2018–19 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

March 2018

1. Context for the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

Although the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is not bound by the Federal Sustainable Development Act and is not required to develop a full departmental sustainable development strategy, NRC adheres to the principles of the FSDS by implementing the Policy on Green Procurement.

The Policy on Green Procurement supports the Government of Canada's effort to promote environmental stewardship. In keeping with the objectives of the policy, NRC supports sustainable development by integrating environmental performance considerations into the decision making process for property management through the actions described in the "FSDS goal: low-carbon government" table in section 2, below. In addition, NRC will sustain its on-going best-practices in green procurement. They include:

  • ensuring that the annual performance evaluations of all procurement personnel includes considerations of green procurement and low-carbon economy;
  • consistently using green consolidated procurement instruments issued by Public Services and Procurement Canada and Shared Services Canada, including Standing Offer Agreements and Supply Arrangement Agreements;
  • ensuring that all procurement personnel have completed the Public Service Green Procurement course and that the importance of green procurement is continually reinforced by functional managers across NRC;
  • ensuring that all janitorial contracts specify the use of products, equipment and processes that minimize the environmental impact; and
  • optimizing the use of NRC's ground vehicle fleet through analysis of data from installed telematics global positioning systems in all NRC vehicles.

2. Commitments for NRC

FSDS goal: low-carbon government

FSDS target FSDS contributing action Corresponding departmental action(s) Starting points where available and performance indicators for departmental actions Programs where the departmental actions will occur
Reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from federal government buildings and fleets by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, with an aspiration to achieve it by 2025. Support the transition to a low carbon economy through the launch of a NRC wide low-carbon strategy. As part of NRC's Low-Carbon Initiative, which was launched in 2017, NRC will reduce emissions through awareness, energy management, space rationalization and energy retrofit projects.
  • Awareness program launched by May 2018.
  • Energy retrofit of NRC's Saskatoon facility launched by May 2018.
  • Energy retrofit feasibility studies completed at three NRC sites by May 2018.
  • Carbon reduction roadmap developed by August 2018.
  • NRC energy data submitted to Centre for Greening Government by September 2018.

Awareness program will be across all NRC research centres and branches.

Energy retrofit projects across NRC portfolio of buildings managed by Internal Services.

3. Integrating sustainable development

NRC's organizational and reporting structure ensures compliance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. Within the Health, Safety and Environment Branch is a centre of expertise that undertakes a preliminary evaluation to identify the potential for important environmental effects of a proposal, prior to its submission to an individual minister or Cabinet for approval. Should the potential for significant environmental impacts be identified, positive or negative, a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is carried out.

NRC will continue to ensure that its decision-making process includes consideration of FSDS goals and targets through its Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process. A SEA for policy, plan or program proposals includes an analysis of the impacts of the given proposal on the environment, including on FSDS goals and targets.

Statements on the results of NRC's assessments are made public when an initiative that has undergone a detailed SEA is announced (http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/sea-ees.nsf/eng/ey00016.html). 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.