Language selection

Search

2020-2023 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

Executive Summary

The Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) sets out the Government of Canada's sustainable development priorities, establishes goals and targets, and identifies actions to achieve them. The 2019-2022 FSDS outlines what the Government of Canada will do to promote clean growth, ensure healthy ecosystems, and build safe, secure, and sustainable communities over the next three years. Departments and agencies across government contribute to implementing the strategy and achieving results. The Federal Sustainable Development Act requires federal organizations to prepare their own strategies that comply with, and contribute to, the FSDS, within one year of the FSDS being tabled in Parliament.

This Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS) describes Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's objectives and plans for sustainable development appropriate to its mandate. It articulates the Department's contributions to the goals and targets of the FSDS, as well as the application of strategic environmental assessments. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will contribute directly through its DSDS to three of the thirteen goals of Canada's 2019-2022 FSDS: Effective Action on Climate Change; Greening Government; and Sustainable Food.

Section 1: Introduction to the 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. In keeping with the purpose of this Act to provide the legal framework for developing and implementing a FSDS that will make environmental decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada supports the goals laid out in the FSDS through the activities described in this Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS).

Section 2: Sustainable Development Vision and Context in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The overall vision of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is to drive innovation and ingenuity to build a world-leading agricultural and food economy for the benefit of all Canadians. The Department provides leadership in the growth and development of a competitive, innovative, and sustainable Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector from the farmer to the consumer, and from the farm to global markets.

Agriculture is a shared jurisdiction in Canada and the Department works closely with provincial and territorial governments in the development and delivery of policies and programs, as well as with portfolio organizations, other government departments, and industry stakeholders. Departmental actions affect the entire value chain for farm, food, and bio-based products, through all phases of producing, processing, and marketing. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's collaborative efforts help create the conditions for the long-term profitability, adaptability, and sustainability of the agriculture and agri-food sector.

Part of this work is undertaken through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Launched in 2018, the Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion federal, provincial, and territorial policy framework that guides investments to strengthen the sector. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada delivers $1 billion in federal programs under the Partnership, and supports the delivery of cost-shared programs, which are designed and delivered by provincial and territorial governments to address the needs of their jurisdictions. Within the $2 billion of cost-shared programs and activities, an estimated allocation of up to $436 million has been made available to address environmental sustainability and climate change issues. The Partnership targets key priorities for the growth of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector, including innovation, competitiveness, trade, and environmental sustainability.

This DSDS presents Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's commitments in support of achieving targets under the government-wide sustainable development goals of the FSDS. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food holds accountability for three of those federal goals:

The Department contributes to Effective Action on Climate Change as part of a whole-of-government approach to implementation. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food shares responsibility with all other Ministers for the Greening Government goal, and is specifically responsible for two targets under the Sustainable Food goal.

The following sections explain linkages between the Department's work and the overarching federal direction under these goals, including by highlighting key initiatives. More detailed information on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's contributions to these goals is provided in Section 3 of the Strategy.

FSDS Goal: Effective Action on Climate Change

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Tackling climate change is critical for the environment and the economy. Canadian farmers have always been responsible stewards of the land, and can be important contributors to climate change solutions. Through improved management practices, the agriculture sector has the potential to support Canada's greenhouse gas reduction commitments.

On December 9, 2016, Canada's First Ministers adopted the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which identifies collaborative federal, provincial, and territorial actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enable sustainable economic growth. Actions related to agriculture under the Pan-Canadian Framework include increasing stored carbon, generating bioenergy and bioproducts, and advancing innovation. Specific actions under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership focus on building sector capacity to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, protect the environment, and adapt to climate change by enhancing sustainable growth while increasing production. Canada's strengthened climate plan, announced on December 11, 2020, builds on continuing this work.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is committed to funding and conducting targeted research to increase knowledge of climate change relative to agriculture. Prioritizing research on climate change may accelerate the agriculture sector's ability to reduce the most significant greenhouse gas emissions, such as methane and nitrous oxide, primarily from cattle and fertilizer use. Building Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's science discovery capacity will also allow the Department to respond to agri-environmental challenges related to climate change adaptation. In addition, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada conducts targeted research to increase knowledge of agriculture's impact on water resources and enhance knowledge of nutrient management, to increase efficiency and lower the potential of water resource contamination.

The Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program, for example, supports projects that will create technologies, practices, and processes that are, and can be further adopted by farmers to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. These projects will also help farmers increase their understanding of how greenhouse gas emissions are connected to farming practices.

Currently, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada undertakes innovative research and development activities that contribute to the sustainable growth of the sector with climate change considerations in mind. These activities include supporting increasing resource and input use efficiency (for example, land, water, and nutrients), and developing beneficial management practices and precision agriculture technologies (variable rate irrigation and robotic feeding systems, for example). Department-led innovation and programming also play a significant role in enhancing the agriculture and agri-food sector's resilience to changing climatic conditions, such as increased risks from pests, drought, and flooding. This work also helps the sector to address issues related to water and soil conservation and development.

