2023 to 2027 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

Executive Summary

The 2022-2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) is the first to be developed under a strengthened Federal Sustainable Development Act. Taking a whole-of-government approach, it brings sustainable development goals, targets, milestones and implementation strategies across 101 federal organizations together in one place. The FSDS supports Canada's efforts to advance the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as its frame, the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy highlights federal government actions over 4 years to support their achievement.

The Federal Sustainable Development Act requires federal organizations to prepare their own strategies that comply with, and contribute to, the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, within one year of it being tabled in Parliament. This Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy describes Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's objectives and plans for sustainable development appropriate to its mandate. It articulates departmental contributions to the goals and targets of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, as well as the application of strategic environmental assessments.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will contribute directly through its Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy to 5 of the 17 goals of Canada's 2022-2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy: Support a healthier and more sustainable food system; Ensure Clean and Safe Water for All Canadians; Advance Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and Take Action to Reduce Inequality; Reduce Waste and Transition to Zero-Emission Vehicles; and Take Action on Climate Change and Its Impacts.

Section 1: Introduction to the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

The 2022 to 2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy presents the Government of Canada's sustainable development goals and targets, as required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act. This is the first strategy to be framed using the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and provides a balanced view of the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development.

In keeping with the purpose of the Act, to make decision-making related to sustainable development more transparent and accountable to Parliament, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada supports the goals laid out in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy through the activities described in this Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy.

The Federal Sustainable Development Act also sets out 7 principles that must be considered in the development of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy as well as Departmental Sustainable Development Strategies which have been considered and incorporated by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

In order to promote coordinated action on sustainable development across the Government of Canada, this departmental strategy integrates efforts to advance Canada's implementation of the 2030 Agenda National Strategy, supported by the Global Indicator Framework and Canadian Indicator Framework targets and indicators. The strategy also now captures initiatives to inform the development of Canada's Annual Report on the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Section 2: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Sustainable Development Vision

The overall vision of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is to drive innovation and ingenuity to build a world-leading agricultural and food economy for the benefit of all Canadians. The Department provides leadership in the growth and development of a competitive, innovative and sustainable Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector from the farmer to the consumer and from the farm to global markets.

Agriculture is a shared jurisdiction in Canada and the Department works closely with provincial and territorial governments in the development and delivery of policies and programs, as well as with portfolio organizations, other government departments, Indigenous Peoples and industry stakeholders. Departmental actions affect the entire value chain for farm, food and bio-based products, through all phases of producing, processing and marketing. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's collaborative efforts help create the conditions for the long-term profitability, adaptability and sustainability of the agriculture and agri-food sector.

Part of this work is undertaken through the new Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Launched in 2023, the 5-year (2023 to 2028) agricultural policy framework will provide a total of $3.5 billion in federal, provincial and territorial funding for the agriculture and agri-food sector, an increase of $500 million in funding available for cost-shared programming compared to its predecessor, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (2018 to 2023). The Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership will help position Canada for continued success as a global leader in sustainable agriculture, economically, environmentally and socially. It will also enable an innovative, productive and internationally competitive sector that can continue to meet the expectations of consumers among a growing global population, at a time when rising costs and global food security are significant concerns.

Canadian producers are at the front lines of climate change and are experiencing increased pressure to feed Canada and the world. Agricultural production and the ability of farmers to make a good living from their work depend on a healthy environment and resilience to climate change. This is why Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada launched consultations to develop a Sustainable Agriculture Strategy. The Sustainable Agriculture Strategy will help set a shared direction for collective action to improve environmental performance in the sector over the long-term (to 2050) in order to advance sustainability, competitiveness and vitality of the sector. The Sustainable Agriculture Strategy is a coordinated federal approach to addressing agri-environmental issues, including climate adaptation and resilience, climate change mitigation, water, biodiversity and soil health.

Another important ongoing Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada initiative, the Food Policy for Canada, was launched in 2019 with a vision that all people in Canada are able to access a sufficient amount of safe, nutritious and culturally diverse food, and that Canada's food systems are resilient and innovative, sustain our environment and support our economy. The Food Policy includes funded initiatives to help advance the vision, including the $70 million Local Food Infrastructure Fund that is supporting communities to improve food insecurity by strengthening their local food system. As well, through the $20 million Food Waste Reduction Challenge, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is stimulating innovative business models and technologies to prevent or divert food loss and waste at all the stages of the supply chain. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada also supports the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council, a multi-disciplinary group, that has the expertise and lived experience to bring diverse social, environmental, health and economic perspectives to the table to help address food system challenges and opportunities of today and into the future.

This Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy presents Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's commitments in support of achieving targets under the government-wide sustainable development goals of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is accountable for 5 of those federal goals, including whole-of-government contributions in goals 10, 12 and 13:

  • Goal 2: Support a healthier and more sustainable food system
  • Goal 6: Ensure Clean and Safe Water for All Canadians
  • Goal 10: Advance Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and Take Action to Reduce Inequality
  • Goal 12: Reduce Waste and Transition to Zero-Emission Vehicles
  • Goal 13: Take Action on Climate Change and Its Impacts

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue to help farmers and the entire agriculture and agri-food sector to strengthen their resilience in the face of global and domestic environmental and economic challenges, capture new market opportunities, drive economic growth and competitiveness, combat climate change and remain a reliable partner in global food security.

Section 3: Listening to Canadians

As required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has taken into account comments on the draft 2022 to 2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy made during the public consultation period held from March 11 to July 9, 2022. During the public consultation, more than 700 comments were received from a broad and diverse range of stakeholders, including provincial/territorial and municipal governments, Indigenous organizations, non-governmental organizations, academics, businesses and individual Canadians from different age groups and various backgrounds. The draft Federal Sustainable Development Strategy was also shared with the appropriate committee of each House of Parliament, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Advisory Council for their review and comment.

What we heard

Across the submissions received, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada identified sustainable development priorities and issues that affect the agriculture and agri-food sector. Overall, the comments received covered a wide range of topics but many were shared across a few key themes, including: increasing financial support to farmers for resilient agriculture; improving current efforts to mitigate food insecurity and strengthen Canada's food system; recognizing regional considerations across the agriculture sector; and the need for further research on regenerative agricultural practices.

What we did

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada took the above-mentioned key priorities themes and issues into consideration in this Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy, as they align well with the department's current priorities. The feedback received during the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy consultation period is consistent with comments received during regular engagement and consultation with the agriculture sector undertaken by the department, for example, in the development of the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Please find more information on the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy public consultation and its results in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy Consultation Report.

