Annex: Greening government
The Government of Canada owns and manages the largest fixed asset portfolio in the country with 32,000 buildings and 20,000 engineered assets such as bridges and dams. The federal government is committed to transitioning to net-zero carbon and climate-resilient operations, while also reducing environmental impacts beyond carbon, including on waste, water and biodiversity. Building on the knowledge and understanding it has gained from its own operations, the Government of Canada can play a leadership role with other governments and large organizations when it comes to incorporating climate considerations into planning and operations. The Government will support the transition to a net-zero, circular economy through green procurement and the adoption of clean technologies and green products and services, contributing to the competitiveness of Canada’s clean technology sector and small- and medium-sized companies. Federal organizations will also work to identify federal real properties which can be designated as conservation zones in an effort to protect intact carbon and contribute to Canada’s national commitment to conserve 25% of Canada’s lands and oceans by 2025.
Key measures to date
- Reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from real property by buying clean electricity, implementing energy efficiency projects and deploying Energy Managers at bases across Canada. The Government of Canada has reduced GHGs from its buildings and conventional vehicle fleet by 34.6%, compared to a 2005-06 baseline.
- Purchased over 300 hybrid and zero-emission vehicles in 2019-20 to reduce emissions from the federal light-duty vehicle fleet.
- Took practical steps to better manage the use and disposal of plastics in our own operations.
- Took action to begin to understand climate impacts and risks on federal operations, including new and renewed departmental assessments.
- Committed to the principles of transparency and open data through annual publishing of the Government of Canada’s environmental footprint.
- The Government of Canada is the largest public procurer in the country, buying approximately $20 billion annually.
- 90% of the Government’s total electricity use comes from clean sources (e.g. the grid or procurement of renewable energy), and the Government has committed to using 100% clean electricity by 2022, where available, and by 2025 at the latest.
- The Greening Government Fund has supported 27 projects that reduce GHG emissions in government operations and especially in hard-to-reduce areas.
A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy contains new measures for greening government
- Updating the Greening Government Strategy to align with the new federal target to be net-zero emissions by 2050.
- Accelerating the interim target for federal facilities and conventional fleet to a 40% reduction by 2025, instead of 2030.
- Expanding its scope to include additional assets and enhance commitments related to climate resilience. In addition, the strategy includes:
- Procurement commitments to drive competitive market transformation in key sectors; these actions can also incent major suppliers to set their own emission reduction targets;
- The inclusion of the national safety and security fleet towards the net-zero by 2050 target; and,
- The procurement of clean technologies by federal departments and agencies.
- Developing a climate lens to integrate climate considerations throughout government decision-making and explore options for its implementation. These considerations include both short and long-term climate mitigation, Indigenous climate leadership, as well as climate resilience and adaptation.
- Updating the Government of Canada’s social cost of carbon estimates to ensure Canada’s methodology aligns with the best international climate science and economic modelling.
- Leveraging the Government of Canada’s purchasing power to support emerging clean technologies across Canada’s economic sectors, such as technologies to reduce emissions in federal buildings and to reduce embodied carbon in construction materials, as part of the updated Greening Government Strategy.
- Ensuring new federal buildings are net-zero and that all major building retrofits will be low-carbon, reducing embodied carbon in construction projects by 30% starting in 2025, and ensuring 75% of domestic office floor space (new leases and lease renewals) will be in net-zero carbon climate resilient buildings starting in 2030.
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