FSDS Goal: Greening Government

The federal government is committed to becoming a leader on climate change, and is taking action to ensure that it is doing its part while contributing to the broader economy-wide plan. The federal government is aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its buildings and fleets by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, with an aspiration to achieve that target by 2025. The federal government is also taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of waste in its buildings by diverting at least 75% of non-hazardous operational waste by weight from landfills by 2030.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is a large federal custodian representing almost 5% of scoped-in federal government greenhouse gas emissions. The Department's custodial portfolio is comprised of 1,501 buildings and 105,387 hectares of land (as of March 2019), including 20 key research centres with features such as laboratories, office areas, greenhouses, on-site test plots, barns, various outbuildings, and crop storage. Given the breadth of its facilities, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is well-positioned to continue making contributions to the Greening Government goal. The Department reduced its greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities and fleet by 37% as of 2018-19, relative to 2005-06, and it will continue to make efforts predominantly through improvements to the energy efficiency of its buildings, the modernization of its fleet, and the procurement of clean electricity. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will also take action to understand climate change impacts that could potentially affect departmental custodial assets and operations, as well as other greening operations initiatives, such as waste diversion.

FSDS Goal: Sustainable Food

Collective action by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and its partners contributes to an innovative agri-food and agriculture sector. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada promotes innovation and sustainable practices by assessing and reporting on the performance of the agriculture sector; conducting targeted research related to the impact of agriculture on climate change, soils, biodiversity and water; providing cost-shared funding to provinces and territories to support on-farm assessments of environmental risks and the adoption of effective mitigation measures; and leading initiatives under A Food Policy for Canada.

Introduced in Budget 2019, as a roadmap for a healthier, more inclusive, and more sustainable food system for Canada, the Food Policy was developed to help guide public, private, and non-profit sectors on food-related decisions and actions. It is a whole of government approach to improve collaboration among these sectors, and to help Canadians understand the impacts and the opportunities for change within the food system. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada-led initiatives include:

In addition, with over half of the value of Canadian agricultural production being exported, the growth of the sector is significantly influenced by increasing global demand for agricultural products, shifting consumer preferences, including for sustainable food, access to new and emerging markets, and continued access to existing markets. Nearly three quarters of Canada's agriculture and agri-food exports are destined for countries where Canada has a trade agreement that is signed or in force. Improving domestic and international market conditions helps the sector strengthen its competitiveness and contribute to growing the Canadian economy.

As part of this work, the Department will continue to assist the sector to take advantage of market opportunities and maintain or improve access to international markets, including through the negotiation and implementation of trade agreements, and by resolving or mitigating market barriers. This is aligned with broader government objectives to increase and diversify Canadian exports, and to grow Canada's agri-food exports to $75 billion annually by 2025. In addition, new thematic tables will be established to facilitate strategic industry-government collaboration on key priorities and issues facing the sector, such as the environment, including a Sustainability Table to be launched in 2020-21.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's contributions to the Sustainable Food goal also include specific initiatives. For instance, the Living Laboratories Initiative is an example of how the Department is approaching the challenges associated with sustainable development. This new collaborative approach to agricultural innovation brings farmers, scientists, and other partners together to co-develop, test, and monitor new practices and technologies in a real life context. The ultimate benefit will be more practical technologies and sustainable farming practices adopted more quickly by Canadian farmers. A nationwide network of Living Laboratory sites is being developed to create innovative solutions to help the sector: adapt to and mitigate climate change; reduce water contamination; improve soil and water conservation; and maximize habitat capacity and biodiversity on agricultural landscapes.

In light of the global COVID-19 outbreak, departmental initiatives related to the Sustainable Food goal may evolve to address other emerging challenges or priorities. The Government of Canada is actively working to support producers, processors, and agri-food businesses during this pandemic and to ensure that Canadians continue to have access to high-quality and affordable food. For example, to help improve access to food for Canadians experiencing food insecurity due to COVID-19, the Government of Canada has made $100 million available to food banks and other national food rescue organizations under the Food Policy's Local Food Infrastructure Fund. Further updates in this and other areas will be provided, as applicable, through the AAFC 2021-22 Departmental Plan.

Section 3: Commitments for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Effective 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 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 Continue to fund the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program until March 31, 2021[1] which supports projects that conduct research and increase knowledge on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions in four key priority areas: livestock systems; cropping systems; agricultural water use efficiency; and agroforestry.

Research under this program will support an increased understanding and knowledge of the chemical, physical, and biological processes that lead to greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural systems into surface water, ground water, and the atmosphere. Developing a solid research base creates the foundation for Canada's agricultural sector to contribute to an overall reduction in Canada's greenhouse gas emissions.

Sustainable Development Goals:
SDG 2: Zero hunger
SDG 13: Climate action

Performance indicator:

Total number of peer-reviewed publications published under the current Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (2017-21)

Starting point:
48 as of 2018-19
Target:
Cumulative target of 140 by March 31, 2021

Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program
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 Conduct targeted research to increase knowledge of climate change relative to agriculture.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's scientific research addresses key challenges and opportunities facing agricultural production, and informs the development of departmental and broader government policies regarding adaptation to climate risk. The development of climate change research increases knowledge by the scientific community in the area of climate change mitigation and adaptation in agriculture.

