Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Federal Sustainable Development Strategy

The Federal Sustainable Development Act (FSDA) received royal assent on June 26, 2008. The FSDA requires the development of a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS). The FSDA, which applies to the policies and programs of all departments as well as a number of federal agencies, requires the government to produce a revised strategy every three years. The FSDA also responds to a number of international commitments Canada made to produce such a strategy, including one at the Rio Earth Summit in Brazil, in 1992, and another at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa, in 2002.

As part of its management priorities, CIDA has established the following priority: Achieving management and program - delivery excellence. This priority includes the greening of operations, which falls within the scope of theme IV of the FSDD, that of shrinking the environmental footprint beginning with government. CIDA has established targets under two main areas:

  1. Green procurement
  2. Electronic waste, managed print, paper consumption, and green meetings

Information on CIDA's activities in support of theme IV is provided in CIDA's table on Greening Government Operations on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat website. In addition, environmental assessment forms an integral part of planning and implementation at CIDA. Thus, CIDA ensures that, from the beginning, its projects, programs and policies are designed with a view to sustainable development and environmental sustainability.

Federal Context

Environment Canada is overseeing the implementation of the FSDA and led the development of the FSDS, which was tabled in Parliament on October 6, 2010. Public consultations were undertaken by the Federal Sustainable Development Office at Environment Canada. For information about the findings of the public consultation period, please consult the Synthesis Report: Public Consultations Draft Sustainable Development Strategy.

The FSDS fulfills the requirements of the FSDA by rendering environmental decision making more transparent and accountable to Parliament. It does so by establishing a framework for sustainable development planning and reporting with three key elements:

An integrated, whole-of government picture of actions and results to achieve environmental sustainability.

For the first time, the FSDS integrates the federal government's actions to achieve environmental sustainability and provides an in-depth description of current federal goals, targets and implementation strategies for four environmental themes related to government priorities.

  • Theme I —  Air — Addressing climate change and air quality
  • Thème II —  Water — Maintaining water quality and availability
  • Thème III —  Nature — Protecting nature
  • Thème IV —  Office of Greening Government Operations Shrinking the environmental footprint — Beginning with government

A link between sustainable development planning and reporting and the Government of Canada's Expenditure Management System for planning and reporting.

In order to explicitly link the FSDS to the Government of Canada's Expenditure Management System (EMS), all departments and agencies (including CIDA) identified in the FSDA schedule or under Schedule I of the Financial Administration Act will use the federal core planning and reporting system to plan, monitor and report on their respective sustainable development activities.

Under the EMS, the reporting of plans and the tracking of progress of results occur through two key documents:

The RPP reporting will contain objectives and plans that comply with, and contribute to, the FSDS. Each year, departments will report on the FSDS implementation strategies for which they are solely or jointly responsible through DPR reporting.

Effective measuring, monitoring and reporting in order to track progress and report to Canadians.

FSDS Themes I, II and III (Air, Water, Nature):

  • Environmental indicators have been selected to assess progress on the goals and targets.
  • The Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators initiative of Environment Canada will compile information from identified departments for reporting of the results related to the goals and targets.
  • For the implementation strategies, performance will be measured through existing departmental performance measure.

FSDS Theme IV (Office of Greening government operations):

  • A performance reporting framework that establishes common performance measures on which each FSDS department must report on has been developed.

Additional information about greening government operations

For more information about sustainable development in government operations, visit the Office of Greening Government Operations website and consult the Policy on Green Procurement and the Federal Electronic Waste Strategy as well as Public Works and Government Services Canada's publication Sustainable Development in Government Operations.

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