2020 to 2023 Short-form Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

Name of department Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)
Date January 2020

The Federal Sustainable Development Act , 2008 defines sustainable development as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Tabled on June 19, 2019, the 2019–2022 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) is the Government of Canada’s primary vehicle for sustainable development planning and reporting and outlines what the federal government will do to promote clean growth, ensure healthy ecosystems, and build safe, secure and sustainable communities.

The FSDS sets out sustainable development priorities, establishes goals and targets, and identifies actions to achieve them, as required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act.

Although CanNor is not bound by the Federal Sustainable Development Act and is not required to develop a full departmental sustainable development strategy, CanNor adheres to the principles of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) and is a voluntary contributor to it by supporting 3 of its 13 objectives.

CanNor also complies with the Policy on Green Procurement which supports the Government of Canada’s effort to promote environmental stewardship. In keeping with the objectives of the policy, CanNor supports sustainable development by integrating environmental performance considerations into the procurement decision making process through the actions described in the 2019 to 2022 FSDS "Greening Government" goal.


As a voluntary contributor to the 2019 to 2022 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) and given its mandate related to supporting economic development in the territories, CanNor has committed to support 3 of the 13 goals established under the 2019-22 FSDS:

FSDS Goal: Clean Growth

  • The FSDS 'Clean growth’ goal, which is implemented through federal activities dedicated to the growth of a clean technology industry for the purposes of supporting clean growth (i.e. growing the economy while reducing the environmental pollution associated with this growth) and the transition to a low-carbon economy (i.e. an economy transitioning toward a more efficient use of energy and lower-pollution) .
  • Advance the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework:
    • By developing, in collaboration with territorial and Indigenous governments, a Pan-Territorial Growth Strategy to stimulate sustainable and diverse economic growth in Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. This Strategy will help advance the economic elements of Arctic and Northern Policy Framework in the three territories.
  • Invest in clean technologies:
    • By supporting the development, demonstration, commercialization, deployment, adoption and export of technologies that reduce environmental impacts by implementing clean technology commitments in the Innovation and Skills Plan and the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
    • By leveraging regional strengths and help to improve competitiveness and environmental performance in sectors such as energy, mining, building, and waste management.
  • Promote Canadian firms as world leaders in clean technologies:
    • By collaborating with territorial governments to support Canadian clean technology.
    • By continuing to promote Canadian companies through the new International Business Development Strategy for Clean Technology.

FSDS Goal: Sustainable Food

  • The 'Sustainable food’ goal, which is implemented through federal activities that leverage innovation and ingenuity for the purposes of developing a Canadian world-leading agricultural sector and food economy for the benefit of all Canadians.
  • Increase access to and availability of nutritious foods:
    • By providing support to increase access to perishable (i.e. fresh and non-processed) nutritious food for Northerners living in isolated communities.
    • By providing support to increase access to and availability of nutritious foods in isolated northern communities to make healthier food choices easier.

FSDS Goal: Greening government

  • The 'Greening government’ goal, which is implemented through Government of Canada efforts to:
    • lower carbon emissions associated with government operations including (but not limited to) government buildings, procurement and vehicle fleets;
    • increase its climate resiliency (i.e. reducing the risks that climate change may pose to government assets, services and operations); and
    • green its operations (i.e. make them less polluting).
  • By supporting the 2019-22 FSDS 'Greening government’ objective, which is supported by a broad spectrum of actions such as reducing green house gas emissions from federal government facilities and vehicle fleets, reducing non- hazardous operational waste, integrating climate change adaptation analysis into its assets planning and operations, eliminating single-use plastic in government operations as well as the procurement of green goods and services.
Integrating sustainable development

CanNor integrates green procurement practices into its operations and complies with the Policy on Green Procurement. The Agency is committed to the use of information and communication technologies to reduce the impact of the geographic distance between its offices while also reducing some of the environmental impacts arising from its operations.

New funding programs launched in 2018 and 2019 that focus on business growth and regional innovation ecosystems will continue to have positive and broad socio-economic outcomes across all regions, including in three environmental areas (effective action on climate change; clean growth; and clean energy).

The Northern Isolated Communities Initiative (NICI) launched in 2019 supports food security in Northern and Indigenous communities by helping to strengthen and support Indigenous and northern food systems in Canada’s North, reducing food insecurity, and seeking out creative solutions to food challenges across Canada’s North. This initiative will also support investments in northern small- to medium-enterprises, territorial governments, and community organizations pursuing food security related initiatives.

CanNor also contributes to the overall objectives of 2019-22 FSDS through its Northern Projects Management Office. This office is part of a larger Government of Canada commitment to creating a more effective and efficient northern regulatory system that encourages increased investment in sustainable resource development while enhancing environmental protection, integrating Indigenous Knowledge and respecting the rights of Indigenous peoples.

CanNor will continue to ensure that its decision-making processes include consideration of FSDS goals and targets through its Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process. SEAs for policy, plan or program proposals include an analysis of the impacts on the environment, including on FSDS goals and targets.

Public statements on the results of CanNor's SEAs are released when an initiative supported by a SEA is announced (News Releases and Statements). The purpose of the public statement is to demonstrate that the environmental effects, including the impacts on achieving the FSDS goals and targets of the approved policy, plan or program have been considered during proposal development and decision-making.

CanNor will consider the environmental effects of initiatives subject to the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, as part of its decision-making processes. CanNor does not directly develop any initiatives that require a SEA, as recipients of CanNor funding are responsible for conducting environmental assessments.

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