Sustainable Development Goals:
SDG 2: Zero hunger
SDG 13: Climate action

Performance indicator:

The number of scientific articles related to climate change accepted for publication through an external peer-reviewed process

Starting point:
1,494 articles under the previous Growing Forward 2 policy framework (2013-18)

Target:
At least 1,200 additional articles under the current Canadian Agricultural Partnership policy framework (2018-23)

Foundational Science and Research
By 2030, reduce Canada's total GHG emissions by 30%, relative to 2005 emission levels Support businesses and Canadians in taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions Work with provinces and territories through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to build the capacity of Canada's agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector to encourage all aspects of the sector to adopt sustainable agricultural practices and beneficial management practices at farm and regional levels, with the central focus of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of climate change.

Programming under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership aims to increase the awareness and knowledge of beneficial management practices and climate change. It also aims to increase the adoption of practices and technologies to improve environmental performance, adapt to climate change, and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector.

Sustainable Development Goals:

  • SDG 2: Zero hunger
  • SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
  • SDG 13: Climate action

Performance indicators:

  • Number of environmental risk assessments (e.g., Environmental Farm Plans or equivalent) developed or updated
  • Number of on-farm beneficial management practices projects completed
  • Number of agri-food processor beneficial management practices projects completed

Starting points:
Starting points based on the 2018-19 fiscal year are as follows:

  • 8,117
  • 4,234
  • 14

Targets:
Cumulative targets to achieve by March 31, 2023 are as follows:

  • 11,885
  • 21,374
  • 94
Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Cost-shared Programming: Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change priority area

Other actions supporting the goal: Effective Action on Climate Change

This section is for departmental actions that support the Effective Action on Climate Change goal but do not directly support a FSDS target

Other Continue to implement the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program which promotes environmentally responsible agriculture and supports the development of approaches and tools that assist the agriculture sector in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.

The Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program supports projects that will create technologies, practices, and processes that can be adopted by farmers to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. These projects will also help farmers increase their understanding of how greenhouse gas emissions are connected to farming practices.

By making such information, practices and technologies available to farmers, the program will ultimately contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and other positive longer-term environmental impacts for Canada. In turn, this will support the Government of Canada's commitments to the environment and to climate change.

Sustainable Development Goals:
SDG 2: Zero hunger
SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
SDG 13: Climate action

Performance indicator:

Number of newly developed technologies and beneficial management practices demonstrated through field days and workshops

Starting point:
49 under the previous Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (2011-16)
Target:
50 additional by March 31, 2021 under the current Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (2017-21)

Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program

Other actions supporting the goal: Effective Action on Climate Change

This section is for departmental actions that support the Effective Action on Climate Change goal but do not directly support a FSDS target

Other

Develop a departmental climate action plan that outlines measures to mitigate climate change risks to department operations and programs, as a follow-up to the departmental climate change risk assessment completed in 2019. The action plan will address the following priority actions:

  • Assess climate change risks to departmental assets by 2021 (see associated adaptation target in the Greening Government section of this DSDS).
  • Further incorporate climate change into departmental processes through future risk management process and develop indicators for sector climate resilience in collaboration with partners.
  • Continue to assess climate change impacts on business risk management programs.
  • Enhance staff communication related to departmental climate risks.

Understanding climate change risks to departmental operations and programs will allow adaptation measures to be planned and implemented effectively. This will entail increased training and support on assessing climate change impacts, undertaking climate change risk assessments and developing adaptation actions for public service employees, and facilitating the sharing of best practices and lessons learned.

Sustainable Development Goals:
SDG 13: Climate action

Performance indicator:  
A climate action plan is developed to report and track progress on measures to reduce climate change risks to the department's areas of responsibility (programs and operations)

Starting point:
Departmental climate change risk assessment completed in 2019

Target:
By 2022, develop a departmental climate action plan

Internal Services
[1] The current Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program is ending on March 31, 2021 however program authorities for 2021-22 are pending approval. Targets will be updated in 2022.

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

Responsible Minister: All ministers

This goal captures commitments from the Greening Government Strategy, as well as reporting requirements under the Policy on Green Procurement.

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 in which the departmental actions will occur
Reduce GHG emissions from federal government facilities and fleets by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 (with an aspiration to achieve this target by 2025) and 80% below 2005 levels by 2050 (with an aspiration to be carbon neutral) All new buildings and major building retrofits will prioritize low-carbon investments based on integrated design principles, and life-cycle and total-cost-of ownership assessments which incorporate shadow carbon pricing

Explore options and initiate implementation of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Portfolio 2050 Carbon-neutral study.

Construct all new federal buildings (including build-to-lease and public-private partnerships), starting at the latest in 2022, to be net-zero carbon unless a lifecycle cost benefit analysis indicates net-zero carbon ready construction, and unless incremental central funding is unavailable for projects with costs exceeding what departments can support within existing reference levels.

Actions that reduce the demand for energy or switch to lower carbon sources of energy will lead to reductions in greenhouse gases from building operations.

