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6th Annual Report - 2000-2001

Federal Government

Progress within the Federal Government

Federal pollution prevention strategy goal: Institutionalize pollution prevention across all federal government activities

Legislation and Regulations

The web-based CEPA Environmental Registry, mandated under Section 12 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999), is a source of public information relating to activities under the Act. The Registry’s primary objective is to encourage and support public participation in the environmental decision-making process by facilitating access to documents arising from the administration of the Act. To view CEPA-related public documents such as regulations, notices, orders, policies, agreements and current toxic substances lists, visit the CEPA Environmental Registry at http://www.ec.gc.ca/CEPARegistry.

Photo: Person at computer

The CEPA Environmental Registry encourages and supports public participation in environmental decision-making by facilitating access to documents arising from the administration of CEPA 1999.

Environment Canada published three documents to support the implementation of the pollution prevention planning provisions of Part 4 of CEPA 1999:

  • Guidelines for the Implementation of the Pollution Prevention Planning Provisions of Part 4 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (February 2001);
  • Pollution Prevention Planning Provisions of Part 4 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999: Frequently Asked Questions (February 2001); and
  • Pollution Prevention Planning Handbook (May 2001).

These documents further explain the provisions of Part 4 and offer guidance to their appropriate use, as well as guidance in the methodology of pollution prevention planning for industry.

In addition to preventing pollution from ongoing situations (Part 4), CEPA 1999 also attempts to prevent pollution from spills or other sudden releases (Part 8). In support of the environmental emergency planning provisions of Part 8 of CEPA 1999, Environment Canada published Implementation Guidelines for Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, Section 199, Authorities for Requiring Environmental Emergency Plans. These guidelines explain the provisions and the requirements of those subject to this section of CEPA 1999. An environmental emergency plan outlines a facility’s procedures that reduce the frequency and amount of toxic substances released through emergency prevention, preparedness, response and recovery measures. These guidelines can be found at http://www.ec.gc.ca/CEPARegistry/plans/E2.cfm.

Toxic Substances

National Defence has developed a screening process to identify and eliminate high-risk hazardous products. To date, National Defence has identified 106 such products. In 2000–2001, 17% of these products were eliminated from use through pollution prevention techniques. Since 1998–1999, the overall reduction has been over 50%.

Federal Climate Change Commitment

In 1995, the Government of Canada committed to “getting its own house in order” by reducing its operational greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% from 1990 levels by the year 2005. In 1997, Canada agreed to targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions set out in the Kyoto Protocol. The Federal Action Plan 2000 on Climate Change strengthened the government’s leadership role by increasing the target to 31% below 1990 levels by 2010. To date, the government has already successfully reduced its emissions by over 19% and will continue to reduce emissions by properly managing forests and lands and encouraging innovation and leadership in areas such as energy efficiency and fleet management. Led by Natural Resources Canada, the Federal Buildings Initiative and FleetWise Program have played important roles in helping achieve current reductions.

To prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease to Canadian livestock, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is ensuring that all passengers entering Canada from countries with the disease disinfect their shoes by walking across a carpet soaked with a disinfectant solution. The traditional disinfectant is a carcinogenic phenol compound that accumulates in the food chain. Staff at Mirabel, Dorval and Quebec airports implemented procedures to minimize the environmental impact of the used disinfectant. The traditional disinfectant was replaced with a non-carcinogenic product that decomposes into sulphur and potassium and poses little or no threat to the sewage system or the environment.

An Environment Canada research group at the St. Lawrence Centre in Quebec has developed a protocol for capturing and tagging fish that replaces anaesthetics and sedatives with a natural substance. This natural substance, oil of cloves, is non-carcinogenic and non-mutagenic and produces no chemical or toxic waste. Oil of cloves costs less than most anaesthetic agents. For instance, the average cost of purchasing commonly used anaesthetics and sedatives ranges from $9 to $475 for 150 days of tagging, while the average cost of using oil of cloves is $20 for 150 days of work.

