2020-2023 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

PDF Version

2020-2023 Departmental Sustainable
Development Strategy
(PDF Version) (752.81 KB)

October 22, 2020

Table of Contents

Modern and Resilient Infrastructure icon
Lead – Modern and Resilient Infrastructure

Greening Government icon
Contributor – Greening Government

Effective Action on Climate Change icon
Contributor – Effective Action on Climate Change

Clean Energy icon
Contributor – Clean Energy

Section 1: Introduction to Infrastructure Canada’s 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. Infrastructure Canada (INFC) adheres to the principles of the FSDS, and while not formally bound by the Act, has developed this Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS).

Section 2: Sustainable Development Vision and Context at Infrastructure Canada

The federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years through the Investing in Canada Plan (or the Plan), to help build a more sustainable and resilient country for the 21st century. Providing communities across the country with the tools they need to prosper and innovate, the Plan consists of five main infrastructure priorities to help build infrastructure in communities across the country:

public transit infrastructure   green infrastructure   social infrastructure   trade and transportation infrastructure   rural and northern communities infrastructure

 covid resilience stream iconIn August 2020, a new temporary COVID-19 Resilience stream has been created to provide provinces and territories with added flexibility to expand project eligibility and accelerate approvals.

To achieve the Plan's objectives, Infrastructure Canada is working with all orders of government and other partners to align priorities and programs. The Plan enables investments in economic, social and green infrastructure as well as the infrastructure needed to increase trade and economic growth so that the quality of life of Canadians is improved. It's a commitment to ensure that all Canadians, no matter where they live, have opportunities to reach their full potential.

Just a note that there are a number of existing programs that align with the efforts of our Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy. Many of the actions accomplished through those programs, funds or challenge (see below) are also supporting the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

  • Clean Water and Wastewater Fund;
  • Public Transit Infrastructure Fund;
  • Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program;
  • Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (Public Transit, Green Infrastructure, and COVID-19 streams);
  • Smart Cities Challenge; and
  • Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund.

Infrastructure Canada has a dual role in the Plan. It is responsible for the overall coordination of the Investing in Canada Plan and reporting on its results, and it delivers key funding programs tied to four of the five priorities. Infrastructure Canada also leads the implementation of the whole-of-government Rural Economic Development Strategy, which sets out a roadmap for rural community resilience and vitality.

The 2019 – 2022 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy lays out 13 goals that support Canada's sustainable development vision. While Infrastructure Canada is the lead department for Modern and Resilient Infrastructure, it also contributes to three other goals: Effective Action on Climate Change; Greening Government; and Clean Energy.

INFC Vision for Sustainable Development

To implement the historic Investing in Canada Plan, Infrastructure Canada provides long-term funding to provinces and territories through integrated bilateral agreements. The Department engages with provinces, territories, municipalities and First Nations communities to identify local priorities that achieve a fair balance of provincial, territorial and municipal projects to benefit communities of all sizes, from rural and remote communities to large cities. The work we are doing aligns entirely with the goal of Modern and Resilient Infrastructure that supports a sustainable development.

The Plan addresses persistent challenges to air, water and soil quality, with a goal to build Canadian communities, including Indigenous communities, more resilient to climate change, natural disasters and extreme weather events. Reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will help reduce the risks we face from climate change and help Canada meet its commitments under its 2019 – 2022 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.

Investments in infrastructure specifically designed to address the impact of climate change, including innovative nature-based solutions, enhance the resilience of Canadian communities while continuing to safely provide essential services. By accounting for the effects of climate change in infrastructure development, communities will be better prepared to respond to and recover from severe weather events.

Northern communities have their own unique challenges. Nearly 300 remote communities, most of which are in the North, have no access to the continental electricity grid and rely on fossil fuels for electricity generation. While many communities are now investing in cleaner energy to use renewable systems, fossil fuels remain the most affordable option in many cases. Ideas presented through the Smart Cities Challenge offer the opportunity to modernize infrastructure using connected data and technology and inclusive community approaches with the goal to spread the benefits to all Canadians.

To achieve the goal of Modern and Resilient Infrastructure, Infrastructure Canada has made it a priority to address climate change through clean growth, resiliency and low-carbon economy. The funding provided is also advancing climate change mitigation and adaptation outcomes. Additionally, in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic the new temporary COVID-19 Resilience stream provides provinces and territories with added flexibility to fund quick-start, short-term projects. This includes funding for disaster mitigation and adaptation projects, including natural infrastructure, flood and fire mitigation, and tree planting and related infrastructure. This will get projects that meet the new realities of COVID-19 measures underway faster, and support longer-term goals of sustainable, economically healthy, low-carbon, and inclusive communities.

