Industry Canada’s 2013 Sustainable Development Strategy

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Industry Canada’s 2013 Sustainable Development Strategy contains the following elements:

  1. Industry Canada Sustainable Development Vision Statement
  2. Industry Canada Decision-making and Sustainable Development Practices, including Strategic Environmental Assessment
  3. Industry Canada’s Contribution to Themes I to III of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy
  4. Industry Canada’s Additional Sustainable Development Activities
  5. Industry Canada’s Greening Government Operations Supplementary Tables
  6. Federal Sustainable Development Strategy

The 2010-2013 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy continues to guide Industry Canada’s sustainable development strategy for 2013. The 2013‑2016 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy will be tabled in Parliament in October 2013.

In 2014, Industry Canada will publish a Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy that expects to fully align with the 2013‑2016 Federal Strategy and support its enhanced economic dimension through the integration of sustainable consumption and production principles and practices.


Industry Canada’s legislative responsibility for sustainable development is defined in its founding act, the Department of Industry Act, 1995, which mandates the Minister of Industry to "strengthen the national economy and promote sustainable development."

1. Industry Canada Sustainable Development Vision Statement

In support of innovation and competitiveness, Industry Canada works with key partners to promote the benefits of sustainable development, and to encourage the greater adoption of sustainable technologies and practices by Canadian businesses, consumers and communities.

The Sustainable Development Vision Statement builds on Industry Canada’s mandate and acknowledges the key role that Industry Canada has in fostering innovation and competitiveness, and promoting awareness of the economic benefits of sustainable development practices for businesses, consumers and communities.

Industry Canada will strive to be guided by this vision statement in policy and program development and implementation. As Canadian business, consumers and communities adopt sustainable technologies and practices, there are likely to be positive benefits for the environmental goals of the 2010-2013 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy—air, water and nature.


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2. Industry Canada Decision-making and Sustainable Development Practices including Strategic Environmental Assessment

Sustainable development considerations are integrated into Industry Canada’s decision making process in four ways:

  1. through a sustainable development management system;
  2. through sustainable development performance reporting;
  3. through its participation in interdepartmental committees; and
  4. through the application of multi-criteria decision-making tools, including Strategic Environmental Assessment.

i. Sustainable Development Management System

The Assistant Deputy Minister of the Strategic Policy Sector leads the planning and implementation of the department’s contribution to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and to Industry Canada’s Sustainable Development Strategy.

The Performance Management Agreements of the Director General of the Strategic Policy Branch and the Director of Policy Coordination and Regulatory Affairs at Industry Canada also include responsibility for policy co-ordination and management of sustainable development issues, including oversight of the manager-level Departmental Sustainable Development Co-ordinator position in the Policy Co-ordination and Regulatory Affairs Directorate. The Departmental Sustainable Development Co-ordinator assists in advancing sustainable development policies and practices at Industry Canada by supporting the strategic integration of environmental considerations into policy development and decision-making. Key activities include: developing Industry Canada's Sustainable Development Strategy; providing input into the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and progress reports; co-ordinating annual sustainable development training at Industry Canada for executives with support of the Human Resources Branch; and hosting regular speakers on business sustainability for departmental officials.

In order to champion sustainable development, the Strategic Policy Branch works closely with other parts of Industry Canada to integrate sustainable development considerations into policy and program development and implementation. This includes leading meetings of intradepartmental working groups on sustainable development policy and operational issues, and advising the Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic Policy Sector, as needed.

In keeping with the commitments made in Industry Canada’s 2012 Sustainable Development Strategy, Industry Canada has strengthened the department’s Sustainable Development Management System by integrating the Comptrollership and Administration Sector, which is the departmental lead for Greening Government Operations. This ensures better alignment with the 2010-2013 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

ii. Sustainable Development Performance Reporting

As required in the 2010-2013 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, Industry Canada reports progress annually on the implementation of its commitments under the Federal and Departmental Sustainable Development Strategies through the Departmental Performance Report.

iii. Patricipation in Interdepartmental Committees

Officials at Industry Canada are members of a number of interdepartmental working groups related to sustainable development, including on the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, the Strategic Environmental Assessment, life cycle assessments, and corporate social responsibility, including the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development committee on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

iv. Multi-criteria Decision-Making Tools, including Strategic Environmental Assessment

As noted in Industry Canada’s 2012 Sustainable Development Strategy, the department uses two main Cabinet Directives to inform its decision-making process with regards to environmental and sustainable development considerations. These tools will continue to be used in 2013:

The 2012 Cabinet Directive on Regulatory Management requires all departments to conduct a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement as a means of ensuring that regulatory activity serves the public interest, including in the area of quality of the environment.