Toxic Substances Management

Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999), the Ministers of Environment and Health have the authority to declare substances "toxic"if they pose a significant risk to the health of Canadians or to the environment. The Toxic Substances Management Policy outlines the federal government’s risk management process for toxic substances based on two key objectives: virtual elimination from the environment of toxic substances that are persistent, bioaccumulative and primarily the result of human activity (Track 1); and life cycle management of other toxic substances and substances of concern to prevent or minimize their release into the environment (Track 2). Environment Canada applies a pollution prevention approach and the precautionary principle to the management of both Track 1 and Track 2 substances. Environment Canada is implementing action plans to virtually eliminate the most dangerous toxic substances, and domestic action has already been taken to limit or ban the production, use, importation or release of these substances.

Forty-four substances on the first Priority Substances List (PSL1) were assessed under the Priority Substances Assessment Program by 1994. Of these 44, 25 were found to be toxic. Management options, developed in consultation with stakeholders through the Strategic Options Process, have already been adopted for a number of toxic substances (see table below), and work is proceeding on those remaining.

Toxic Substances Management
Targeted SectorsStatus in 2000 – 2001
Dry cleaning
Regulations under development
Solvent degreasing
(tetrachloroethylene; trichloroethylene)
Regulations under development
Coal-fired power generation
(inorganic arsenic compounds; inorganic cadmium compounds; oxidic, sulphidic and soluble inorganic nickel compounds)
This sector also contributes to the release of dioxins and furans, particulate matter, benzene and smog; all are Canada-wide Standard substances in the negotiation process
Steel manufacturing
(benzene; inorganic arsenic compounds; inorganic cadmium compounds; inorganic fluorides; oxidic, sulphidic and soluble inorganic nickel compounds; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; dioxins/furans)
Codes of Practice scheduled for publication; Canada-wide Standard for dioxins and furans in negotiation process
Base metal smelting
(inorganic arsenic compounds; inorganic cadmium compounds; oxidic, sulphidic and soluble inorganic nickel compounds)
Codes of Practice and Environmental Management Plans under development
Metal finishing sector
(hexavalent chromium compounds)
Proposed regulations
Wood preservation
(hexavalent chromium compounds; creosote-contaminated sites; dioxins/furans)
Code of Practice being implemented
Targeted SubstancesStatus in 2000 – 2001
Proposed regulations Agreement with one facility
Refractory ceramic fibresEnvironmental Performance Agreement under development
DichloromethaneDraft CEPA 1999 section 56 pollution prevention planning notice
HexachlorobenzeneProposed regulations
Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalateAdditional studies are recommended
1,2-DichloroethaneEnvironmental Performance Agreement under development
Short-chain chlorinated paraffinsRisk management pending -- awaiting results of further assessment

A second Priority Substances List (PSL2) was published in 1995 with 25 additional substances. During 2000–2001, departments gathered information related to the PSL2 substances and initiated development of risk management strategies. Actions on PSL2 substances will be addressed in a multi-pollutant approach where possible, targeting groups of substances or taking a sector-specific approach. Specific risk management strategies will be released for consultation that will present the approach undertaken, the proposed objectives and the proposed risk management tools. Consultations will also be held during the development of the subsequent risk management tools.

Clean Air

The National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) provides Canadians with access to pollutant release information for facilities located in their communities. To accelerate public access to NPRI data, Environment Canada released the 1999 data electronically in December 2000. The NPRI also supports pollution prevention initiatives by providing information that assists in identifying priorities for action, encourages industry initiatives and allows for tracking of progress in reducing pollutants. For progress tracking, facilities have been required to report their pollution prevention activities for NPRI-listed substances since 1997. Approximately 33% of all pollution prevention activity reported in 1999 was in the form of “good operating practices or training.” “Spill and leak prevention” is the second most popular approach, at 18%.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency took an active part in the Ontario Region Corporate Smog Action Plan initiated by Environment Canada, Health Canada and Public Works and Government Services Canada. During a smog alert, the Agency promotes a number of internal actions, including suspension of lawn-mowing activities and of the use of oil-based paints, solvents and cleaners;restriction of gasoline-powered equipment use;and teleconferencing activities instead of driving to meetings.

