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Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy 2020 to 2023

September 2020

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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. In keeping with the purpose of this Act to provide the legal framework for developing and implementing a FSDS that will make environmental decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) supports the goals laid out in the FSDS through the activities described in this Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS).

2: Sustainable Development Vision and Context in WD

WD’s mandate is to develop and diversify the western Canadian economy and to advance the interests of the west in national economic policy, program and project development and implementation. The Department’s sustainable development vision is for a western Canadian economy that is growing, diversified and sustainable. This includes sustainable development programming that focuses on projects that create economic benefits for western Canada, including investments in clean technology, as well as fostering practices that promote sustainable development in the department’s internal operations.

The Department plays a key role as co-investor, convener, and champion for the west, making strategic investments that strengthen the west’s traditional economic drivers while accelerating the development of new opportunities.

The 2019-22 FSDS has thirteen aspirational goals that reflect the environmental dimensions of the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) - adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 - and sets the priorities for a more sustainable Canada. WD directly contributes to two of the FSDS goals: "Greening Government” and “Clean growth" as follows:

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

WD’s operations are performed in office environments that are sourced and equipped through Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). All of WD’s offices are co-located with other federal departments. WD follows PSPC’s leadership in greening government by using office equipment, suppliers, contractors, and services that they have vetted and deemed to contribute to common government objectives, including transitioning to low-carbon, climate-resilient, and green operations. From an operational context, WD further contributes to greening government by having recycling programs at each office, using videoconferencing to replace travel by employees when possible, and supporting alternative work arrangements like telework.

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

WD promotes growth and diversification in the western Canadian economy by enhancing innovation, improving business competitiveness, promoting the adoption of clean technologies, and inclusive growth. Investing in clean technology and innovation supports economic growth, as well as FSDS targets related to climate action, clean energy, greening government, sustainable food, and building safe and healthy communities.

WD supports the development of high-potential clusters in sectors such as clean technology, clean resources, life sciences, value-added agriculture, advanced manufacturing, and digital technology. WD’s investments help companies developing and/or commercializing new clean technology to expand, modernize, grow, export, and/or become more productive.

Under the Canada Coal Transition Initiative, a key commitment under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, WD is helping impacted communities in Alberta and Saskatchewan transition their economies away from coal-fired electricity generation. WD’s investments support capacity-building, entrepreneurship, business start-up and expansion, and supply chain development.

In June 2019, WD developed and launched ‘Grow West’. The strategy is a call-to-action for diverse partners to work together to tackle the West’s biggest economic challenges and seize new opportunities. Assisting the emerging clean technology sector, and helping resource sectors (energy, mining, forestry, farming) continue to innovate and leverage new technologies is a priority under the Grow West ‘Diversification’ pillar.

3: Commitments for Western Economic Diversification Canada

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

Greening logo

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)
Program(s) in which the departmental actions will occur
Actions supporting Greening Government Departments will use environmental criteria to reduce the environmental impact and ensure best value in government procurement decisions. WD will include criteria that address carbon reduction, sustainable plastics, and broader environmental benefits into procurements for goods and services that have a high environmental impact.

WD will incorporate environmental considerations into the development of any common-use procurement instruments.
Green procurement incorporates environmental considerations into purchasing decisions and is expected to motivate suppliers to green their goods, services, and supply chain.
SDG: 12.7
Starting Point:
WD commitment to include environmental criteria to reduce its environmental impact in procurement.

Performance indicator:
Volume of expenditure through Standing Offers and Supply Arrangements (SOSAs) that include environmental criteria.

Inclusion of environmental considerations (e.g. reduce, reuse, or include environmental criteria) in new common-use procurement instruments.

Environmental criteria are considered in purchasing decisions.
Support for green procurement will be strengthened, including guidance, tools and training for public service employees. WD will ensure decisions makers, material management, and specialists in procurement have the necessary training and awareness to support green procurement. Green procurement incorporates environmental considerations into purchasing decisions and is expected to motivate suppliers to green their goods, services, and supply chain.
SDG: 12.7
Starting Point:
Identify procurement guidance needs for staff, including training and tools.

Performance indicator:
Percentage of specialists in procurement and materiel management who have completed training on green procurement.

Trained staff supporting green procurement.

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

Clean Growth logo

Clean Growth
FSDS targets
FSDS contributing actions Corresponding departmental actions Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target Starting points
Performance indicators
Programs in which the departmental actions will occur
Support the Government of Canada’s 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 support, and make strategic investments in clean technology and clean resources. WD’s support will help companies developing and/or commercializing new clean tech to expand, modernize, grow, export, and/or become more productive.
SDG: 9.412.2
Starting point:
Statistics Canada Survey of Environmental Goods and Services measures the clean technology sector in Canada and regions.

Performance indicator:
WD annual spending ($) for projects in the priority areas of clean technology and clean resources.

Clean technology adoption/adaptation that contributes to the diversification and economic development of western Canada.
Business Scale-up and Productivity program

Regional Innovation Ecosystems program.
Actions supporting Clean Growth Other Deliver funding and support through the Canada Coal Transition Initiative to assist western Canadian communities affected by the phase out of coal-fired electricity. WD will deliver funding for skills development and economic diversification activities to help communities and workers in Alberta and Saskatchewan impacted by the regulations to phase-out traditional coal-fired electrical generation by 2030.
SDG: 12.2
Starting point:
Affected communities in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Performance indicator:
Community-identified initiatives assessed and funded to support economic diversification in affected communities in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Project support is based on community-identified needs.
Canada Coal Transition Initiative

4: Integrating sustainable development

WD’s senior management is responsible for integrating sustainable development principles into the Department’s policies, programs and operations. Information is shared with project and policy officers to inform sustainable development decision-making.

WD considers the environmental effects of initiatives subject to the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, as part of its decision-making process.

A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is required for a policy, plan or program proposal and includes an analysis of the impacts of the given proposal on the environment, including on relevant FSDS goals and targets.

WD will continue to ensure that its decision-making process includes consideration of FSDS goals and targets through its SEA process. Statements on the results of WD’s assessments are made public on its website when an initiative has undergone a detailed SEA. 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.

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