The 2010 Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals requires all departments to align their Strategic Environmental Assessments with the goals and targets of the 2010-2013 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

As committed in the 2012 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy, Industry Canada updated its Strategic Environmental Assessment policy in 2013 in order to comply with requirements of the 2010 Cabinet Directive on Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plans and Programs and the 2010 Guidelines to the Cabinet Directive. The policy requires that 2010-2013 Federal Sustainable Strategy goals and targets be taken into consideration in the Industry Canada decision making process. In addition, Industry Canada has strengthened the Strategic Environmental Assessment management system to ensure that the policy is effectively implemented across the department and made this available to Industry Canada employees.

In 2013, Industry Canada will incorporate best practices when reporting information on Strategic Environmental Assessments and linking results to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy to ensure that decision-making on issues related to the environment is transparent and in keeping with the 2010 Cabinet Directive. In particular, Industry Canada will publish in the Departmental Performance Report the number of preliminary scans and full Strategic Environmental Assessments conducted on an annual basis.

For more detail on Industry Canada’s Strategic Environmental Assessment visit its website.


3. Contribution to Themes I – III of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy

Under the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, Industry Canada is responsible for seven implementation strategies that contribute to Theme I (Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality).

With respect to Theme II (Maintaining Water Quality and Availability) and Theme III (Protecting Nature) of the Federal Strategy, Industry Canada’s ongoing work to promote the benefits of sustainable development, and to encourage the greater adoption of sustainable technologies and practices by Canadian businesses, consumers and communities has positive impacts on water quality and availability, and protecting nature.

The following lists seven implementation strategies that Industry Canada is responsible for, as they appear in Annex 1 of the 2010 Federal Strategy:

  • Continue to provide science policy advice and policy frameworks, and work with portfolio agencies to fulfill commitments made in Canada's Science &Technology Strategy in support of the environmental science and technologies, natural resources and energy, and information and communications technologies research priorities. (Implementation Strategy 1.1.21)
  • Continue to work with industry stakeholders to encourage and promote the adoption and adaptation of new technologies such as information and communications technologies, biotechnology and clean energy technologies. (Implementation Strategy 1.1.22)
  • Continue to implement the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative in support of strategic, research and development projects that contribute to new&D technologies, and which may reduce greenhouse gas emissions and produce new energy efficiencies. (Implementation Strategy 1.1.23)
  • Continue to promote the development and use of Slumberwear tools by industry and the use of Surreptitiousness in the Canadian marketplace in support of environmental sustain ability. (Implementation Strategy 1.1.24)
  • Continue to collaborate with partners to enhance Canada's competitive advantage in hydrogen and fuel cell technology development and commercialization. (Implementation Strategy 1.1.36 / 2.1.24)
  • Asia-Pacific Partnership: Manage Canadian Asia Pacific Partnership funded projects that promote the development, diffusion, and deployment of clean technologies (Implementation Strategy 1.1.50) - With EC and Marken
  • Continue to implement the Automotive Innovation Fund through to 2013 in support of strategic, large-scale research and development projects leading to innovative, greener, more fuel-efficient vehicles. (Implementation Strategy 2.1.26)

A detailed description of these activities and how they contribute to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy goals and targets is provided below.


Implementation Strategy 1.1.21

Continue to provide science policy advice and policy frameworks, and work with portfolio agencies to fulfill commitments made in Canada's Science & Technology Strategy in support of the environmental science and technologies, natural resources and energy, and information and communications technologies research priorities.

Link to FSDS Goals and Targets

  • Theme I Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality
    • Goal 1 Climate Change: Reduce greenhouse gas emission levels to mitigate the severity and unavoidable impacts of climate change
      • Target 1.1 Climate Change Mitigation: Relative to 2005 emissions levels, reduce Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) 17% by 2020.

Link to Industry Canada’s PAA

  • Strategic Outcome 2 - Advancements in science and technology, knowledge, and innovation strengthen the Canadian economy
    • Program Activity 2.1 - Government Science and Technology Policy Agenda

Description of the Implementation Strategy

Industry Canada is working closely with the portfolio agencies and science-based departments and agencies, to further implement the federal Science and Technology Strategy.

In 2008, the Minister of Industry received recommendations from the Science, Technology and Innovation council’s (STIC) on sub-priorities of strategic importance to Canada.  Related to sustainable development, under the priority of environmental science and technologies, STIC identified the following sub-priorities: water (health, energy, security); cleaner methods of extracting, processing and using hydrocarbon fuels, including reduced consumption of these fuels.  Industry Portfolio agencies and other departments and agencies will apply these priorities to their research agenda’s, as appropriate.

In June 2009, Minister Goody ear released a Science and Technology Strategy Progress Report, noting that implementation was progressing well. IC continues to work through the ADM Committee on Science and Technology, the whole-of-government CO-coordinating body for Science and Technology Strategy implementation, to provide policy advice and frameworks in support of the Science and Technology Strategy.