Sustainable Development and Environmental Management Systems

The 1995 amendments to the Auditor General Act require a number of federal departments to table a sustainable development strategy in Parliament outlining departmental goals for integrating sustainable development into their policies, programs and operations. Departments are required to update their strategies every three years. Environment Canada has led federal efforts through the Interdepartmental Network on Sustainable Development Strategies and coordinated the tabling of updated sustainable development strategies for all federal departments and agencies in February 2001. Departments concentrated their efforts on updating the 1997 strategies using lessons learned from the implementation of the first round of strategies.

Interdepartmental Arrangements on Pollution Prevention and Environmental Management

Federal departments and agencies often share interests, mandates or responsibilities for government operations and sustainable development. Participation in interdepartmental groups is essential for developing common tools, coordinating activities and sharing information.

Federal interdepartmental mechanisms in place to promote coordination on environmental management activities include:

  • Deputy Ministers’ Sustainable Development Coordinating Committee
  • Interdepartmental Network on Sustainable Development Strategies
  • Federal Committee on Environmental Management Systems
  • Sustainable Development in Government Operations Committee
  • Pollution Prevention Coordinating Committee
  • regional federal councils.

An environmental management system (EMS) provides a systematic framework to help an organization manage its environmental obligations and document, evaluate and communicate its environmental performance. Co-chaired by Natural Resources Canada and Environment Canada, the Federal Committee on Environmental Management Systems continued to promote the effective implementation of departmental EMSs. Some examples of effective implementation appear below:

  • The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade implemented an EMS to review and improve its environmental performance in Canada and abroad. The department adopted environmental targets and performance measures for 11 priority areas and continued its collection of baseline data. In July 2000, an Environmental Management Policy was approved that includes a commitment to incorporate principles of pollution prevention and adopt best environmental management practices.
  • National Defence’s 25 Canadian Forces Supply Depot (25 CFSD) in Montreal maintained an ISO 14001 EMS certification. The development of an EMS at 25 CFSD resulted in the implementation of procedures and controls to reduce the risk of spills and leaks, along with the examination of energy consumption, packaging, goods procurement and wastewater management. During 2000–2001, 25 CFSD reused 5,045 incoming pallets for outgoing shipments, saving over $64,000. Similarly, savings in the reuse of crates, fast packs and other packing totalled $113,500.
  • In January 2001, Environment Canada expanded its ISO 14001 EMS pilot project to include the Edmonton Warehouse in Prairie and Northern Region. An implementation manual has been developed to accelerate future implementations.
  • The Canadian Food Inspection Agency developed a National EMS Implementation Strategy based on ISO 14001. The EMS received senior management approval in February 2001.
  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has made commitments to vehicle fleet management, green procurement and facilities management in its EMS Action Plan. CIC will be consulting with other federal departments to exchange information on existing pollution prevention policies and greening of government activities.

Photo: mowing of a golf course

In the event of a smog alert, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency promotes a number of internal actions including suspension of mowing activities and the use of oil-based paints, solvents and cleaners.

Departmental Policy Integration

In December 2000, Environment Canada -- Atlantic Region adopted a pollution prevention strategy intended to make pollution prevention increasingly the strategy of choice for its staff and Atlantic Canadians when making decisions that affect the region’s environment and economy. A working group was developed to ensure that staff are familiar with the concepts of pollution prevention, to identify priority issues through consultations and to prepare a plan assisting all staff and managers in integrating pollution prevention into regional program activities.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, with assistance from Environment Canada, examined its decision-making guidelines and identified opportunities for integrating pollution prevention concepts into its program delivery. As a result of this work, it altered client brochures and internal project evaluation documents to reflect eco-efficiency approaches.

Now in its third year, the Environment Canada Pollution Prevention Team, composed of regional and headquarters staff, coordinated the adoption of pilot regional initiatives by other regional and national campaigns. Examples include CleanPrint Canada, Camp Green, Canada!and small and medium-sized enterprise pollution prevention support.

