

Target: 30% by March 31, 2022.

Starting Point: Baseline will be calculated using Statistical analysis of the 2015 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) dietary intake data and food composition data (Canadian Nutrient File and food label information).

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of Canadians who have trans fat intakes below 1% total energy intake

Target: ≥90% by December 31, 2022.

Food & Nutrition Program
Use legislation and regulations to ensure safe food Re-design food regulations to reduce impediments that prevent industry from bringing innovative products to market (e.g. supplemented foods and foods that use new processes and technologies), while protecting the health and safety of Canadians.

In implementing food safety and nutritional quality regulations and standards for all foods sold in Canada under the authority of the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations, Health Canada responds to emerging science and conducts pre-market safety assessments to ensure that decisions taken by the Department protect the health and safety of Canadians.

The re-design of food regulations will reduce impediments preventing or delaying industry from bringing innovative products to market by establishing regulatory frameworks to allow, for example, new paths to market in areas such as Human Milk Fortifiers and Supplemented Foods.  It will also provide greater flexibility and agility to the regulations to be able to respond to advances in science and technology.

Throughout the re-design of regulations, Health Canada is committed to ensuring the health and safety of Canadians and will maintain a 100% performance rating in addressing high risk food safety and nutrition issues through regulatory and non-regulatory responses (e.g. policies, guidance, etc.).

This work links to SDG 2: Zero Hunger and targets 2.1.

Starting Point: In 2018-19, 100% of high risk food safety and nutrition issues generated a regulatory or non-regulatory response (i.e., guidance documents, national strategies, regulatory amendments).

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of high risk food safety and nutrition issues which generate a regulatory or non-regulatory response

Target: 100% by March 31, 2022 (annual)

Starting Point: Baseline related to the impediments will be developed after the first year of data collection (by 2020-21).

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of stakeholders who indicate the proposed regulations published in Canada Gazette, Part I, reduce impediments.

Target: 60% by March 31, 2022 (annual)

Food & Nutrition Program

Safe and Healthy Communities: All Canadians live in clean, sustainable communities that contribute to their health and well-being

Responsible Minister: Minister of Environment and Climate Change; Minister of Health

Table 5
Safe and Healthy Communities FSDS target(s) 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)
Program(s)
in
which the
departmental
actions
will occur
Increase the percentage of Canadians living in areas where air quality standards are achieved from 70% in 2015 to 85% in 2030 Better understand air pollutants and harmful substances. Conduct research; develop, publish and/or distribute health risk assessments, guidance documents, guidelines and standards; analyze health benefits; and conduct outreach related to the health impacts of outdoor air pollution and actions to improve outdoor air quality.

Health Canada science and outreach activities help to increase knowledge and raise awareness related to the health impacts of outdoor air pollution, and help inform actions to improve air quality. For example, they help to inform the development of the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS), and actions, such as new regulatory requirements to increase the percentage of Canadians who live in areas where the standards are achieved.  

This work links to SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and targets 3.4 and 3.9; SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and target 11.6; and SDG 12: Responsible  Consumption and Production and target 12.4.  

Starting Point: In 2019-20, Health Canada’s Air Quality Program published and/or distributed externally 67% of planned federal air quality health risk assessments, guidance documents, guidelines and standards related to outdoor air quality.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of planned federal air quality health assessments, guidance documents, guidelines and standards related to outdoor air quality published or distributed externally

Target: 100% (annual)

Starting Point: In 2019-20, 100% of planned knowledge transfer activities were completed related to the health impacts of air pollution.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of planned knowledge transfer activities related to health impacts of air pollution

Target: 100% (annual)

Starting Point: In 2017-18, 42 deaths per 100,000 population were attributed to air pollution in Canada.

Performance Indicator: Number of deaths per year attributable to air pollution (per 100,000 population).

This indicator is calculated every 5 years.

Target: Decrease from previous reporting period by March 31, 2023.

Air Quality
Assess proposed actions to reduce air pollution for health benefits using the Air Quality Benefits Assessment Tool.