Modern and Resilient Infrastructure

In Budget 2016, the Government of Canada announced the initial phase of the Investing in Canada Plan with a commitment of $14.4 billion for investments in public transit, green infrastructure and social infrastructure. An additional investment of $81.2 billion was announced in Budget 2017 to support Canada's long-term infrastructure Plan, and included green infrastructure to ensure that Canada's communities are healthy and productive places to live.

The creation of the Canada Infrastructure Bank, as well as the investments in green infrastructure provide support for safe and clean drinking water in many communities across Canada, mitigation to natural disasters and more sustainable public transit, among other things. They are all supporting Canada's commitments under the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation; SDG 7, Affordable and Clean Energy; SDG 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth; SDG 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; and SDG 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities.

To ensure that Canada's communities are healthy and productive places to live, today and in the future, Canada is investing in sustainable solutions. Green infrastructure investments have the potential to reduce GHG across various sectors and can drive innovation and growth by increasing technology development and adoption. The choices we make today to create a modern and resilient infrastructure will ensure a healthy environment which, in turn, supports a low-carbon economy.

Natural disasters related to climate change are increasing in scale and severity. So, in addition to working with provinces, territories and municipalities, Infrastructure Canada is also collaborating with other organizations to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help improve climate resilience and environment quality. The department aims to ensure funding goes towards infrastructure designed for climate impacts, including innovative nature-based solutions that enhance the resilience of Canadian communities while continuing to safely provide essential services.

By accounting for the effects of climate change in infrastructure development, communities will be better prepared to respond to and recover from severe weather events. For projects that fall within the Department's mandate, it is required that infrastructure projects incorporate considerations linked to climate impacts in the design. Of note, while some activities or initiatives are aligned with our mandate, they fall under other federal organizations in supporting low-carbon and resilient infrastructure. Below are some examples:

  • Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is ensuring that from 2016 to 2024 a coast-to-coast network of more than 1000 electric vehicle fast chargers along Canada's highways, 22 natural gas stations along key freight corridors, and 15 hydrogen stations in metropolitan areas will be built under the Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Initiative (EVAFII).
  • Standards Council of Canada (SCC) is updating existing standards to ensure infrastructure across Canada is climate-ready and investing in new standards that support northern infrastructure.

By transferring funds to the following organizations, Infrastructure Canada is also helping to support low-carbon and resilient infrastructure:

  • The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is implementing the Climate-Resilient Buildings and Core Public Infrastructure Initiative. NRC is undertaking ground-breaking work to integrate climate resiliency into building and infrastructure design, guides, and codes. This initiative is intended to develop capacity in Canada's construction industries to adapt to climate change. It is driving innovation and providing partners with the science-based knowledge and tools they need to make sound decisions about how to design, operate, and maintain their infrastructure assets. This supports Infrastructure Canada's commitment to outcome-based programming. The work undertaken by the NRC will contribute to an infrastructure landscape that can keep Canadian communities safer from extreme weather and the effects of climate change.
  • The National Research Council of Canada (NRC), through the life cycle assessment (LCA2) initiative, is also developing important outputs that create a science-based approach to support the selection of materials and designs that offer the lowest carbon footprint while offering the lowest total cost of ownership. LCA2 initiative runs from 2017 to 2021. The outputs will include the following: infrastructure specific life cycle assessment (LCA) guidelines/tools; related procurement specifications; low-carbon benchmarks; and a Canadian life cycle inventory (LCI) database.
  • The National Research Council (NRC), is making buildings more energy efficient by developing with provinces and territories model building codes by 2022 and labelling/disclosure as early as 2019 with the goal that provinces and territories adopt increasingly stringent codes beginning in 2020, and reaching NetZero energy ready construction by 2030.

Infrastructure Canada is also providing support to the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) as it works with other level of governments, Indigenous communities and private investor partners to develop innovative alternative financing strategies for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, deliver clean air and safe water, and promote renewable power.

Effective Action on Climate Change

The Investing in Canada Plan addresses persistent challenges to air, water and soil quality to build communities - including Indigenous communities - that are more resilient to climate change, natural disasters and extreme weather events. Infrastructure that reduces GHG emissions through cleaner electricity grids, energy efficient buildings and transportation systems sets us on a path to a low-carbon future.