Performance indicators:

Percentage change in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005-06 fiscal year (baseline) to current reporting fiscal year for:

  • Facilities
  • Fleet

Starting points:

  • 35.6% (59.3 ktCO2e) in 2018-19 relative to 2005-06 (92.0 ktCO2e) for facilities
  • 50% (4.1 ktCO2e) in 2018-19 relative to 2005-06 (8.2 ktCO2e) for fleet

Targets:

  • 40% by 2030-31 and 80% by 2050-51 relative to 2005-06 for facilities
  • 40% by 2030-31 and 80% by 2050-51 relative to 2005-06 for fleet
Internal Services
Reduce GHG emissions from federal government facilities and fleets by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 (with an aspiration to achieve this target by 2025) and 80% below 2005 levels by 2050 (with an aspiration to be carbon neutral) Departments will adopt and deploy clean technologies and implement procedures to manage building operations and take advantage of programs to improve the environmental performance of their buildings

Deploy clean technologies as part of undertaking building energy efficiency measures, striving to do so on a holistic facility-basis to achieve deeper greenhouse gas reductions, which may include heating, ventilation, and air conditioning building automation optimization retrofit projects for laboratory and office complexes, and building recommissioning.

Undertake facility manager energy training sessions, and increase employee awareness of energy conservation practices.

The deployment of clean technology as part of building energy efficiency projects will raise awareness about clean technology opportunities in the built environment including specialized buildings, and ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support more efficient production and consumption. Internal Services
Reduce GHG emissions from federal government facilities and fleets by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 (with an aspiration to achieve this target by 2025) and 80% below 2005 levels by 2050 (with an aspiration to be carbon neutral) Fleet management will be optimized including by applying telematics to collect and analyze vehicle usage data on vehicles scheduled to be replaced

Reduce carbon intensity through vehicle purchase and replacement (e.g., electric vehicles, hybrids, more fuel efficient vehicles), including by ensuring that 75% of new light-duty unmodified administrative fleet vehicle purchases, and all new executive vehicle purchases, will be zero-emission vehicles or hybrids.

Use telematics analysis to right-size fleet (number of vehicles, class of vehicles) and decarbonize on-road vehicles suitable for conversion from conventional fossil fuel to zero-emission vehicles and hybrids.

Promote behavior change (e.g., through anti-idling campaigns, driver training, increased pooling of vehicles, and reducing elective employee travel).

Augment infrastructure in support of plug-in electric vehicles.

Greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by reducing fuel consumption, by increasing usage of low-carbon transportation solutions, and by replacing conventional fossil-fueled vehicles over their lifetimes with zero-emission vehicles and hybrids. Internal Services
Divert at least 75% (by weight) of non-hazardous operational waste from landfills by 2030 Other

Track and disclose waste diversion rates by 2022 for applicable Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada custodial facilities.

Complete a pilot project at an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research center to optimize the reduction and diversion of waste, and develop lessons learned.

Implement waste reduction measures at custodial facilities on a priority basis, where services exist, where the quantity of waste warrants it, and as waste contracts are renewed.

Actions that reduce the generation of non-hazardous operational waste will help to reduce indirect Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions for the production, transport and disposal of material.

Diverting waste from landfill reduces landfill gas and transport hauling emissions.

Material recovery via recycling reduces emissions for the extraction and production of virgin materials.

Performance indicator:

Percentage of non-hazardous operational waste diverted (based on a rolling average of the mass of diverted waste, divided by the total mass of waste)

Starting point:
39% from fiscal years 2007-08 to 2016-17*

Target:
75% by 2030-31

*Based on annualized data from latest waste audits for the four Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada custodial facilities which meet the Treasury Board Secretariat reporting requirements

Internal Services
Divert at least 75% (by weight) of plastic waste from landfills by 2030 Other

Track and disclose plastic waste diversion rates by 2022 for applicable Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada custodial facilities.

Promote the elimination of unnecessary use of single-use plastics in departmental operations, events and meetings.

When procuring products that contain plastics, promote the procurement of sustainable plastic products, and the reduction of associated plastic packaging waste.

Actions that reduce the generation of plastic waste will help to reduce indirect Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions for the production, transport and disposal of material.

Diverting waste from the landfill reduces landfill gas and transport waste hauling emissions.

Material recovery via recycling reduces emissions for the extraction and production of virgin materials.

Performance indicator:

Percentage of plastic waste diverted (based on a rolling average of the mass of diverted plastic waste, divided by the total mass of plastic waste)

Starting point:
25% from fiscal years 2007-08 to 2016-17*

Target:
75% by 2030-31

*Based on annualized data from latest waste audits for the four Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada custodial facilities which meet the Treasury Board Secretariat reporting requirements

Internal Services
Divert at least 90% (by weight) of all construction and demolition waste from landfills (striving to achieve 100% by 2030) Other Track and disclose construction and demolition waste diversion rates by 2022 for applicable custodial infrastructure projects.

Actions that reduce the generation of construction and demolition waste will help to reduce indirect Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions for the production, transport, and disposal of material.

Diverting waste from the landfill reduces landfill gas and transport waste hauling emissions.

Material recovery via recycling reduces emissions for the extraction and production of virgin materials.

Performance indicator:

Percentage of construction and demolition waste diverted (based on the mass of diverted construction and demolition waste, divided by the total mass of construction and demolition waste, for applicable projects in a given fiscal year)

Starting point:
No starting point is available

Target:
90% by 2030-31, striving to achieve 100%

*Metrics follow Treasury Board Secretariat reporting requirements

Internal Services
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

Ensure that 75% of new light-duty unmodified administrative fleet vehicle purchases will be zero-emission vehicles or hybrids.

