Justice Sustainable Development Strategy 2014-2017

Draft for approval by Sustainable Development Steering Committee, November 2013

Message from the Champion of Sustainable Development

I am pleased to present the Department of Justice’s Sustainable Development Strategy 2014-2017. This strategy reflects the evolution of sustainable development within the federal government and the department.

With the passage in 2008 of the Federal Sustainable Development Act and the introduction of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy in 2010, the Government of Canada sought to bring sustainable development into the mainstream of government accountability in a coordinated way by requiring departments and agencies to develop their own strategies and report on their progress in their yearly Departmental Performance Reports.

Our employees have embraced our efforts and initiatives to date to green our workplace. As part of our first Strategy, we reduced our printer-to-person ratio to 1:8 from 1:2.4 and we steadily reduced our paper consumption. We will maintain our printer ratio and continue to seek ways to reduce our paper use.

To develop this updated three-year Department of Justice Sustainable Development Strategy, we used digital tools to seek help from our employees across the country. We launched a crowd-sourcing activity designed to engage Justice employees in every region and workplace in an interactive online dialogue about sustainable development goals and priorities for the Department. Employees shared their ideas on how to further reduce our paper use, told us what they needed to thrive in a modern workplace, and discussed how we could integrate sustainability into the way we work and make decisions.

The discussions showed us how our sustainable development goals and our internal programs are connected, especially the Information@Justice digital vision which aims to make all of our systems, tools, records and work processes digital by default, and our National Accommodations Plan which is modernizing our workspace and reducing our footprint. We have tried to incorporate our employees’ ideas in this strategy and in the implementation plans that support our sustainable development targets and approaches.

I would like to thank members of the Sustainable Development (SD) Steering Committee, the SD Consultation Network, the SD Secretariat and the Green Teams for their important contributions in developing this strategy. Our department is committed to embedding sustainability in our workplace to improve our day-to-day operations. I look forward to working with everyone in the Department of Justice to make sustainability second nature.

Suesan Saville
Champion of Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development Context

The Federal Sustainable Development Act came into force in 2008. It provides the legal framework for developing and implementing a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) that makes environmental decision-making more transparent and accountable to Parliament. The Act defines Sustainable Development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

The FSDS was first developed in 2010 and is updated every three years. It provides a whole-of-government picture of goals, targets and implementation strategies that will help all departments and agencies become sustainable. The FSDS has four themes:

  1. Addressing climate change and clean air,
  2. Maintaining water quality and availability,
  3. Protecting nature, and
  4. Shrinking the environmental footprint – beginning with government.

As one of the 27 departments covered by the FSDS, the Department of Justice is required to create and update its own three-year Sustainable Development (SD) strategy. Given the nature of our work, the Department is only responsible for supporting elements under Theme IV of the FSDS.

Sustainable Development Approach

The Department of Justice strives to ensure that Canada has an accessible, fair and effective system of justice that reflects Canadian values, through the development and management of policies and programs aligned with sustainable development (SD) principles and practices.  Justice also supports the Government with effective and responsible legal advice and services that consider SD principles, where appropriate.

As part of its mandate, the Department of Justice provides legal services to help client departments implement government priorities. Our role includes developing policy and programs, preparing legislative and regulatory instruments, and supporting regulatory enforcement.

In general, responsibilities for SD at Justice are organized around the three principal priority areas of the Department’s Program Alignment Architecture — Stewardship of the Canadian Legal Framework; Legal Services to Government Programs; and Internal Services.

The Federal Sustainable Development Act states that "the Government of Canada accepts the basic principle that sustainable development is based on an ecologically efficient use of natural, social and economic resources." Sustainable development is broad and touches many aspects of our work. The Department of Justice supports the three SD pillars – environmental, social, and economic. Environmental considerations are included in our operational decisions, the social pillar is supported, by example, through our work on access to justice and gender-based analysis, along with the active, employee-led network called JustVolunteering, and the economic pillar is supported through our commitment to deliver legal services – whether that be legislation, litigation or advisory work – in the most effective, efficient and innovative way possible.