Health Canada uses the Air Quality Benefits Assessment Tool (AQBAT), a computer model that estimates the human health impacts from changes in air quality, to calculate the potential health benefits to be gained from actions meant to improve air quality. This is foundational information that supports evidence-based decision-making, such as the development of proposed regulations. This analysis enables the most efficient and effective ways to improve air quality to be used, which contributes to the FSDS target of increasing the percentage of Canadians living in areas where the air quality standards are achieved.

This work links to SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and targets 3.4 and 3.9; SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and target 11.6; and SDG 12: Responsible  Consumption and Production and target 12.4.  

Starting Point: In 2019-20, 100% of requested analyses were provided within the established deadline.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of requested foundational information products delivered within the established deadline to support evidence-based decision making

Target: 100% (annual)

Air Quality
Work with partners on outdoor air quality and chemicals management. Work collaboratively with provinces, territories and stakeholders to develop and regularly update the Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards.

The Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS) are outdoor air quality targets based on health and environmental objectives. Their purpose is to drive actions to reduce emissions of harmful air pollutants, such as the implementation of new regulatory requirements, and ultimately improve air quality across Canada.  CAAQS for fine particulate matter (PM2.5), ground-level ozone, sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide have been endorsed by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) and issued as federal objectives under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.  Health Canada works with the provinces, territories and stakeholders to review and update the CAAQS as needed in order to drive continuous improvement to air quality in Canada. This work therefore supports the FSDS target of increasing the percentage of Canadians living in areas where the air quality standards are achieved.

This work links to SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and targets 3.4 and 3.9; SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and target 11.6; and SDG 12: Responsible  Consumption and Production and target 12.4.  

Starting Point: The CAAQS for ozone was published in the Canada Gazette, Part I as planned in June 2019. This new CAAQS will come into effect starting in 2025. The review of the CAAQS for fine particulate matter is underway, and is targeted for completion in 2022-23.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards (CAAQS) reviewed and updated.

Target: 100% of planned CAAQS (i.e., for PM2.5 and ozone) by December 31, 2022.

Air Quality

By 2022, take risk management actions in a timely manner for 100% of substances found to be a risk to the environment or human health

Use legislation and regulations to address outdoor air pollutant emissions and harmful substances. Assess and manage, where appropriate, the potential health risks associated with chemical substances, including pesticides.

The Government of Canada is committed to reducing the risks posed by chemicals to Canadians and their environment. Substances are assessed for potential health and environmental impacts and risk management actions are developed to mitigate the risks of harmful substances, such as new regulatory requirements. Health Canada’s actions therefore directly support this FSDS target of taking timely risk management action on substances found to be a risk.

This work links to SDG: 3 Good Health and Well-Being and targets 3.4 and 3.9; and SDG 12: Responsible  Consumption and Production and target 12.4.  

Starting Point: : In 2019-20, 73% of existing substances were assessed within targeted timelines.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of substances assessed within targeted timelines (existing substances).

Target: 100%* (annual) 

*Assessing the risks to human health and the environment from substances is complex, as it often includes data gathering and working with other jurisdictions and stakeholders. As a result, delays in the development of the risk assessment documents may occur. The program will continue to streamline processes and look for further efficiencies in order to continuously strive towards the target of 100%.

Starting Point: In 2019-20, 100% of new substances were assessed within targeted timelines.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of substances assessed within prescribed timelines (new substances)

Target:100% (annual)

Starting Point: In 2019-20, 100% of risk management actions were completed within targeted timelines.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of actions taken in a timely manner to protect the health of Canadians from substances found to be a risk to human health.

Target: 100%* (annual)

* Managing risks to human health from substances is complex, as it often includes research, consultations with stakeholders and analyzing socio-economic impacts. As a result, delays in the development of the proposed and final risk management actions may occur. The program will continue to streamline processes and look for further efficiencies in order to continuously strive towards the target of 100%.