Greening Government Operations

Released in 2000, Sustainable Development in Government Operations: A Coordinated Approach builds on the 1995 Guide to Green Government, which offers a framework for federal departments preparing their sustainable development strategies. The new document builds on best practices as well as specific performance measures. The interdepartmental Committee on Performance Measurement for Sustainable Government Operations coordinates the development of common reporting indicators that provide an overview of how well the federal government is progressing towards bringing sustainable development considerations into its operations. In the future, a recommended reporting framework is expected. Shown below are examples of pollution prevention and other environmental protection actions taken in 2000–2001 to "green"federal departments and agencies.

Waste Management

  • Waste audits performed and updated annually
  • Waste reduction action plans developed and implemented
  • Recycling system in place /composting where feasible
  • Hazardous waste collected centrally, stored and disposed of safely

Actions Taken

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) converted 35 common forms to electronic format. ACOA promotes double-sided printing and photocopying to its entire staff.

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) and ACOA donated a total of 388 surplus desktop computers (110 from WD and 278 from ACOA) and software to the "Computers for Schools"program.

Environment Canada -- Corporate Services replaced 47 mercury manometers. Since 1995, 92% (733 of 800) of mercury manometers have been replaced. The Meteorological Service of Canada undertook the replacement of 65 mercury barometers. In both cases, the mercury was recycled.


Water/Energy Conservation

  • Audits performed
  • Conservation plans developed and implemented
  • Water or energy-saving equipment and devices specified for future purchases (e.g. water-efficient fixtures, energy-efficient lighting and water heating)

Actions Taken

Canadian Forces Base Gagetown reduced treated water consumption by 12% from 1989–1990 levels. This was achieved through the implementation of reduction plans aimed at minimizing water use.


Vehicle Fleet Management

  • Fuel efficiency maximized and alternative fuels used to conserve energy and reduce emissions
  • Number of vehicles for departmental use reduced
  • Emission testing and regular maintenance performed
  • All used fluids and oils recycled

Actions Taken

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) continued to reduce emissions by introducing alternative fuel vehicles and small electric carts and pieces of farm equipment. Under the AAFC Storage Management Tank Program, all new fuel storage tanks will be compatible with 100% ethanol fuel. Ethanol will be used mostly to fuel vehicles.

Departments such as Transport Canada, Natural Resources Canada, National Defence, Environment Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police reduced their departmental vehicle fleet size and integrated more alternative fuel vehicles into their vehicle inventories. The Minister of the Environment currently uses an alternative fuel vehicle to travel within the National Capital Region.



  • "Green" clauses included in service and supply contracts
  • Harmful chemical usage minimized (e. g., cleaning products, solvents, oil-based paints)

Actions Taken

Health Canada employees in Ottawa have been asked to purchase recycled content copier paper with 30% post-consumer waste instead of virgin paper. Based on the preceding year’s paper purchases, recycled paper will result in:

  • 1,620 trees being saved;and
  • 1,776 kilograms less air pollution.

Health Canada also provided training and awareness materials on green purchasing through its Corporate Services Branch and is a member of the Manitoba Green Procurement Network, a method of sharing information with the material management community. Similarly, 271 Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) employees received green procurement training;in total, 17.2% of the $1 million of PWGSC purchases made through the Buying Power 2000 initiative were classified as "green."


Training and Awareness

  • Staff trained in methods and informed of opportunities to conserve water and energy, reduce waste and make environmentally sensitive purchasing decisions
  • Raising employees’ awareness to optimize pollution prevention in their activities

Actions Taken

Environmental Action Plan (EAP) Online is a web-based tool available for Human Resources Development Canada. EAP Online contains information on government initiatives and training as well as general environmental information.


Remedial Actions

  • Equipment using chlorofluorocarbons and halons identified and alternatives introduced wherever possible
  • Equipment containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are phased out and PCBs not in use are securely stored
  • Fuel storage tanks meet the new guidelines and are checked regularly for leakage

Actions Taken

PWGSC continued to achieve a downward trend in the ozone-depleting potential and global warming potential of chillers in the Crown-owned PWGSC inventory. Refrigerant losses were 2.11%, well within the targeted maximum of 4%. There are only two PWGSC-owned halon systems left; seven were removed.