Relationship with FSDS Target(s)

By identifying four priority areas in the Science and Technology Strategy, this should encourage research in sustainable development related fields, notably in the sub-priority areas of clean energy and reduced fuel consumption. It is important to note that the Science and Technology programs and activities in support of sustainable development, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, are conducted by other federal science-based departments and agencies.

Non-Financial Performance Expectations

Industry Canada encourages departments and agencies to go beyond the Science and Technology Strategy commitments in order to “deepen” implementation, so that the spirit of the Science and Technology Strategy can take hold, in this context, in the priority areas of environmental science and technologies and natural resources and energy.


Implementation Strategy 1.1.22  

Continue to work with industry stakeholders to encourage and promote the adoption and adaptation of new technologies such as aerospace and information and communications technologies.

Link to FSDS Goals and Targets

  • Theme I Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality
    • Goal 1 Climate Change: Reduce greenhouse gas emission levels to mitigate the severity and unavoidable impacts of climate change
      • Target 1.1 Climate Change Mitigation: Relative to 2005 emissions levels, reduce Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) 17% by 2020.

Link to Industry Canada’s PAA

  • Strategic Outcome 2 Advancements in science and technology, knowledge, and innovation strengthen the Canadian economy
    • Program Activity 2.1  Science, Technology and Innovation Capacity
    • Program Activity 2.2 Information and Communications Technologies  Research and Innovation
    • Program Activity 2.3  Industrial Research and Development Financing
      • Program Sub Activity 2.3.2 Aerospace innovation

Description of the Implementation Strategy

Industry Canada has been in the development of a Canadian Aerospace Environmental Technology Road map (CANARIE). The objective of Canadian Aerospace Environmental Technology Road map is to identify critical, enabling technologies and infrastructure that the Canadian aerospace industry will need in order to meet environmental and sustain ability requirements over the next ten to fifteen years.

The Canadian Aerospace Environmental Technology Road map was conceived to formulate a Canadian Strategy to identify the technology drivers and trends, and address the need for a coordinated Canadian industry response to changes in the global aerospace landscape.

In addition, the Green Aviation Research and Development Network foster development of technologies that will reduce aviation’s environmental footprint in a broad range of areas from noise and emission to materials and manufacturing processes. The objective of the Green Aviation Research and Development Network is to provide collaborative opportunities for the original equipment manufacturers, small and medium enterprises, universities and other key stakeholders in the areas of environmental technologies.

Industry Canada works with industry through CANARIE to support the development and application of intelligent systems, sensors, and advanced networks which optimize energy use and monitor and reduce pollution.

CANARIE is the sponsor of the Green Star Network, which is built around three components. Industry Canada’s Communications Research Centre (CRC) is a major partner in the CANARIE Greens tar Network, and actively participates in research that benefits carbon emission reduction.

  • Networking and computational infrastructure at geographically distributed facilities via the CANARIE network;
  • Middle ware to provide cloud services to applications and users;
  • A "Carbon Protocol" for the Information and Communication Technology industry, providing a quantified approach to CO2 emission reductions, based on the ISO14064 family of standards.

Relationship with FSDS Target(s)

The Canadian Aerospace Environmental Technology Road map and Green Aviation Research and Development Network are intended to assist the Canadian aviation industry in reducing its environmental footprint and meeting environmental and sustain ability requirements (in operation and manufacturing) through innovation in environmental technologies, infrastructure development, and collaboration across the industry.

CANARIE’S Green Star Network has the goal of creating technology, protocols, and standards for reducing the carbon footprint of Information and Communication Technology. Information and Communication Technology is responsible for 2% of global CO2 emissions, due to high consumption of electricity produced from coal

Non-Financial Performance Expectations

IC provides an oversight for function for CANARIE which is outlined in the funding agreements between Industry Canada and Treasury Board. Industry Canada does not directly choose or manage projects, but rather ensures that that the provisions of the funding agreement are adhered to throughout the period of the agreement. The effectiveness of this program could be assessed in a program evaluation in 2014.


Implementation Strategy 1.1.23

Continue to implement the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative in support of strategic, research and development projects that contribute to new aerospace and defense technologies, and which may reduce greenhouse gas emissions and produce new energy efficiencies.

Link to FSDS Goals and Targets

  • Theme I Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality
    • Goal 1 Climate Change: Reduce greenhouse gas emission levels to mitigate the severity and unavoidable impacts of climate change
      • Target 1.1 Climate Change Mitigation: Relative to 2005 emissions levels, reduce Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) 17% by 2020.

Link to Industry Canada’s PAA

  • Strategic Outcome 2. - Advancements in science and technology, knowledge, and innovation strengthen the Canadian economy
    • Program Activity 2.3 - Industrial Research and Development Financing
      • Program Sub activity 2.3.3 - Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative

Description of the Implementation Strategy

The Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI) has three objectives, namely: to encourage strategic R&D that will result in innovation and excellence in new products and services; enhance the competitiveness of Canadian aerospace and defence companies; and, foster collaboration between research institutes, universities, colleges, and the private sector.