To help integrate sustainable development thinking in our daily activities, the Department is guided by three elements:

  • Sustainable Development Governance: outlines roles and responsibilities for decision-making. It is the primary means for distributing and sharing information and ensuring that Justice employees comply with decisions.
  • Sustainable Development Strategy: outlines commitments expressed in terms of goals, targets and implementation strategies, which determine the sustainable development direction for a three-year cycle.
  • Implementation plans: Internal documents describing how the Department will achieve specific targets and demonstrate measurable results.

Sustainable Development Governance

Minister

The Federal Sustainable Development Act requires the Minister to ensure the development and implementation of the Department’s SD Strategy, and to have each updated version tabled in Parliament.

Deputy Minister and Senior Management

The Deputy Minister ensures the Department supports the Minister so he will meet his SD responsibilities. The Deputy Minister designates a SD Champion to lead this work. The Deputy Minister also chairs the Management Committee, which, as Justice’s senior decision-making forum, is responsible for ensuring all portfolios, sectors, branches and regional offices comply with SD requirements in their business operations.

SD Champion

The SD Champion is a member of the Management Committee and provides leadership on all matters relating to SD at Justice, with support from the SD Coordinator and the SD Secretariat. The Champion:

  • creates and implements the SD strategy at Justice;
  • liaises with other departments about Justice’s SD responsibilities;
  • chairs the SD Steering Committee;
  • liaises with the Business and Regulatory Law Portfolio in their responsibility to coordinate Justice’s responses to environmental petitions submitted under the Auditor General Act; and
  • monitors progress made by the Steering Committee and the supporting networks (e.g. Green Teams) in implementing Justice’s SD Strategy.

SD Coordinator

The SD Coordinator supports the SD Champion.  The Coordinator:

  • integrates departmental SD work plans, monitors progress on their implementation, and reports on them;
  • liaises with interdepartmental SD committees and other government departments on matters related to SD;
  • provides information to the Office of Strategic Planning and Performance Management in reporting on SD;
  • provides support and advice to green teams and coordinates their work;
  • develops strategies to engage employees on SD matters; and
  • keeps the departmental SD Web sites up to date.

SD Secretariat

The SD Secretariat organizes meetings of the SD Steering Committee and liaises with the departmental Policy Committee Working Group in connection with SD matters.

SD Steering Committee

Chaired by the SD Champion, the Steering Committee is composed of senior managers from Justice’s various portfolios, sectors, branches and regional offices. The committee supports the work of the SD Champion, the SD Coordinator, and the various SD networks. In particular, the committee:

  • guides the formulation of SD strategies and implementation plans and recommends the Justice SD Strategy for approval;
  • helps employees understand sustainable development and how it is connected to our work at Justice;
  • engages management and employees in implementing SD in their respective areas and promotes best practices; and
  • meets at the chair’s request to monitor progress towards achieving objectives set out in the SD Strategy.

Policy Committee Working Group

Policy Committee and Policy Committee Working Group help the Justice policy community integrate SD in areas of policy and program development. The working group:

  • helps develop plans to implement the SD Strategy in Justice policies, laws and programs;
  • hosts events that connect SD and Justice policies, laws and programs;
  • develops practical tools such as the Common Policy Considerations Checklist and Reference Chart to help employees who work with Justice policies, laws and programs to integrate SD in their work.

SD Consultation Network

The SD Consultation network is a group of interested employees who are consulted electronically on an as-needed basis on matters related to SD.

Justice Green Teams

The Department’s various portfolios, sectors, branches and regional offices establish Green Teams with the help of the SD Coordinator.  The teams implement SD in practical ways. For example, they:

  • consider the environmental footprint of their sector or regional operations and propose measures for “greening” the workplace; and
  • help publicize, advance support for, and implement ecological alternatives such as public transit, ride-sharing, recycling, double-sided printing, and electronic paystubs.