Section 4: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Commitments

Goal 2: Support a healthier and more sustainable food system

The Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership includes both federal-only programs and activities, as well as programs that are cost-shared between the federal and provincial or territorial governments that are designed to address the specific needs in each jurisdiction. Together, these programs and initiatives advance the 5 agreed-upon priority areas in the Guelph Statement (that is, building sector capacity, growth and competitiveness; climate change and environment; science, research and innovation; market development and trade; and resiliency and public trust), with a focus on achieving results for the sector and Canadians. These priority areas cross each of the Department's core responsibilities of Domestic and International Markets, Science and Innovation and Sector Risk, as well as its Internal Services, while supporting the delivery of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food's mandate letter commitments and broader Government of Canada priorities.

Agriculture plays a key role in meeting the Government of Canada's commitments related to clean growth and climate resiliency. Supporting the sector to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, including to address challenges and enhance resiliency, is critical to its long-term viability and remains a key priority for the Department. Under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Department will work to tackle climate change and enhance environmental resiliency, including by seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3 to 5 megatonnes over the implementation period of the framework. The Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership also provides funding to increase the adoption of beneficial management practices and technologies on Canadian farms to improve environmental outcomes (soil, health, water quality, conservation and restoration of critical wildlife habitat), and maintain or improve productivity. These efforts will also help to position Canadian producers and processors to seize economic opportunities from evolving consumer demands related to sustainability requirements.

The Department will continue to deliver on initiatives such as the Agricultural Climate Solutions Program, including Living Labs and the On-Farm Climate Action Fund and the Agricultural Clean Technology Program to support the sector in developing and implementing practices and clean technologies to address climate change, improve resiliency and build on efforts to meet emission reduction targets. The Agricultural Climate Solutions — Living Labs stream establishes a strong, Canada-wide network of living labs which bring together farmers, scientists and other sector partners to co-develop, test and monitor beneficial management practices on working farms to reduce Canada's environmental footprint and enhance climate resiliency. The Agricultural Climate Solutions — On-Farm Climate Action Fund supports farmers in adopting beneficial management practices that store carbon and reduce greenhouse gases through nitrogen management, cover cropping and rotational grazing practices. The Department will continue to work to develop and implement a Sustainable Agriculture Strategy, in line with the Minister's mandate letter, to further support national and international commitments to meet reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2023 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada launched its new Strategic Plan for Science, which will guide the Department's science and research activities over the next decade by focusing on identified priorities. Through its ongoing programming and initiatives, the Department will continue working collaboratively on cross-sectoral challenges facing both the agricultural sector and Canadians alike and will advance Government of Canada objectives toward action on greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, carbon sequestration and other environmental priorities. The Strategic Plan for Science also recognizes the importance of collaboration and co-developing solutions with farmers, Indigenous communities and sector stakeholders. The Department's approach to research will continue to be open and collaborative, working together with the sector to create and test solutions in real-world situations. This will help farmers and sector partners to more quickly reap the benefits of the results, speeding up Canada's response to pressing global challenges. The Department's efforts related to science, research and innovation will contribute to the overall sustainability, resiliency and competitiveness of the agriculture and agri-food sector, while seeking to pursue economic growth opportunities, enhance food security, address climate change and strengthen long-term resiliency.

Target theme: Sustainable food systems

Target: By 2030, support improvement in the environmental performance of the agriculture sector by achieving a score of 71 or higher for the Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food)

Implementation strategy Departmental action Performance indicator
Starting point
Target
How the departmental action contributes to the FSDS goal and target and, where applicable, to Canada's 2030 agenda national strategy and sustainable development goals (SDG) in the Canadian indicator framework (CIF) and/or the UN global indicator framework (GIF)
Build knowledge for sustainable agriculture

Conduct research to increase knowledge on the environmental effects of agriculture, including ways the sector can help protect the environment.

Program: Foundational Science and Research

Performance indicator:

The number of scientific articles from AAFC accepted for publication through an external peer-reviewed process. Aligned with AAFC's Strategic Plan for Science mission areas:

  1. mitigating and adapting to climate change
  2. increasing the resiliency of agro-ecosystems
  3. advancing the circular economy by developing value-added opportunities
  4. accelerating the digital transformation of the agriculture and agri-food sector

Starting point:

New indicator. Previous result achieved under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership was 2,500 articles over 5 years (2018-2023).

Target:

2,500 articles across the 4 mission areas over 5 years, by 2028.

Scientific research undertaken by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, in collaboration with federal, provincial and non-government organization partners, serves to make agricultural production more sustainable as scientific knowledge leads to the development of practices and processes that can be adopted in Canada.

Conducting research contributes to the overall stability of agricultural working landscapes and their ability to sustain a high level of agricultural production by Canadian farmers.

Peer-reviewed publications can be viewed on the AAFC website at Open data and scientific agricultural publications.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambitions:

  • 2.2 — Canadian agriculture is sustainable
  • 9.1 — Canada fosters sustainable research and innovation
  • 12.2 — Canadians consume in a sustainable manner
  • 13.3 — Canadians are well-equipped and resilient to face the effects of Climate change

CIF target:

  • 2.2 — By 2030, support improvement in the environmental performance of the agriculture sector by achieving a score of 71 or higher for the Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability

CIF indicator:

  • 2.2.1 — Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability

GIF targets:

  • 2.4 — By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality
  • 12.2 — By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
  • 13.1 — Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
  • 13.3 — Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
Build knowledge for sustainable agriculture

Work with the provinces and territories to increase sector awareness of risks and opportunities related to climate change and environmental issues.

Program: Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Cost-Shared Programming — Climate Change and Environment priority area

Performance indicator:

  1. Number of participants in training/knowledge transfer events.
  2. Number of extension and information materials, tools and products produced.

Starting point:

New program starting in 2023. Previous results achieved under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (2018-2023) were:

  1. 7,688 participants
  2. 1,186 extension and information materials

Target:

  1. 10,000 participants by March 31, 2028.
  2. 2,080 extension and information materials by March 31, 2028.

This shows how FPT cost-shared Climate Change and Environment programs and initiatives help the Canadian agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sectors increase their awareness and knowledge of beneficial management practices to respond to a changing climate.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambitions:

  • 2.2 — Canadian agriculture is sustainable
  • 13.3 — Canadians are well-equipped and resilient to face the effects of Climate change

GIF targets:

  • 2.4 — By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality
  • 13.1 — Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
  • 13.3 — Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning
Promote clean technology in the agriculture sector

Implement the Agricultural Clean Technology Program to support the development and adoption of clean technology that will enable reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and promote sustainable growth in Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector.

