Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy 2020 to 2023

 

Table of contents

Achieving a sustainable future

 

Executive Summary

Every 3 years, the Government of Canada presents its sustainable development goals and targets in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS), the most recent covering the years 2019 to 2022. The year following the release of the FSDS, government departments develop their own 3-year strategies, taking their leads from the overall strategy. For the period 2020-23, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) developed the organization's first stand-alone sustainable development strategy.

The process of drafting this strategy comes at a time when the world is faced with 2 profound, intersecting challenges: the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

However, with these profound challenges come opportunities. The disruption of social and economic norms and the rebuilding that follows will allow new investment in and momentum toward science-based environmental action and sustainability.

As Canada's largest research and development (R&D) organization, the NRC's commitment to sustainable development is well-documented in its core mandates, vision, mission, and 5-year strategic plan. This organizational commitment ensures that the NRC is well-positioned to support the shift to a sustainable economy with expertise related to areas that heavily influence sustainability, including energy, natural resources, buildings, infrastructure, food, and transportation.

The NRC conducts research in these areas in its labs and in collaboration with other government departments, such as Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Infrastructure Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada, using science and technology to enable a cleaner, more sustainable future for Canadians—and positioning the country to achieve a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

The NRC's sustainable development strategy outlines how the organization contributes to 6 of the 13 long-term goals identified in the federal strategy, including efforts in NRC labs and operations, collaborations with other government departments, and fee-for-service research with industry partners. These contributions identify 23 actions for public reporting and 3 actions for internal reporting to achieve FSDS goals over the next 3 years, and 40 targets and performance indicators to track progress against them. Federal sustainable development goals that the NRC will contribute to directly comprise:

  • Greening government communities with actions specific to the NRC, including workplace modernization, emissions reduction, and better waste management;
  • Effective action on climate change with strengthened research efforts to assist Canadians in reducing carbon emissions, a better understanding of the potential negative impacts of climate change, and information sharing within the government community and with Canadians through the 2020 national building codes;
  • Clean growth with investments in clean technologies through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) and contributions to scientific and research activities in clean energy materials;
  • Modern and resilient infrastructure with support for research into modern and resilient infrastructure with broad applications across the country and in communities with specific requirements;
  • Clean energy with the National Energy Code for Buildings with NRCan to increase the energy efficiency of buildings, and exploring cleaner energy technologies through research activities; and
  • Safe and healthy communities with research into cleaner mining technologies, updated standards and guidelines for indoor air quality, and within its own operations continuing to monitor, risk-manage and/or remediate its 5 contaminated sites identified under the Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory (FCSI).

The NRC will also continue to leverage its mandate to support government policy objectives to contribute to whole-of-government success in these sustainable development goal areas and any other challenges the organization is called upon to support. In fact, the NRC is already supporting research that is likely to have future impacts on environmental sustainability, including the development of more precise measurements to support improved air quality and quantum sensors for advanced monitoring of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Although the NRC has made every effort to ensure that these actions, targets and indicators are ambitious but achievable, the extent of COVID-19 impacts on the implementation of our DSDS will be monitored and reported on through the Departmental Plan process.

Section 1: Introduction to the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

The 2019 to 2022 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) presents the Government of Canada's sustainable development goals and targets, as required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act. The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) adheres to the principles of the FSDS, and, while not bound formally by the Act, has developed this Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS) for the period spanning 2020-23. This document is the NRC's first stand-alone DSDS. In the past, the NRC has reported on its actions to promote sustainable development through other departments' sustainable development strategies, primarily that of the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Section 2: Sustainable development vision and context in the NRC

In 2020, the world is faced with the intersection of 2 profound challenges: the COVID-19 pandemic, which is throwing the lives of billions of people around the world into upheaval; and the environmental pressures associated with climate change and other strains on the environment, which are becoming increasingly urgent for countries to address with movement toward a more sustainable economy.

For Canada, this transition includes adopting cleaner energy technologies to power homes, workplaces, and industries; rethinking transportation for the 21st century and how to fuel it cleanly; planning for more resilient infrastructure that can better withstand climatic changes; supporting transition of communities in Canada's North to clean, renewable energy; and finding new ways to meet resource needs through re-use and recycling.

With these challenges come opportunities. The disruption of social and economic norms and the rebuilding that follows will allow new investment in and momentum toward science based environmental action and sustainability.

As Canada's largest research and development (R&D) organization, the NRC is well-positioned to support these shifts with expertise related to areas that heavily influence sustainability, including energy, natural resources, buildings, infrastructure, food, and transportation. Leading the way and working with government, academic, and industry collaborators, the NRC also plays a key role within the Canadian science, technology, and innovation (STI) ecosystem to move sustainable development forward.

