Federal Sustainable Development Act and Federal Sustainable Development Strategy

(Phoyo by AJ Pascas)

The Government of Canada formalized its commitment to sustainable development under the Federal Sustainable Development Act (FSDA) passed in June 2008.

Under the FSDA, the Government of Canada is required to develop a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS). The FSDS is a whole-of-government approach to environmental sustainability which improves transparency and accountability.

The current FSDS focuses on environmental sustainability under four themes:

  1. Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality;
  2. Maintaining Water Quality and Availability;
  3. Protecting Nature; and
  4. Shrinking the Environmental Footprint.

PHAC contributes to the FSDS Theme IV, Shrinking the Environmental Footprint, and is implicated in six related action items: Green Building, Surplus Electronic and Electrical Equipment, Printing Unit Reduction, Paper Consumption, Green Meetings and Green Procurement. To see the implementation strategies that PHAC and other government departments have developed, please visit the Treasury Board Secretariat website.
Treasury Board Secretariat website (External link) .

Federal Sustainable Development Act and PHAC’s Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

The FSDA also requires that each Schedule I department listed in the Financial Administration Act develop their own Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS) aligned with the FSDS. Each department and agency is required to table their DSDS in Parliament as part of the Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) starting in March 2011. Progress on the DSDS will be reported on through the annual Departmental Performance Report (DPR).

The Public Health Agency of Canada manages its Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy in five ways:

  1. Sustainable Development Vision: establishes the long-term sustainable public health vision through a sustainable and healthy communities strategic outcome.
  2. Internal Management Structure: establishes the capacity that provides leadership across the Agency, in order to bring priority sustainable development issues to the forefront during the planning and decision-making of policies, programs and initiatives. See Annex 1 for the PHAC Internal Sustainable Development Management Framework.
  3. External Management Structure: establishes the capacity for formal platforms that allow the Agency to participate in interdepartmental working groups and committees to advance sustainable development for public health and to introduce public health as an outcome of sustainable development.
  4. Integration with Government’s Core Expenditure, Planning and Reporting System: ensures that FSDS goals, targets and implementation strategies have been integrated into the core expenditure planning and reporting system – primarily through the Report on Plans and Priorities and the Departmental Performance Report.
  5. Application of Analytical Techniques: includes cost-benefit and multi-criteria analysis for Treasury Board submissions, as well as science and evidence-based approaches such as the use of performance indicators or the application of Strategic Environmental Assessments as the basis for policies and other initiatives.

Through these five functions, Agency planners and issue experts can identify sustainable development priorities during the planning stages and monitor and report on their progress over time, thereby adopting a “plan, do, check and improve” approach.

Additional, to see the additional Sustainable Development activities being undertaken by the Public Health Agency of Canada, please see the PHAC Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy 2011-2014

Related Resources

Public Health Agency of Canada Resources

The Public Health Agency of Canada's Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS) is tabled annually in Parliament in the Agency's Report on Plans and Priorities. Progress on the DSDS is reported through the annual Departmental Performance Report.

Government of Canada Resources

International Resources

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