2020-2023 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

Section 1: Context for the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

The Federal Sustainable Development Act (FSDA) defines sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

What does that mean to the Canadian Human Rights Commission? It means taking steps to contribute to the conservation of our environment for future generations. It means supporting Canada’s sustainable development vision: “Canada is one of the greenest countries in the world and our quality of life continues to improve” by selecting green products and services and promoting sustainable practices in its operations.

The Policy on Green Procurement supports the Government of Canada’s effort to promote environmental stewardship. In keeping with the objectives of the Policy, the Canadian Human Rights Commission supports sustainable development by integrating environmental performance considerations into the procurement decision-making process through the activities in this DSDS.

Although the Canadian Human Rights Commission is not bound by the (FSDA and is not required to develop a departmental sustainable development strategy, the Commission adheres to the principles of the FSDA by implementing the Policy on Green Procurement.

Section 2: Sustainable Development in the Canadian Human Rights Commission

The Canadian Human Rights Commission is akin to an Agent of Parliament. It operates independently from government. As Canada’s human rights watchdog, the Commission is responsible for representing the public interest and holding the Government of Canada to account on matters related to human rights.

The connection between human rights and sustainable development has been described as foundational – as enforcement of human rights is a precondition for sustainable development. This implies that without acknowledging and acting to protect the people’s rights, sustainable development is not possible.

The Commission is a small organization with about 260 people. Most of our employees are located in its Ottawa office, but the Commission also has small offices in Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal. We also have a few employees who work remotely from other cities in Canada.

The focus of this strategy is to:

Support the transition to a low-carbon economy through green procurement

Support clean technologies and green products and services by taking environmental considerations into account in our purchasing decisions. Our approach is to continue leveraging instruments established by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) designed to meet federal government green procurement standards (e.g. proper disposal of electronic equipment, Computers for School, recycling of ink cartridges).

Promote sustainable travel practices

Promote sustainable practices for employee travel or alternatives—including business travel and commuting to work—such as teleconferencing, telecommuting, carpooling, use of hybrid and electric vehicles and public transportation. Where feasible, offer offsetting options to reduce the impact of government travel. Due to the COVID-19 situation, all travel activities since March 2020 have been cancelled, and will remain so until such time as restrictions are lifted. Also, the ongoing COVID-19 situation has greatly reduced all work related commuting due to the shift toward telework, and is projected to remain this way for the foreseeable future.

Section 3: Commitments for the Canadian Human Rights Commission

Low-Carbon Government: The Government of Canada leads by example by making its operations low-carbon

Responsible Minister: All Ministers

Low-Carbon Government FSDS target(s) FSDS Contributing Action(s) Action(s) Contribution to the FSDS goal and target Performance indicators for actions Program in which the actions will occur

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]

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

Support for green procurement will be strengthened, including through guidance, tools and training for public service employees

Integrate environmental considerations into procurement management processes and controls

Ensure key officials include “contribution to and support for the Government of Canada Policy on Green Procurement objectives” in their performance evaluations

Ensure decisions makers have the necessary training and awareness to support green procurement

Green procurement incorporates environmental considerations into purchasing decisions, which is expected to motivate suppliers to green their goods, services and supply chain.

Volume of toner cartridges recycled relative to the total volume of all toner cartridges purchased in the year in question.

Ratio of copy paper that contains a minimum of 30% recycled content relative to the total dollar value or volume of all copy paper, commercial printing and/or envelope purchases in the year in question

Percentage of IT purchases that include criteria or clauses which reduce the environmental impact of the product or service being purchased

Number and percentage of managers and functional heads of procurement and materiel management whose performance evaluation includes “contribution to and support for the Government of Canada’s Policy on Green Procurement objectives” in the current fiscal year

Percentage of specialists in procurement and materiel management who have completed training on green procurement

Promotion Program, Protection Program, Audit Program

Section 4. Integrating sustainable development

Although the environmental footprint of the Commission is very small, we endeavour to contribute to a sustainable environment by promoting eco-friendly practices.

Subject to the provisions of the Accessible Canada Act, and our obligations to persons with disabilities, the Commission commits to the following:

Assessment of its office space and support for increased mobility of workforce

  • Equipping and encouraging employees to work remotely
  • Reduce individual office space and increase collaboration spaces
  • Promote office sharing when not working from home

Procurement practices that promote acquiring green and energy-efficient products (details)

  • Green procurement clauses or criteria in bid solicitations
  • Energy Star certification
  • Recycled paper and ink
  • Any product that is EcoLogo certified

Reduction in printing

  • Continued focus on reduction of printers
  • Black and white printing set as default
  • Double-sided printing set as default

Going paperless – use of technology such as smart boards and tablets

  • Move to electronic complaint files
  • Move to electronic dockets and processes, supported by electronic signatures

Disposal (gc surplus)

Inventory of assets for re-use internally to maximize use over the course of their lifecycle. Mobile devices are reissued to new employees as others leave the organization. The same is true for ergonomic office equipment.

Offices and workstations are equipped with a small waste bin and a large recycle bin. Kitchens are equipped with larger and mixed recycling bins for metal, paper and plastics. Large recycle bins are also located in close proximity to printers.

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