The NRC's core mandates, vision and mission, and 5-year strategic plan are the foundation for the organization's commitment to sustainable development:

  1. The NRC's 3 core mandates: advancing scientific and technical knowledge, supporting business innovation, and supporting policy-based solutions for government.
  2. The NRC's vision of "A better Canada and world through excellence in research and innovation" and mission "To have an impact by advancing knowledge, applying leading-edge technologies, and working with other innovators to find creative, relevant, and sustainable solutions to Canada's current and future economic, social, and environmental challenges."
  3. The NRC's recently released 5-year strategic plan, which includes "Enabling a sustainable economy" as 1 of the 5 areas of strategic focus for the organization. This focus concentrates the NRC's efforts on contributing to a cleaner future by reducing Canada's reliance on fossil fuels, and supporting R&D that encourages sustainability and protects against threats to the environment. It also includes a "moonshot" in the form of the 7-year $57-million Materials for Clean Fuels Challenge Program, a collaborative multi-party research effort focused on discovering high-risk high-reward technologies to sustainably transition Canada to a low-carbon economy.

Conducted in the NRC's labs and in collaboration with other government departments such as Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Infrastructure Canada (INFC), and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), some other initiatives under this area of strategic focus include:

  • Working with NRCan and the University of Toronto as part of a new collaboration centre to reduce the cycle time for energy materials development from decades to years by developing a platform for AI-enhanced accelerated materials discovery
  • Investigating distributed electric propulsion as a practical alternative to gas turbine engines for aircraft
  • Developing multi-modal mobility systems focusing on fleet optimization, vehicle electrification and simulation, active aerodynamics, and lightweighting to reduce carbon fuel consumption
  • Assembling a suite of novel processes for energy commodities of the future, such as lithium and vanadium, for implementation by the Canadian clean technology value chain
  • Working toward "energy positive" buildings that generate more power than they consume

These initiatives are part of the actions the NRC is taking on multiple fronts to use science and technology to enable a cleaner, more sustainable future for Canadians—and position the country to achieve a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

Context for the NRC's DSDS

Through the NRC's commitment to sustainable development and activities related to helping Canada reach its sustainable development commitments, the NRC actively participates in and supports the FSDS and has for some time. In 2019-20, the NRC was one of the only science-based departments in Canada to meet the target of reducing carbon emissions of government buildings by 40% (compared with 2005 levels). This was a significant achievement given the complexity and 24/7 operations of most laboratory facilities — and a signal that the NRC's commitment to completing energy retrofit projects and integrating energy-efficient technologies into its buildings is paying off.

The NRC's direct support for the FSDS 2019 to 2022 is detailed in this DSDS, which outlines how the NRC contributes to 6 of the 13 long-term goals identified in the document. These contributions identify 23 actions for public reporting and 3 actions for internal reporting to achieve FSDS goals over the next 3 years, and 40 targets and performance indicators to track progress against them. Although the NRC has made every effort to ensure that these actions, targets and indicators are ambitious but achievable, the extent of COVID-19 impacts on the implementation our DSDS will be monitored and reported on through the Departmental Plan process.

The NRC will also continue to leverage its mandate to support government policy objectives to contribute to whole-of-government success areas against the FSDS goals and any other challenges the organization is called upon to support. In fact, the NRC is already supporting research that is likely to have future impacts on environmental sustainability, including the development of more precise measurements to support improved air quality and quantum sensors that for advanced monitoring of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

FSDS goal: Greening government communities - Greening government operations and moving towards a low-carbon government is important to achieving Canada's goals for environmental and sustainable development. The NRC is committed to greening its own operations and reducing energy consumption to contribute to FSDS targets. For example, the NRC will continue to modernize and optimize its workplace to achieve more efficient and productive use of space; reduce emissions through energy efficiency and fuel switching; and evolve waste management and procurement procedures to incorporate environmental awareness. In addition, the NRC will continue to lower emissions by optimizing facility and fleet management, including equipping vehicles with telematics. Finally, in partnership with Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) and Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), the NRC will conduct research and develop guidelines for the retrofit of government heritage buildings to improve their energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their operations.

FSDS goal: Effective action on climate change – Environmental changes associated with climate change are affecting many aspects of Canadians' lives, and taking effective action on climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a key priority of the federal government. Canada's commitments are outlined in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which sets a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 (relative to 2005 levels). To contribute to these targets, the NRC is strengthening research efforts to assist Canadians in reducing carbon emissions and preparing mitigations against the negative impacts of climate change. The NRC's specific actions towards this action include publishing the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) in cooperation with NRCan to help Canada reduce energy use in buildings; working with NRCan and INFC to better understand wild fires and their impacts on buildings and infrastructure; and evolving current research in bioenergy to look at using waste and bio-based feedstocks in fuels, which will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

FSDS goal: Clean growth – As an approach that is good for both business and the bottom line, the federal government supports a growing clean technology industry in Canada as a key enabler of sustainable development. The NRC is investing in clean technologies through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), which provides business advice and funding to innovative small and medium-sized companies in Canada. In addition, the NRC is supporting Canada's Mission Innovation pledge by contributing to scientific and research activities in clean energy materials, including the establishment of a Collaboration Centre with the University of Toronto on Green Energy Materials. Finally, the NRC is building a new facility in Mississauga focused on accelerating the discovery, development and scale-up of new materials with an emphasis on clean energy materials, which will be home to the Materials for Clean Fuels Challenge Program.