Ensure that all new executive vehicle purchases will be zero-emission vehicles or hybrids.

Greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by reducing fuel consumption, by increasing usage of low-carbon transportation solutions, and by replacing conventional fossil-fueled vehicles over their lifetimes with zero-emission vehicles and hybrids.

Performance indicators:

  • Percentage of annual administrative fleet purchases that are zero-emission or hybrid vehicles (where more than one option exists)
  • Percentage of zero-emission or hybrid vehicles in overall administrative fleet
  • Percent of annual executive vehicle purchases that are zero-emission or hybrid

Starting points:

  • 100% in 2018-19
  • 6% in 2018-19
  • No starting point is available

Targets:

  • 75% by 2020-21
  • 80% by 2030-31
  • 100% by 2020-21
Internal Services
By 2022, departments have developed measures to reduce climate change risks to assets, services and operations Increase training and support on assessing climate change impacts, undertaking climate change risk assessments and developing adaptation actions to public service employees, and facilitate sharing of best practices and lessons learned

Take action to understand the wide range of climate change impacts that could potentially affect departmental custodial assets and operations.

Develop measures to mitigate climate change risks to departmental custodial assets and operations.

Use climate change adaptation planning to inform long-term investment planning.

Factoring climate variability and change into operations is an important way the government can adapt to a changing climate. It is also consistent with the government's risk management approach of enhancing the protection of public assets and resources, and strengthening planning and decision-making.

Performance indicators and targets:

  • Climate change risk assessment of departmental custodial assets and operations completed by 2021
  • Measures are developed to reduce climate change risks to departmental custodial assets, and operations by 2022
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's next Five Year Investment Plan, expected in 2022, incorporates consideration of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures

Starting points:
No starting points are available

Internal Services
By 2022, departments have developed measures to reduce climate change risks to assets, services and operations By 2021, adopt climate-resilient building codes being developed by National Research Council Canada Integrate climate change adaptation into the design and construction of all major real property projects in conformance with applicable building codes. Early adoption of the codes in the construction of buildings demonstrates federal leadership in climate resilient buildings.

Performance indicator:
Percentage of major real property projects completed in the reporting year that conform to the applicable National Research Council Canada climate-resilient building codes in place at the design stage

Starting point:
No starting point is available

Target:
100% by 2020-21

Internal Services
Use 100% clean electricity by 2025 Other

Participate and support the Clean Electricity Procurement Initiative led by Public Services and Procurement Canada on behalf of federal departments and agencies.

Continue to procure 35% green electricity from renewable energy sources for Alberta facilities until at least December 2021.

The use of clean electricity eliminates greenhouse gas emissions in jurisdictions with emitting generation sources.

Performance indicator:

Percentage of clean electricity (based on electricity consumption from non-emitting sources, including renewable energy certificates, divided by the total electricity consumption in the fiscal year

Starting point:
73% in 2018-19 (provided by Treasury Board Secretariat based on 2017 provincial electricity grids)

Target:
100% in 2025-26

Internal Services

Actions supporting the goal: Greening Government

This section is for actions that support the Greening Government goal but do not directly support a FSDS target

Departments will use environmental criteria to reduce the environmental impact and ensure best value in government procurement decisions

Integrate environmental considerations into procurement management processes and controls.

Promote and leverage common use procurement instruments and tools that incorporate environmental considerations where available and feasible.

Green procurement incorporates environmental considerations into purchasing decisions and is expected to motivate suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of the goods and services they deliver, and their supply chains.

Performance indicators:

  • Percentage of procurement files reviewed by the Procurement Review Board that contemplated environmental considerations for applicable commodities in a given fiscal year
  • Inclusion of environmental considerations in procurements valued over $2 million

Starting points:

  • 42% in 2018-19 (based on submissions with a value of $100,000 or greater)
  • 100% in 2018-19 (only one file in 2018-19 was valued at over $2 million, and it incorporated green considerations)

Targets:

  • 50% in each fiscal year
  • 50% in each fiscal year
Internal Services

Actions supporting the goal: Greening Government

This section is for actions that support the Greening Government goal but do not directly support a FSDS target

Departments will use environmental criteria to reduce the environmental impact and ensure best value in government procurement decisions Ensure key officials include contribution to and support for the Policy on Green Procurement objectives in their performance evaluations. Green procurement incorporates environmental considerations into purchasing decisions and is expected to motivate suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of the goods and services they deliver, and their supply chains.

Performance indicator:
Number of functional heads (Director General and Director) of procurement and material whose performance evaluation includes support and/or contribution towards green procurement

Starting point:
Two positions (100%): Director General, Real Property and Asset Management, and Director, Material Management, in 2018-19

Target:
100% in each fiscal year

Internal Services

Actions supporting the goal: Greening Government

This section is for actions that support the Greening Government goal but do not directly support a FSDS target

Departments will use environmental criteria to reduce the environmental impact and ensure best value in government procurement decisions Maintain level of greenhouse gas emissions from departmental business-related travel (scoped to air travel only) to at least a 35% reduction until 2020-21 relative to 2005-06. Green procurement incorporates environmental considerations into purchasing decisions and is expected to motivate suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of the goods and services they deliver, and their supply chains.