Waste Reduction

National Defence has reduced the amount of solid waste sent to landfill by 17% from 1999–2000 levels. Some of this reduction was through increased waste diversion. For instance, Canadian Forces Base Borden has increased reuse and recycling by diverting 11 911 tonnes of asphalt, concrete and gravel, 19 tonnes of corrugated cardboard, 10 tonnes of compost and 133 tonnes of metal and white goods from its landfill.

During 2000–2001, 39 of 49 construction and demolition projects (over 2,000 cubic metres in size) carried out within National Defence included waste reduction plans. Similarly, Public Works and Government Services Canada conducted waste audits and diversion activities when undertaking construction, renovation or demolition projects for federal departments such as Health Canada.

Human Resources Development Canada headquarters set a target to reduce the waste sent to landfill by 50% over 1988 levels by March 31, 2001. Waste audits at headquarters indicated a reduction of approximately 70% over 1988 levels. Many federal departments have achieved similar results through the implementation of the “No Waste Program,” “Papersave Program” and/or ongoing employee awareness initiatives. For example, solid waste diversion services continued to be offered to tenants in Public Works and Government Services Canada Crown-owned facilities.

At Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, the Eco-Waste Centre houses the second largest in-vessel (enclosed) composter in North America. The compost generated by the Centre offsets the need to purchase fertilizer and pesticides. A second in-vessel composter has been delivered and will be installed at the Centre. Future plans for the Eco-Waste Centre include using the compost for bioremediation of contaminated Absorbal, soil and energetics (unreacted explosives and propellants).


Energy Efficiency/Water Conservation

The Federal Buildings Initiative (FBI), led by Natural Resources Canada, is a voluntary program that helps federal departments and agencies improve the energy efficiency and water efficiency of their facilities. To date, FBI-type contracts with private sector energy service companies have financed retrofits in more than 6,500 federal buildings, resulting in annual energy savings of about $26 million, significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and a healthier, more comfortable work environment. It is expected that these FBI projects will result in a reduction of 16 tonnes of emissions per year from new projects.

As the primary custodian of Crown-owned property, Public Works and Government Services Canada has a significant role to play in greenhouse gas reduction and resource conservation. Energy and water conservation initiatives have already been implemented in more than 60% of its Crown-owned inventory by floor area, and more work is targeted.

Canadian Forces Base Gagetown replaced oil with natural gas to fire its central heating plant. An annual reduction of 14% or 8,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions is expected, as well as significant reductions in emissions of sulphur dioxide, a major acid rain precursor. This project began in December 2000, and the new system became operational on April 1, 2001.

Health Canada introduced several energy efficiency initiatives in 2000–2001. The Atlantic Region constructed three new facilities heated by heat pumps. Several facilities in the Alberta, Northwest Territories and Quebec regions now contain more energy-efficient lighting and automated energy systems regulated by internal conditions. The Ontario Region First Nations’ health centres reduced energy consumption (by 60%) as well as carbon dioxide emissions by investing in two geothermal units. There are plans to install three more units at other facilities.

Precautionary Principle

The Rio Declaration Precautionary Principle states that "where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation."

Adoption of the Rio definition of the precautionary principle into the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 has triggered efforts to prepare a framework for its use in Canada. Federal departments and agencies have discussed what the principle means in the Canadian context.


Operations/Facility Management

National Defence has been active in the removal and replacement of halon fire-extinguishing systems from its infrastructure. In 2000–2001, the last known infrastructure-related use of halon was removed, resulting in 100% elimination. Overall, the department has recovered, recycled and safely stored an estimated 103,400 kilograms of halon. Within the department, there has been a steady decline in halon releases, from a total of 2,200 kilograms in releases in 1994 to a total of 503 kilograms in releases in 2000.

As an owner, operator and landlord of airports, Transport Canada has a responsibility to ensure the proper management of the de-icing fluid, glycol. Samples collected from surface runoff at airports during 1999–2000 were analyzed for glycol concentrations, and the results showed a continuing improvement in the responsible management of glycol effluents from de-icing operations. This improvement can be attributed in part to the detailed glycol management plans that are required from airline and/or ground handling agents at Transport Canada-operated airports and are encouraged from airport authorities before each de-icing season. Glycol recovery systems have also been installed at larger airports that collect excess glycol for reuse.