Program: Environment and Climate Change Programs

Performance indicator:

  1. Number of clean technologies that are developed.
  2. Number of adopted agricultural clean technologies.

Starting point:

New indicator. Results under the previous Agricultural Clean Technology Program (2018-2021) were 8 clean technologies developed and 3 adopted.

Target:

  1. 490 by March 31, 2028.
  2. 1,200 by March 31, 2026.

The Agricultural Clean Technology Program supports projects that will develop or implement clean technologies in the priority areas of green energy and energy efficiency, precision agriculture and the bioeconomy. The program will help drive the changes required to achieve a low-carbon economy and promote sustainable growth in Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambitions:

  • 2.2 — Canadian agriculture is sustainable
  • 7.2 — Canadians reduce their energy consumption
  • 9.1 — Canada fosters sustainable research and innovation

CIF indicator:

  • 7.2.1 — Total energy consumption per capita

GIF targets:

  • 2.4 — By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality
  • 7.2 — By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
  • 7.3 — By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency
Promote sustainable agricultural practices

Work with provinces and territories through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership to build the capacity of Canada's agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector to encourage all aspects of the sector to adopt sustainable agricultural practices and beneficial management practices at farm and regional levels, with the central focus of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the effects of climate change.

Program: Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership FPT Cost-Shared Programming — Climate Change and Environment priority area

Performance indicator:

  1. Total number of environmental risk assessments (for example, Environmental Farm Plans (EFPs) or equivalent) developed and/or updated.
  2. Number of beneficial management practices adopted by type (climate change adaptation/environmental performance/climate change mitigation).

Starting point:

Previous results under the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (2018-2023) were:

  1. 19,687 EFPs
  2. 18,075 BMPs

Target:

  1. 32,500 EFPs by March 31, 2028
  2. 24,013 BMPs by March 31, 2028

Programming under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership aims to increase the awareness and knowledge of beneficial management practices and climate change. It also aims to increase the adoption of practices and technologies to improve environmental performance, adapt to climate change and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambition:

  • 2.2 — Canadian agriculture is sustainable

CIF target:

  • 2.2 — By 2030, support improvement in the environmental performance of the agriculture sector by achieving a score of 71 or higher for the Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability

CIF indicator:

  • 2.2.1 — Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability

GIF targets:

  • 2.4 — By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality
  • 15.3 — By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world
Promote sustainable agricultural practices

Implement the AgriScience Program under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support the acceleration of innovations by providing funding and support for pre-commercial science activities and research that benefits the agriculture and agri-food sector and Canadians.

Program: AgriScience

Performance indicator:

Number of new beneficial management practices that are developed to address climate change & environment.

Starting point:

New indicator. No starting point available.

Target:

Will be set in the 2024-25 fiscal year.

One of the AgriScience Program's priority areas is research that addresses climate change and environmental sustainability. The other 2 priority areas are economic growth and development and sector resilience and societal challenge.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambitions:

  • 2.2 — Canadian agriculture is sustainable
  • 8.5 — Canadians contribute to and benefit from sustainable economic growth

CIF target:

  • 2.2 — By 2030, support improvement in the environmental performance of the agriculture sector by achieving a score of 71 or higher for the Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability

CIF indicator:

  • 2.2.1 — Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability
Support agricultural climate solutions in Canada

Implement the Agricultural Climate Solutions Program — Living Labs stream to support the co-development, testing and adoption of technologies and practices, including beneficial management practices, that sequester carbon and/or mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Program: Environment and Climate Change Programs

Performance indicator:

  1. Number of beneficial management practices developed or improved that increase carbon sequestration.
  2. Number of beneficial management practices developed or improved that reduce GHG emissions.

Starting point:

New program with activities launched in July 2022. A starting point will be established after the first year of performance information is available.

Target:

  1. 336 by March 31, 2031.
  2. 271 by March 31, 2031.

The Living Labs stream aims to establish a national network of living labs, which bring together farmers, scientists and other sector partners to co-develop, test, implement and monitor beneficial management practice to increase carbon sequestration, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve other environmental co-benefits.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambitions:

  • 2.2 — Canadian agriculture is sustainable
  • 9.1 — Canada fosters sustainable research and innovation
  • 13.1 — Canadians reduce their greenhouse gas emissions

CIF targets:

  • 2.2 — By 2030, support improvement in the environmental performance of the agriculture sector by achieving a score of 71 or higher for the Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability
  • 13.1 — By 2030, reduce Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions by 40% to 45%, relative to 2005 emission levels. By 2050, achieve economy-wide net-zero greenhouse gas emissions

CIF indicator:

  • 2.2.1 — Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability

GIF targets:

  • 6.3 — By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally
  • 13.1 — Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
Support agricultural climate solutions in Canada

Implement the Agricultural Climate Solutions — On-Farm Climate Action Fund to support farmers in adopting beneficial management practices that store carbon and reduce greenhouse gases, specifically in the area of nitrogen management, cover cropping and rotational grazing.

Program: Environment and Climate Change Programs

Performance indicator:

Number of unique producers implementing new beneficial management practices (BMPs) or expanding BMP adoption on new acres of land with support of the Fund.

Starting point:

New program with activities launched in spring 2022. A starting point will be established after the first year of performance information is available.

Target:

14,000 by March 31, 2028.

The On-Farm Climate Action Fund stream will support farmers in adopting BMPs that store carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, focusing in 3 areas: nitrogen management, cover cropping and rotational grazing.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambitions:

  • 2.2 — Canadian agriculture is sustainable
  • 13.1 — Canadians reduce their greenhouse gas emissions

CIF targets:

  • 2.2 — By 2030, support improvement in the environmental performance of the agriculture sector by achieving a score of 71 or higher for the Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability
  • 13.1 — By 2030, reduce Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions by 40% to 45%, relative to 2005 emission levels. By 2050, achieve economy-wide net-zero greenhouse gas emissions

CIF indicator:

  • 2.2.1 — Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability

GIF targets:

  • 13.1 — Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
  • 15.3 — By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world

Implementation strategies supporting the goal

This section is for implementation strategies that support the goal, "Support a healthier and more sustainable food system" but not a specific FSDS target

Implementation strategy Departmental action Performance indicator
Starting point
Target
How the departmental action contributes to the FSDS goal and target and, where applicable, to Canada's 2030 agenda national strategy and SDGs in the CIF and/or the UN GIF
Help Canadian communities access healthy food

Deliver the Local Food Infrastructure Fund which supports local food projects, such as those at food banks and community gardens across Canada, to provide at-risk populations, such as the less privileged and isolated communities, with improved access to healthy foods through investments in infrastructure.

Program: Food Policy Initiatives

Performance indicator:

Average percentage change in the amount of food produced/ distributed by program recipients (in terms of food value in dollars).