Performance indicator:
Percentage reduction in business travel emissions, relative to 2005-06 fiscal year

Starting points:
60% reduction in 2018-19
(3.7 ktCO2e) relative to 2005-06 (9.2 ktCO2e)

Target:
Maintain at least 35% reduction until 2020-21 relative to 2005-06

Internal Services

Actions supporting the goal: Greening Government

This section is for actions that support the Greening Government goal but do not directly support a FSDS target

Departments will adopt clean technology and undertake clean technology demonstration projects

Explore opportunities to participate in the Innovation Solutions Canada Testing Stream.

Develop operational innovation proposals for the Greening Government Fund.

Incent, support, or procure state-of-the-art innovative clean technologies that lower the environmental footprint of government operations while contributing to the success of clean-tech businesses in Canada.

Performance indicators and targets:

  • Participation in Innovation Solutions Canada's Testing Stream if matching proposals exist, during 2020-23
  • Participation in Greening Government Fund initiative during 2020-23

Starting points:
No starting points are available

Internal Services

Actions supporting the goal: Greening Government

This section is for actions that support the Greening Government goal but do not directly support a FSDS target

Support for green procurement will be strengthened, including guidance, tools and training for public service employees Ensure decisions makers, material management and specialists in procurement have the necessary training and awareness to support green procurement. Green procurement incorporates environmental considerations into purchasing decisions and is expected to motivate suppliers to green their goods, services and supply chain.

Performance indicator:
Percentage of specialists in procurement (PG employees) who have completed training on green procurement, as of March 31 of each fiscal year

Starting point:
63% in 2018-19

Target:
65% in each fiscal year

Internal Services

Sustainable Food: Innovation and ingenuity contribute to a world-leading agricultural sector and food economy for the benefit of all Canadians

Responsible Minister: Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food; Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Sustainable Food
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 in which the departmental actions will occur

Actions supporting the goal: Sustainable Food

This section is for actions that support the Sustainable Food goal but do not directly support a FSDS target

Make healthier food choices easier Deliver the Local Food Infrastructure Fund which supports local food projects, such as those at food banks and community gardens across Canada, to provide at-risk populations, such as the less privileged and isolated communities, with improved access to healthy foods through investments in infrastructure.

As organizations make increased investments in local food infrastructure, their capacity to provide healthy and nutritious food to the most vulnerable populations will increase. This increase in capacity will lead to an increased availability of healthy and nutritious food within these communities across Canada.

Sustainable Development Goals:

SDG 2: Zero hunger

Performance indicator:

Number of small-scale (less than $50,000) and large-scale (greater than $50,000) infrastructure investments

Starting point:

Initiative was launched in June 2019. In 2019–20, 362 infrastructure investments were approved

Target:
1,630 (1,495 small investments + 135 large investments) – to be achieved by March 2024

Food Policy Initiatives
Make healthier food choices easier Deliver the Emergency Food Security Fund which provides funding to Canadian food banks and other national food rescue organizations to help improve access to food for people experiencing food insecurity in Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[1]

The funding will be used to purchase and distribute food and to hire workers where volunteers are unavailable and buy personal protective equipment to help keep workers, volunteers, and visitors at food banks and local food organizations safe.  This increase in funding will lead to an increased availability of healthy and nutritious food available during the pandemic.

Sustainable Development Goals:

SDG 2: Zero hunger

Performance indicator:

Number of local food service organizations that receive food or funding through the program

Starting point:
This is a new initiative launched in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of December 31, 2020, 3,220 local food organizations received food or funding

Target:
A target has not been set for this indicator

Food Policy Initiatives
  Make healthier food choices easier Deliver the Surplus Food Rescue Program which aims to move surplus food commodities, caused by COVID-19's significant disruption to the Canadian food system, to food banks and other food security organizations in communities across Canada.[2]

The program provides assistance to organizations serving vulnerable populations to acquire and process surplus commodities and food that would otherwise be lost or destroyed and distribute them to populations in need.

Sustainable Development Goals:

  • SDG 2: Zero hunger
  • SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production

Performance indicator:
Volume and value of excess food rescued

Starting point:
This is a new initiative launched in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of December 31, 2020, 7.3M kg of food totalling $38.4M has been rescued

Target:
A target has not been set for this indicator

Food Policy Initiatives

Actions supporting the goal: Sustainable Food
This section is for actions that support the Sustainable Food goal but do not directly support a FSDS target

Other Develop and launch the Food Waste Reduction Challenge which will accelerate the implementation of innovative and concrete actions to reduce food waste in Canada.

Issuing challenges will attract new ideas and resources for solving the complex problems of food waste in Canada. New collaborations among non-traditional partners and problem solvers will be developed, which will build capacity and facilitate the development of new innovations that help advance sustainability efforts by reducing and preventing food waste across the Canadian food supply chain. This will decrease greenhouse gas emissions and increase food availability. Not only will a winning innovative solution be identified, but each challenge will result in attracting multiple innovations that will help reduce food waste in Canada.