Green infrastructure investments have the potential to help achieve GHG reductions across various sectors and can drive innovation and growth by increasing technology development and adoption. This will ensure Canadian businesses are competitive in the global low-carbon economy.

To address greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks of new infrastructure projects, the Department introduced a climate lens at the project review stage in specific areas of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.Footnote1 At the time of publication the Department has received 100 climate lens assessments, and is expected to receive up to 50 more in the coming months. The Department is also supporting the National Research Council with the development of new building codes, specifications, guidelines and assessment tools such as the Climate-Resilient Buildings and Core Public Infrastructure Project.

To address the rapidly changing climate in northern communities, Infrastructure Canada also supports the development of standards and codes to ensure the resilience of northern infrastructures (Northern Infrastructure Standardization Initiative, NISI). These standards are now being incorporated into local building guidance and land use planning measures to help increase climate resilience and build safer, longer-lasting, infrastructure in the North.

Greening Government

The Government of Canada is supporting climate action and sustainability in its government operations by transitioning to low-carbon and climate-resilient operations, while also reducing environmental impacts beyond carbon. The government commits to: Low-carbon, sustainable, and climate resilient real property; Low-carbon mobility and fleet; Climate resilient assets, services, and operations; and Green goods and services.

As a department, Infrastructure Canada supports the Government of Canada's transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient operations, while also reducing environmental impacts beyond carbon.

Infrastructure Canada has invested in modernizing its small fleet by using low-carbon mobility vehicles. The Department encourages its employees to use climate-resilient assets, services, and operations as well as green goods and services that take sustainability into consideration. When COVID-19 stroke, Infrastructure Canada was finalizing the retrofit project of its employees' workstations and meeting spaces to the Workplace 2.0 format. Since then, additional actions have been taken to ensure a safe return to work of the employees wishing to do so. The Department is also ensuring that its key officials received the necessary training to support green procurement and/or materiel management to advance environmental considerations in procurement activities.

Also of note, thanks to Infrastructure Canada's mobility strategy, all its employees have access to mobile devices (tablets and laptops). The strategy has allowed them to connect as easily from home as at the office, which has allowed for an easy transition and increased flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. When employees are not commuting to and from work, it is helping to reduce GHG emissions.

Clean Energy

Infrastructure Canada is also supporting the goal of Clean Energy, notably by investing in infrastructure projects that support clean energy. For example, the Department is promoting public transit projects that replace rolling stock by using light rail transit systems or that are evolving their rolling stock from fuel to more electric powered machines, providing for environmentally friendly transit systems.

Infrastructure Canada's funding programs also support investments in green infrastructure such as electricity generation from renewable sources (i.e. hydro-electricity or wind turbines power).  These types of projects reduce our reliance on fossil fuels for energy, resulting in reduced greenhouse gas emissions and cleaner air.

Through the Clean Power Fund (December 2019 Infrastructure Canada's Minister Mandate Letter), the Canada Infrastructure Bank will help finance the development and linking of clean energy to transmission systems and to support the transition of northern, remote and Indigenous communities from reliance on diesel-fueled power to clean, renewable and reliable energy through its new $5 billion clean power priority area. This new priority area is in addition to the existing green infrastructure area and would allow for federal investments in the transmission lines included in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The focus of this new area would cover investments in renewable energy, connected electricity grids, energy storage infrastructure, interties and transmission lines.

Section 3: Commitments for Infrastructure Canada

Modern and Resilient Infrastructure iconModern 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 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)
Target(s)
Program(s) in which the departmental actions will occur

By the end of 2027-28 fiscal year, invest $26.9 billion in funding for green infrastructure initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve climate resilience and environment quality

Work with partners on green infrastructure

Amended Integrated Bilateral Agreements with the Provinces and Territories to temporarily expand eligibility under 3 of 4 original streams to continue delivering the Investing in Canada Plan in response to pandemic. Two of the changes are targeting green infrastructure:

TRANSIT & GREEN: Pathways and active transportation infrastructure

Portion of the funding from the Investing in Canada Plan (delivered through Integrated Bilateral Agreements with Provinces and Territories) is dedicated to Green Infrastructure, including GHG mitigation, adaptation, resilience and disaster mitigation and environmental quality.