Starting point:

169% (result achieved under the first 3 streams of Local Food Infrastructure Fund (LFIF), based on results reported as of March 2023).

Target:

An average increase of 150% achieved under all 5 streams of LFIF, by September 2024.

Note: the target is slightly lower than the starting point, as results achieved under the first 3 streams of LFIF are estimated to be especially high because of the increased demand for and provision of food over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As organizations make increased investments in local food infrastructure, their capacity to provide healthy and nutritious food to the most vulnerable populations will increase. This increase in capacity will lead to an increased availability of healthy and nutritious food within these communities across Canada.

Relevant targets or ambitions

SDG:

  • 3 — Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

CIF ambition:

  • 2.1 — Canadians have access to sufficient, affordable and nutritious food

CIF indicator:

  • 2.1.1 — Prevalence of food insecurity

Goal 6: ensure clean and safe water for all Canadians

Freshwater management in Canada is a responsibility shared among federal, provincial, territorial governments as well as Indigenous, First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The Government of Canada has jurisdiction in areas such as fisheries, pollution prevention, shipping and navigation, international relations, transboundary waters, creating and managing protected areas and managing freshwater on federal lands. It also plays a leadership role in freshwater science and research to ensure that Canadians have the necessary information for evidence-based decision making on Canadian freshwater resources.

The Government of Canada has provided federal support in the managing, restoring and protecting of nationally significant freshwater bodies in Canada through the investment and action within the Freshwater Action Plan. Successive Speeches from the Throne and mandate letters have committed to strengthening and expanding the Freshwater Action Plan, creating a Canada Water Agency and advancing the modernization of the Canada Water Act.

Budget 2023 announced a major investment to support Canada's fresh water, including implementing a strengthened Freshwater Action Plan to address freshwater challenges, creating the Canada Water Agency and advancing the modernization of the Canada Water Act, once the Agency is established.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue to engage with Environment and Climate Change Canada, other government departments, provincial/territorial agriculture counterparts and interested sector partners in order to support the agriculture sector enhance the stewardship of Canada's water resources, including through the establishment of a new Canada Water Agency and implementation of a Freshwater Action Plan.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada have a Memorandum of Understanding in place which formalizes information sharing on a more systematic basis to better inform research efforts and maximize outcomes, including supporting the goal of keeping Canada's freshwater safe, clean and well managed. For example, the departments have established processes to share information on current and emerging risks and by monitoring and conducting research activities through formal and informal processes. This includes interagency agreements, working groups and committees. As of March 3, 2023, regional science committees in Lake Winnipeg, Lake Erie and St. John/Wolastoq have been meeting to discuss opportunities for further science collaboration, while also sharing information on research activities.

In addition, the department provides funding through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership for increased adoption of beneficial management practices and technologies on Canadian farms that help to protect and sustainably manage Canada's water resources and enhance the sector's resilience to climate change.

Target theme: Healthy lakes and rivers

Target: By 2027, action plans are in place to advance restoration and protection of major lakes and rivers in Canada (Minister of Environment and Climate Change)

Implementation strategy Departmental action Performance indicator
Starting point
Target
How the departmental action contributes to the FSDS goal and target and, where applicable, to Canada's 2030 agenda national strategy and SDGs in the CIF and/or the UN GIF
Develop knowledge of water sustainability in Canada

Improved knowledge and understanding of science-based solutions by the scientific and agriculture community to support a sustainable sector and to improve the sector's economic growth and resiliency.

Program: Foundational Science and Research

Performance indicator:

The number of scientific articles from AAFC accepted for publication through an external peer-reviewed process aligned with AAFC's Strategic Plan for Science mission areas:

  1. mitigating and adapting to climate change
  2. increasing the resiliency of agro-ecosystems
  3. advancing the circular economy by developing value-added opportunities
  4. accelerating the digital transformation of the agriculture and agri-food sector

Starting point:

The previous result achieved under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership was 2,500 articles over 5 years (2018-2023).

Target:

2,500 articles with the ability to report on publications related to water across the 4 mission areas over 5 years, by 2028.

Scientific research undertaken by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, in collaboration with federal, provincial and non-government organization partners, serves to make agricultural production more sustainable as scientific knowledge leads to the development of practices and processes that can be adopted in Canada.

Conducting research thus contributes to the overall stability of agricultural working landscapes and their ability to sustain a high level of agricultural production by Canadian farmers.

Peer-reviewed publications can be viewed on the AAFC website at Open data and scientific agricultural publications.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambitions:

  • 2.2 — Canadian agriculture is sustainable
  • 13.3 — Canadians are well-equipped and resilient to face the effects of Climate change

CIF target:

  • 2.2 — By 2030, support improvement in the environmental performance of the agriculture sector by achieving a score of 71 or higher for the Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability

CIF indicator:

  • 2.2.1 — Index of Agri-Environmental Sustainability

GIF targets:

  • 2.4 — By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality
  • 6.3 — By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally
  • 6.5 — By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate

Goal 10: Advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and take action on inequality

Reconciliation includes establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples in Canada. It requires awareness of the past (truth), acknowledgement of the harm that has been inflicted, atonement for the causes and action to change behaviour. Reconciliation also requires the recognition of Indigenous and treaty rights and a commitment to work cooperatively to implement these rights. Reconciliation requires a whole-of-government approach and each Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada employee has responsibilities and obligations related to reconciliation that must be honoured.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada works to ensure a coordinated, strategic and holistic departmental approach to reconciliation through the support of Indigenous agriculture and food systems. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada works to advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples through a sustained departmental commitment to supporting Indigenous agriculture and food systems that rests on 3 action pillars, including, fostering Cultural Awareness and Departmental Capacity. For example, ensuring our hiring processes are inclusive and culturally appropriate, as well as creating a culturally safe and relevant work environment for Indigenous Peoples through cultural awareness education of all Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada employees. Enhancing cultural awareness helps employees build, strengthen and maintain distinctions-based relationships with Indigenous partners, and enables Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to work in consultation and collaboration with Indigenous Peoples to advance all-of-government and departmental reconciliation activities.

Departmental efforts throughout the duration of the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership policy framework will advance outcomes related to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. Under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, Federal-Provincial-Territorial governments committed to a collective social target to increase the proportion of funded ultimate recipients that identify as Indigenous Peoples, women, and/or youth over the course of the framework (2023-2028). In support of this target, Federal-Provincial-Territorial governments will collect applicant demographic data to report against this target and enable analysis on the reach and impact of Sustainable Agricultural Partnership programming.