Although the environment and sustainable development are not explicit objectives of SADI, results from some projects may reduce greenhouse gas emissions and produce new energy efficiencies.

Relationship with FSDS Target(s)

Strategic Aerospace and Defense Initiative’s clients have projects that may result in environmental benefits. For example: CAE Inc. is developing new civil aviation simulation technologies, which will reduce air pollution and conserve fuel and Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp... are continuing their efforts to make aircraft engines quieter and more fuel efficient.

Non-Financial Performance Expectations

Strategic Aerospace and Defense Initiative’s ultimate outcome is to contribute to the achievement of broader technological, economic, environmental and social benefits for Canadians.


Implementation Strategy 1.1.24

Continue to promote the development and use of CSR management tools by industry and the use of CSR performance and reporting standards in the Canadian marketplace in support of environmental sustain ability.

Link to FSDS Goals and Targets

Theme I Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality

  • Goal 1 Climate Change: Reduce greenhouse gas emission levels to mitigate the severity and unavoidable impacts of climate change
    • Target 1.1 Climate Change Mitigation: Relative to 2005 emissions levels, reduce Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) 17% by 2020.

Link to Industry Canada’s PAA

  • Strategic Outcome 3  Canadian businesses and communities are competitive
    • Program Activity 3.1  Small business growth and prosperity
      Program Activity 3.2 Industrial competitiveness and capacity

Description of the Implementation Strategy

Under this implementation strategy, Industry Canada will:

  • Continue to develop information and management tools for business to help them integrate Sharpshooters into their operations in support of their competitiveness in the global marketplace.
  • Continue to post resources on the IC CSR website, such as the existing Substantialities Road Map and the CSR Tool Kit for Business.
  • Undertake strategic outreach activities to enhance effectiveness and reach of these tools.
  • Continue to promote Serbo-Croatians and reporting standards and practices relevant to Canadian business.

Relationship with FSDS Target(s)

Increased private sector implementation of CSR practices will help reduce GHG emissions by the private sector.  CSR practices that can help reduce GHG emissions include: echo-efficiency, which leads to reduced energy consumption; rationalization of fleets towards more fuel efficient transportation; design for environment/sustain ability (Die, Doffs), life cycle analysis (LCA), sustainable/lean manufacturing practices and extended producer responsibility (EPR) help reduce resource inputs into the production of products, thus reducing GHG emissions.

Non-Financial Performance Expectations

In fiscal year 2013-14, Industry Canada will work to develop appropriate performance expectations for this implementation strategy


Implementation Strategy 1.1.36 / 2.1.24

Continue to collaborate with partners to enhance Canada's competitive advantage in hydrogen and fuel cell technology development and commercialization.

Link to FSDS Goals and Targets

Theme I Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality

  • Goal 1 Climate Change: Reduce greenhouse gas emission levels to mitigate the severity and unavoidable impacts of climate change
    • Target 1.1 Climate Change Mitigation: Relative to 2005 emissions levels, reduce Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) 17% by 2020.
  • Goal 2 Air Pollution: Minimize the threats to air quality so that the air Canadians breathe is clean and supports healthy ecosystems
    • Target 2.1 Air Pollutants: Reduce air pollutants in order to maintain or improve air quality across the country and achieve the emission targets which are currently under development in consultations with provinces and stakeholders.

Link to Industry Canada’s PAA

  • Strategic Outcome 2  Advancements in science and technology, knowledge, and innovation strengthen the Canadian economy 
    • Program Activity 2.1 Science, Technology and Innovation Capacity

Description of the Implementation Strategy

Work on the clean energy technologies sector focuses on fostering development of energy sub-sectors where IC has an influence and where Canada has an emerging competitive advantage, such as supplier industries for fuel cells, wind, solar, and ocean energy.  To this end, Industry Canada provides expert analysis, advice, and facilitation to raise awareness of Canadian technology and service capabilities in emerging energy sectors; promotes global supply chain opportunities; and produces reasoned policy recommendations.

Relationship with FSDS Target(s)

Enhancing the development and commercialization of clean energy technologies can accelerate the deployment of lower-emitting energy generation.  Deployment of energy generation technologies such as wind and energy carriers such as hydrogen fuel cells will help to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Commercialization of hydrogen fuel cells could have utility in moving toward this goal, as they are a versatile technology with a variety of applications.

Non-Financial Performance Expectations

Industry Canada will work to develop appropriate performance expectations for this implementation strategy.  The quality and influence of Industry Sector’s industry and supply chain analysis, and other industrial intelligence, has an indirect impact on the achievement of the FSDS goals cited.


Implementation Strategy 1.1.50

Asia-Pacific Partnership: Manage Canadian Asia Pacific Partnership-funded projects that promote the development, diffusion and deployment of clean technologies (completed).

