2017-2020 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

Table of Contents

Section 1: Context for the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

The 2016–19 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 FSDS, which was tabled in Parliament on October 6, 2016, sets out federal sustainable development priorities. It establishes 13 goals with targets, short-term milestones, and actions for an environmentally sustainable Canada.

Under the Act, certain departments and agencies are legally required to participate in the FSDS and table Departmental Sustainable Development Strategies (DSDS). While Infrastructure Canada is not bound by theAct, it adheres to the principles of the FSDS and has voluntarily developed this DSDS.

Section 2: Sustainable Development in Infrastructure Canada

The key to building Canada for the 21st century is a strategic and collaborative long-term infrastructure plan (now known as the Investing in Canada Plan) that builds cities and communities that are economically vibrant, strategically planned, sustainable and inclusive. Since it was established in 2002, Infrastructure Canada works with all orders of government and other partners to enable investments in economic, social and green infrastructure as well as the infrastructure needed to increase trade and economic growth so that Canadians can benefit from world-class, modern public infrastructure.

Under the 2016-19 FSDS, Infrastructure Canada is responsible for leading the implementation of the goal to achieve modern and resilient infrastructure and for contributing to the goal of low carbon government.

Goal: Modern and Resilient Infrastructure

In Budget 2016, the Government of Canada announced the initial phase of a new long-term infrastructure plan and committed $11.9 billion for investments in public transit, green infrastructure and social infrastructure. Over $5 billion of this funding was dedicated to investments in green infrastructure such as water and wastewater management, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and municipal capacity building to protect communities and support Canada's transition to a clean growth economy. Investments of $3.4 billion have also been committed for public transit through the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund to improve commutes, cut air pollution, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, strengthen communities, and grow Canada's economy.

In the 2016 Fall Economic Statement and Budget 2017, the Government of Canada announced the long-term vision for its infrastructure plan and committed to invest an additional $81 billion through to 2027-2028 in public transit; green infrastructure; social infrastructure; trade and transportation infrastructure; and rural and northern communities; and introduced the Smart Cities Challenge. Taking into account existing infrastructure programs, the government will be investing more than $180 billion through to 2027-28. Infrastructure Canada is at the forefront of helping the Government deliver on this plan, along with other federal departments and agencies such as - Natural Resources Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Employment and Social Development Canada, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, and Transport Canada.

One key element of the Plan is $33 billion in funding delivered through Integrated Bilateral Agreements between the federal government and each of the provinces and territories with the flexibility to identify priorities within a framework of national outcomes.

Of the $33 billion, $9.2 billion will go towards green infrastructure projects. Reflecting the wide range of infrastructure needs that fall within this category, the Green Infrastructure funding stream is divided into three sub-streams:

  • Climate Change Mitigation— investments in electricity generation and transmission, built environment, transportation, active transportation infrastructure, higher order rapid transit or the adoption of vehicles that use a renewable fuel source in a public transit fleet will result in reduced GHG emissions;
  • Adaptation, Resilience and Disaster Mitigation— investments in constructed infrastructure and natural infrastructure projects that will result in increased capacity to withstand and adapt to climate change impacts and climate-related disaster mitigation will support community resilience; and
  • Environmental Quality— investments will result in increased capacity to treat and manage water and wastewater, and capacity to reduce or remediate soil and air pollutants. Funding could include investments in natural infrastructure, as well as upgrades to water, wastewater infrastructure, replacement of diesel storage tanks, and reduction of the environmental impact of landfills.

Moreover, $20.1 billion will be invested in public transit. Public transit systems are an effective means to lessen traffic congestion. Congestion increases fuel consumption and air pollution, and contributes to public health issues, and drives up costs associated with traffic accidents and productivity losses. In 2015, the transportation sector was the second largest source of GHG emissions, accounting for 24% of total national emissions.