The Department will continue working to address barriers and support the participation of Indigenous Peoples and other underrepresented and marginalized groups in the sector, such as women, youth, persons with disabilities, racialized persons, 2SLGBTQI+ communities and official language minority communities, including through its programs and service delivery. In support of Government of Canada commitments to reconciliation and recognizing the importance of Indigenous leadership in the effort to build a sustainable agricultural sector, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will continue working to build and strengthen relationships and enhance engagement with First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The Department will develop and implement inclusive policies, programming and services under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership to support sector participation of underrepresented and marginalized groups and Indigenous food systems. Additionally, as an employer, the Department remains committed to establishing a culture that values diversity, equity and inclusion and to strengthening its workforce in a way that reflects Canada's diversity.

Target theme: Advancing reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis

Target: Between 2023 and 2026, and every year on an ongoing basis, develop and table annual progress reports on implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Implementation strategy Departmental action Performance indicator
Starting point
Target
How the departmental action contributes to the FSDS goal and target and, where applicable, to Canada's 2030 agenda national strategy and SDGs in the CIF and/or the UN GIF
Implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act

Increase access for Indigenous Peoples in employment (through targeted advertised processes to hire Indigenous students and employees).

Program: UN Declaration Act Implementation Secretariat

Performance indicator:

  1. The percentage of staffing processes and student processes that target Indigenous applicants.
  2. The percentage of new hires who identify as an Indigenous person.
  3. The percentage of promotions of Indigenous employees.
  4. The percentage of representation hires and promotions of Indigenous Peoples compared to workforce availability.

Starting point:

  1. Number of staffing processes (2) and student processes (1) targeting Indigenous applicants as of March 31, 2023.
  2. Number of new hires who identify as an Indigenous person as of March 31, 2023 (18).
  3. Number of promotions who identify as an Indigenous person as of March 31, 2023 (22).
  4. Percentage of Indigenous employee representation as of March 31, 2023, is 3.5% of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada employees versus. 3.8% Workforce Availability.

Target:

  1. 10% increase in the number of staffing processes and student processes that target Indigenous applicants each year.
  2. 10% increase in the number of new hires who identify as an Indigenous person each year.
  3. 10% increase in the number of promotions of Indigenous employees each year
  4. Representation equals or exceeds workforce availability as of March 31, 2026

Increase access to job opportunities in the public service for Indigenous Peoples in Canada. This action works to reduce the inequity of Indigenous representation in the public service of Canada.

Relevant targets or ambitions

GIF target:

  • 10.3 — Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard
Implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act

Provide Indigenous cultural competency training and/or training to better understand the history of Indigenous Peoples and contribute to reconciliation.

Program: UN Declaration Act Implementation Secretariat

Performance indicator:

Number of Indigenous cultural competency training sessions delivered by the Indigenous Support and Awareness Office (ISAO), or training recommended by the department. Consider the Reconciliation Path, the Indigenous Awareness Learning Series and the Indigenous Learning Series.

Starting point:

52 Indigenous training sessions delivered in the 2022-23 fiscal year.

Target:

Continued increase in the number of Indigenous training sessions delivered each year.

Public servants are in a unique position to help build respectful relationships with Indigenous Peoples in Canada. This action encourages public service employees to increase their cultural competency skills and awareness of issues related to First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Canada as well as their knowledge of the UN Declaration. This action contributes to the development of necessary cultural competency knowledge and skills to implement the UN Declaration.

Relevant targets or ambitions

GIF target:

  • 10.3 — Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard

Goal 12: reduce waste and transition to zero-emission vehicles

Goal 12 in the 2022 to 2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy reiterated the Government of Canada's commitment in the Greening Government Strategy to lead by example, in reducing waste and the transition to zero-emission vehicles. Measures for responsible consumption related to internal operations consists of considering environmental impacts in the procurement of goods and services and prioritizing high impact categories including light-duty on-road vehicles, low-carbon fuels and construction materials and clean electricity. In addition to speaking to the FSDS content for federal leadership on responsible consumption, the table below includes reporting requirements under the Policy on Green Procurement.

With a purchasing power of $142.6 million (9,815 contracts) in 2022-23, a fleet of 75 light-duty on-road vehicles and a portfolio of 20 key research and development centres, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is well-positioned to make an impact with responsible consumption. The department continues to modernize its light-duty on-road fleet, to support Public Services and Procurement Canada's Clean Electricity Procurement Initiative and take steps to promote and strengthen green procurement and waste management practices.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is also well-positioned to encourage and support sustainable production and consumption through more efficient food systems across Canada. Reducing food loss and waste at all stages of the supply chain can strengthen food system resilience and sustainability, improve supply chain productivity and resource efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emission from landfills. As part of the Food Policy for Canada, the Food Waste Reduction Challenge is helping to accelerate the implementation of innovation and concrete actions to reduce food loss and waste at all stages of the supply chain. The challenge has attracted over 500 applications across diverse solution spaces including artificial intelligence, mobile applications, upcycling to new foods or high value products as well as novel packaging and food treatment technologies to extend the shelf life of food.

Reducing food loss and waste through prevention and diversion across Canada's food systems is also a key priority. The Government of Canada has invested over $100 million in initiatives to prevent and divert food loss and waste, through programs such as: the Food Waste Reduction Challenge to support innovative business models and technological solutions; and the Surplus Food Rescue Program, which redistributed over 7 million kilograms of food, and more than one million dozen eggs, to food banks and community food organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Canada's agriculture and food sector is beginning to include food loss and waste reduction in their operational processes and corporate responsibility efforts. Several provincial and territorial governments (for example, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec) and municipalities are also taking action, including consumer awareness and education campaigns and setting targets to divert food loss and waste from landfills.

To build on actions to date, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada plans to launch a No-Waste Food Fund to help all players along the food supply chain to commercialize and adopt ways to eliminate, reduce or repurpose food loss and waste. The new Fund could help Canada achieve a more circular food economy, that conceives of the food system as a closed-loop system rather than as a linear "take-make-dispose" model. Building on lessons learned from the Food Waste Reduction Challenge, this approach designs food loss and waste out of the system by preventing it at the source, recovering value through alternate uses and diverting any residual waste away from environmentally harmful disposal streams.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is also leading efforts toward developing a Food Loss and Waste Reduction Action Plan, as committed to through the 10th North American Leaders Summit in January 2023. The Action Plan provides an opportunity to consolidate a number of federal initiatives and commitments that have linkages to food loss and waste reduction and to address stakeholder and expert recommendations on ways to foster collaboration and collective action to meaningfully reduce food loss and waste across Canada.