Environment Canada -- Ontario Region completed three Federal Facility Pollution Prevention Demonstration Site Projects in partnership with Correctional Services Canada, Warkworth Institution in Campbellford, Ontario, the Canada Post Corporation Ottawa Mail Processing Plant and Vehicle Services Depot, and the House of Commons Printing Services. Each project involved the implementation of numerous pilot projects to demonstrate to management and staff how implementing pollution prevention practices could eliminate the generation of hazardous waste and improve efficiency and workplace health and safety. Federal departments were then encouraged to institutionalize successful practices throughout their operations. Examples of successful demonstration projects include the introduction of non-toxic non-emulsifying floor cleaner products and the replacement of organic solvent baths with aqueous parts washers. Canada Post Corporation is now initiating some of the projects throughout its operations due to the successes realized in this program.

Photo: Reclaiming and Reuse of Aviation Fuel

Canadian Forces Base Comox is anticipated to reclaim and reuse approximately 22,000 litres of aviation fuel and reduce the overall amount of hazardous waste generated.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has been involved in the design of a new Canadian Embassy in Berlin, Germany. Approval has been granted to proceed with a design that incorporates sustainability principles. Energy efficiency, air quality, building materials, rainwater collection and low maintenance landscaping were all considered in the design.

Environment Canada -- Pacific and Yukon Region, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Public Works and Government Services Canada began an initiative to minimize environmental impacts from the selection of building materials used in the construction of a new federal building in Vancouver. Areas where alternatives were considered include floor coverings;paints, stains and sealers;walls and ceilings;lighting;millwork;furnishings;doors; frames;and plumbing fixtures. Since 1990, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has been involved in the design and pilot testing of carbon treatment units to handle excess pesticides and herbicides from its spraying operations. The end product of carbon treatment is decontaminated water that has been used to irrigate crops or wash down equipment. The pesticides are absorbed by carbon filters that are sent for reprocessing after use. The technology is already in place at a number of AAFC facilities.

Since 1990, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has been involved in the design and pilot testing of carbon treatment units to handle excess pesticides and herbicides from its spraying operations. The end product of carbon treatment is decontaminated water that has been used to irrigate crops or wash down equipment. The pesticides are absorbed by carbon filters that are sent for reporcessing after use. The technology is already in place at a number of AAFC facilities.

National Defence’s Canadian Forces Technical Orders outlining the fuel dumping testing operations for the CH113 Labrador helicopters have been revised to specify the use of “on-ground” testing procedures versus “in-flight” testing procedures. By testing the fuel systems “on-ground” instead of “in-flight,” all the fuel can be recovered.

Canadian Forces Base Comox has developed a comprehensive system of collection and treatment to process waste aviation fuel and return it to the bulk fuel system for reuse as product. It is anticipated that the system will reclaim approximately 22,000 litres of fuel and will also reduce the overall amount of hazardous waste generated at the base by 23%.

Early in 2000, Canadian Forces Base Trent on began a review of the gas chlorination system used for disinfecting its wastewater treatment plant effluent. Through the use of pollution prevention techniques, staff considered the alternative technologies available and ultimately selected an ultraviolet (UV) system. By no longer using chlorine, the base eliminated the chlorine residual in the effluent, which was toxic to aquatic life. The UV system also eliminated the need for storage, shipping and handling of chlorine, a corrosive chemical, and the need to monitor and report chlorine residual in the effluent discharge. The UV system became operational in April 2001.

Photo: Composter

Canadian Forces Base Gagetown has the second largest in-vessel composter in North America. The compost generated off-sets the need for the base to purchase fertilizers and pesticides.

National Defence made reductions in the level of pesticide active ingredient use.1 In 2000–2001, the reported pesticide active ingredient use was 3,262 kilograms, down 47% from the reported pesticide active ingredient use of 6,178 kilograms in 1999–2000. For instance, Canadian Forces Base Gagetown reduced its pesticide active ingredient use 94% from 7,000 kilograms in 1993–1994 to 410 kilograms in 2000–2001. The implementation of integrated pest management plans at various other Canadian Forces bases also played a significant role in the overall departmental reduction.