Sustainable Development Goals:
SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production

Performance indicator:
Number of challenges issued for innovative ideas to reduce food waste

Starting point:
This is a new initiative announced in June 2019

Target:
Minimum of one challenge issued by December31, 2020

Food Policy Initiatives
Actions supporting the goal: Sustainable Food
This section is for actions that support the Sustainable Food goal but do not directly support a FSDS target
Increase knowledge supporting sustainable agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture Conduct research to increase knowledge on the environmental effects of agriculture, including ways the sector can help protect the environment.

Scientific research undertaken by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, in collaboration with federal, provincial, and non-government organization partners, serves to make agricultural production more sustainable as scientific knowledge leads to the development of practices and processes that can be adopted in Canada. Conducting research thus contributes to the overall stability of agricultural working landscapes and their ability to sustain a high level of agricultural production by Canadian farmers.

Peer-reviewed publications can be viewed at Agricultural Research Results.

Sustainable Development Goals:

  • SDG 2: Zero hunger
  • SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production
  • SDG 15: Life on land

Performance indicator:
The number of scientific articles related to nutrient cycling, soil quality, and water resources/quality, that are accepted for publication through an external peer-reviewed process

Starting point:
The starting points based on the previous Growing Forward 2 policy framework (2013-18), are as follows:

  • Nutrient cycling: 600
  • Soil quality: 1,500
  • Water resources/quality: 2,000

Targets:
The targets to achieve under the current Canadian Agricultural Partnership policy framework (2018-23) are as follows:

  • Nutrient cycling: 600
  • Soil quality: 1,500
  • Water resources/quality: 2,000
Foundational Science and Research
Actions supporting the goal: Sustainable Food
This section is for actions that support the Sustainable Food goal but do not directly support a FSDS target
Other Establish fora to facilitate strategic industry-government collaboration on key environmental issues facing the sector, such as a Sustainability Table.

These collaborative fora will support the long-term resilience and sustainability of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector through engagement with members from the food value chain, including to inform departmental policies and programs that promote and support sustainable agriculture practices and agri-food products.

Sustainable Development Goals:

  • SDG 2: Zero hunger
  • SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production
  • SDG 15: Life on land

Performance indicator:
Frequency of meetings

Starting point:
Inaugural meeting of the Sustainability Table will take place in 2020

Target:
Six in-person meetings by March 31, 2023

Sector Engagement and Development
By 2030, support improvement in the environmental performance of the agricultural sector by achieving a score of 71 or higher for the Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability (reflecting the quality of the water, soil, air and biodiversity) Other Assess and report on the collective environmental impact of the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices by farmers on the Canadian landscape.

Regular reporting on the environmental sustainability of Canadian agriculture provides an indication of the overall stability of the agricultural working environment, which assesses nutrient management, as well as the quality of water, soil, air, and biodiversity.

Monitoring the agriculture sector's environmental sustainability helps federal, provincial, and non-government partners to assess whether their policies are effective in helping the sector take actions to minimize environmental risks, and use inputs efficiently.

Sustainable Development Goals:

  • SDG 2: Zero hunger
  • SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production
  • SDG 15: Life on land

Performance indicator:
Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability score

Starting point:
65 (based on 2011 data)

Target:
71 or higher by 2030*

*Data from specific indicator models will be available for industry and provinces to assess sustainability levels every year by 2023. Analysis of trends for indicator models will be available every two years beginning in 2023

See the Agri-Environmental Indicator Report Series – Report #4

Foundational Science and Research
Grow Canada's agri-food exports to $75 billion per year by 2025 Promote innovation and secure our position as a preferred agri-food supplier to high-value markets Track the value of agriculture and agri-food exports to measure the sector's contribution to Canada's economic growth.

Tracking the value of Canadian agriculture and agri-food exports will help assess the sector's ability to compete in the global marketplace and to efficiently respond to consumer and market trends for sustainable food. The Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector will be more innovative, resilient, competitive, and environmentally sustainable to help maintain access to existing markets and open new markets, creating opportunities for economic growth.

Sustainable Development Goals:

  • SDG 2: Zero hunger
  • SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production
  • SDG 15: Life on land

Performance indicator:
Value of agriculture and agri-food exports

Starting point:
$66.2 billion in 2018-2019

Target:
At least $75 billion by March 2025

Trade and Market Expansion
Grow Canada's agri-food exports to $75 billion per year by 2025 Promote innovation and secure our position as a preferred agri-food supplier to high-value markets Accelerate the demonstration, commercialization, and/or adoption of innovative agri-based products, technologies, processes, or services that increase the competitiveness and sustainability of the agriculture and agri-food sector, by continuing to fund the AgriInnovate Program.

This program is intended to address the financing gap present between moving agricultural, agri-food and agri-based research to commercialization, and to assist industry in mitigating the risk inherent in scaling-up products, processes, services, and technologies. This program supports agricultural, agri-food, and agri-based businesses in being innovative and sustainable, and strengthens their ability to compete in the global economy.

Sustainable Development Goals:

  • SDG 2: Zero hunger
  • SDG 3: Good health and well-being

Performance indicator:
Percentage increase in the dollar value of annual export revenues of participating firms

Starting point:
148% based on only nine participating firms reporting from 2015-19 under the previous program

Target:
168% by March 28, 2028 under the current AgriInnovate program 2018-23)

AgriInnovate
Grow Canada's agri-food exports to $75 billion per year by 2025 Promote innovation and secure our position as a preferred agri-food supplier to high-value markets Build the capacity of Canada's agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products sector to promote innovation through the generation and commercialization of new technologies.