Health Impacts of Chemicals

Re-evaluating older pesticides against current health and environmental standards allows Health Canada to determine whether they are still acceptable. When alerted to potential issues, a special review may be conducted to determine continued acceptability. When a pesticide is found to have unacceptable risk, Health Canada is responsible for taking action to protect human health and the environment by having post-market regulatory decisions implemented according to specified timelines (e.g. cancellation of products, label changes, and voluntary withdrawals) as per the Policy on Cancellations and Amendments Following Re-evaluation and Special Review.

This work links to SDG: 3 Good Health and Well-Being and target 3.9; and SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production  and target 12.4.  

Starting Point: In 2019-20, 96% of post-market decisions were implemented within specified timelines to protect the health of Canadians from pesticides found to be a risk to human health and the environment.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of post-market decisions implemented within the specified timelines to protect the health of Canadians from pesticides found to be a risk to human health and the environment.

Target: 90% or higher (annual).

Pesticides
Actions supporting the Goal: Safe and Healthy Communities Provide information to inform action and decision making Develop, publish and/or distribute health risk assessments, guidance documents, guidelines and standards, and conduct outreach related to the health impacts of indoor air pollution and actions to improve indoor air quality, including information to inform action on indoor radon exposure.

Health Canada provides information to inform actions by governments, public health professionals, building professionals and individual Canadians to reduce exposure to indoor air pollutants.  For example, Health Canada participates in Radon Action Month every November by working with partners to raise awareness and inform Canadians about the actions they can take to reduce their risk from radon exposure.  By raising awareness and informing risk mitigation activities, Health Canada supports this FSDS goal of safe and healthy communities, and ultimately helps to protect health.

This work links to SDG: 3 Good Health and Well-Being and targets 3.4 and 3.9.

Starting Point: In 2019-20, Health Canada published and/or distributed 57% of planned federal air quality health risk assessments, guidance documents, guidelines and standards related to indoor air quality.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of planned federal air quality health assessments, guidance documents, guidelines, and standards published or distributed externally.

Target: 100% (annual).

Starting Point: The 2017 Households and the Environment Survey showed that 63% of Canadian surveyed were knowledgeable about radon, an increase of 10% since the 2013 survey. Results of the 2019 Households and Environment Survey will be made available in 2021 (reports every two years).

Performance Indicator: Percentage of Canadians surveyed who are knowledgeable about radon

Target: 65% by March 31, 2023

Starting Point: The 2017 Households and the Environment Survey showed that 7% of Canadian homeowners surveyed had tested their homes for radon. Results of the 2019 Households and Environment Survey will be made available in 2021 (reports every two years).

Performance Indicator: Percentage of Canadian homeowners surveyed who have tested their homes for radon.

Target: 10% by March 31, 2026.

Air Quality and Radiation Protection
Provide Canadians with access to information that will enable them to take protective action to reduce impacts from outdoor air pollution.

The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) helps Canadians make decisions about how to protect their health by limiting short-term exposure to air pollution and adjusting their activity levels when there are increased levels of air pollution.  The AQHI pays particular attention to people who are more vulnerable to the health impacts of air pollution and provides them with advice on how to protect their health during air quality levels associated with low, moderate, high, and very high health risk.  By providing this information to Canadians, it supports actions to protect health and therefore contributes to the overall FSDS goal of safe and healthy communities.

This work links to SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and targets 3.4 and 3.9; SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and target 11.6; and SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production  and target 12.4.  

Starting Point: In 2019-20, 1,381,564 sensitive individuals* were reached by AQHI risk communications.

Performance Indicator: Number of sensitive individuals* reached by AQHI risk communications.

* 'sensitive' individuals are those who are more vulnerable to the health impacts of air pollution.

Target: 4,000,000 by March 31, 2026.

Air Quality and Radiation Protection

Better understand air pollutants and harmful substances.

Conduct research, monitoring and surveillance (including biomonitoring) in order to better understand and manage the health risks of harmful substances.