FSDS goal: Modern and resilient infrastructure – Infrastructure is the backbone of modern society, so the federal government is investing to modernize Canada's infrastructure to ensure that it is sustainable, inclusive, and resilient for future generations. The NRC supports research into modern and resilient infrastructure with broad applications across the country and in communities with specific requirements. For example, the NRC is reducing the environmental impact of waste treatment in Canada's North by demonstrating an innovative wastewater treatment system that meets relevant environmental standards while producing biogas suitable for renewable energy. The NRC is also collaborating with the UK Satellite Applications Catapult to develop satellite-based structural health monitoring technologies to increase infrastructure resiliency. Finally, the NRC is working with INFC to transfer knowledge from the Climate Resilient Buildings and Core Public Infrastructure (CRBCPI) initiative to designers, owners, and operators of buildings and infrastructure assets through scientific publications, standards, and guidelines. In addition, the NRC is actively working on incorporating updated climatic data into the 2020 national building codes.

FSDS goal: Clean energy – The need for energy is likely to keep increasing in the coming years, so finding sources of clean energy is important to offset the environmental impact of energy consumption. The federal government is working to increase the creation and adoption of clean technologies in key sectors of the Canadian economy, including the energy sector. To support this shift, the NRC is focused on several areas to aid the development and use of green energy, including publishing the NECB in cooperation with NRCan to increase the energy efficiency of buildings. The NRC is also exploring how to best use a smart grid facility to de-risk clean technologies and train local operators for deployment in remote and Indigenous communities.

FSDS goal: Safe and healthy hommunities – Canadians need a clean, safe environment that safeguards their health and well-being, including reduced air pollution, protection from harmful substances, and prevention and/or mitigation of environmental emergencies. The federal government is committed to ensuring that Canadians have these conditions to thrive and prosper. The NRC supports this goal with the development of technology to optimise the converting processes of smelter operations to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions, as well as new technologies and updated standards and guidelines for indoor air quality under the Addressing Air Pollution Horizontal Initiative. Within its own operations, the NRC is continuing to monitor, risk-manage and/or remediate its 5 contaminated sites identified under the Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory (FCSI), following Treasury Board guidelines and applying the precautionary principle as appropriate. With funding received in Budget 2019, the NRC will bring two of its contaminated sites to a state of file closure or long-term risk management. The NRC will continue to address its 3 sites remaining on the FCSI using internal funding.

The NRC's detailed actions, targets and performance indicators

This DSDS builds on the groundwork laid in the vision and mission for the NRC, as well as the five-year strategic plan, all of which recognize the importance of sustainability as a key component of the NRC's activities to support science and innovation in Canada.

Section 3 of this DSDS provides more detailed information about the NRC's planned actions to contribute to 6 of the FSDS 2019-2022 goals, as well as the targets and performance indicators the NRC will use to track progress.

Section 3: Commitments

Greening government: The Government of Canada will transition to low-carbon, climate resilient, and green operations

Responsible Minister: All ministers.

This goal captures commitments from the Greening Government Strategy, as well as reporting requirements under the Policy on Green Procurement.

Greening government communities FSDS target(s) FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target Starting point(s) Performance indicator(s) Target(s) Program(s) in which the departmental actions will occur
Reduce GHG emissions from federal government facilities and fleets by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 (with an aspiration to achieve this target by 2025) and 80% below 2005 levels by 2050 (with an aspiration to be carbon neutral)

All new buildings and major building retrofits will prioritize low-carbon investments based on integrated design principles, and life-cycle and total-cost-of ownership assessments which incorporate shadow carbon pricing

Continue to modernize and optimize the departmental workplace to achieve more efficient and productive use of space and reduce emissions through energy efficiency, fuel switching and a reduction in floor space.

 

FSDS: This action contributes to the FSDS goal to reduce GHG emissions from federal government facilities by leveraging the NRC's plan to modernize and optimize the departmental workspace, which will reduce emissions through major energy retrofits, conversion of all lighting systems to LED, space rationalization and energy awareness campaigns.

The development of an accommodation plan to reduce NRC's footprint by 30% is integral to these plans. Proposed activities include: a carbon-neutral study for the Montreal Road Campus, and building condition, functionality and performance assessments for each major science facility.

SDG: SDG 13: Climate action

 

Starting point: GHG emissions (ktCO2e) from NRC facilities in fiscal year 2005-06

Performance indicator: Percentage (%) change in GHG emissions from NRC facilities from fiscal year 2005-2006 to current reporting fiscal year

Target: 40% in year 2022-23

Special Purpose Real Property

Starting point: 0% in 2005-2006

Performance indicator: Percentage (%) of NRC footprint with completed major energy retrofits

Target: 36% in year 2022-23

Starting point: Footprint in 2005-06

Performance indicator: Percentage (%) change of NRC footprint with LED lighting retrofit

Target: 64% in year 2022-23

Departments will adopt and deploy clean technologies and implement procedures to manage building operations and take advantage of programs to improve the environmental performance of their buildings

Continue to lower emissions through the optimization of facility management and carbon awareness.

FSDS: This action contributes to the FSDS goal to reduce GHG emissions from federal government facilities because optimizing facility management and increasing carbon awareness will allow the NRC to continue lowering emissions by:

  • recommissioning buildings to achieve optimized performance
  • updating building preventative maintenance systems
  • encouraging energy saving and carbon reduction with awareness campaigns

The NRC will also develop operational, engineering and project management capacity in energy and carbon management through participation in training programs related to retro-commissioning, building operations, and energy management.