Vehicle Fleet Management

Natural Resources Canada reduced its vehicle fleet size by 40% from 1995 figures and has met its objectives for vehicle fleet size reduction. Over 20% of the department’s vehicle inventory operates on cleaner-burning alternative fuels.

The FleetWise program provides federal fleet managers with information and tools to improve the operational efficiency of their vehicle fleets, reduce emissions from federal operations and accelerate the use of alternative fuels. Under FleetWise, the Toyota Prius sedan, a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), has been promoted to fleet managers in federal departments and agencies as an alternative fuel vehicle. The main advantage of HEVs is their higher energy efficiency and lower emission of pollutants compared with conventional vehicles. The Prius is expected to use approximately 1.5 to 2.5 times less fuel than an average mid-sized vehicle. The federal government purchased 52 HEVs in 2000–2001, with half of those purchased by National Defence and Transport Canada. Through the Montreal 2000 Electric Vehicle Project, employees at Environment Canada -- Quebec Region have travelled over 7,500 kilometres since 1999–2000 using a Solectria Force car, a light 100% electric vehicle. Public Works and Government Services Canada developed the Government Motor Vehicle Ordering Guide to provide information on alternative fuel vehicles.

Another alternative fuel vehicle commonly purchased by the federal government is the E85. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade purchased three of these vehicles in 2000–2001. E85s are built to use a less-polluting mixture of 85% ethanol fuel with 15% regular gasoline.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency delivered Green Fleet Driving Presentations to its staff. The presentations covered the promotion of green driving practices, including servicing vehicles regularly to optimize performance, reducing the amount of weight that vehicles carry to improve fuel economy, maintaining correct tire pressure and reducing engine idling time.

Alternative Fuels Act for Fleet Acquisition

The Alternative Fuels Act will accelerate the use in Canada of alternative transportation fuels (ATFs) in motor vehicles and reduce the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The Act targets the federal vehicle fleet, thus providing the government with a leadership role in the use of ATFs.

For instance, the Act requires departments and agencies to review each new vehicle acquisition in terms of its estimated annual fuel consumption and primary operational tasks and to purchase an ATF vehicle for a minimum of 75% of cases where it would be both cost-effective and operationally feasible.



In 2000–2001, Human Resources Development Canada spent approximately $6.3 million on green purchases. The department has set as its target an increase of 5% in the amount spent on green purchases by March 31, 2002.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has integrated green criteria into its laundry and uniform rental service contracts. Companies are required to outline their efforts on environmental issues related to the work they propose to do for the Agency. The Agency also has an online system highlighting products with “green” qualities that are selected for their recycled material content, fewer polluting by-products and ease of reuse and recycling. In the future, the Agency will issue bulletins to employees on green procurement and will initiate a Green Procurement Strategy.


Training and Awareness

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is developing a training package and tools for program officers to assist them in promoting eco-efficiency and environmental management to small and medium-sized enterprises, partners and stakeholders.

National Defence continues to deliver its Unit Environmental Officers’ Course. Since 1998, over 1,500 personnel have completed the course. During 2000–2001, Canadian Forces Base Borden released a new version of the course. The department also delivers training on environmental awareness, spill prevention and emergency response to various employees and Canadian Forces personnel across the country each year.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade delivered training and awareness courses on pollution prevention and other elements of sustainable development to its staff. The courses were incorporated into property management, heads of mission training and orientation sessions for new staff.

In the Prairie and Northern Region, Environment Canada and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada developed and delivered a Spill Prevention Training Course for the Black Lake and Fond du Lac First Nations in northern Saskatchewan. Over 25 participants attended the course. A training video was also produced and has been distributed to other First Nations and non-Aboriginal peoples in the region.