Public transit systems are well placed to help Canada build a clean economy, as investments in public transit could not only result in a reduction of GHG emissions, but also encourage a modal shift away from single-car usage towards sustainable urban mobility options, including active transportation, which will be eligible under this stream when connected to an existing public transit system. Single-occupancy vehicles contribute 10-12% of yearly national GHG; by prioritizing investments in sustainable urban mobility, provinces and territories can encourage their citizens to leave their personal vehicles at home, thus reducing GHG emissions.

In addition, Infrastructure Canada is implementing a Climate Lens as part of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. The Lens will result in assessments of GHG emissions and/or climate resilience for projects in all categories above an appropriate threshold, and results will be submitted to Infrastructure Canada. Where required, these assessments will need to be submitted as a condition of project approval. The Climate Lens will play an important role in encouraging applicants to consider and document how infrastructure assets contribute to, and are impacted by climate change.

Further, as part of the Integrated Bilateral Agreements, provinces and territories will be required to prioritize projects that have been identified as a priority under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

Infrastructure Canada is committed to addressing climate change challenges and working with provincial, territorial, municipal, and Indigenous partners on this issue. In 2017, the Department entered into an agreement in 2017 with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to deliver the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program, which supports integrating climate change mitigation and adaptation objectives into municipal infrastructure investment planning.

In addition, the $2-billion Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund will be launched in 2017-18 to provide funding for large-scale infrastructure projects that will support the mitigation of natural disasters and extreme weather events and strengthen climate resilience.

Budget 2017 also provided $300 million over 11 years for the Smart Cities Challenge as part of the Government's commitment to experimentation and innovation. The Smart Cities challenge will encourage communities to adopt innovative solutions that leverage data and connected technology to improve the quality of life of their residents. This new initiative will complement other government investments and policy priorities as it seeks to address complex social, economic and environmental challenges, contributing to more sustainable communities.

Goal: Low Carbon Government

Infrastructure Canada has approximately 400 employees in two locations in Canada: a headquarters location in Ottawa, Ontario and a small regional office in Montreal, Quebec. As a result of the Government's commitment to implement a long-term infrastructure plan, the Department is planning to grow in proportion to its expanding responsibilities. Infrastructure Canada is committed to supporting the Government of Canada's efforts to promote environmental stewardship and improve the sustainability of its workplace operations.

Previously dispersed in multiple locations in Ottawa, Infrastructure Canada consolidated its headquarters to lease commercial space in a LEED Platinum-certified building. The building space consists of offices and boardrooms that contain typical office equipment such as computers, telephones, printers and photocopiers. Where possible, Infrastructure Canada strives to improve the energy efficiency of its buildings/operations, by collaborating with the commercial landlord to ensure optimal operating efficiency for a sustainable workplace.

Starting in 2016-17, Infrastructure Canada introduced the Workplace 2.0 format for workstations, to make better use of its office space. Workplace 2.0 is a government-wide initiative led by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to support the Clerk of the Privy Council's commitment to workplace renewal. This initiative is modernizing the physical aspects of the workplace. Related policies, processes and systems will be updated to support employees in their work and new technologies will be provided to allow employees to better connect, collaborate and communicate across government and with Canadians.

The Department has a small fleet of four vehicles (two in Ottawa and two in Montreal) and is committed to integrating environmental considerations as part of the decision making related to its fleet. To promote sustainable travel practices, the Department will encourage behavioural changes in driving practices to reduce emissions and will promote the use of sustainable practices such as videoconference and teleconference meetings.

For several years now, in accordance with the Policy on Green Procurement, the Department has embraced environmental considerations as part of its procurement practices and will continue to take steps to integrate sustainable development into its internal policy and operations. For example, the Sustainability Workplace Initiative is an employee-led initiative that was established to encourage employees to take concrete action towards making the Department a greener workplace. Some of its activities include: regular monitoring of sustainable office practices (e.g. recycle bin sorting) and increasing employee awareness of sustainable development issues.

