Sustainable Development

Sustainable development is about meeting the needs of today without compromising the needs of future generations. It is about improving the standard of living by protecting human health, conserving the environment, using resources efficiently and advancing long-term economic competitiveness. It requires the integration of environmental, economic and social priorities into policies and programs and requires action at all levels--citizens, industry, and governments. 

Federal Sustainable Development

Passing the Federal Sustainable Development Act in 2008 signaled a change in how the Government of Canada would fulfill its commitment to sustainable development. The Act called for a comprehensive approach representing all of government through a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) that is updated every three years. This approach, currently in its third cycle, presents new priorities for 2016–2019 that align with the 2030 Agenda, a set of global sustainable development goals. It reflects the government’s conviction that a clean environment, a strong economy and a good quality of life support one another.

What's new:

The draft 2016–2019 FSDS was released for public review and comment in February 2016.

Help us improve the draft strategy. We want to hear from the public and stakeholders in order to develop high-level sustainable development goals, clear and measureable targets, and concrete action plans for the next three years. Comments on the draft strategy will be accepted until June 24, 2016.

Ways to comment:

  1. Through the 2016-2019 FSDS e-Strategy--every page has a comment box you can use to submit comments as you browse.
  2. Join the conversation at Let’s Talk Sustainability. We’ll post discussion questions regularly during the public consultation period. Log in and reply to share your input.
  3. Email us your comments at 
  4. Mail your comments to:

Sustainable Development Office
Environment and Climate Change Canada
200 Boul. Sacré-Coeur, 12th floor
Gatineau, QC, K1A 0H3

After the consultation closes, we’ll post a summary of the public input received. See the summary of public input on the draft FSDS for the previous cycle: Synthesis Report: Public Consultations on the Draft FSDS 2013–2016.

The 2015 Progress Report, released in February 2016, shows the progress of federal departments and agencies towards achieving the goals and targets set out in the 2013-16 FSDS.

Other federal sustainable development initiatives:

Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators

Guidelines for Strategic Environmental Assessments

Office of Greening Government Operations

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