Link to FSDS Goals and Targets

Theme I Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality

  • Goal 1 Climate Change: Reduce greenhouse gas emission levels to mitigate the severity and unavoidable impacts of climate change
    • Target 1.1 Climate Change Mitigation: Relative to 2005 emissions levels, reduce Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) 17% by 2020.

Link to Industry Canada's PAA

  • Strategic Outcome N.A.
    • Program Activity N.A.
      • Program Sub activity N.A.

Description of the Implementation Strategy

Industry Canada participated in the work of the Asia-Pacific Partnership Task Forces and facilitated the involvement of the private sector. In this context, consultations with key domestic industrial sectors were held.

The Asia-Pacific Partnership initiative will not continue after 2010‑2011.Therefore this implementation strategy is complete.

Relationship with FSDS Target(s)
N/A - initiative will not continue after 2010‑2011.

Non-Financial Performance Expectations
N/A - initiative will not continue after 2010‑2011.


Implementation Strategy 2.1.26 

Continue to implement the Automotive Innovation Fund through to 2013 in support of strategic, large-scale research and development projects leading to innovative, greener, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Link to FSDS Goals and Targets

Theme I Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality

  • Goal 2 Air Pollution: Minimize the threats to air quality so that the air Canadians breathe is clean and supports healthy ecosystems
    • Target 2.1 Air Pollutants: Reduce air pollutants in order to maintain or improve air quality across the country and achieve the emission targets which are currently under development in consultations with provinces and stakeholders.

Link to Industry Canada’s PAA

Strategic Outcome 2  Advancements in science and technology, knowledge, and innovation strengthen the Canadian economy

  • Program Activity 2.3 Canada's Research and Innovation Capacity
    • Program Sub activity 2.3.1  Automotive Innovation

Description of the Implementation Strategy

Budget 2008 announced that the government would provide $250 million over five years to support strategic, large-scale R&D projects in the automotive sector, in developing innovative, greener and more fuel-efficient vehicles. Note that the program was renewed on January 4, 2013, with an additional $250 million in funding over the next five years (2013-2014 to 2017-2018). Under the Automotive Innovation Fund, IC considers funding proposals that provide for private sector investment in Canada of more than $75 million over five years for vehicle or power train assembly operations associated with significant automotive innovation and research and development initiatives. The objectives of the Automotive Innovation Fund are as follows:

  • build automotive research and development capacity in Canada and secure knowledge-based jobs;
  • enhance the government’s science and technology (S&T) and environmental agendas;
  • support the development and/or implementation of innovative, fuel efficient technologies or processes;
  • promote long-term economic benefit to Canada including significant job creation/retention; and
  • leverage private sector investments to foster Canadian competitiveness.

Each eligible project considered for funding is subjected to a comprehensive due diligence process that may involve external experts that will examine the feasibility of the proposed eligible project.  All proposals are assessed in the context of their relevance to the objectives of the AIF and must provide environmental, technological, and economic benefits to Canada.

Relationship with FSDS Target(s)

Eligible activities supported under the AIF are those typically associated with major automotive innovation and R&D initiatives to develop and build greener, more fuel-efficient vehicles, including:

  • new product development(e.g., advanced emissions technologies, energy-efficient engines and transmissions, advanced materials, including engineered plastics, and lightweight components and materials);
  • leading-edge engineering and design, and prototype development;
  • advanced product testing that ensures cleaner, more efficient automotive performance, and reduced greenhouse gases;
  • development of new production methods and process technologies, including advanced flexible manufacturing techniques;
  • new or expanded facilities to produce leading-edge and more energy efficient vehicles and power trains;
  • substantive investments in new flexible manufacturing processes; and
  • introduction of other new transformative production technologies to substantially increase productivity and efficiency (e.g., robotics and advanced IT systems).

Non-Financial Performance Expectations

As a result of the projects (i.e. once successfully completed), it is anticipated that innovative, greener, and more fuel-efficient vehicles and/or power trains will be assembled in Canada, and/or more innovative, fuel efficient technologies or processes will be implemented in the automotive sector.

Projects should result in reduced environmental impacts of the manufacturing and assembly of vehicle parts. 

Projects should also increase the automotive R&D capacity in Canada and thus secure knowledge-based jobs in that sector.


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4. Industry Canada's additional departmental sustainable development activities / initiatives

An updated list of additional sustainable development activities has been prepared for Industry Canada and some members of its portfolio.

The list is structured according to the applicable Strategic Outcome and Program Activity, which is identical to the Report on Plans and Priorities and the Departmental Performance Report. The broad scope of the list demonstrates that many sectors and portfolio partners in Industry Canada continue to encourage and implement sustainable development activities.