Target theme: Federal Leadership on Responsible Consumption

Target: By 2030, the Government of Canada will divert from landfill at least 75% by weight of non-hazardous operational waste (All ministers)

Implementation strategy Departmental action Performance indicator
Starting point
Target
How the departmental action contributes to the FSDS goal and target and, where applicable, to Canada's 2030 agenda national strategy and SDGs in the CIF and/or the UN GIF
Maximize diversion of waste from landfill

Track and disclose non-hazardous waste diversion rates for applicable custodial facilities and implement waste diversion measures.

Program: Internal Services

Performance indicator:

Percentage of non-hazardous operational waste diversion from landfill by weight from custodial facilities.

Note: Percentage is based on a rolling average of the mass of diverted waste, divided by the total mass of waste.

Starting point:

39% from fiscal years 2009-10 to 2017-18.

Based on annualized data from latest waste audits for the 5 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada custodial facilities which meet the Treasury Board Secretariat reporting requirements.

Target:

At least 75% by 2030-31.

Actions that reduce the generation of operational waste will help to reduce indirect Scope 3 (value chain) greenhouse gas emissions for the production, transport and disposal of material.

Diverting waste from the landfill reduces landfill gas. Material recovery via recycling reduces emissions for the extraction and production of virgin materials.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambition:

  • 12 — Canadians consume in a sustainable manner

CIF indicator:

  • 12.3.1 — Total waste diversion per capita

GIF target:

  • 12.5 — By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

Target: By 2030, the Government of Canada will divert from landfill at least 90% by weight of all construction and demolition waste (All ministers)

Implementation strategy Departmental action Performance indicator
Starting point
Target
How the departmental action contributes to the FSDS goal and target and, where applicable, to Canada's 2030 agenda national strategy and SDGs in the CIF and/or the UN GIF
Maximize diversion of waste from landfill

Track and disclose construction and demolition waste diversion rates for applicable custodial infrastructure projects.

Program: Internal Services

Performance indicator:

Percentage of construction and demolition waste diversion from landfill by weight for applicable major projects.

Note: Percentage is based on the mass diverted, divided by the total mass.

Starting point:

No starting point available.

Based on data from projects which meet the Treasury Board Secretariat reporting requirements.

Target:

At least 90% by 2030-31.

Actions that reduce the generation of construction and demolition waste will help to reduce indirect Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions for the production, transport and disposal of material.

Diverting waste from the landfill reduces landfill gas. Material recovery via recycling reduces emissions for the extraction and production of virgin materials.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambition:

  • 12 — Canadians consume in a sustainable manner

CIF indicator:

  • 12.3.1 — Total waste diversion per capita

GIF target:

  • 12.5 — By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

Target: The Government of Canada's procurement of goods and services will be net-zero emissions by 2050, to aid the transition to a net-zero, circular economy (All ministers)

Implementation strategy Departmental action Performance indicator
Starting point
Target
How the departmental action contributes to the FSDS goal and target and, where applicable, to Canada's 2030 agenda national strategy and SDGs in the CIF and/or the UN GIF
Disclose embodied carbon in construction

Respond to the Centre for Greening Government's annual call letter disclosing embodied carbon in construction of major projects as applicable.

Program: Internal Services

Performance indicator:

Reporting of embodied carbon in construction for major projects as applicable in the annual Federal Greening Government Reporting Template for Major projects which meet the Treasury Board Secretariat reporting requirements.

Starting point:

No starting point available.

Target:

Annual submission of embodied carbon in construction to the Federal Greening Government Reporting Template.

Embodied carbon forms a significant proportion of the whole life carbon emissions from construction projects. Major construction projects typically include the renovation or new construction of buildings. Disclosing and reducing the embodied carbon footprint of construction projects will aid in reaching the target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambition:

  • 12 — Canadians consume in a sustainable manner

CIF Indicator:

  • 12.2.1 — Proportion of businesses that adopted selected environmental protection activities and management practices

GIF target:

  • 12.7 — Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities
Transform the federal light-duty fleet

Purchase at least 75% of new light-duty, on-road fleet vehicles will be zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), where suitable options are available and meet operational feasibility.

Track and disclose amount of ZEVs in departmental light-duty on-road fleet.

Program: Internal Services

Performance indicator:

Percent of light-duty on-road vehicles that are ZEVs.

Starting point:

4% of light-duty on-road vehicles are ZEVs in 2022-23.

Target:

100% ZEVs by 2030-31

Greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by reducing fuel consumption, by increasing usage of low-carbon transportation solutions and by replacing conventional fossil-fuelled vehicles over their lifetimes with zero-emission vehicles.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambition:

  • 12 — Canadians consume in a sustainable manner

CIF target:

  • 12.1 — Zero-emission vehicles represent 10% of new light-duty vehicle sales by 2025, 30% by 2030 and 100% by 2040

CIF indicator:

  • 12.1.1 — Proportion of new light-duty vehicle registrations that are zero-emission vehicles

GIF target:

  • 12.1 — Implement the 10-year framework of programs on sustainable consumption and production, all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries
Strengthen green procurement criteria

The completion of green procurement training will be made mandatory for all AAFC procurement and materiel management specialists (PG classification) to ensure that environmental performance considerations are integrated into the procurement decision-making process.

Program: Internal Services

Performance indicator:

Percentage of procurement and materiel management specialists (PG classification) having completed requisite green procurement training by the end of every fiscal year.

Starting point:

67% as of 2022-23.

Target:

90% by March 31st of each year.

Green procurement incorporates environmental considerations into purchasing decisions and is expected to motivate suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of the goods and services they deliver and their supply chains.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambition:

  • 12 — Canadians consume in a sustainable manner

CIF indicator:

  • 12.2.1 — Proportion of businesses that adopted selected environmental protection activities and management practices

GIF target:

  • 12.7 — Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities
Stregthen green procurement criteria

Strengthen AAFC's procurement and materiel management related procedures, guidance documents and tools to ensure environmental considerations are incorporated, when appropriate, when processing a procurement requirement.

Program: Internal Services

Performance indicator:

Percentage of awarded contracts in which AAFC is the contracting authority that include environmental considerations, where appropriate.

Note: Departmental acquisition card activity is excluded.

Starting point:

No starting point available.

Target:

At least 15% of the contracts by 2026.

Green procurement incorporates environmental considerations into purchasing decisions and is expected to motivate suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of the goods and services they deliver and their supply chains.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambition:

  • 12 — Canadians consume in a sustainable manner

CIF indicator:

  • 12.2.1 — Proportion of businesses that adopted selected environmental protection activities and management practices

GIF target:

  • 12.7 — Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities
Strengthen green procurement criteria

Award contracts using a pre-established method of supply such as a standing offer or supply arrangement, which include environmental considerations, enabling AAFC to purchase more environmentally preferable goods and services.