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Strategic environmental assessment is a key analytical tool to support sustainable decision-making. It evaluates the environmental effects of proposed policies, plans and programs and their alternatives. It also informs strategic decision-making through a careful analysis of environmental risks and opportunities.

The Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals requires federal departments and agencies to undertake strategic environmental assessments. Departments must consider the effects on the FSDS's goals and targets of all proposals submitted to an individual Minister or Cabinet.

Justice employees who are responsible for developing policy, plan and program proposals that require Ministerial or Cabinet approval, such as Memoranda to Cabinet and Treasury Board submissions, are expected to undertake a strategic environmental assessment for each proposal. Employees identify whether the proposed activities have the potential to cause significant effects on the environment. If the preliminary scan identifies important environmental effects or a high level of uncertainty or risk associated with the outcomes of the proposal, then a detailed analysis is required. Considering the nature of Justice’s policies and programs, there is seldom any direct environmental effect.

The Cabinet Affairs Unit (CAU) is a central point of contact for Justice Memoranda to Cabinet (MCs) and Treasury Board (TB) submissions en route for Ministerial approval. It ensures and monitors compliance with the Cabinet Directive. The CAU advises drafters of MCs that they are required to conduct a strategic environmental assessment and refers them to the appropriate information, processes and procedures. A copy of the completed assessment is retained with the final approved MCs and TB submissions as part of its permanent record.

Sustainable Development Commitments

The Department of Justice is an active participant in the FSDS by contributing to targets set out in Theme IV (Shrinking the environmental footprint – Beginning with government). The section below outlines the Department’s contribution to the federal strategy by describing the targets that Justice is responsible for achieving. The target numbers correspond to those in the Federal Strategy.

7.2 Green Procurement

Green procurement helps mitigate a broad range of environmental effects including greenhouse gas emissions, air contamination, solid waste, hazardous waste and toxic and hazardous substances. It also helps improve energy efficiency, water efficiency, reuse, recycling and the use of renewable resources. In many cases, including environmental considerations in procurement helps achieve other objectives like reducing costs and promoting innovation.

Management Approach Statement - Green Procurement

This section supports the implementation of the following FSDS target:

7.2 As of April 1, 2014, the Government of Canada will continue to take action to embed environmental considerations into public procurement, in accordance with the federal Policy on Green Procurement.

The Department is committed to embedding environmental considerations into public procurement. Specifically, Justice will implement the following elements:

  • 7.2.1.1 Integrate environmental considerations into procurement management processes and controls.
  • 7.2.1.2 Train procurement and materiel management functional specialists on green procurement.
  • 7.2.1.3 Include the contribution and support of the Policy on Green Procurement objectives in performance evaluations of procurement officers and their managers.
  • 7.2.1.4 Set a minimum of three SMARTFootnote 1 targets to reduce the environmental impact of purchases.
  • 7.2.1.5 Use PWGSC common use procurement instruments where available and feasible.

Implementation actions for green procurement elements are described in Annex 1.

7.3 Sustainable Workplace Operations

The federal government has a considerable environmental footprint ranging from the energy used to heat and cool federal buildings, to the goods purchased to deliver services to Canadians and the disposal of furniture and electronic equipment at the end of its useful life. The Department will focus its efforts on elements that are expected to deliver the most significant environmental impact reductions including engaging employees to help change behaviour in ways that reduce material and energy consumption.

