Achieving a Sustainable Future

Department of Justice Canada 2020-21 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy Report

This report on progress supports the commitment in the Federal Sustainable Development Act (FSDA) to make sustainable development decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament. It also contributes to an integrated, whole‑of‑government view of activities supporting environmental sustainability.

The departmental information reported accounts for information previously prepared in accordance with Justice Canada’s 2020 to 2023 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS).

1. Introduction to the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

The 2019 to 2022 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) presents the Government of Canada’s sustainable development goals and targets, as required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act. In keeping with the purpose of the Act, to provide the legal framework for developing and implementing a FSDS that will make sustainable development decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament, Justice Canada has developed this report to demonstrate progress in implementing its DSDS.

2. Sustainable development at the Department of Justice Canada

Justice Canada’s 2020 to 2023 DSDS describes the department’s actions in support of achieving the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy 2019-22 Goal of Greening Government. This report presents available results for the departmental actions pertinent to this goal. Previous years’ reports are posted on Justice Canada’s website.

3. Departmental performance by FSDS Goal

The following tables provide performance information on departmental actions in support of the FSDS goal listed in section 2.

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Context: Greening Government: The Government of Canada will transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient and green operations.

This goal captures commitments from the Greening Government Strategy, as well as reporting requirements under the Policy on Green Procurement.

FSDS target(s) FSDS contributing action(s) Corresponding departmental action(s) Starting point(s)
Performance indicator(s)
Target(s)
Results achieved Contribution by each departmental result to the FSDS goal and target
Divert at least 75% (by weight) of non-hazardous operational waste from landfills by 2030 Other
  1. Partner with Building Property Managers, Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions (BGIS), in collaboration with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) on measures that will enable Justice Canada to improve waste diversion rates by 2022, notably on an initiative to expand central recycling stations in the National Capital Region (NCR) – specifically St. Andrews Tower (SAT) and the East Memorial Building (EMB) – to include composting and better signage allowing employees to easily recognize the correct bins and what items can be recycled.

Starting Point:

  • Establish agreement with Building Property Managers (BGIS), in collaboration with PSPC, to expand and enhance central recycling stations on properties occupied by Justice Canada in the NCR, specifically SAT and EMB.

Performance Indicators:

  • By March 31, 2022, enhanced central recycling stations are in place at Justice Canada facilities in accordance with agreed-upon locations and timelines.

Target:

  • An agreement has been reached between BGIS and Justice Canada, in collaboration with PSPC, to install 13 enhanced recycling stations in SAT and 16 in EMB by March 31, 2022.

Result: Completed

  • 13 enhanced recycling stations were installed in SAT and 16 in EMB before March 31, 2021.

Collaborating with Building Property Managers (BGIS) and PSPC to set up mechanisms on properties leased to Justice Canada to facilitate waste diversion will help to reduce landfill gas and transport hauling emissions, as well as emissions for the extraction and production of virgin materials.

UN SDG 12 –
Target 12.5

Divert at least 75% (by weight) of plastic waste from landfills by 2030 Other
  1. Partner with Building Property Managers in collaboration with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), on measures that will enable Justice Canada to improve plastic waste diversion rates by 2023, notably on an initiative to install bottle refilling stations where feasible in facilities leased to Justice Canada.

Starting Point:

  • Agreement with Building Property Managers, in collaboration with PSPC, to install bottle-refilling stations in specified locations in facilities occupied by Justice Canada.

Performance Indicators:

  • Bottle-refilling stations are installed in accordance with agreed-upon locations and timelines.

Target:

  • An agreement has been reached between BGIS and Justice Canada, in collaboration with PSPC, to install two bottle-filling stations per building in both EMB and SAT by March 31, 2022.

Result: On Track

  • Project is underway. BGIS has confirmed that the installation of two bottle-filling stations per building in both EMB and SAT will be completed by March 31, 2022. One bottle filling station has already been installed on Level 1 of SAT.

Further to the above results:

  • Three units have been installed in the Edmonton Regional Office and two units in the Winnipeg Regional Office during the 2020-21 reporting period.
  • Additionally, BGIS has committed to expanding the scope of this commitment by installing 12 more units in SAT and 10 more units in EMB by March 31, 2022.