SDG: SDG 13: Climate action

Starting point: 60%

Performance indicator:
Percentage (%) of NRC footprint fully operational on SAP Plant Maintenance*

Target: 95% in year 2022-23

* SAP Plant Maintenance is software that aids in management of maintenance activities for equipment and systems identified within an organization, including tracking and scheduling of inspections, corrective/preventative maintenance, and repairs.

Special Purpose Real Property

Starting point: 0%

Performance indicator: Percentage (%) of real property employees having completed job-specific energy optimization training courses

Target: 65% in year 2022-23

Fleet management will be optimized including by applying telematics to collect and analyze vehicle usage data on vehicles scheduled to be replaced

Continue to equip vehicles with telematics to lower emissions through optimized fleet management.

FSDS: This action contributes to the FSDS goal to reduce GHG emissions from federal government facilities because it will allow the NRC to conduct a thorough analysis of its current on-road fleet to determine the feasibility of including more low-emission vehicle options where operationally appropriate; and to aid in alignment with government wide efforts on zero-emission vehicle targets for future fleet acquisitions.

The NRC will also explore research and development options that aim to reduce the amount of fuel consumed for research operations.

SDG: SDG 13: Climate action

Starting point: GHG emissions (ktCO2e) from NRC fleet in fiscal year 2005–06

Performance indicator: Percentage (%) change in GHG emissions from fleet from fiscal year 2005-2006 to current reporting fiscal year

Target: 40% in year 2022-23

Special Purpose Real Property

Starting point: 100%

Performance indicator: Percentage (%) of vehicles equipped with telematics

Target: 100% in year 2022-23

Starting point: 7%

Performance indicator: Percentage (%) of zero-emission vehicles in current administrative fleet

Target: 8% in year 2022-23

Divert at least 75% (by weight) of non-hazardous operational waste from landfills by 2030

Other

Develop organic waste program for national implementation to divert non-hazardous waste from landfill to reduce environmental impact from operational waste generation.

FSDS: This action contributes to the FSDS goal to divert operational waste from landfills by developing a waste diversion program for implementation across the country that will allow the NRC to:

  • conduct waste audits to quantify and establish baseline quantities of non-hazardous operational waste for diversion
  • develop a waste program for implementation
  • modify existing food service provider and waste management contracts in accordance to meet the requirements to divert non-hazardous waste from landfills

Additionally, as part of the non-hazardous waste management plan, the NRC will determine ways to reduce the use of single-use plastic containers and ensure plastic waste is diverted from landfills.

Starting point: Development of a framework for non-hazardous operational waste diversion, including tracking and reporting mechanisms, policy and procedures, will occur over the next 2 years, with baseline reporting expected in 2022-23.

Performance indicator: Percentage (%) of non-hazardous operational waste diverted

Target: Baseline reporting in year 2022-23.

Special Purpose Real Property

Starting point: 44% footprint in 2019-2020

Performance indicator: Percentage (%) footprint with waste audits complete

Target: 76% footprint in 2022-2023

 
Divert at least 90% (by weight) of all construction and demolition waste from landfills (striving to achieve 100% by 2030)

Other

Develop framework to track construction and demolition waste. Include and incorporate procedures and policy requirements for construction and demolition waste diversion requirements into construction Requests for Proposals (RFPs).

FSDS: This action contributes to the FSDS goal to divert construction and demolition waste from landfills by establishing a framework to track construction and demolition waste, which is an important first step. To develop this framework, the NRC will conduct the following activities:

  • explore and consult with other government departments to evaluate existing construction and demolition waste diversion programs already in place
  • develop construction and demolition waste diversion procedures
  • prepare guidance documents outlining policy and procedures plus tracking and reporting mechanisms for contractors to utilize during construction and demolition activities

Starting point: Development of a framework for construction waste management and diversion, including tracking and reporting mechanisms, policy and procedures, over the next 2 years, with baseline reporting expected in year 2022-23.

Performance indicator: Percentage (%) of construction and demolition waste diverted

Target: Baseline reporting in year 2022-23

Special Purpose Real Property

 

Departments will use environmental criteria to reduce the environmental impact and ensure best value in government procurement decisions

Enable public and private sector asset owners to incorporate life cycle carbon and total cost of ownership into their procurement decisions through the Life Cycle Assessment for Low-Carbon Assets project.

FSDS: This action contributes to the FSDS goal to divert construction and demolition waste from landfills through the development of databases, datasets and guidelines to support the NRC's selection of materials and designs that offer the lowest carbon footprint while offering the lowest total cost of ownership.

SDG: SDG 9: Industries, Innovation and Infrastructure

Target 9.4

Starting point: 0

Performance indicator: Number of national Canadian-specific life cycle assessment databases for use by industry and government

Target: 1 in 2022-23

Construction

Starting point: 0

Performance indicator: Number of national life cycle inventory datasets

Target: 1 in 2022-23

Starting point: 0

Performance indicator: Number of national Canadian-specific life cycle assessment guidelines

Target: 1 in 2022-23

 

Support the transition to a low-carbon economy through green procurement, or procuring goods and services with a reduced environmental impact and after considering environmental performance along with other priorities such as price, availability, quality and performance.