Management Approach Statement - Sustainable Workplace Operations

The Department is committed to improving the sustainability of its workplace. Specifically, Justice will implement the following elements:

  • 7.3.1.1 Engage employees in greening government operations practices.
  • 7.3.1.3 Maintain or improve existing approaches to sustainable workplace practices (i.e. printer ratios, paper usage, and green meetings).
  • 7.3.1.4 Minimize the ratio of information technology (IT) assets per employee.
  • 7.3.1.5 Select and operate IT and office equipment in a manner that reduces energy consumption and material usage.
  • 7.3.1.6 Dispose of e-waste in an environmentally sound and secure manner.
  • 7.3.1.7 Reuse and recycle workplace materiel and assets in an environmentally sound and secure manner.
  • 7.3.1.9 Increase the population density in office buildings and space utilization in special purpose buildings.

All of these elements are relevant to the Department’s operations and represent opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of departmental operations.

The Department has not included elements 7.3.1.2 (Integrate environmental considerations into corporate policies, processes and practices in accordance with departmental refresh cycles) and 7.3.1.8 (Minimize all non-hazardous solid waste generated and leverage PWGSC service offerings to maximize the diversion of waste). The first has not been included because we do not have the resources required to identify and assess all relevant policies, processes and practices. The second has not been included because the department’s office space is contained in buildings either owned by PWGSC or leased by PWGSC from private sector landlords. PWGSC is responsible for setting policy with respect to reducing non-hazardous solid waste materials and for increasing the diversion rate for non-hazardous solid waste materials in all federally owned or leased buildings.

Implementation actions for sustainable workplace operations are described in Annex 2.

SD activities and initiatives not captured in the FSDS

In addition to the Federal Strategy commitments, the Department of Justice is undertaking additional activities to further integrate SD into business operations.

This section summarizes the Department’s ongoing work to better integrate all three pillars of SD into its management and decision making processes, beyond what is required in the Federal Strategy.

Legal Advisory Services

  • SD checklists tailored to specific areas of law are considered a best practice to ensure SD principles are considered in the provision of legal advice.
  • Legal services networks and working groups are encouraged to learn about the SD strategies of their client organizations.

Policies and Programs

  • We are building capacity to integrate SD into policy and program development, priority setting and other planning exercises.
  • SD considerations are integrated in the development of new policies and programs.
  • Sustainable practices are incorporated into policy planning and projects.
  • Compliance with SD tools and directives in policy and program practices is promoted and assessed.
  • SD is incorporated in policy and program development which fosters healthy, inclusive, equitable, and democratic communities.

Communications and Culture

  • While telework arrangements are taking place across the Department, the Research and Statistics Division of the Policy Sector is running a comprehensive pilot telework program to assess efficiency, productivity, and cost savings.
  • Green teams across the country promote environmental stewardship and encourage the adoption of sustainable practices that extend beyond the specific goals of the Justice SD strategy.
  • The Information@Justice Program will transform our business by going digital and adopting digital means to securely create, share, leverage and manage information using modern tools and practices. It will allow people from coast to coast to virtually connect and will facilitate collaboration through digital workspaces and paperless meetings.

Conclusion

This Justice Sustainable Development Strategy strengthens how the Department of Justice promotes sustainability. It has been informed by the views of our employees and best practices across government. It contributes to the Government of Canada’s effort to coordinate and advance environmental sustainability.

The strategy proposes realistic targets to achieve the Department’s environmental goals, however, much work remains to be done. Going forward, Justice will look for more ways to integrate the three pillars of sustainable development — environmental, economic, and social— into its operations. Approaches will be adjusted as work progresses, and with each updated strategy, the Department of Justice will come closer to being truly sustainable.

Annex 1 – Implementation Actions for Green Procurement

7.2.1.1 Integrate environmental considerations into procurement management processes and controls

Degree of implementation sought: Meet

Scope: Preparation of solicitation documents and acquisition card purchasing process

Actions Timeline Office of Primary Interest (OPI)

Develop an implementation plan to integrate environmental considerations into the preparation of solicitation documents.

March 31, 2015

Management Sector

Develop an implementation plan to integrate considerations into the acquisition card purchasing process.