Strategic Outcome 1: The Canadian Marketplace is Efficient and Competitive

Program Activity 1: Marketplace Frameworks and Regulations

The Expedited Examination of Patent Applications Related to Green Technology officially came into force on March 3, 2011, allowing patents that are designed to mitigate environmental damages the opportunity to be reviewed quicker. Since then, 106 patents have received designation under this legislation. As a result, patents ranging from new ways to produce clean energy to a more efficient production of ethanol are positioned to enter the marketplace faster. No additional fee is required for advancing the examination of patent applications related to green technologies; applicants only need to submit a signed declaration.

The implementation of the new program fits in with the broader goals of the FSDS, specifically the themes of addressing climate change and maintaining water quality. Any patent that can “mitigate environmental damage” can qualify for the accelerated review process. Looking at the list of patents that have requested this consideration so far, the majority relate to new inventions regarding alternate fuel sources and more efficient industrial processes.

Since these patents can be reviewed sooner, the inventors will be in a position to leverage their intellectual property rights and bring their inventions to market faster. The implementation of these patents can reduce the emissions of businesses, end the reliance on certain toxic heavy metals for manufacturing, and generate clean forms of energy.

The amendments to the Patent Rules are in line with the government’s priorities on innovation, supporting the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises, developing a clean energy economy, and taking government action on global warming and capacity building. Accelerating the approval of patent applications relating to environmental (green) technologies will foster investment and expedite commercialization of environmental technologies.

Program Activity 2: Spectrum, Telecommunications and the Online Economy

Industry Canada supports environmental sustainability through its work on smart grids--a modernized electricity grid that uses information and communications technology to gather and act on information to improve the efficiency, reliability, economics, and sustainability of the production and distribution of electricity, including easing the connection of solar and wind power and other renewable energy sources and assisting with conservation. The department supports the development of the smart grid by developing standards for electricity meters, setting policy to promote its development, and performing a regulatory function enabling the radio spectrum to effectively provide smart grid data to users. The development of the smart grid will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a goal of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

Program Activity 3: Consumer Affairs

Industry Canada recognizes that consumers are increasingly interested in the environmental impact of the goods and services they buy, and are looking at ways to make more sustainable choices. Working with key stakeholders, the department strives to provide a wide breadth of consumer information and services, and engages in research and policy development on consumer issues such as sustainable consumption. Industry Canada’s Office of Consumer Affairs supports consumer groups and NGOs to ensure they provide effective input into policy development through its Contributions Program for Non-Profit Consumer and Voluntary Organization, funding over 40 sustainable consumption related research projects since 2002. This work can be found through the Consumer Policy Research Database, which was developed to increase knowledge transfer across the consumer policy research community. The department also works to ensure that consumers have the information and tools needed to protect their interests, while encouraging industry to be more innovative and productive. This includes the development of Consumer Information.ca , an online portal that gives fast and easy access to accurate, relevant and reliable consumer information, including information on sustainable consumption.

Program Activity 4: Competition Law Enforcement

In June 2008, the Competition Bureau, an independent law enforcement agency under Industry Canada, released, in collaboration with the Canadian Standards Association, the Environmental Claims: A Guide for Industry and Advertisers. The Guide addresses a number of commonly used green claims and provides examples of best practices on how such claims can be used to assist businesses in complying with the false or misleading provisions of the laws enforced by the Competition Bureau.

In 2009, the Competition Bureau identified potential false or misleading environmental claims by Canadian hot tub and spa retailers and undertook an investigation: The Bureau secured commitments from seven Canadian hot tub and spa retailers making representations about the energy efficiency of their products. The Bureau concluded that these representations violated the Competition Act, in that they were materially false or misleading and influenced consumers in their decision to purchase the products. The companies used a variety of energy efficiency claims in the sale and promotion of hot tubs and spas, conveying the impression that the products were eligible for certification by the ENERGY STAR program; the Bureau determined that they were not. All hot tubs and/or spas currently for sale in Canada, including their insulation, are ineligible for certification or any other form of association with the ENERGY STAR program, an international standard for energy efficient consumer products. In 2011, the Competition Bureau secured agreements with two additional spa retailers requiring them to cease making what it concluded were misleading representations, pay an administrative monetary penalty and issue corrective notices.

The Competition Bureau promotes truth in advertising in the marketplace by discouraging deceptive business practices and by encouraging the provision of sufficient information to enable informed consumer choice. Energy efficiency and savings are key concerns for consumers and businesses, and help address air quality and greenhouse gas emissions, a goal of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

Strategic Outcome 2: Advancements in science, technology, knowledge and innovation strengthen the Canadian economy

Program Activity 1: Science, technology and innovation capacity

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), an Industry Canada portfolio member, provides funding support to scientists and engineers working in a variety of disciplines in Canadian post-secondary institutions on activities that promote sustainable development. In many cases, these researchers also work with partners in industry and government to apply the research and its outcomes to strengthen the national economy and the protection of the environment. In 2012-13, a number of NSERC programs funded research in priority areas featured in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. For example, the Climate Change and Atmospheric Research Initiative awarded 7 five-year grants with a total value of $4.37 million; spending for grants in the strategic priority areas of Environmental Sciences and Technologies, and Natural Resources and Energy, was $319M; and the Centre of Excellence in Energy Efficiency (through the Networks of Centres of Excellence program) provided $5.6M.