FSDS: This action contributes to the FSDS goal to reduce the environmental impact of government procurement decisions because procurement officers will be required to take green procurement training.

Maintenance and service contracts will also require proponents to include green considerations as part of their services.

SDG: SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Target 12.7

Starting point: 100%

Performance indicator: Percentage of "green"-trained procurement officers

Target: 100%

Internal Services

Starting point: 86%

Performance indicator: Percentage of maintenance and service contracts with "green" considerations

Target: 90% in year 2022-23

 

Other

Conduct research and develop guidelines for the retrofit of government heritage buildings to improve their energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their operation

FSDS: This action contributes to the FSDS goal to green government operations because research and guidelines for the retrofit of government heritage buildings will contribute to the increased energy efficiency of government operations and related reductions in GHG emissions.

Starting point: 0

Performance indicator: Number of government heritage building that adopt new retrofit guidelines

Target: 5 by 2022-23

Construction

Additional departmental actions supporting the Greening government communities for internal reporting Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target Starting point(s) Performance indicator(s) Target(s) Program(s) in which the departmental actions will occur
Continue to modernize and optimize the departmental workplace to achieve more efficient and productive use of space and reduce emissions through energy efficiency, fuel switching and a reduction in floor space.

This action contributes to the FSDS goal to green government operations with the development of an accommodation plan to reduce NRC's footprint by 30%, which is integral to the NRC's plan to modernize and optimize the departmental workplace.

Proposed activities include: Carbon-neutral study for the Montreal Road Campus and building condition, functionality and performance assessments for each major science facility.

Starting point: footprint in 2005-2006

Performance indicator: Percentage (%) change in total NRC facilities footprint from fiscal year 2005-2006 to current reporting fiscal year

Target: 15% in year 2029-30

Special Purpose Real Property

Continue to improve and extend an Environmental Management System organization-wide to enable proactive assessment and management of environmental issues

FSDS: This action contributes to the FSDS goal to green government operations because the implementation of an Environmental Management System will allow the NRC to assess and address environmental performance to continually improve and green operations, including environmental programs for wastewater, air emissions, and hazardous materials management.

Starting point: 10 priority programs identified

Performance indicator: Number of environmental programs implemented organization-wide

Target:
5 programs implemented by 2020-2021
10 programs implemented by 2022-2023

Internal Services

Effective action on climate change: A low-carbon economy contributes to limiting global average temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius and supports efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius

Responsible Minister: Minister of Environment and Climate Change; supported by a whole-of-government approach to implementation

Effective action on climate change FSDS target(s) FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target Starting point(s) Performance indicator(s) Target(s) Program(s) in which the departmental actions will occur
By 2030, reduce Canada's total GHG emissions by 30%, relative to 2005 emission levels

Use legislation and regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions

Publish National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) to help Canada reduce energy use in buildings

FSDS: This action contributes to the FSDS goal to reduce GHG emissions by providing energy efficiency guidance to building designers and building code officials in the NECB. This guidance will lead to a reduction in carbon emissions from heating, lighting, ventilation and other energy uses in buildings

SDG: SDG 13: Climate action

Starting point: 1,500 in May/June 2020

Performance indicator: Number of downloads of the electronic version of the NECB

Target: 7,500 per year

Construction

Starting point: 15 in April/May 2020

Performance indicator: Number of purchases of the paper version of the NECB

Target: 80 per year

Other

Conduct research and analyses of wildland-urban interface fires and their impacts on buildings and infrastructure, to develop scientific knowledge

FSDS: This action contributes to the FSDS goal to reduce GHG emissions by developing scientific knowledge about how to mitigate wildland-urban interface fires, which will contribute to reducing this significant source of GHG emissions, as well to increasing the resiliency of communities and infrastructure.

SDG: SDG 9: Industries, Innovation and Infrastructure

Target 9.1

Starting point: 0

Performance indicator: Number of NRC publications, conference proceedings, and reports related to wildland-urban interface fires (primary authorship and co-authored)

Target: 2 by 2022-23

Construction

Other

Evolve NRC's current activities in Bioenergy to focus on the conversion of low-value waste feedstocks for the production of low-carbon fuels. This will help reduce GHG emissions in the energy sector by switching out conventional fossil fuels for low-carbon intensity fuels.

FSDS: This action contributes to the FSDS goal to reduce GHG emissions by developing new ways to produce future fuels with reduced- and zero-emission life-cycles, and then making them easier to access and use.

SDG: SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

Starting point: 239

Performance indicator: Number of NRC publications in bioenergy

Target: 300+ by 2022-23

Energy, Mining and Environment

Clean growth: A growing clean technology industry in Canada contributes to clean growth and the transition to a low-carbon economy

Responsible Minister: Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and Minister of Natural Resources

Clean growth
FSDS target(s)
FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target Starting point(s) Performance indicator(s) Target(s) Program(s) in which the departmental actions will occur
Implement our Mission Innovation pledge to double federal government investments in clean energy research, development and demonstration from 2015 levels of $387 million to $775 million by 2020

Invest in clean technologies

Continue to implement the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) on Clean Technology. A division of the NRC, IRAP provides advice, connections, and funding to help Canadian small and medium-sized businesses increase their innovation capacity and take ideas to market.