March 31, 2015

Management Sector

7.2.1.2 Train procurement and material management functional specialists on green procurement

Degree of implementation sought: Meet

Scope: All procurement and materiel management functional specialists

Actions Timeline Office of Primary Interest (OPI)

All procurement and materiel management functional specialists will be required to take the Canada School of Public Service course on Green Procurement within two years of being identified as a specialist.

March 31, 2017

Management Sector

Yearly, a minimum of 20 acquisition cardholders will be required to take the Canada School of Public Service course on green procurement.

March 31, 2017

Management Sector

All non-purchasing specialists entering purchasing documents into the Integrated Financial and Materiel System (IFMS) will be required to take a departmental course which includes a section on green procurement.

March 31, 2017

Management Sector

The aforementioned course will be updated to include more information on green procurement.

March 31, 2015

Management Sector

All acquisition cardholders will be required to take an in-house course on procurement prior to receiving their card. This course has included green procurement since 2009 and will be updated in FY 2014-15 to include more information on green procurement.

March 31, 2017

Management Sector

7.2.1.3 Include the contribution and support of the Policy on Green Procurement objectives in performance evaluations

Degree of implementation sought: Meet

Scope: All managers and functional heads of procurement

Actions Timeline Office of Primary Interest (OPI)

All managers and functional heads of procurement and/or materiel management will be required to include and contribute to green procurement objectives in their employee performance evaluations. Criteria to identify functional heads of procurement and/or materiel management were developed in 2010 and continue to be applied. Sample clauses to include in employee performance evaluations are circulated annually to all affected employees.

March 31, 2017

Management Sector

7.2.1.4 Set a minimum of three SMART targets to reduce the environmental impact of purchases

Degree of implementation sought: Meet

Scope: All regions and branches of the Department

Actions Timeline Office of Primary Interest (OPI)

70 % of chairs and panels purchased through a contract awarded by Accommodation and Contracting Officers will be environmentally preferred models.

March 31, 2017

Management Sector

100 % of copy paper purchased through the Standing Offers (SO) will contain a minimum of 30 % recycled content, as well as meet or exceed the criteria established in the EcoLogo CCD-077 standard for paper, or equivalent.

March 31, 2017

Management Sector

It is expected that when PWGSC renews the SO for office supplies, it will require vendors to submit reports with green data. Given this, 50 % of office supplies purchased from the SO will have environmental features where data can be provided by PWGSC to client departments.

March 31, 2017

Management Sector

7.2.1.5 Use PWGSC common use procurement instruments where available and feasible

Degree of implementation sought: Meet

Scope: All procurement officers in the Department

Actions Timeline Office of Primary Interest (OPI)

Where available and feasible, the Department will continue to use PWGSC common use online procurement instruments (e.g. Task and Solutions Professional Services, Task-based Informatics Professional Services, Professional Audit Support Services, Temporary Help Services) for all its contracting requirements awarded by Justice Canada contracting officers.

March 31, 2017

Management Sector

Annex 2 – Implementation Actions for Sustainable Workplace Operations

7.3.1.1 Engage employees in greening government operations practices

Degree of implementation sought: Meet

Scope: All departmental employees with an emphasis on new employees and those involved in employee networks

Actions Timeline Office of Primary Interest (OPI)

Review departmental sustainable development governance structures to maximize engagement of employees in the JSDS 2014-2017.

March 31, 2015

Sustainable Development (SD) Champion

Develop a communications and engagement strategy for employees on Theme IV targets.

June 30, 2014

SD Champion

Implement communication and engagement strategy on Theme IV targets.

March 31, 2017

SD Champion

Create a statement of SD values based on broad employee engagement.

March 31, 2015

SD Champion

7.3.1.3 Maintain or improve existing approaches to sustainable workplace practices (i.e. printer ratios, paper usage, and green meetings)

Degree of implementation sought: Meet

Scope: Across the Department where building occupancy levels, space configurations, and security considerations allow (first action). Note: Employees working in Legal Services Units are considered outside of the scope for the printer ratio and paper consumption actions. Paper used for major legal cases or commissions will not be included.