Collective action by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and its federal, provincial, territorial, and non-government organization partners contributes to the overall stability of agricultural working environments and their ability to sustain a high level of agricultural production. This includes by providing programming support that promotes innovation through the generation and commercialization of new agriculture and agri-food technologies.

Sustainable Development Goals:

  • SDG 2: Zero hunger
  • SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth

Performance indicators:
The number of new technologies (products, practices, processes, and systems) that:

  • Are developed
  • Are assessed under research conditions
  • Are demonstrated on-farm or in-plant
  • Attain IP protection
  • Are utilized

Starting points:
Starting points based on the 2018-19 fiscal year are as follows:

  • 475
  • 410
  • 219
  • 97*
  • 213

Targets:
Cumulative targets to achieve under the current Canadian Agricultural Partnership policy framework (2018-23) are as follows:

  • 1,183
  • 735
  • 1,227
  • 72*
  • 1,300

*The five-year target for the number of new technologies attaining IP protection was surpassed in the first year of reporting.

Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Cost-shared Programming: Science, Research, and Innovation Capacity priority area
Grow Canada's agri-food exports to $75 billion per year by 2025 Promote innovation and secure our position as a preferred agri-food supplier to high-value markets Provide programming support to the provinces and territories through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to build the capacity of Canada's agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products sector to promote innovation by bringing awareness to new market opportunities through the development and dissemination of market intelligence.

Generic and customized information and intelligence supports the sector in assessing market opportunities. Capitalizing on market opportunities, including high-value market opportunities, is not only innovative but necessary in expanding the domestic and international market presence of Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector, and in securing Canada's position as a preferred agri-food supplier.

Sustainable Development Goals:

  • SDG 2: Zero hunger
  • SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth

Performance indicator:
Number of market information and intelligence products created, updated, or disseminated by type of Industry.

Starting point:
411 for the 2018-19 fiscal year

Target:
Cumulative target of 2,073 by 2022-23

Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Cost-shared Programming: Markets and Trade priority area

[1] As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, AAFC announced $200 million in emergency food programming ($100 million in April 2020 and an additional $100 million, of which $65 million is to be delivered through the Emergency Food Security Fund, in October 2020) and $50 million for a Surplus Food Rescue Program to support vulnerable Canadians experiencing food insecurity as a result of the pandemic. Additional performance indicators and targets have been added under the Local Food Infrastructure Fund and Surplus Food Rescue Program to reflect the specific objectives of the funding.

Section 4: Integrating sustainable development

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's mission statement – "to provide leadership in the growth and development of a competitive, innovative and sustainable Canadian agriculture and agri‐food sector" – identifies sustainability as a core attribute for the sector.

Agricultural production relies on the use of natural resources such as soil, water, and animal and plant biodiversity. Given this, achieving a sustainable agriculture and agri-food sector is a process of continuous improvement in the responsible use and management of agricultural resources along all points of the value chain, including producers, processors, and retailers. There is also a need to consider domestic and global agri-food markets. In response to growing global food demand, Canadian agricultural production is intensifying, increasing pressure on local resources. It is to the benefit of the sector to build and protect these resources, while translating market requirements into more sustainable choices for consumers.

Sustainable agriculture contributes to sector profitability by safeguarding the land's productive capacity now and into the future, and by reducing operating costs through increased efficiencies. It enhances the domestic and international reputation of the sector and producers as good stewards of the land and helps to both maintain access to existing markets, and open new markets, creating opportunities for growth. These outcomes are integral to the sustainability and competitiveness of the Canadian agriculture sector and support its important contribution to Canada's economy.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continues to work in collaboration with partners such as portfolio organizations, other government departments, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous communities and industry stakeholders to create conditions for the long-term profitability, adaptability, and sustainability of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector. In addition to the initiatives highlighted in previous sections of this Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy, some examples of departmental efforts that support sustainable development include:

Together, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's activities contribute to the goals of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS), as well as a number of broader intergovernmental sustainable development goals, such as the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, and the Canada-Ontario Lake Erie Action Plan.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is also responsible for implementing the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. To meet these requirements, the Department conducts strategic environmental assessments for departmental policy, plan, or program proposals, which includes an analysis of the impacts of the given proposal on the environment, as well as considering whether the outcomes of the proposals could affect any of the FSDS goals and targets. The process comprises three steps, applied progressively as warranted, as follows:

  1. Initial review – a review to determine whether there is any potential for environmental effects associated with the proposal, or whether a previously conducted assessment still applies;
  2. Preliminary scan – an assessment to determine whether important environmental effects, either positive or negative, including effects on the achievement of FSDS goals and targets, would result from the implementation of the proposal; and
  3. Detailed strategic environmental assessment – a more comprehensive analysis when important environmental effects are identified, including strategies to mitigate the negative, or enhance the positive, effects, or proposed measures to address any possible public and stakeholder concerns.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is committed to:

Report a problem on this page
Please select all that apply:

Date modified: