Greening government

Government leadership is critical to achieving Canada’s goals for environmental and sustainable development. The Government of Canada will play its part by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its federal operations by 40% by 2030 and by 80% by 2050.


To provide this leadership and meet its internal environmental commitments, the Centre for Greening Government was created at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat in .

The Centre tracks and reports on the federal government’s emissions centrally, coordinates greening efforts across government, and drives results to ensure the Government of Canada meets its greenhouse gas reduction targets. The Centre aims to leverage knowledge, skills and capabilities that can be shared throughout the Government of Canada and among various communities of practice through partnerships with government and non-government organizations, including business and academia.

We have a good picture of the government’s GHG emissions from the 2010 to 2011 fiscal year to the 2016 to 2017 fiscal year. We have already reduced GHG emissions from federal operations by 28% from 2005 levels.

Introduced in 2017, the Greening Government Strategy sets an ambitious target to reduce GHG emissions from federal operations by 80% by 2050 relative to 2005 levels, consistent with world-leading jurisdictions. Our strategy outlines specific measures to achieve this target, and also outlines a broader scope for our greening efforts – including actions on water and waste.

Plastic waste is a growing problem in this country and around the world. The Government of Canada is taking practical steps to better manage the use and disposal of plastics in its own operations. The steps to reduce plastic waste include commitments to:

  • set explicit targets for diverting plastic waste
  • eliminate the unnecessary use of single-use plastics in government operations
  • leverage procurement practices to focus on sustainable plastic products.

The Strategy and the Centre’s work are rooted in the following Government of Canada commitments:

In setting ambitious targets to reduce GHG emissions from their operations, and in deploying efforts to meet them, governments can help move markets and create demand for clean technologies. Key to this are collaborative efforts to gather and share information. The Centre participates in initiatives to further the discussion, for example:

Canada’s Greening Government Strategy - Transcript

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the human race.

Impacts such as coastal erosion, thawing permafrost, increases in heat waves, extreme weather, droughts and flooding are real, and motivate us to take action.

Canada has committed to combat climate change by working with other nations on the international stage, developing and implementing a strong climate change plan with provinces and territories, and showing leadership at home – by putting our own house in order.

We want to push ourselves to be as low-carbon as we can, because it’s what we need to do.

We are committed to inspiring sustainable ways of working across every part of our operations and to keep us on the right track, we keep raising the bar higher and higher. Building on our commitment to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, we’ve set ourselves an ambitious new target.

Moving forward, we will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from federal buildings and fleet by 80% below 2005 levels by 2050.

To reach this ambitious target, the Government of Canada will transition to low-carbon and climate resilient operations, while also reducing environmental impacts beyond carbon.

So what does that look like? We need to imagine the world we want to live in, where our environmental impacts and greenhouse gas emissions are much lower because we have changed the way we design our workplaces, our buildings, our operations, the way we get around, and how we engage and partner with the communities around us.

Led by the Centre for Greening Government, the Government of Canada will ensure that Canada is a global leader in low-carbon, resilient and green operations, committed to:

Low-carbon and sustainable buildings,

Using low-carbon vehicles in our fleet and supporting green commuting for our employees,

Assets, services, and operations that are adapted to the changes climate change will bring,

Buying and promoting green products from green businesses.

With a pathway set by the new Greening Government Strategy, we will be using less water, producing less waste, and ensuring our carbon footprint is as small as possible.

We want to take leadership to both learn from and inspire others, to take action today and help build a more sustainable tomorrow for us all.

What we are doing

Contact us

Centre for Greening Government
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
90 Elgin Street
Ottawa ON K1A 0R5

Email: Public Enquiries
Toll-free: 1-877-636-0656
Teletypewriter (TTY): 613-369-9371

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