Actions that reduce the generation of plastic waste will help to reduce indirect emissions (i.e. Scope 3 emissions) for the production, transport and disposal of material. This includes reducing landfill gas and transport waste hauling emissions by diverting plastic waste from landfill sites, and reducing emissions for the extraction and production of virgin materials by recovering material through recycling plastics.

UN SDG 12 –
Target 12.5

  Other
  1. Partner with Building Property Managers, Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions (BGIS), in collaboration with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), on measures that will enable Justice Canada to track and disclose plastic waste diversion rates by 2023, notably on an initiative to conduct annual plastic waste diversion audits in the National Capital Region (NCR), specifically St. Andrews Tower (SAT) and the East Memorial Building (EMB).

Starting Point:

  • Establish agreement with Building Property Managers (BGIS), in collaboration with PSPC, to conduct annual plastic waste diversion audits in the NCR, specifically SAT and EMB.

Performance Indicators:

  • Annual plastic diversion audits will be conducted at Justice Canada facilities in the NCR, specifically SAT and EMB, illustrating historic and current waste generation and diversion rates.

Target:

  • Target diversion rate for plastic waste is pending agreement with Building Property Managers (BGIS), in collaboration with PSPC.

Result: On Track

  • An agreement has been established with BGIS, in collaboration with PSPC, to conduct annual plastic waste diversion audits for EMB and SAT.
  • The identification of the plastic diversion targets for SAT and EMB are ongoing as the 2020-21 waste audits were delayed due to the pandemic - therefore, pushing back the timeline to work with BGIS to establish a target rate for plastic diversion.
  • While an audit at both SAT and EMB was conducted at the end of FY 2020-21 (Feb 2021), the results of the audit indicate a 20% diversion rate for SAT and a 7% diversion rate for EMB. Though the 2020-21 plastic diversion rates are low, the results reflect an abnormal situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily because i) a drastic reduction in tenant occupancy rates, and ii) a trend of increased use of plastics, both of which are a direct result of the ongoing pandemic.

Actions that track and disclose plastic waste diversion rates on a regular basis provide information needed to reduce the generation of plastic waste and to help reduce indirect emissions (i.e. Scope 3 emissions) for the production, transport and disposal of material. This includes reducing landfill gas and transport waste hauling emissions by diverting plastic waste from landfill sites, and reducing emissions for the extraction and production of virgin materials by recovering material through recycling plastics.

UN SDG 12 –
Target 12.5

By 2022, departments have developed measures to reduce climate change risks to assets, services and operations Increase training and support on assessing climate change impacts, undertaking climate change risk assessments and developing adaptation actions to public service employees, and facilitate sharing of best practices and lessons learned
  1. Review emergency management and business continuity planning material and processes annually to ensure climate change risks and impacts are appropriately addressed.

Starting Point:

  • The Department’s Strategic Emergency Management Plan (SEMP) and Business Continuity Plan (BCP) already incorporate responses for emergencies generated by environmental conditions.

Performance Indicators:

  • Annual reviews and updates of SEMP and BCP take place, with consideration of climate change impacts and risks.
  • Business Continuity Management and/or Emergency Management exercises include specific injects prompting discussions on climate change impacts and risks.

Targets:

  • 50% of Business Continuity Management exercises conducted annually include specific injects prompting discussions on climate change impacts and risks
  • 33% of Emergency Management exercises conducted annually include specific injects prompting discussions on climate change impacts and risks.

Result: Ongoing

  • The annual review of the SEMP which is based on an all hazards approach was completed in 20-21 with a focus on COVID-19 lessons learned.
  • An adjustment to the SEMP in the next revision, occurring in FY 2021-22, will include risks of more frequent and severe climate events possibly impacting operations.
  • Yearly BCM and EM exercises did not take place in FY 2020-21 due to the prioritization of the Departmental Response to COVID-19 which impacted EM operations as of December 2019.
  • In March of 2021, a BCM Cyber Security Exercise was conducted, it was designed to test Information Technology and assess potential vulnerabilities that may surface in the migration of targeted services and information to the cloud. Sustainable Development injects were considered but were not incorporated in the exercise as the consultants leading the exercise could not integrate these in the context of the exercise in a relevant manner.