FSDS: This action contributes to the FSDS commitment to clean growth through IRAP Clean Technology investments in air, water and energy projects and technologies, which will contribute to the transition to a low carbon economy.

SDG: SDG 9: Industries, Innovation and Infrastructure

Target 9.5

Starting point: Number of projects supported has had significant fluctuation over the past 5 years making no clear starting point.

Performance indicator: Number of clean technology projects supported

Target: 125 per year*

* This target was set following consultation within IRAP on budget flow and projections going forward. Over the past 5 years, some years were below this target, and some were above.

Industrial Research Assistance Program

 

 

 

Starting point: Between FY2015-2020, the number of projects supported has had significant fluctuation making no clear starting point.

Performance indicator: Value ($) of clean technology projects supported

Target: $15 million per year*

* This target was set following consultation within IRAP on budget flow and projections going forward. Over the past five years, some years were below this target, and some were above.

Support Canada's Mission Innovation pledge by contributing to scientific and research activities in Innovation Challenge 6: Clean Energy Materials including the establishment of a collaboration centre with the University of Toronto on Green Energy Materials (CC-GEM) which will support collaborative research between the UofT and NRC on new clean energy materials.

FSDS: This action contributes to the FSDS commitment to clean growth because the NRC will continue to bolster the ability of Canadian clean technology companies to develop, scale up, and access international markets through continued implementation of the Innovation and Skills Plan (which supports jobs and growth in Canada) and the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (which sets out a plan to meet Canada's emissions reduction targets), grow the economy, and build resilience to a changing climate.

SDG: SDG 9: Industries, Innovation and Infrastructure

Target 9.5

Starting point: $0.4M as of 2019-20

Performance indicator: Increase in clean energy research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) spending

Target: Cumulative $5.0M through 2022-23

Energy, Mining and Environment

Actions supporting the goal:
Clean growth
This section is for actions that support the Clean growth goal but do not directly support a FSDS target

Other

The NRC will build a new facility in Mississauga focused on accelerating the discovery, development, and scale-up of new materials with an emphasis on clean energy materials. This facility will be an accelerator hub between industry and academia. It is also home to the 7-year $57 Materials for Clean Fuels Challenge Program – a collaborative research program focused on discovering high-risk high-reward technologies to sustainably transition Canada's energy and chemical sectors to a low-carbon economy.

FSDS: This action supports the FSDS clean energy investment target and the FSDS Clean Growth goal because the NRC will continue to bolster the ability of Canadian clean technology companies to develop, scale up, and access international markets through continued implementation of the Innovation and Skills Plan (which supports jobs and growth in Canada), and the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (which sets out a plan to meet Canada's emissions reduction targets), grow the economy, and build resilience to a changing climate.

SDG: SDG 9: Industries, Innovation and Infrastructure

Target 9.5

Starting point: 0

Performance indicator: Number of publications

Target: 30+ by 2022-23

Energy, Mining and Environment

Develop our understanding of the clean technology landscape in Canada (a project carried out with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), part of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and included in their DSDS)

Conduct an analysis of inventions by Canadian and global researchers and corporate institutions in the field of clean technologies as it aligns with the National Research Council's (NRC) Materials for Clean Fuels (MCF) Challenge Program

FSDS: This action contributes to efforts to develop an understanding of the clean technology landscape in Canada by supporting the NRC's and ISED's efforts in promoting the creation and use of clean technologies by industry, as it pertains to the MCF Challenge Program.

The research will focus on 3 main themes related to the program;

  1. CO2 conversion
  2. Industrial H2
  3. Accelerated Materials Discovery

SDG: SDG 9: Industries, Innovation and Infrastructure

Target 9.5

Starting point: CIPO to develop a robust patent search strategy.

Performance indicator: Presentation at March 2021 CIPO Intellectual Property (IP) Research Workshop.

Target: A published report that explores the 3 main themes related to the MCF Challenge Program and presents the patent story, including: top assignees and inventors, collaboration maps, landscape maps, geographical clustering, relative specialization and trend analysis.

Joint research project between CIPO and the NRC (Energy, Mining and Environment)

Additional departmental actions supporting the Clean growth goal for internal reporting Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target Starting point(s) Performance indicator(s) Target(s) Program(s) in which the departmental actions will occur
Work with the IEA and the World Bank Energy Storage Partnership to develop energy storage models and safety guidelines to accelerate renewables and energy storage deployment.

FSDS: This action supports the FSDS Clean Growth goal because the NRC will continue to play a leading role in international clean energy initiatives. For example, the NRC will continue to work with the US and other international partners, bilaterally and through multilateral mechanisms, such as the Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation.