Program: Internal Services

Performance indicator:

Percentage of contracts awarded against a pre-established method of supply in which environmental considerations are included, where appropriate.

Note: Departmental acquisition card activity is excluded.

Starting point:

No starting point available.

Target:

At least 25% of the contracts by 2026.

Green procurement incorporates environmental considerations into purchasing decisions and is expected to motivate suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of the goods and services they deliver and their supply chains.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambition:

  • 12 — Canadians consume in a sustainable manner

CIF indicator:

  • 12.2.1 — Proportion of businesses that adopted selected environmental protection activities and management practices

GIF target:

  • 12.7 — Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities
Strengthen green procurement criteria

Participate and support the Clean Electricity Procurement Initiative led by Public Services and Procurement Canada on behalf of federal departments and agencies.

Program: Internal Services

Performance indicator:

Percentage of electricity consumption from clean electricity generation by custodial facilities in the fiscal year.

Note: Percentage is based on electricity consumption from non-emitting sources, including renewable energy certificates, divided by the total electricity consumption.

Starting point:

72.78% in 2021-22

Provided by Treasury Board Secretariat based on 2020 ECCC emission factors.

Target:

100% by 2025-26

The use of clean electricity eliminates greenhouse gas emissions in jurisdictions with emitting generation sources.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambition:

  • 12 — Canadians consume in a sustainable manner

CIF indicator:

  • 12.2.1 — Proportion of businesses that adopted selected environmental protection activities and management practices

GIF target:

  • 12.7 — Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities

Goal 13: take action on climate change and its impacts

The 2022 to 2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy reiterates in Goal 13 the Government of Canada's commitment in the Greening Government Strategy to lead by example by transitioning its own operations to reach net-zero carbon and become more climate-resilient by 2050. Net-zero means reducing greenhouse gas emissions from operations to as close to zero as possible and then balancing out any remaining emissions with an equivalent amount of carbon removal.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is a large federal custodian department representing almost 5% of scoped-in federal government greenhouse gas emissions from its real property and conventional fleet. The Department's custodial research portfolio is composed of 1,085 buildings and 17,591 hectares of land (as of March 2023), including 20 key research and development centres with features such as laboratories, office areas, greenhouses, on-site test plots, barns, various outbuildings and crop storage. Given the breadth of its facilities, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is well-positioned to continue making contributions to emissions reduction with improvements to the energy efficiency of its buildings, modernizing its fleet from conventional combustion engine vehicles to zero-emission vehicles and consumption of clean electricity. The Department has already made good progress toward reducing its greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities and fleet by 49.3% as of 2022-23, relative to 2005-06.

In addition, agriculture plays a key role in meeting the Government of Canada's commitments related to clean growth and climate resiliency. Supporting the sector to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, including to address challenges and enhance resiliency, is critical to its long-term viability and remains a key priority for the Department. In an effort to improve the ability of producers to adapt to the impacts of climate change, the Department will seek to increase farmers' awareness and management of on-farm environmental risks and support the adoption of beneficial management practices and technologies that reduce risks, including those attributed to climate change. Under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the Department will work to tackle climate change and environmental protection, including by seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3 to 5 megatonnes over the implementation period of the framework. These efforts will also help to position Canadian producers and processors to seize economic opportunities from evolving consumer demands related to sustainability requirements. In addition, the Department will continue to support producers to improve the climate resiliency of their operations by supporting and conducting science and innovation as well as on-farm programs. This includes the suite of federal-provincial-territorial Business Risk Management programs to help manage significant risks that threaten the viability of their farm and are beyond their capacity to manage, including risks and losses from severe weather events (for example, droughts, wildfires and floods).

The Department will continue to deliver on initiatives such as the Agricultural Climate Solutions Program, including Living Labs and the On-Farm Climate Action Fund and the Agricultural Clean Technology Program. Agricultural Climate Solutions is a multi-stream program that will help to develop and implement farming practices to tackle climate change. Through agricultural practices, such as shelterbelts or cover crops, farmland can store carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, as part of the Government of Canada's 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy, the Agricultural Clean Technology Program supports the development and adoption of clean technology that will enable reduced greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable growth in Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector.

The Department will continue to work to develop and implement a Sustainable Agriculture Strategy to support Canada's 2030 and 2050 climate targets and international commitments.

Target theme: Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

Target: Achieve 40% to 45% greenhouse gas emission reductions below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (Minister of Environment and Climate Change supported by all other ministers)

Implementation strategy Departmental action Performance indicator
Starting point
Target
How the departmental action contributes to the FSDS goal and target and, where applicable, to Canada's 2030 agenda national strategy and SDGs in the CIF and/or the UN GIF
Continue to implement Canada's climate plans and actions

Work with provinces and territories through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership to reduce national GHG emissions.

Program: Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership FPT Cost-Shared Programming — Climate Change and Environment Priority Area

Performance indicator:

The sum of the total value of the reduction in GHG emissions resulting from the adoption of BMPs funded through Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership FPT Cost-Shared programming on the Proportionate Spend eligible activities list.

Starting point:

No starting point available; this is a new indicator for GHG reductions from projects funded under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Target:

3-5 megatonne reduction to be achieved by the end of the framework, March 2028.

Programming under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership aims to reduce GHG emissions achieved through the adoption of beneficial management practices.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambitions:

  • 2.2 — Canadian agriculture is sustainable
  • 13.1 — Canadians reduce their greenhouse gas emissions
  • 13.3 — Canadians are well-equipped and resilient to face the effects of Climate change

CIF target:

  • 13.1 — By 2030, reduce Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions by 40% to 45%, relative to 2005 emission levels. By 2050, achieve economy-wide net-zero greenhouse gas emissions

GIF targets:

  • 13.1 — Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries
  • 13.2 — Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning
  • 13.3 — Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

Target theme: Federal Leadership on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions and Climate Resilience

Target: The Government of Canada will transition to net-zero carbon operations for facilities and conventional fleets by 2050 (All ministers)

Implementation strategy Departmental action Performance indicator
Starting point
Target
How the departmental action contributes to the FSDS goal and target and, where applicable, to Canada's 2030 agenda national strategy and SDGs in the CIF and/or the UN GIF

Modernize through net-zero carbon buildings

Apply a greenhouse gas reduction life-cycle cost analysis for major building retrofits

Take action to implement building energy efficiency measures, including:

All new buildings to be net-zero carbon unless a life-cycle cost-benefit analysis indicates net-zero-carbon-ready construction

All major building retrofits, including significant energy performance contracts, require a greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction life-cycle cost analysis to determine the optimal greenhouse gas savings.

