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Table: Sustainable Development Strategy

ACOA’s Sustainable Development Strategy 2007-2010 – Moving Forward on Sustainable Development responds to feedback from both external and internal consultations to promote the use of innovative eco-efficiency tools, practices and technologies, and to inform both the private sector and communities of the benefits of sustainable development (SD).

ACOA impacts sustainable development through:
         policies and programs that inform and fund private sector businesses;
         support for research and development that leads to commercialization of new technology;
         support to communities through infrastructure program funding; and
         the efficiency of its internal operations.

ACOA’s Sustainable Development Strategy 2007-2010 is available at:

ACOA’s SDS Goals: To raise awareness of the benefits of sustainable development and sustainable communities; to assist SMEs to identify ways to become more eco-efficient; and to ensure that SMEs and communities are aware of the federal funding programs available to help them. The long-term target is to have more competitive, resource-efficient and sustainable businesses and communities in the region.

Federal SD Goal(s): Water; Clean air; Reduced greenhouse gas emissions; Sustainable communities; Sustainable development and use of natural resources; Strengthened federal governance and decision-making to support sustainable development.

Agency’s SDS Goal:
Priority 1 – Support to Business

Department’s Expected Results for 2007-2008

Supporting Performance Measures

Achieved SDS Departmental Results for 2007-2008

1.1 Increased awareness by SMEs of SD and its potential benefits to their organization.

     # of sessions given
     # of SMEs attending sessions
     # of SMEs receiving SD reviews/audits

Ten Sustainable Development Workshops have been held throughout Atlantic Canada, with 180 participants. These workshops were funded by ACOA and provided by the Eco-Efficiency Centre.

In Nova Scotia, ACOA is one of the funding partners in the Eco-Efficiency Business Assistance Program, which is aimed at SMEs within the manufacturing and processing sector with less than 500 employees. It is designed to increase awareness of pollution prevention and eco-efficiency and to stimulate implementation of cost-efficient opportunities related to environmental issues. To date, the program has consulted with 46 companies and identified annual savings in excess of $4.4 million. Furthermore, the program has 23 consultants from nine firms now registered to conduct assessments under the program.

In New Brunswick, ACOA has supported a pilot project in partnership with Enterprise Fredericton called the Sustainable Business Initiative (SBI).  This initiative will encourage SMEs to adopt environmentally friendly practices by stimulating the integration of eco-efficiency and pollution prevention initiatives into their daily operations. Ten SMEs received sustainable development reviews/audits under this initiative. By implementing the recommendations of expert consultants, the SMEs will reduce their costs of production and thereby improve both their productivity and competitiveness. 

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Agency has provided funding to the Newfoundland Environmental Industries Association to carry out activities that create awareness of sustainable development.

The Agency continues to promote and recognize SMEs in its funding determination, where the entrepreneurs will be undertaking projects that have a positive sustainable component.

1.2 Increased awareness by stakeholders of the importance of their involvement in providing SD services to SMEs

         # of information sessions with stakeholders

Information sessions for stakeholders will be held in 2008-2009.

1.3 Improved access to SD government programs and services

         # of information sessions
         # of federal partners who participate in sessions

Information sessions for project officers on government programs and services will be held in 2008-2009.

1.4 SMEs implement/adopt SD practices and /or technologies

         # of SMEs (ACOA clients) undertaking sustainable development practices in their operations
         # of SMEs adopting/developing new technologies

This initiative is ongoing as ACOA will follow up with SMEs that have participated in the workshops and the SBI in order to measure the adoption of SD practices and/or technologies.

Agency’s SDS Goal:
Priority 2 – Support to Communities

2.1 Awareness of opportunities for community sustainable development

         # of information sessions

Information sessions for community development partners will be held in the coming year.

2.2 Improved, sustainable community infrastructure

         # of green infrastructure projects

The Agency has implemented the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (MRIF) and Canadian Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF) programs on behalf of Infrastructure Canada. A total of 56 projects were approved under the MRIF and three under the CSIF.  Investments in green infrastructure will continue with the new suite of programs contained under the Building Canada Fund. These agreements will apply significant amounts of funding, in conjunction with provincial and municipal partners, to green infrastructure projects.

2.3 Sustained community partnerships/collaboration to explore/develop/capitalize on SD opportunities

         # of collaborations in community development planning and implementation
         $ leveraged on community development projects/investments

Collaboration in community development planning and implementation is ongoing.


Agency’s SDS Goal:
Priority 3 – Awareness and Capacity Building

3.1 Provinces and other federal government departments/
agencies are aware of ACOA’s vision for SD in Atlantic Canada

         # of presentations delivered/documents provided or presented

No progress to date.

3.2 Coherent approach to achieving federal SD priorities by federal departments in Atlantic Canada

         # of partnerships established through sub-committees

No progress to date.

Agency’s SDS Goal:
Priority 4 – Setting an Example

4.1  Staff are aware/
knowledgeable of how they can/should contribute to ACOA’s SDS and the importance of their contribution

         # of workshops/training sessions offered
         Communications plan established
         # of SD communications products developed and distributed
         # of visits to ACOA’s SD intranet site
         # of incremental SD practices
         # of SD committees established

Ten information sessions have been held throughout the Atlantic provinces. These include presentations of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, the film Crude Awakenings, sessions on Sustainability and Atlantic Canadian Businesses, sessions on backyard composting, energy consumption and an Efficiency New Brunswick information session. ACOA’s Head Office in Moncton, New Brunswick, held an Environmental Fair as part of an awareness activity. In Newfoundland and Labrador, ACOA is piloting a project to measure the environmental footprint of individual staff members. This is ongoing, as a survey has been developed and results will be available in 2008-2009. The establishment of a communications plan for the Agency is ongoing. Regional Sustainable Development Committees have been re-established and are active in implementing activities to increase staff awareness.

4.2 Staff are aware of the SD programs and services available to ACOA clients

         # of information sessions held
         # of staff attending sessions

Information sessions to staff on SD programs and services available to ACOA clients has yet to be accomplished.

4.3 Increased senior management commitment to SD

         The corporate work plan and all regional work plans contain SD activities
         Human and financial resources allocated to SD

SD has been incorporated into the annual planning cycle and the Agency’s program activity workplans include a SD consideration. 

4.4 Emphasize green procurement

         % of remanufactured cartridges purchased
         # of existing supplies replaced by green products
         # of energy efficient equipment purchased

In New Brunsiwck, ACOA’s offices are piloting a project for the Agency in the procurement of remanufactured toners for printers and photocopiers. All office equipment purchased during this period has been energy efficient. The procurement officers have participated in the mandatory training from the Canada School of public Service (CSPS) that features content on the Government of Canada’s Policy on Green Procurement. Office practice is to purchase green products when they are available. Identification methods have been developed to capture the purchase of green products

4.5  Purchase of hybrid or fuel efficient vehicles

         % of hybrid and energy efficient vehicles of total fleet

Hybrid vehicles comprise 63% of the Agency’s fleet.  All replacement vehicles or new vehicles purchased have been hybrids or alternative fuel vehicles.  The target of 75% has yet to be achieved.

4.6  Reduce amount of energy consumed in offices

         # of landlords with whom negotiations have been initiated
         # and types of energy reduction measures implemented

In order to reduce the amount of energy consumed in the offices all the IT equipment purchased are identified as “Green Products” Standing Offer.