SDG: SDG 9: Industries, Innovation and Infrastructure

Target 9.5

Starting point: 0

Performance indicator: Number of new models/safety guidelines developed

Target: 2 by 2022-23

Energy, Mining and Environment

Modern and resilient infrastructure: Modern, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure supports clean economic growth and social inclusion

Responsible Minister: Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Modern and resilient infrastructure
FSDS target(s)
FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target Starting point(s) Performance indicator(s) Target(s) Program(s) in which the departmental actions will occur
By the end of 2027-28 fiscal year, invest $26.9 billion in funding for green infrastructure initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve climate resilience and environment quality

Work with partners on green infrastructure

Reduce environmental impact of waste treatment in the North by demonstrating a bioelectrochemical wastewater treatment system (a system that combines wastewater treatment with energy generation and resource recovery) at an operational facility, which can treat challenging, high carbon-loading wastewater to meet the relevant environmental standards while producing biogas suitable for renewable energy production.

FSDS: This action contributes to the FSDS goal of sustainable, resilient, inclusive infrastructure by demonstrating a bioelectrochemical wastewater treatment system (a system that combines wastewater treatment with energy generation and resource recovery), which will ensure that communities have more reliable water and wastewater systems with drinking water and effluent that meet legislated standards—for example, by providing funding through integrated bilateral agreements with provinces and territories.

SDG: SDG 9: Industries, Innovation and Infrastructure

Target 9.1

Starting point: In waste stabilization ponds used for biological treatment of industrial and domestic wastewater, the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5) often exceeds 25mg/L and phosphorus often exceeds 1 mg/L, which exceeds environmental standards.

Performance indicator: Demonstrate energy recovery and compliance with BOD5 and phosphorous environmental standards (BOD5 below 25 mg/L and total phosphorus below 1 mg/L) during treatment of high-strength wastewater in remote or northern communities

Target: Full compliance with wastewater treatment standards (BOD5 below 25 mg/L and total phosphorus below 1 mg/L) by 2022-23. Energy positive treatment with 80% energy recovery (heat or biomethane) by 2022-23.

Energy, Mining and Environment

Support low-carbon, resilient infrastructure

Collaborate with UK Catapult Centre to develop satellite-based structural health monitoring technologies to increase infrastructure resiliency

FSDS: This action contributes to the FSDS commitment to support low-carbon, resilient infrastructure by providing new tools to designers, owners and operators of infrastructure. These tools will improve the resiliency and carbon footprint of new and existing infrastructure.

SDG: SDG 9: Industries, Innovation and Infrastructure

Target 9.1

Starting point: $0 in 2017

Performance indicator: Value ($) of investment in the UK Catapult Centre collaboration

Target: $500K by 2022-2023

Construction

Starting point: 0 in 2017

Performance indicator: Number of pilot demonstrations and operational prospects using satellite-based structural heath monitoring technologies

Target: 2 by 2023

Starting point: 0 in 2017

Performance indicator: Number of scientific publications on satellite-based measurement technology

Target: 6 by 2023

Actions supporting the Goal:
Modern and resilient infrastructure

Modern and resilient infrastructure ["Other" placeholder]

Transfer knowledge from Climate Resilient Buildings and Core Public Infrastructure (CRBCPI) initiative to designers, owners and operators of buildings and infrastructure assets through scientific publications, standards and guidelines, and the 2020 national building codes.

FSDS: This action will support the FSDS commitment to modern and resilient infrastructure by producing scientific research through the CRBCPI initiative, which will support the integration of climate resiliency into future infrastructure builds, reduce the impact of natural disasters on infrastructure, and improve recovery after these events.

SDG: SDG 9: Industries, Innovation and Infrastructure

Target 9.1

Starting point: 0 in 2016

Performance indicator: Number of NRC scientific publications, standards and guidelines produced from the CRBCPI Initiative

Target: 136 by 2021

Construction

Starting point: 0 in 2016

Performance indicator: Number of updates made to codes/standards

Target: 50 by 2021

Clean energy: All Canadians have access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy

Responsible Minister: Minister of Natural Resources

Modern and resilient infrastructure
FSDS target(s)
FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target Starting point(s) Performance indicator(s) Target(s) Program(s) in which the departmental actions will occur
By 2030, 90% and in the long term, 100% of Canada's electricity is generated from renewable and non-emitting sources

Promote collaboration and work with partners on clean energy infrastructure

Utilize smart grid facility at NRC to de-risk clean technologies and train local operators for subsequent deployment in remote and indigenous communities, which will stimulate economic growth and reduce energy costs.

FSDS: This action will support the FSDS commitment to promote collaboration on clean energy infrastructure through the NRC's work with territorial and Indigenous governments to advance the economic elements of the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework by developing a Pan-Territorial Growth Strategy to stimulate sustainable and diverse economic growth in Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

SDG: SDG 7:Affordable and Clean Energy

Target 7.1

Starting point: 0

Performance indicator: Number of remote and Indigenous communities engaged to de-risk microgrid installations and/or train at the facility.

Target: 3 by 2022-23

Energy, Mining and Environment

Reduce energy costs and work with partners to increase energy efficiency

Update the National Energy Code for Buildings to increase the energy efficiency of buildings

FSDS: This action will support the FSDS commitment to reduce energy costs and work with partners on increased energy efficiency by updating the National Energy Code for Buildings, which sets out technical requirements for the energy efficient design and construction of new buildings. The use of these requirements will reduce energy usage and cost incurred by building owners and operators.