Participate and support the Clean Electricity Procurement Initiative led by Public Services and Procurement Canada.

Optimize fleet management and renewal, including purchasing at least 75% of new light-duty, on-road fleet vehicles, where suitable options are available and meet operational feasibility.

Note: the above Departmental Actions that contribute to the change in GHG emissions from custodial facilities and conventional fleet are also noted in Goal 12, related to strengthen green procurement criteria.

Program: Internal Services

Performance indicator:

Percentage of change in GHG emissions from custodial facilities and conventional fleet relative to fiscal year 2005-06.

Starting point:

49.3% (49.3 ktCO2e) in 2022-23 relative to 2005-06 (92.0 ktCO2e).

Target:

40% reduction by 2025-26; at least 90% by 2050-51.

Actions that rationalize the portfolio, share facilities, reduce the demand for energy, or switch to lower carbon sources of energy will lead to reductions in GHGs from real property operations.

Greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by reducing fuel consumption, by increasing usage of low-carbon transportation solutions and by replacing conventional fossil-fuelled vehicles over their lifetimes with zero-emission vehicles.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambition:

  • 13.1 — Canadians reduce their greenhouse gas emissions

CIF target:

  • 13.1 — By 2030, reduce Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions by 40% to 45%, relative to 2005 emission levels. By 2050, achieve economy-wide net-zero greenhouse gas emissions

CIF indicator:

GIF target:

  • 13.2 — Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning

Target: The Government of Canada will transition to climate-resilient operations by 2050 (All ministers)

Implementation strategy Departmental action Performance indicator
Starting point
Target
How the departmental action contributes to the FSDS goal and target and, where applicable, to Canada's 2030 agenda national strategy and SDGs in the CIF and/or the UN GIF
Reduce risks posed by climate change to federal assets, services and operations

Assess climate-resilient considerations early in investment planning for major projects, informed by the completed portfolio climate resiliency risk assessment, and integrate identified measures into the final designs

Respond to the Centre for Greening Government's annual call letter indicating actions have been taken to reduce risks posed by climate change to federal assets, services and operations.

Program: Internal Services

Performance indicator:

Reporting on actions taken to address climate-related risks in the Federal Greening Government Reporting Template

Starting point:

No starting point available

Target:

Annual submission of actions taken to the Federal Greening Government Reporting Template

By assessing the risks of climate change impacts at mission critical assets and developing plans to reduce the risks, the risk of disruption of critical service delivery to Canadians is reduced.

Factoring climate variability and change into operations is an important way the government can adapt to a changing climate. It is also consistent with the government's risk management approach of enhancing the protection of public assets and resources and strengthening planning and decision-making.

Relevant targets or ambitions

CIF ambition:

  • 13.1 — Canadians reduce their greenhouse gas emissions

CIF target:

  • 13.1 — By 2030, reduce Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions by 40% to 45%, relative to 2005 emission levels. By 2050, achieve economy-wide net-zero greenhouse gas emissions

CIF indicator:

GIF target:

  • 13.2 — Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning

Section 5: Integrating sustainable development

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's mission statement — "to provide leadership in the growth and development of a competitive, innovative and sustainable Canadian agriculture and agri‐food sector" — identifies sustainability as a core attribute for the sector.

Agricultural production relies on the use of natural resources such as soil, water and animal and plant biodiversity. Given this, achieving a sustainable agriculture and agri-food sector is a process of continuous improvement in the responsible use and management of agricultural resources along all points of the value chain, including producers, processors and retailers. There is also a need to consider domestic and global agri-food markets and the economic opportunities these markets present to Canadian producers and companies. It is to the benefit of the sector to build and protect these resources, while translating market requirements into more sustainable choices for consumers.

Sustainable agriculture contributes to sector profitability by safeguarding the land's productive capacity now and into the future and by reducing operating costs through increased efficiencies. It enhances the domestic and international reputation of the sector and producers as good stewards of the land and helps to both maintain access to existing markets and open new markets, creating opportunities for growth. These outcomes are integral to the sustainability and competitiveness of the Canadian agriculture sector and support its important contribution to Canada's economy.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada continues to work in collaboration with partners such as portfolio organizations, other government departments, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous communities and industry stakeholders to create conditions for the long-term profitability, adaptability and sustainability of the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector. In addition to the initiatives highlighted in previous sections of this Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy, some examples of departmental efforts that support sustainable development include:

  • advocating for the adoption of agricultural innovations (for example, related to plant breeding)
  • supporting the development and adoption of science-based international standards for food safety and animal and plant health
  • engaging with multilateral institutions to advocate for rules-based international trade as well as evidence-based regulation of pesticides, biotechnology and other innovative practices in support of sustainable agriculture
  • strengthening scientific research, including by staffing departmental scientists and science professionals in new and emerging areas to increase knowledge, enable innovations and enhance the sector's environmental sustainability, resilience and performance
  • supporting the Government of Canada's commitment to strengthen measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so that Canada can exceed its 2030 emissions reduction goal and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050
  • supporting commitments in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2030, including by supporting research and adoption of innovative and beneficial practices that protect and enhance biodiversity on the agricultural landscape
  • supporting Canadian producers and the sector to improve their ability to prepare for, mitigate, respond to and recover from the impacts of climate change

Together, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's activities contribute to the goals of the FSDS, as well as a number of broader intergovernmental sustainable development initiatives, such as the Canada's Strengthened Climate Plan and the Canada-Ontario Lake Erie Action Plan.

The Department is also responsible for implementing the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. To meet these requirements, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada conducts strategic environmental assessments for departmental policies, plans, or program proposals, which includes an analysis of the impacts of the given proposal on the environment, while considering whether the outcomes of the proposals could affect any of the FSDS goals and targets.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is committed to:

  • exploring ways to incorporate flexibility, streamline and adapt processes to meet various requirements of Central Agencies, while maintaining compliance with the Cabinet Directive
  • maintaining a strategic environmental assessment database to track the number of policies, plans and program proposals assessed and/or strategic environmental assessments completed
  • ensuring consideration of any effects of proposals, on the goals and targets of the FSDS and international sustainable development goals when conducting strategic environmental assessments
  • issuing a public statement of environmental effects whenever a detailed strategic environmental assessment is conducted, once initiatives are approved or announced, including the impact on the FSDS goals and targets, if applicable;
  • keeping the strategic environmental assessment process and guidance up to date with changes to the Cabinet Directive and guidance issued from Central Agencies

The Department's strategic environmental assessment information can be found on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada website.