Section 3: Commitments for Infrastructure Canada

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 targets

FSDS Contributing Actions

Corresponding departmental actions

Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target

Performance indicators for departmental actions

Program in which the departmental actions will occur

By the end of 2025-2026, invest $20 billion in funding for green infrastructure initiatives that reduce GHG emissions and improve climate resilience and environmental quality

Work with provinces, territories and other stakeholders to implement shared approaches to improving water and wastewater infrastructure, as well as support actions to reduce GHG emissions and improve air quality. This includes funding to be delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for local governments to support municipality-led projects to identify and implement GHG reduction opportunities and to enhance the Green Municipal Fund, which finances and funds innovative, municipal, green infrastructure priorities.

Develop Integrated Bilateral Agreements with the Provinces and Territories to deliver the Investing in Canada Plan.

$33 billion of the Investing in Canada Plan will be delivered through Integrated Bilateral Agreements with Provinces and Territories, of which, $9.2 billion will be dedicated to Green Infrastructure, including GHG mitigation, adaptation, resilience and disaster mitigation and environmental quality, and $20.1 billion will be invested in public transit infrastructure projects.

Emissions intensity level (greenhouse gas emissions per dollar of gross domestic product)

Modal share of public transit and active transportation

PAA Program 1.3: Investments in National Infrastructure Priorities

Provide funding for large-scale infrastructure projects supporting mitigation of natural disasters and extreme weather events and strengthened climate resilience.

A $2-billion, merit-based Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund will be launched in 2017-18 to help reduce the vulnerability of communities or public infrastructure to the adverse effects associated with a changing climate and extreme weather events.

Percentage of municipalities that have integrated consideration of  climate change impacts into their asset management planning and practices

At the time of publication, the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund was still subject to TB approval.

Provide communities with more reliable water and wastewater systems so that both drinking water and effluent meet legislated standards.

The Clean Water and Wastewater fund provides a $2-billion short-term funding to improve the state of good repair, system optimization, and planning for future upgrades to water and wastewater systems.

Percentage of communities across Canada with sustained boil water advisories per year

Percentage of wastewater systems that are high, medium and low risk based on federal wastewater systems effluent regulations

PAA Program 1.3: Investments in National Infrastructure Priorities

Support communities with the development and implementation of asset management practices that support evidence-based decision-making.

The $50-million Municipal Asset Management Program, delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities supports improved asset management and data collection for greater evidence-based decision making on infrastructure investments.

Percentage of municipalities who practice asset management

PAA Program 1.3: Investments in National Infrastructure Priorities

Support municipalities as they prepare for and adapt to climate change, and as they reduce GHG emissions.

The $75-million Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (formerly known as the Capacity Building for Climate Change Challenges), delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, provides funding, training and resources to help municipalities adapt to the impacts of climate change and reduce GHG emissions.

Percentage of municipalities that have integrated consideration of  climate change impacts into their asset management planning and practices

PAA Program 1.3: Investments in National Infrastructure Priorities

Support the development and deployment of codes and standards to ensure that Canadian infrastructure is built to withstand the impacts of climate change.

Infrastructure Canada is providing $40 million to the National Research Council of Canada to deliver on the Climate-Resilient Buildings and Core Public Infrastructure Project over a 5-year period to integrate climate resilience into design guides, codes and related materials, which will be the basis for future infrastructure builds and rehabilitation work in Canada.

Change in remaining useful life and physical condition of infrastructure asset classes

PAA Program 1.3: Investments in National Infrastructure Priorities

Low-Carbon Government: The Government of Canada leads by example by making its operations low-carbon

Responsible Minister: All ministers

Low-Carbon Government

FSDS targets

FSDS Contributing Actions

Corresponding departmental actions

Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target

Performance indicators for departmental actions

Programs in which the departmental actions will occur

Reduce GHG emissions from federal government buildings and fleets by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, with an aspiration to achieve this reduction by 2025

Improve the energy efficiency of our buildings/operationsFootnote1

Initiate a retrofit project in 2016-2017 to convert all workstations to the Workplace 2.0 format by the end of 2017-2018.