Amounts contributed each year will show progress made on green infrastructure.

Please note that the whole picture won't be known before all the programs and project are completed.

Related to SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation and SDG 13 – Climate Action.

Starting points:

  • $11.06 billion (federal share, as of June 2020)

Performance indicators:

  • Value of green infrastructure projects approved under the Investing in Canada plan (federal share, Target: $26.9 billion by 2027-28)

INFC responsibility – Program Operations ‑ Program Integration:

  • Investing in Canada Plan

INFC responsibility – Policy and Results (Horizontal initiatives):

  • Investing in Canada Plan

Starting points:

  • 2005 GHG level

Performance indicators:

  • Percentage change in total GHG emissions generated from energy, building, transportation, and waste sectors (National targetFootnote2: Reduce total national GHG emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. Target to be achieved by March 31, 2028)

INFC responsibility – Program Operations ‑ Program Integration:

  • Investing in Canada Plan

INFC responsibility – Policy and Results (Horizontal initiatives):

  • Investing in Canada Plan

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

The $2 billion, merit-based Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund was launched in May 2018 to help reduce the vulnerability of communities or public infrastructure to the adverse effects associated with a changing climate and extreme weather events.

Amounts contributed each year will show progress made on green infrastructure.

Environmental quality is improved, GHG emissions are reduced and resilience of communities is increasedFootnote3
Related to UN SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation and to UN SDG 13 – Climate Action

Starting point:

  • 3.33% in 2016-17

Performance indicator:

  • Percentage of municipalities that built or enhanced their capacity to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to climate change as a result of federal funding (Target: Increased community resilience by 4.3%, to be achieved by March 31, 2021)

INFC responsibility – Communities and Rural Economic Development:

  • Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF)

Statistic Canada responsibility:

  • Canada's Core Public Infrastructure Survey (CCPI) responsibility – Actual data for 2018 will not be available until December 2020

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

Communities will have access to safe water through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund which provides short-term funding to improve the state of good repair, system optimization, and planning for future upgrades to water and wastewater systems.

Environmental quality is improved, GHG emissions are reduced and resilience of communities is increased.

Related to UN SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation, and to UN SDG 13 – Climate Action

Starting points:

  • Eligible water and wastewater projects (Target for March 31, 2020 was 202)
  • Drinking water system (7.8% in 2018-19)
  • Wastewater system (7.8% in 2018-19)

Performance indicator:

  • Number of completed water and wastewater infrastructure projects (Target: 202 to achieve by March 31, 2021)
  • Percentage of municipalities that built or enhanced their drinking water system as a result of federal funding (Target: At least 4.3% by March 31, 2021)
  • Percentage of municipalities that built or enhanced their wastewater treatment system as a result of federal funding (Target: At least 3.4% to achieve by March 31, 2021)

INFC responsibility – Program Operations Program Integration:

  • Investing in Canada – Phase 1 – Funding for Provinces and Territories: Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF)

INFC responsibility – Program Operations:

  • Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP-Green Infrastructure)
  • Investing in Canada – Phase 1 – Funding allocation for Provinces and Territories: Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF)

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

Communities have increased asset management capacity owing to the Municipal Asset Management Program (MAMP) that is delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (to support improved asset management and data collection for greater evidence-based decision making on infrastructure investments).

Related to UN SDG 13 – Climate Action

Starting points:

  • 1.92% in 2016-2017

Performance indicators:

  • Percentage of municipalities who practice asset management (Target: 68%, to achieve by March 31, 2028)
  • Percentage of Canadian municipalities with improved asset management practices as a result of federal fundingFootnote4  (Target: at least 2.5%, to achieve by March 31, 2021; 30-40% to achieve by March 31, 2025)

INFC responsibility – Communities and Rural Economic Development:

  • Investing in Canada Phase I – Funding for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities - MAMP

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

Multiple programs such as the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (formerly known as the Capacity Building for Climate Change Challenge), as well as ICIP-Green Infrastructure stream allow municipalities to implement initiatives to help them reduce GHGs and/or improve their climate change resilience.

Percentage of municipalities receiving funding from Infrastructure Canada each year will show progress made on green infrastructureFootnote5.

Related to UN SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation and to UN SDG 13 – Climate Action.