Factoring climate variability and change into emergency management and business continuity planning is one of the most important ways Justice Canada can ensure it remains well-prepared to address the impact of a changing climate on its capacity to operate and deliver on its critical services, among which is the provision of legal services to all clients.

UN SDG 11 –
Target 11.B

UN SDG 13 –
Target 13.3

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]

Minimize embodied carbon and the use of harmful materials in construction and renovation
  1. Partner with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to implement a LEED-certified pilot fit-up project. Such projects require the use of low embodied carbon materials.

Starting Point:

  • LEED-certified pilot fit-up project proposal will be developed.

Performance Indicator:

  • Progress towards a LEED Certified project.

Target:

  • By March 31, 2022, LEED project has been selected and meets all mandated prerequisites to achieve certification level (40–49 points).

Result: On Track

  • The COVID-19 pandemic caused some projects to be cancelled, which has delayed the selection process.
  • Two planned projects, which have the potential to be LEED certified, are currently being reviewed.

Partnering with PSPC on a LEED-certified pilot fit-up project helps Justice Canada to encourage industry to adopt low carbon extraction, production and disposal practices. This will reduce indirect emissions (i.e. Scope 3 emissions) and other harmful environmental impacts.

UN SDG 9 –
Target 9.4

Departments will use environmental criteria to reduce the environmental impact and ensure best value in government procurement decisions
  1. Explore measures to increase awareness and uptake of environmental considerations in procurement activities.

Starting Point:

  • Obtain approval to incorporate modest environmental criteria in procurement evaluation as a pilot project.

Performance Indicator

  • Incorporating a green procurement rating criterion in procurement evaluation pilot projects.

Target

  • Three pilot projects to incorporate green procurement rating criteria.

Result: On Track

  • Although there were fewer Request for Proposals (RFP) issued in 2020-21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Justice did issue a RFP incorporating green procurement criteria related to translation and interpretation services
  • Justice also prepared an RFP in 2020-21 for issuance in early 2021-22 for reprographic services.

Further to the above results:

  • Furthermore, green procurement rating criteria is presently incorporated in all procurement tools that PSPC and Shared Services Canada (SSC) have instituted. As such, qualified suppliers must already meet a minimum threshold of sustainable environmental practices. Justice uses these PSPC/SSC tools extensively.

Exploring measures to increase green procurement allows Justice Canada to establish the tools and processes that will successfully encourage clients to incorporate environmental considerations into purchasing decisions and motivate suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of the goods and services they deliver, and their supply chains.

UN SDG 12 -
Target 12.7

Departments will adopt clean technology and undertake clean technology demonstration projects
  1. Expand the use of Justice Canada’s eSignature pilot project to address specific departmental needs and increase operational efficiency.

Starting Point:

  • The eSignature Pilot has been completed in the National Capital Region, and structures are in place to expand eSignature to regions and new business lines and/or processes

Performance Indicators:

  • Number of business lines and processes adopting eSignature
  • Percentage of digitized transactions as a result of the adoption of eSignature
  • Percentage completed of regional roll out

Targets:

  • eSignature is successfully implemented by at least 10 business lines or processes
  • 80% of transactions requiring signatures for business lines or processes which have implemented eSignature are completed electronically
  • eSignature is implemented in at least one unique business line or process in each region

Result: On Track:

  • eSignatures have successfully been implemented nationally in more than 10 business lines and processes. As an example, digital approval processes (approval under sections 32 and 34 of the FAA) are now in place in all sectors and regions using Acrobat Reader DC/Foxit and myKey.
  • It is estimated that between 60-80% of transactions requiring signatures now accept an eSignature. Business lines such as Finance, HR, IT security and Contracting have formally reviewed their processes and others continue their evaluation.
  • 14 of the 15 sectors that had payments in March 2021 were above the 80% target. Additionally, in the last quarter of the fiscal year, more than 90% of the monthly payments (s. 34) have been approved electronically.
  • The Department continues to evaluate unique business processes and appropriate solutions. As an example, Notarius was adopted for land claim registration in the province of Quebec.

Actions by individual departments that incent, support, or procure state-of-the-art innovative clean technologies help to lower the environmental footprint of government operations. Justice Canada’s eSignature pilot project, which was part of the 2017-2020 Justice Sustainable Development Strategy, has demonstrated the contribution this technology has made to sustainable operations – including paper reduction, energy efficiency and reduced carbon footprint.

