Sustainable development at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Sustainable development lets us meet our needs now and still be able to meet our needs in the future.

The Federal Sustainable Development Act is one of Canada’s laws. It became law in 2008. It says the Government of Canada has to be more sustainable. It says we have to have a sustainable development strategy.

It is the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. It has thirteen goals for sustainable development. Twenty-six departments and agencies must support this plan.

Our department focuses on the goal that deals with reducing carbon emissions from government operations. Every three years, we make a new plan for the department. This is our Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy.

We are trying different ways to make our department’s operations more sustainable, such as:

  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions by updating our vehicles and how we travel to meetings;
  • thinking about the environmental impact of different options when we buy things;
  • decreasing the number of printers and how much paper we use; and
  • inspiring staff to change their actions to reduce the impact of climate change.

Every year, we write a department plan and then we publish reports with our results.

The department performs a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) before sending proposals to the Cabinet of Canada. This ensures we think about the environment before submitting a proposal. If we find any strong environmental effects, Cabinet requires us to make a public statement. In 2016, we reviewed 84% of IRCC’s proposals to Cabinet through a SEA. The department did not find any proposals that had strong environmental effects; therefore, we have not issued any public statements.

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