Starting point:

  • 3.5% of Municipalities built or enhanced their capacity to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to climate change as a result of federal funding in 2018-19

Performance indicator:

  • Percentage of Canadian municipalities with improved low carbon and resilience practices as a result of federal fundingFootnote6  (Target: 15% by the end of the program – to be achieved by March 31, 2022)
  • Percentage of municipalities that built or enhanced their capacity to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to climate change as a result of federal funding (Target: At least 4.3% to be achieved by March 31, 2021)
  • Number of tons of GHG emission expected to be reduced through program funded initiatives as a result of plans, studies, operational changes and pilot projectsFootnote7 [Target: 146,000 tons (one time total) and 1.02 million tons (cumulative), to achieve by March 31, 2022]

INFC responsibility – Program Operations ‑ Program Integration:

  • Investing in Canada – Phase 1 – Funding for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities: Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (MCIP)
  • Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP - Green Infrastructure)

INFC responsibility – Communities and Rural Economic Development:

  • Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF)

FCM responsibility:

  • Track self-assessment of municipalities on their progress made through Climate Adaptation Readiness Scale
  • Track qualitative data on capacity development (to advance in climate mitigation – as per contract agreement with municipalities)

INFC responsibility – Policy and Results (horizontal initiatives):

  • Investing in Canada Plan

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

Responsible Minister: All ministers

Greening Government
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)
Target(s)
Program(s) in which the departmental actions will occur

Our administrative fleet will be comprised of at least 80% zero-emission vehicles by 2030

Fleet management will be optimized including by applying telematics to collect and analyze vehicle usage data on vehicles scheduled to be replaced

Modernize our fleet to ensure that its size is commensurate with the Department's operational needs.

Reduce the Department's carbon footprint by maintaining a fleet of only zero-emission or plug-in hybrids vehicles.

By maintaining a fleet of only zero-emissions or plug-in hybrid vehicles, INFC will ensure that its fleet is comprised of 100% zero-emissions vehicles by 2030.

Related to UN SDG 13 – Climate Action

Starting point:

  • Percentage of fleet that is ZEV was 50% in 2018-19.

Indicator:

  • Percentage of fleet that is ZEV or plug-in hybrid (Target: 100% of fleet is ZEV or plug-in hybrid by March 31, 2030)

INFC responsibility – Corporate Services - Procurement

Actions supporting the Goal: Greening Government

Support for green procurement will be strengthened, including guidance, tools and training for public service employees.

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

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.

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.

By ensuring procurement specialists have completed the training, the Department will provide these employees with the necessary training and awareness to support green procurement.

Related to UN SDG 13 – Climate Action

Starting Point:

  • 100% of specialists in procurement and/or material management have completed the CSPS training on green procurement in 2019-20.

Indicator:

  • Percentage of specialists in procurement and/or materiel management who have completed CSPS training on green procurement. (Target: Maintain the 100% of specialists in procurement and/or materiel management who have completed CSPS training on green procurement each fiscal year)

INFC responsibility – Corporate services - Procurement

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

Ensure that managers and functional heads of procurement and materiel management have included support for the Government of Canada Policy on Green Procurement objectives in their annual 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.

By ensuring that managers and functional heads of procurement and materiel management include contribution to and support for the Government of Canada Policy on Green Procurement objectives in their annual performance management evaluations, the Department will advance environmental considerations in procurement activities.

Related to UN SDG 13 – Climate Action

Starting point:

  • The manager in procurement and material management's PMA included support and contribution towards green procurement in 2019-20.

Indicator:

  • Number and percentage of managers and functional heads of procurement and materiel management whose performance evaluations include support and contribution towards green procurement. (Target: Maintain 100%, to achieve by March 31, 2021)

INFC responsibility – Corporate Services - Procurement

Ensure that the Department is reducing its consumption of paper for printing and photocopying.

The Department will contribute to a low carbon economy by reducing consumption of paper for printing and photocopying.

Related to UN SDG 13 – Climate Action

Starting point:

  • Consumption of paper for printing and photocopying (starting point will be 2020-21 – new indicator).

Indicator:

  • From year to year, INFC will reduce its consumption of paper for printing and photocopying.  (Target: 5% reduction by March 31, 2021)

INFC responsibility – Corporate Services – Material Management

Effective Action on Climate Change iconEffective Action on Climate Change: A low-carbon economy contributes to limiting global average temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius and supports efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius

Responsible Minister: Minister of Environment and Climate Change; supported by a whole-of-government approach to implementation

Effective Action on Climate Change
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)
Target(s)
Program(s) in which the departmental actions will occur

By 2030, reduce Canada's total GHG emissions by 30%, relative to 2005 emission levels

Develop a solid base of scientific research and analysis on climate change

Research and Knowledge Initiative (RKI)

Support projects in research, knowledge-sharing, collaborations and partnerships to deepen understanding of infrastructure needs, challenges, and opportunities relevant to Canadians.

