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Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

NSERC is subject to the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. However, during the 2013-14 reporting cycle, NSERC did not have any proposals requiring the approval of cabinet. Thus, NSERC has a nil report on the strategic environmental effects on the 2013-16 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy goals and targets in [Theme(s) I – Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality; II – Maintaining Water Quality and Availability; III – Protecting Nature and Canadians], and the 2010-13 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy goals for Theme IV – Shrinking the Environmental Footprint – Beginning with Government].

NSERC is bound by the Policy on Green Procurement but not by the Federal Sustainable Development Act.

Greening Government Operations

Green Procurement Reporting for Departments and Agencies bound by the Policy on Green Procurement (PGP) but not the Federal Sustainable Development Act (FSDA)

In compliance with Section 7 of the Policy on Green Procurement (PGP), it is mandatory for all departments and agencies bound by the policy to plan and report on their green procurement initiatives even if they are not bound by the Federal Sustainable Development Act (FSDA).


NSERC acquires and manages its major assets through the Common Administrative Services Directorate (CASD). The Chief Financial Officer and Vice-President of CASD has been mandated to address aspects of the Policy on Green Procurement.

i. Approach

A key element of NSERC's approach to setting and meeting green procurement targets is to continue to leverage Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) procurement instruments, which are designed to meet federal government green procurement standards. For a small agency like NSERC, it is more effective to leverage the benefits of these existing green procurement instruments.

In addition, NSERC's strategy for maximizing green procurement for fiscal year 2013-14, emphasized staff awareness and training to key personnel, and included green procurement objectives in the employee performance evaluation of key decision makers. As part of the organizational business transformation initiatives, NSERC decentralised the purchasing of office supplies and introduced an Acquisition Card Program.

ii. Management Processes and Controls

NSERC used PWGSC procurement instruments as its primary procurement mechanism.

All contracting documents included a clause addressing environmental considerations in the performance of the work required.

iii. Specific Targets

  • NSERC has maintained a reduction in paper usage by making double sided printing mandatory and by increasing the use of online submissions and of electronic distribution of procurement documents.
  • Stationary and office supplies were targeted to ensure that, whenever feasible, purchase was made from PWGSC green standing offers. Environmentally preferable alternatives were identified using the Standing Offers in the "Recycled" and "Environmental Considerations" columns.

In addition, NSERC has taken the following steps toward greening government operations:

  • Promoted the usage of established standing offers for goods and furniture that supports the Green Procurement Policy;
  • Encouraged employees to reuse and recirculate unneeded or unused office supplies;
  • Promoted the use of video conferencing equipment as an alternative to travel allowing NSERC to reduce its carbon footprint;
  • NSERC continued to ensure that surplus electronic and electrical waste (e.g., computer equipment and electrical wiring) were handled in an environmentally appropriate manner. For example, whenever possible, re-use strategies were considered. This included donation to the Industry Canada Computers for Schools Program. NSERC disposes of electronic waste according to the requirements of the Federal Electronic Waste Strategy;
  • The decentralisation of the purchasing of office supplies and the introduction of the Acquisition Card program provided for just in time procurement reducing the level of office supplies kept in inventory. It also provided for electronic invoicing and payments to the supplier which translated in a decrease in paper consumption;
  • During meetings, workshops and conferences, NSERC limited paper documentation provided to participants and implemented the guidelines in the Environment Canada Green Meeting Guide for hospitality services by avoiding the use of disposable dishes and single serve containers (e.g. bottled water) and by hosting meetings at hotels that possess an environmental rating for accommodations of four Green Keys;
  • The procurement and usage of approved eco-label cleaning products.

iv. Training

  • All existing indeterminate procurement and materiel management functional staff have taken the Canada School of Public Service Course 215 on Green Procurement as part of the current on-boarding program. The training has been integrated in the training curriculum and is now part of the onboarding program for procurement specialists.
  • Internal awareness on Green procurement was raised with key stakeholders involved with acquisitions during assessment meetings. In addition, procurement staff regularly provide information to managers on green procurement options available through PWGSC procurement tools.
  • Management has increased staff awareness of environmental practices, such as limiting the number of printed copies of documents and using two-sided printing and copying.

v. Performance Evaluation

The manager Procurement, Contracts and Materiel Management and the procurement staff have an objective included in their performance management agreement or objectives to ensure environmental considerations are taken into account in all procurement activities.

vi. Meeting Targets

Green procurement strategies will be reviewed at mid-year to ensure that they are on track for achievement by the end of fiscal year.