Health Canada’s research, monitoring and surveillance related to harmful substances also helps inform actions that support this FSDS goal of clean and sustainable communities, and ultimately helps protect the health of Canadians. For example, the Sixth Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada presents national biomonitoring data on the Canadian population’s exposure to chemicals as part of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS). It will provide new data for scientists and health and environment officials to use in assessing exposure to environmental chemicals and in developing and assessing policies aimed at reducing exposure to toxic chemicals. 

This work links to SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and targets 3.4 and 3.9; and SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production  and target 12.4.

 

 

Starting point: The Fifth Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada was released in 2019.

Performance Indicator: Release of the Sixth Report on Human Biomonitoring of Environmental Chemicals in Canada

Target: Released by March 2022.

Health Impacts of Chemicals

Provide funding for research studies to monitor contaminant levels in wildlife and people in the Canadian North.

The Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) funds research aimed at addressing contaminants of concern in Canada's North.  Specifically, the research findings provide data to inform risk assessment and risk management of substances and are also used to influence the development and implementation of international agreements to reduce and/or eliminate the production, use and release of contaminating substances into the environment. This funding is provided through a competitive process to individual researchers.  Ultimately the Program objective is to reduce, and where possible, eliminate contaminants from the Arctic environment. Therefore, the findings of this research directly inform Canada’s actions towards its goal of safe and healthy communities, in this case in Canada’s North.

This work links to SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and targets 3.4 and 3.9; and SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production  and target 12.4.  

Starting Point: In 2019-20, the Northern Contaminants Program provided funding for four research studies.

Performance Indicator: Provide funding for research studies under the Northern Contaminants Program.

Target: Funding provided by
March 2022.

Health Impacts of Chemicals
Prevent environmental emergencies or mitigate their impacts. Collaborate with other federal partners and provincial authorities to strengthen nuclear emergency preparedness and response.

Health Canada helps to ensure that Canada is prepared to manage the federal response to a nuclear emergency in order to minimize the impact on public health, safety, property and the environment.  This preparation is done through a series of drills and exercises to test the response to various nuclear emergency scenarios in order to identify gaps so issues can be resolved prior to a real emergency situation.  Health Canada’s role in emergency preparedness therefore contributes to this FSDS goal of safe and healthy communities.

This work links to SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and target 3.9.

Starting Point: In 2019-20, Canada participated in 100% of planned nuclear emergency preparedness drills and exercises and all defined objectives were met.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of planned nuclear emergency preparedness drills and exercises completed.

Target: 100% (annual).

Radiation Protection
Demonstrate leadership on assessing and remediating contaminated sites. Provide human health advice to other federal departments that are responsible for assessing and remediating contaminated sites.

Under the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP), Health Canada serves as an Expert Support Department by providing guidance, guideline development, training and advice on human health issues as they relate to the risk associated from exposure to various contaminants found on federal lands, in the air, water, soil, sediment, dust and country foods. This includes the review of site classifications, which are used to prioritize on-site activities, and other site-specific scientific and technical documents, for health-related implications.  By providing this advice, Health Canada supports the remediation of contaminated sites and thereby contributes to this FSDS goal of safe and health communities.

This work links to SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and targets 3.4 and 3.9; SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation and target 6.3; and SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production  and target 12.4.

Starting Point: This indicator is new for 2021-22. However, in 2019-20, Health Canada responded to requests from other federal departments for human health advice related to contaminated sites 95% of the time within the prescribed timelines.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of times the review of site classification and the review of site-specific scientific and technical documents are completed within established service standards.

Target: 90% (March 31st of each year starting in 2022).

Health Impacts of Chemicals
Safe and Healthy Communities – other.

Assess the extent to which regulatory decisions and actions are keeping pesticides at acceptable limits in order to protect the health of Canadians and the environment from risks associated with the use of pesticides.

Health Canada reviews pesticides on the market to ensure that regulatory decisions remain relevant against evolving science. A post-market review decision can maintain the status quo, change the conditions of registration or result in the cancellation of pesticide product(s). Post-market reviews are a key legislative tool in protecting Canadians and the environment from risks associated with pesticides, and decisions are published on the Health Canada website.

This work links to SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and target 3.9; and SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production  and target 12.4.