The Research and Knowledge InitiativeFootnote8 will:

  • Strengthen the evidence base for infrastructure issues;
  • Shed light on infrastructure needs, challenges and opportunities relevant to Canadians;
  • Generate new ideas and facilitate innovation in the infrastructure space to help better position Canada for the future;
  • Facilitate collaboration among infrastructure stakeholders
  • Contribute to robust policies and strategic decision-making that support long-term economic growth, a low carbon and green economy, and inclusive communities

Related to UN SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation and SDG 13 – Climate Action

Starting Point

Indicator:

  • Number of data, research or collaboration products (e.g., reports, studies, event proceedings, best practices and innovations) that have been completed and made available to the public that disseminate information about research outcomes as a result of the program (Target: TBD in 2020-2021)

INFC responsibility – Policy and Results
Research and Knowledge Initiative

INFC responsibility – Policy and Results (horizontal initiatives):
Investing in Canada Plan

Research and Knowledge Initiative (RKI)

Enhanced evidence base and strengthened knowledge on infrastructure and communities contribute to robust policies and strategic decision-making that support long-term economic growth, a low carbon and green economy, and inclusive communities

Indicator:

  • Number of RKI funded initiatives or projects that are ongoing (i.e. continuing to support the knowledge-sharing culture) beyond program completion (Target: TBD, to achieve by March 31, 2024)

Section 4: Integrating Sustainable Development

Since the publication of its 2017-2020 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy, Infrastructure Canada has further integrated sustainable development into its internal policy and operational processes.

While Infrastructure Canada continues its role as a convener on infrastructure issues (e.g., the Department is responsible for confirming that applicable risks, including environmental risks, have been considered by the asset owner and that mitigation measures have been taken to address those risks), we have clarified the federal roles and responsibilities in regards to the long-term vision outlining federal infrastructure priorities with provinces and territories through Integrated Bilateral Agreements. The department has also collaborated with Statistics Canada to develop and publish data from Canada's Core Public Infrastructure (CCPI) survey so that better information is now available to support evidence-based decision making about infrastructure investments.

In order to ensure that municipalities have the tools to practice asset management, Infrastructure Canada has provided funding to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to implement the Municipal Asset Management Program. The program provides municipalities with appropriate training and resources to become more sustainable and adapt to new weather extremes.

Additionally, investments made under the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund also support immediate clean water and wastewater projects that foster economic growth and support a cleaner and healthier environment for communities. These improvements to water and wastewater systems will benefit Canadian citizens and communities by improving reliability of water, storm water and wastewater treatment systems.

The Department has examined its own programming for opportunities that could maximize innovative mechanisms for program delivery and project funding.

Under the Investing in Canada Plan, the Smart Cities Challenge empowers communities to adopt a smart cities approach to improve the lives of their residents through the use of innovation, data, and connected technology. Infrastructure Canada works closely with communities to support their priorities including the alignment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals - making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable; and taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Launched in 2017, the Smart Cities Challenge received 130 eligible applications from 225 communities of all sizes across Canada. Many projects proposed addressed aspects of SDGs directly, and three of four winning projects announced in 2019 focus on aspects of sustainability, such as clean energy, a reduction in GHG emissions, transit emissions, and waste management. Moreover, all four winning projects broadly support social inclusion and address the social, economic, and psychological wellbeing of their residents. Improved socioeconomic outcomes are measured as an ultimate goal of the Smart Cities Challenge.

As another example, in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada, Infrastructure Canada is aiming to better support the use of state-of-the-art infrastructure technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of existing assets. In addition, Infrastructure Canada is ensuring that programs such as DMAF, provide direct positive environmental effects over the medium to long term, such as improved water and wastewater systems, climate resilient infrastructure like flood mitigation systems, clean energy and infrastructure to protect against a changing climate.

Infrastructure Canada is committed to supporting sustainable development by considering environmental performance in its procurement decision-making process. Finally, the Department will continue to ensure that FSDS goals and targets are considered when performing an environmental analysis.