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WD’s 2020-21 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy Report


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Catalogue No.: Iu92-1/14E-PDF
ISSN: 2564-3711

Western Economic Diversification Canada
1500-9700 Jasper Ave
Edmonton AB T5J 4H7

This document is available on the Western Economic Diversification Canada website at

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada,
represented by the Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, 2021

This report on progress supports the commitment in the Federal Sustainable Development Act (FSDA) to make sustainable development decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament. It also contributes to an integrated, whole-of-government view of activities supporting environmental sustainability.

The departmental information reported accounts for information previously prepared in accordance with Western Economic Diversification Canada’s 2020 to 2023 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy.

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 in WD

WD’s 2020 to 2023 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy describes the department’s actions in support of achieving clean growth and a greener government. This report presents available results for the departmental actions pertinent to these goals. Previous years’ reports are posted on WD’s website.

On August 5, 2021, the Government of Canada announced the separation of WD into two new regional development agencies for British Columbia and the Prairie provinces.

Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) is now the new regional economic development agency (RDA) for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan) is now the new RDA for British Columbia.

Both agencies will continue to advance and report on departmental activities that contribute to the Government of Canada’s priorities and commitments under the 2019 to 2022 FSDS.

3. Departmental performance by FSDS goal

The following tables provide performance information on departmental actions in support of the FSDS goals listed in section 2.

Context: Greening Government

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

In 2020-21, all WD office environments were sourced and equipped through Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). The agency has followed PSPC’s leadership in greening government by using office equipment, suppliers, contractors, and services that they have vetted and deemed to contribute to the Greening Government objectives. The commitments under the Greening Government goal outline the areas where the agency has reduced environmental effects associated with the agency's procurement decisions.

In March 2020, the adoption of public health measures to control the spread of COVID-19 suspended in-person operations in WD offices. Telework directives and travel restrictions related to the pandemic have reduced the agency’s environmental and greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint due to reductions in travel and the procurement of goods that are required for in-person operations.

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

Greening logo

FSDS target(s) FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Starting point(s)
Performance indicator(s)
Results achieved Contribution by each departmental result to the FSDS goal and target
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.
Starting Point:
WD’s 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.
In 2020-21, WD procurement expenditures resulting from SOSAs that include environmental criteria totaled $1,492,386 across 124 contracts

Environmental considerations were included in all new contracts awarded.
The inclusion of environmental criteria in procurement instruments ensures WD acquires goods and services from suppliers who meet standards for sustainability and energy efficiency to reduce the environmental impact of departmental operations.

Environmental criteria in SOSAs also motivates prospective suppliers to reduce the waste and emissions associated with their goods, services and supply chains.

SDG 12Target 12.7
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. 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.

In 2020-21, 100% of WD’s procurement and materiel management specialists had completed the Canada School of Public Service Green Procurement course (C215).

All acquisition card holders must complete the Green Procurement Course (C215), before they are issued a WD Acquisition Card.
FSDS: Green procurement incorporates environmental criteria into purchasing decisions. Procurement agents trained to apply environmental criteria can award contracts to suppliers who reduce the waste and GHG emissions associated with their goods, services and supply chains to reduce the overall environmental impact of departmental operations.

SDG 12Target 12.7

Context: Clean Growth

The Clean Growth goal captures commitments from the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. Departmental actions under Clean Growth also support FSDS targets related to climate action, clean energy, greening government, sustainable food, and building safe and healthy communities.

WD promotes clean growth and diversification in the western Canadian economy through strategic investments in clean technology and clean resources. The growth of the clean technology sector and transformation of traditional resource sectors are priorities under the diversification pillar of The Western Canada Growth Strategy.

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

Clean Growth logo

FSDS targets FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Starting points
Performance indicators
Results achieved Contribution by each departmental result to the FSDS goal and target
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. 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.
In 2020-21, the department invested $43.9M in 79 clean technology projects and $5.4M in 15 clean resource projects.
WD investments in clean technology and clean resource projects directly contribute to the Mission Innovation target of doubling federal government investment levels.

WD’s investments help companies in the clean technology and clean resource sectors to develop, demonstrate, and/or commercialize new technology to expand, modernize, grow, export, and become more productive.

SDG 9Target 9.4
SDG 12Target 12.2
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. 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.
In 2020-21, the department engaged with affected communities and invested $8.2M in 14 projects under the Canada Coal Transition Initiative.

In addition to regular CCTI funding, WD invested $7.8M in 2 projects under the CCTI Infrastructure Fund.
WD funding for skills development, economic diversification and infrastructure under the Canada Coal Transition Initiative helps impacted communities in Alberta and Saskatchewan transition away from coal-fired electricity generation and toward a low-carbon economy.

SDG 12Target 12.2

4. Report on integrating sustainable development

During the 2020–21 reporting cycle, WD had no proposals that required a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and no public statements were produced.

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