Starting Point: Between 2017 and 2019, 67% of final post-market review decisions were completed within specified timelines in the published re-evaluation and special review work plan.

Performance Indicator: Percentage of final post-market review decisions that are completed within specified timelines in the published re-evaluation and special review work plan.

Target: 80% or higher (annual).

Pesticides
Provide health expertise to support the strategic assessment of proposed major projects (such as pipelines and mines).

Health Canada provides expertise and advice to help prevent, reduce and mitigate the potential human health-related impacts of proposed major projects, including project-related exposure to contaminants and the impacts of other changes to the environment on human health.  This input helps to support the FSDS goal of safe and healthy communities.  

This work links to SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being and target 3.9; and SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production  and target 12.2.

Starting Point: These are new indicators, given that the Impact Assessment Act came into force in August 2019.  The starting point will be established in 2020-21.

Performance Indicator:
Percentage of requests for expertise and advice that are responded to within established timelines.

Target: 100% (annual).

Performance Indicator: Percentage of early planning, impact assessment and/or follow-up and monitoring influenced by Health Canada expertise.

Target: 90% (annual).

Health Impacts of Chemicals

Section 4: Integrating sustainable development

At Health Canada, the successful integration of sustainable development into policies, plans and programs is supported by the use of analytical techniques, management practices, and targeted initiatives that consider and incorporate environmental, social and economic objectives with the aim of preserving similar benefits for future generations.

Health Canada's Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) Champion of Sustainable Development plays an important oversight and communication role regarding the department's sustainable development commitments, as well as the application of Health Canada's Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Policy. Outreach to ADM colleagues and employees helps to facilitate dialogue within the department and identify potential improvements to the SEA process and practices, as well as additional opportunities to integrate environmental sustainability considerations into decision-making. 

Health Canada incorporates environmental sustainability in multiple facets of its operations, programs, and activities. For example: 

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

Health Canada will continue to ensure that its decision-making process includes consideration of FSDS goals and targets through its SEA process. A 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.

Health Canada has a coordinator for SEA who provides guidance to proposal leads about the application of the SEA process and requirements of the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. Health Canada’s SEA Policy defines a proposal as a Memorandum to Cabinet, a Treasury Board Submission, a regulatory proposal, memoranda to the Minister that are seeking concurrence, and any other strategic document seeking Ministerial or Cabinet approval.

A series of questions prompts the proposal lead to consider if their proposal has potential positive, negative or uncertain impacts on FSDS goals and targets; this part of the process results in the completion of a Preliminary Scan. The departmental SEA coordinator helps to play a challenge function to ensure that the assessment of potential environmental impacts is comprehensive and robust, and that full consideration is given to potential direct and indirect environmental impacts. If the Preliminary Scan indicates that the proposal is likely to have a positive or negative impact on the environment, or if the impact is uncertain, a Detailed Analysis is required.

Public statements on the results of Health Canada’s assessments are prepared when an initiative that has undergone a Detailed Analysis 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.

Compliance with Health Canada’s SEA Policy is reported to the Executive Committee, which is chaired by the Deputy Minister and attended by Assistant Deputy Ministers. This forum helps to identify potential challenges, implement corrective measures and ensure ongoing engagement with senior managers across the department. Annual compliance reporting is also included in the Departmental Results Report, outlining the number of proposals that were reviewed within the fiscal year.

The department offers various forums for SEA training. An online course is available to all departmental employees to provide information on Health Canada’s SEA Policy, the Cabinet Directive, and roles and responsibilities of the parties involved. In addition, an in-class course is offered annually and includes case studies and scenarios relevant to the Health Canada context, that aim to generate discussion and to enable participants to apply what they have learned through the online course. Health Canada’s Office of Sustainable Development offers targeted training sessions to key groups across the department to respond to specific questions. Employees are encouraged to incorporate SEA training opportunities into their Learning Plans as part of their Performance Management Agreements.

Health Canada will continue to ensure that the SEA process includes an analysis of the impacts of proposals on the environment, including on FSDS goals and targets.

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