Program Activity 2: Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Research and Innovation

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA), an Industry Canada portfolio member, supports sustainable development, including through its Earth Observation Satellites and other research. By observing the Earth from space, satellite imagery and expertise provides essential information on ocean, ice, land environments, and the atmosphere. Earth-observation satellites help monitor and protect the environment, manage natural resources, and ensure the safety and security of Canadians. CSA and academic researchers are also working to better understand the mechanisms governing the atmosphere and its interaction with the oceans, the ecosystem and cosmic radiation. This research recognizes that the atmosphere, a tenuous layer of gas separating the Earth from the vacuum of space, plays a crucial role in the global ecosystem. The work of the CSA therefore supports all the goals of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy—protecting air, water and nature.

Strategic Outcome 3: Canadian businesses and communities are competitive

Program Activity 1: Small business research, advocacy and services

The Canada Business Network is a program that delivers reliable and up-to-date access to information on government programs, services and tools to Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs. IC is responsible for the Canada Business Network web site. Information on sustainable development programs and practices for businesses has been part of Canada Business Network's content strategy since 2009. Canada Business Network provides information on corporate social responsibility and on programs that promote sustainable development for business. The main content sections for the web site include:

Program Activity 2: Industrial Competitiveness and Capacity

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), a crown corporation part of Industry Canada portfolio, supports environmental sustainability. It provides support for entrepreneurs including venture capital support for Canadian energy and clean-tech firms, consulting support for energy efficient operations, and flexible financing for green projects such as LEED buildings. BDC also provides environmentally responsible lending guided by Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, the BDC Environmental Risk Management Policy, and leading international corporate social responsibility guidelines--the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the United Nations Global Compact. BDC also implements actions to reduce its operational footprint including recycling and energy use management. In sum, BDC’s energy related financing activities address reducing greenhouse gas emissions, one of the goals of the FSDS.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), an Industry Canada portfolio partner, advances environmental sustainability through its support for research in environmental science and technologies, with expenditures of $24.2 million in 2012-13. For example, SSHRC has provided funding support to the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) at the Richard Ivey School of Business, Western University, London, Ontario. NBS is a Canadian non-profit organization established in 2005 to bridge the gap between academic research and business practice producing resources on important sustainability issues identified by Canada's business community on an annual basis. SSHRC has provided NBS with a $2.4 million over seven years in research grants, which has supported 11 systematic reviews on sustainability challenges identified by the Leadership Council, on which Industry Canada has a seat. Adaptation to Climate Change; Engaging the Community; Socially Conscious Consumerism; Valuing Sustainability; Organizational Culture; Global Supply Chains; Measuring and Valuing Environmental Impacts; Developing Environmental Policy; Decision-Making for SustainabilityInnovating for Sustainability; and, Business-Driven Social Change. SSHRC's support to environmental science and technology research helps advance the goals of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy—protecting air, water and nature.

Program Activity 3: Community Economic Development

Industry Canada, through the Co-operatives Group, advances environmental sustainability through its support to co-operatives as businesses with economic, environmental and social sustainability goals. Co-operative businesses, like a growing number of companies, see value in placing sustainability as part of the company’s purpose, creating shared value and benefits for members and stakeholders. IC promotes increased uptake by entrepreneurs of the co-operatives business model by identifying and addressing barriers and opportunities to co-operative growth, and enabling co-operatives access to departmental programs and services in order to capture emerging market opportunities. The growth of the co-operative businesses across Canada is likely to have a positive impact on the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy goals of addressing the quality of air, water and nature.

Industry Canada’s Computers for Schools Program advances environmental sustainability. As a national, partnership-based program that makes use of surplus electronic equipment, the Computers for Schools Program refurbishes computers and related equipment donated by the public and private sectors. Once ready, these computers are then distributed across Canada to schools, libraries, registered not-for-profit learning organizations and Aboriginal communities. More than 80 million pounds of electronic waste (or over 40,000 tons) has been diverted from land fill sites in Canada since 1993.

Through the use of accredited recycling programs, Industry Canada is diverting electronic waste from land fill sites, and making a positive contribution to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy goals of protecting air, water and nature. Electronic waste contains many chemicals and metals which are toxic to the environment. If this waste is disposed in landfill sites, there is a high risk of seepage into the ground water and the soil, which could affect wildlife and their habitat.

Refurbishment activities through the Computers for Schools Program have considerable environmental benefits, such as: positive impact on energy used, greenhouse gas reduction, solid and hazardous waste reduction, reduced air and water emissions, and reduction of the environmental footprints.