SDG: SDG 13: Climate action

Starting point: 1,500 in May/ June 2020

Performance indicator: Number of downloads of the electronic version of the NECB

Target: 7,500 per year

Construction

Starting point: 15 in April/May 2020

Performance indicator: Number of purchases of the paper version of the NECB

Target: 80 per year

Safe and healthy communities: All Canadians live in clean, sustainable communities that contribute to their health and well-being

Responsible Minister: Minister of Environment and Climate Change; Minister of Health

Safe and healthy communities
FSDS target(s)
FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target Starting point(s) Performance indicator(s) Target(s) Program(s) in which the departmental actions will occur
Continued decrease in emissions from 1990 of fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides and volatile organic compounds from all sources

Use legislation and regulations to address outdoor air pollutant emissions and harmful substances

Develop NRC's current PyroLIBS technology to optimise the converting processes of smelter operations to reduce the sulphur dioxide emissions

FSDS: This action contributes to the FSDS Safe and healthy communities goal because the NRC's development of technology in collaboration with industry will help to manage levels of harmful substances in the environment once it has been licensed to an industry partner.

Starting point: Currently working with an industry partner to develop this technology

Performance indicator: Technology licensed to commercialization partner

Target: License agreement is signed with commercialization partner by 2022-23

Energy, Mining and Environment

Actions supporting the Goal:
Safe and healthy communities
This section is for actions that support the Safe and healthy communities goal but do not directly support a FSDS target

Better understand air pollutants and harmful substances

Develop new technologies and update standards and guidelines under the Addressing Air Pollution Horizontal Initiative with respect to indoor air quality.

FSDS: This action supports the FSDS commitment to safe and healthy communities because the technologies developed and standards updated standards produced through the Addressing Air Pollution Horizontal Initiative will contribute to improved air quality and health in Canada and will provide Canadians with the tools to make informed decisions to reduce their exposure to indoor air pollutants.

SDG: SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Starting point: 2 at end of FY19/20

Performance indicator: Number of IP disclosures for new technologies

Target: 5 by end of FY20/21

Construction

Starting point: 4 at end of FY19/20

Performance indicator: Number of new technologies evaluated in research projects

Target: 5 by end of FY20/21

Demonstrate leadership on assessing and remediating contaminated sites

In accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property and consistent with the Federal approach to contaminated sites as well as to ensure appropriate application of the precautionary principle, the NRC will continue to monitor, risk-manage and/or remediate its identified contaminated sites.

FSDS: This action supports the FSDS commitment to safe and healthy communities because assessment and remediation activities will reduce environmental and human health risks from identified NRC contaminated sites.

SDG: SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Starting point: Based on 2016 baseline of 12 potentially contaminated sites

Performance indicator: Number of site file closures and/or long term risk management plans

Target:

11 site files closed or long term risk managed by 2021-2022

12 of site files closed or long term risk managed by 2022-2023

Internal Services

Section 4: Integrating sustainable development

The NRC acknowledges the importance of sustainability in both the organization's mission and strategic direction. In keeping with this commitment to sustainability, the NRC also takes a responsible approach to addressing environmental management throughout the organization, taking a proactive, systemized approach to managing the environmental risks and opportunities associated with the organization's activities. This approach demonstrates a commitment to protecting the environment, supports the fulfillment of environmental compliance obligations, and facilitates effective engagement with key stakeholders.

In addition to the commitments detailed in Section 3 of this DSDS, the NRC is tracking internal indicators that are either too early in development to include in the DSDS or are more closely aligned with the NRC's environmental management approach. These may eventually be included in a future DSDS when sufficiently advanced.

A good example of these tracked but not included projects is the continuation of efforts to improve and extend the NRC's Environmental Management System (EMS) throughout the organization to enable proactive assessment and management of environmental issues. While the NRC's EMS is still being refined, it may one day mature to the point that it is included in a future DSDS.

Other projects that are being tracked but not included in this DSDS address broader sustainability research issues, but are still in development. One example is a greening government project that the NRC has undertaken with PSPC to test the viability of alternative heating systems for government buildings. Another example is the NRC's work with the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the World Bank Energy Storage Partnership to develop energy storage models and safety guidelines to accelerate renewables and energy storage deployment.

Pursuant to the 2010 Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals and supporting Guidelines, the NRC undertakes a preliminary or full Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for all proposals presented to a Minister or to Cabinet for consideration. The SEA process at NRC consists of the Proposal Lead, with assistance from the NRC's Health, Safety & Environment Branch as required, undertaking a preliminary SEA scan as early as possible in the proposal's development to identify either positive or negative possible environmental effects, and to determine whether the proposal requires a full SEA review. A full SEA review is required if the proposal's implementation could result in important environmental effects in Canada or abroad. The early assessment of proposals assists in identifying policy alternatives and recommendations in cases where the environmental effects are important. The results of SEAs are included in the proposal to support transparency on the integration of environmental considerations into decision-making at the NRC.

The NRC will continue to ensure that decision-making processes include consideration of FSDS goals and targets through its SEA process. An SEA for a policy, plan or program proposal includes an analysis of the impacts of the given proposal on the environment, including on relevant FSDS goals and targets.

Statements on the results of the NRC's assessments will be made public when an initiative is announced. 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, along with an effort to address Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) concerns through a Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) assessment.