By replacing physical signatures with secure electronic signatures, eSignature reduces the need to print and store documents requiring official signatures. In the short term, eSignature decreases paper usage and the energy needed to run printers. Over the longer term, widespread use of eSignature could decrease storage requirements for paper documents, reducing the Department’s overall carbon footprint.

UN SDG 12 –
Target 12.5, 12.7

  1. Add to Mobile Electronic Courtroom (MEC) capacity.

Starting Point:

  • Justice has three MECs, the first of which was deployed in a courtroom in late 2016.

Performance Indicator:

  • Number of days the 3 MECs are used each year.

Target:

  • 200 days per year (i.e. the combined use of all 3 MECs).

Result: Ongoing

  • In person hearings, including use of the MEC, were largely suspended for FY 2020-21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the exception of 10 days in September 2020. Remote hearings continued during FY 2020-21.
  • Components for the other MECs (e.g. monitors) were used to provide equipment on an expedited basis for Justice counsel and paralegals working from home during the pandemic.

A Mobile Electronic Courtroom is a moveable suite of electronic devices (monitors, switch boxes, cabling) that equips a courtroom to run an electronic trial. This eliminates the need for producing documentary evidence on paper. The goal of this initiative is to achieve savings in costs and time as well as reducing impact on the environment by using electronic means to display documentary evidence. For example, for the 300-day Cowichan trial in BC Supreme Court that will run for at least 3 years, equipping the court room eliminated the need to print 14,000 evidentiary documents - over 200,000 pieces of paper.

UN SDG 12 –
Target 12.5

Support for green procurement will be strengthened, including guidance, tools and training for public service employees
  1. Continue to ensure decision makers, material management and specialists in procurement have the necessary training and awareness to support green procurement.

Starting Point:

  • 100% of specialists in procurement and materiel management have completed training on green procurement within one year of appointment.

Performance Indicator:

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

Target:

  • 100% of specialists in procurement and materiel management have completed training on green procurement within one year of appointment to Justice Canada.

Result: Complete

  • As of March 31, 2021, 100% of procurement and materiel management officers completed the Green Procurement Training.

Green procurement incorporates environmental considerations into purchasing decisions and is expected to motivate suppliers to green their goods, services and supply chain. Ensuring that procurement and materiel management specialists have the necessary training to provide effective guidance and direction to clients and suppliers.

UN SDG 12 - Target 12.7

  Other
  1. Explore options for implementing procedures and technologies to decrease the environmental impact of printer usage at Justice Canada.*
[*Note:  This action is consistent with Statistics Canada’s “Measurement, Controls and Monitoring” (Table 2e) listing of clean technologies in its detailed taxonomy].

Starting point:

  • A pilot project involving the lease of approximately 100 printers (including paper, ink and service) was launched in Q3 2018-19. Trend and usage data are being generated as part of this project.
  • Best practices and tools to provide guidance and direction on printing will be explored for further opportunities.

Performance Indicator:

  • Pilot project generates sufficient data to determine whether to expand model or pursue an alternate approach to decreasing the environmental impact of printer usage.
  • Additional strategies, actions and/or tools are identified to promote sustainable and efficient printer use.

Target:

  • A recommended model for managing Justice Canada’s printers will be submitted to senior management by Q3 2021-22.
  • Specific targets to be confirmed pending identification of strategies, actions and tools.

Result: On Hold

  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a recommended model for managing Justice Canada’s printers is on hold pending further information on the return to workplace and the impact of remote work on the paper culture.
  • In the meantime, Justice is only procuring printer models available through SSC National Master Standing Offer, which should follow GC sustainability and IT security guidelines.
  • Since March 2020, as a result of remote work, printing has been reduced by as much as 75% from the previous years.

Procedures and technologies to manage printers and printing efficiently and in accordance with environmental best practices are expected to raise awareness about environmental considerations and costs; and decrease usage and waste of resources (ink, paper, etc.) and electricity.

UN SDG 12 –
Target 12.5

4. Report on integrating sustainable development

During the 2020–21 reporting cycle, Justice Canada had no proposals that required a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) and no public statements were produced.