Actions Timeline Office of Primary Interest (OPI)

Maintain an 8:1 ratio of departmental office employees to printing units (includes printers, photocopiers, fax machines and multi-function devices) that was achieved on March 31, 2013.

March 31, 2017

Management Sector

Maintain internal paper consumption per office employee at the reduced level of 20 % below the baseline of fiscal year 2010-2011.

March 31, 2017

SD Champion

Update the Department’s green meeting guide to maximize the use of new tools and systems

March 31, 2017

SD Champion

7.3.1.4 Minimize the ratio of Information Technology (IT) assets per employee

Degree of implementation sought: Meet

Scope: Desktops, laptops, printers, multi-function devices that are under departmental control.

Actions Timeline Office of Primary Interest (OPI)

Calculate current IT asset to employee ratio and identify users having both laptop and desktop devices.

March 31, 2015

Management Sector

Assess the Government of Canada (GoC) strategy with respect to IT assets and develop a plan in partnership with Shared Services Canada to align with GoC objectives.

March 31, 2016

Management Sector

In partnership with Shared Services Canada, implement a plan to align with GoC objectives.

March 31, 2017

Management Sector

7.3.1.5 Select and operate IT and office equipment in a manner that reduces energy consumption and material usage

Degree of implementation sought: Meet

Scope: All PCs, multi-function devices, monitors and laptops at Justice that are under departmental control

Actions Timeline Office of Primary Interest (OPI)

Review and update processes and practices related to the request, approval, purchase and installation of IT applications in an effort to reduce duplication or unused products.

March 31, 2015

Management Sector

Review current IT equipment operation practices across the Department and identify opportunities to improve operations based on reducing environmental impact.

March 31, 2015

Management Sector

Implement approved improvements uncovered by the review across the Department.

March 31, 2017

Management Sector

7.3.1.6 Dispose of e-waste in an environmentally sound and secure manner

Degree of implementation sought: Meet

Scope: Full and ongoing implementation of an electronic and electrical equipment (EEE) plan within Justice Canada for the disposal of all departmentally-generated EEE.

Actions Timeline Office of Primary Interest (OPI)

Review the status of the current e-waste plan for the disposal of all departmentally-generated EEE in light of existing disposal mechanisms and industry initiatives.

March 31, 2017

Management Sector

Expand e-waste for the disposal of all departmentally-generated EEE to all of the Department’s locations where feasible.

March 31, 2017

Management Sector

Track and evaluate the effectiveness of departmental e-waste disposal strategies.

March 31, 2017

Management Sector

7.3.1.7 Reuse or recycle workplace materiel and assets in an environmentally sound and secure manner

Degree of implementation sought: Meet

Scope:  Furniture, toner cartridges and batteries

Actions Timeline Office of Primary Interest (OPI)

Develop and disseminate communication products on the process to send toner cartridges and batteries to be recycled at their end-of-life.

March 31, 2015 and annually thereafter

Management Sector

Establish a standard process to utilize GCSurplus Services to recycle furniture where feasible.

March 31, 2016

Management Sector

7.3.1.9 Increase the population density in office buildings and space utilization in special purpose buildings

Degree of implementation sought: Meet

Scope: All office space occupied by the Department

Actions Timeline Office of Primary Interest (OPI)

Review the Department’s current practices related to use of space and application of Government of Canada Workplace 2.0 fit-up standards.

June 30, 2014

Management Sector

Conduct an assessment of current population density and space utilization against the April 1, 2012, baseline.

June 30, 2014

Management Sector

Implement the densification plan in order to achieve the objective of a lower national average allocation of office accommodation by implementing techniques to align departmental space more closely with Government of Canada Workplace 2.0 fit-up standards.

March 31, 2015 and successive fiscal years

Management Sector

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