Environment Canada offered two Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique courses to emergency response staff from government and industrial organizations in the Atlantic Region. These courses provided attendees with information on less toxic cleanup alternatives (where applicable), preventing or minimizing damage, and implementing appropriate remedial actions following oil spills that impact coastal areas. Course delivery partners include Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Coast Guard, Atlantic Emergency Response Team and Point Tupper Marine Services. Two courses have been delivered each year for the past three years, with about 25 attendees each. Spill prevention is an underlying theme for much of the course, as it is cheaper and easier to prevent spills than to clean up after spills have occurred.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) promotes pollution prevention practices by ensuring that environmental considerations are incorporated early in the decision-making process. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have incorporated environmental assessment -- a key to pollution prevention -- into their policy frameworks and have adopted guidelines based on CEAA. Similarly, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade released a framework for conducting environmental assessments of trade negotiations.

Behaviour Change

A study in 2000 estimated federal employee carbon dioxide emissions from transportation at 1.5 megatonnes per year. In response, Transport Canada, Health Canada and other federal departments promote “green ” forms of transportation -- walking, biking, public transit and carpooling -- to decrease employee-related emissions. For instance, Transport Canada provided new bike racks and security cameras at its Ottawa headquarters. The participation of 43% of Transport Canada employees in the 2nd National Commuter Challenge reduced vehicle emissions by more than 25 tonnes. Health Canada also had a successful Commuter Challenge, with 1,700 employees registered and vehicle emissions reduced by 300 tonnes.

Tracking Progress Against Pollution Prevention – A Federal Strategy for Action*
Goal: Institutionalize pollution prevention across all federal government activities
1. Incorporate pollution prevention into federal legislationOngoingCanadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999
2. Establish and implement green policiesOngoingGreening of government operations
3. Establish a Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to advance pollution prevention in the federal governmentCompleteCommissioner established following changes to the Auditor General Act in 1995
4. Integrate pollution prevention into departmental policies and programsOngoingEnvironment Canada’s Pollution Prevention Team

- Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s program delivery
- Federal Buildings Initiative
- Canadian Forces Technical Orders for fuel dumping testing operations

* This table summarizes the linkages to programs and initiatives undertaken in pollution prevention with the federal government’s action plan on pollution prevention within federal government operations.

Upcoming Projects

  • Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is developing a new intranet website called the Green Procurement Network. The purpose of the site is to help federal departments and agencies integrate green procurement into their policies, programs and purchasing processes. More specifically, the site is targeted at material managers, procurement officers and other employees who are directly involved in the purchasing of goods and services. PWGSC continues to incorporate environmentally responsible clauses in the National Master Specification, with special reference to energy, water, and solid and hazardous waste. PWGSC is also the lead department to procure “Green Power ” on behalf of the federal government.
  • Canadian Forces Base Borden’s Integrated Pest Management Plan to coordinate pesticide management was initiated in May 2000 and completed in May 2001. As a result, a database to track pesticide use called PESTMAN was developed in 2000–2001 and will be tested in 2001–2002.
  • During 2000–2001, Environment Canada and Canadian Forces Base Kingston signed an agreement to participate in an initiative to assess regulatory compliance and to document and identify pollution prevention opportunities related to the generation and management of hazardous waste. Other federal facilities such as the Royal Canadian Mint, Canadian Forces Base Petawawa and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will be participating in this Ontario-based Federal Hazardous Waste Pollution Prevention initiative.
  • Environment Canada -- Quebec Region has taken action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with its own operations. An inventory used to assess the region’s greenhouse gas emissions has confirmed that transportation was responsible for over 59% of such emissions. In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated by employees, a two-phase program was set up in 2000–2001. Both phases are to be implemented in 2001–2002. The first phase covers employee travel between residence and place of work, with an objective to promote and facilitate the use of more environmentally friendly means of transportation. The second phase involves business travel by employees and focuses on urban travel in the Quebec City –Windsor corridor. Geo-referencing software developed especially for the program records all employee travel by mode and type, along with the greenhouse gas emissions associated with such travel. This tool will be used to encourage all employees to use the mode of transport with the fewest emissions. The objective of this phase is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10%.

1 "Active ingredient use" is a regulatory term determined to be the most appropriate value by which to measure pesticide use. Not all pesticides are used in 100% concentration. In fact, the concentration of active ingredient in pesticide products varies widely. When measuring reductions in pesticide use, active ingredient is a more accurate measure to compare than amount of pesticide product.