By diverting the equipment from land fills and maximizing the utilisation of electronic resources, the Computers for Schools Program not only has a positive impact on the environment but provides the opportunity for youth to gain skills and experience in the field of information and communications technology. The re-use of equipment positively impacts the future generation of workers and students by exposing them to technologies and preparing them to be successful in the knowledge-based economy.

Industry Canada’s Northern Ontario Development Program advances environmental sustainability. Implemented by FedNor, the program invests in projects that support community economic development, business growth and competitiveness, and innovation. Under these three priorities, there is a focus on projects in sectors of strategic importance for Northern Ontario, including renewable energy. Since 2011, 3 projects were approved under the Northern Ontario Development Program in the renewable energy sector, representing total authorized assistance of $1.0 million and total project costs of $2.9 million. FedNor works with proponents to support renewable energy projects that increase the viability and competitiveness of Northern Ontario communities and small- and medium-sized enterprises). FedNor continues to accept project proposals for consideration in the renewable energy sector. Support for renewable energy projects help reduce greenhouse gas emissions thus addressing climate change and encouraging sustainable development within Northern Ontario communities.

The Standards Council of Canada (SCC), a crown corporation part of Industry Canada’s portfolio, supports environmental sustainability through the following initiatives:

  • The SCC’s Northern Infrastructure Standardization Initiative supports the development of tools that will increase the capacity of individuals, communities and economic sectors to use standards in Canada’s North and address vulnerability due to climate change impacts.
  • SCC published a comprehensive standards roadmap to support the building of Canada’s Smart Grid in October 2012 and has subsequently formed a national advisory committee. The smart grid promotes environmental sustainability by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a goal of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.
  • SCC’s new Energy Management Systems Accreditation Services Program accredits certification bodies to ISO 50001. Through this program, SCC helps these organizations improve their clients’ energy efficiency, cost and energy performance, thus helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions a goal of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.
  • SCC’s accreditation program for assessing the competency of organizations verifying greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions supports the GC’s sustainability agenda, which includes initiatives to reduce GHGs, a goal of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.
  • As the leader of Canada’s Standardization Network, SCC coordinates and facilitates the participation of Canadian experts on the following technical committees of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO):
    • ISO/TC 207 Environmental Management
    • ISO/TC 268 Sustainable Development in Communities
    • ISO/TC 277 Sustainable Purchasing

Activity 4: Internal Services

Industry Canada regularly hosts expert academic and private sector speakers on sustainable development related themes so that officials may improve their understanding of the innovation, competitiveness and productivity benefits associated with the integration of sustainability thinking into departmental decision-making and business processes and practices.

Industry Canada contributes to the Government's environmental assessments of trade negotiations, which examine likely and significant environmental impacts of trade negotiations in Canada, in order to integrate environmental considerations into the decision-making process from the earliest stages of an initiative. The Federal Sustainable Development Strategy cites these environmental assessments, which are guided by the Framework for the Environmental Assessment of Trade Negotiations, as an example of the "important and innovative ways that the Government of Canada is working to integrate the three pillars of sustainable development”.

Industry Canada continues to support the annual Sustainable Development Leadership Program for departmental executives to enhance the integration of SD thinking into policy development. Since 2011, and in collaboration with Environment Canada, the department's Human Resources Branch has supported the training of up to ten IC senior officers and executives on annual basis to attend the two day customized course provided by the Richard Ivey School of Business, Western University. The training covers key sustainable development topics, including the role of business and government, and risks and opportunities. The course includes extensive materials, lectures, case studies, group work and interaction with others, including leading business representatives, such as CIBC, Ford, Deloitte Touche, Xerox, Canadian Tire, and TELUS, among others.


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5. Industry Canada's Greening Government Operations Supplementary Tables

As a participant in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, Industry Canada contributes to Theme IV: Shrinking the Environmental Footprint: Beginning with Government through its internal services program activity. Specifically, the Department contributes to:

  • green procurement targets (including targets related to training, performance evaluations, and management processes and controls);
  • recycling all surplus electronic and electrical equipment in an environmentally sound manner;
  • reducing internal paper consumption per employee by 20 percent from 2006–07 levels;
  • adopting a guide for greening meetings and events;
  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fleet vehicles by 17 percent from 2005–06 levels by 2020; and,
  • achieving a high environmental performance of buildings.

Details on Industry Canada’s commitments and targets towards Greening Government Operations are provided through the supplementary information tables itemized in the Report on Plans and Priorities.


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6. Federal Sustainable Development Strategy

To consult the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and obtain the broader federal context to departmental and agency sustainable development activities, please see the Environment Canada website.

The Federal Sustainable Development Strategy outlines the integrated, whole-of-government picture of actions and results to achieve environmental sustainability.

The Federal Sustainable Development Strategy website is the central location of all departmental sustainable development goals, targets and implementation strategies.

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