Converting the office space to comply with the Workplace 2.0 format. This will mean smaller average office sizes, additional collaborative spaces, and lower panels to optimize natural light and air circulation.

Percentage of workstations converted to Workplace 2.0 format

Number of additional workstation spaces created through conversion

All PAA Programs and Internal Services

Implement a mobility strategy to support employees who need to be mobile for operational reasons.

Access to mobile devices that enable employees to be connected both in the office and at home

Laptops and tablets will take less energy to operate than desktop computers.

Percentage of employees who have either a laptop or tablet device

All PAA Programs and Internal Services

Modernize our fleet

Ensure the fleet size is commensurate with the Department's operational needs.

Integrate environmental considerations in decision making regarding its fleet that is commensurate with the Department's operational needs.

Baseline to be established in 2017-18 to determine benchmarks for future reporting

All PAA Programs and Internal Services

Promote behaviour changes such as anti-idling and car sharing to reduce emissions.

Continue to promote behaviours changes to support reduced emissions.

Baseline to be established in 2017-18 to determining benchmarks for future reporting

All PAA Programs and Internal Services

Support the transition to a low-carbon economy through green procurement

Ensure that key officials have the necessary training and awareness to support green procurement.

Continue to ensure that procurement specialists have completed the mandatory training from the Canada School of Public Service Green Procurement, and integrated environmental considerations into procurement practices.

Number and percentage of specialists in procurement and/or materiel management who have completed the Canada School of Public Service Green Procurement course.

Internal Services

Ensure that key officials include contribution to and support for the Government of Canada Policy on Green Procurement objectives in their performance management evaluations

Continue to ensure that managers and functional heads of procurement and material management have included contribution to and support for green procurement in their performance management evaluations

Number and percentage of managers and functional heads of procurement and materiel management whose performance evaluations include support and contribution towards green procurement.

Internal Services

Integrate environmental considerations into procurement management practices

Ensure that contracts related to goods are compliant with green procurement policy such as ensuring that suppliers lists for mandatory commodities under Public Services and Procurement Canada are used and which have pre-established provisions for green procurement

Percentage of goods contracts that are compliant with green procurement policy.

Internal Services

Promote sustainable travel practices

Promote the use of sustainable practices for business meetings

Use video conferencing or teleconferencing for meetings to reduce travel

Number of videoconference meetings

Number of videoconferencing devices

Number of teleconference accounts

Number of teleconferences initiated by the department

All PAA Programs and Internal Services

Understand climate change impacts and build resilience

Integrate consideration of climate change impacts and adaptation into departmental planning, policy, programs, and operations

Assess and incorporate climate change considerations and adaptation measures into corporate risk, business continuity planning and investment planning where appropriate

Various plans have clearly incorporated and documented considerations of climate change mitigation and adaptation where appropriate

Internal Services

Section 4: Integrating sustainable development

Infrastructure Canada plays an important role in helping to create a more sustainable future for Canadians. The Department's broad range of infrastructure programs supports thousands of projects across Canada which are contributing to a cleaner environment in areas such as drinking water, wastewater, cleaner energy and public transit. Beyond providing funding through federal infrastructure programs, the Department also continues to take steps to improve the sustainability of its workplace and reduce environmental impact of its operations.

Infrastructure Canada will continue to ensure that its decision-making process includes consideration of the FSDS goals and targets through the Strategic Environmental Assessment process in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. A Strategic Environmental Assessment for policy, plan or program proposals includes an analysis of the impacts of the given proposal on the environment, including on the FSDS goals and targets.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Infrastructure Canada leases commercial building space and works with the landlord to ensure optimal operating efficiency in the workplace.

Return to Footnote 1

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