Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy: 2020-2023

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Section 1: Context for 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. Library and Archives Canada (LAC) adheres to the principles of the FSDS, and while not bound formally by the Act, has developed this Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS).

Section 2: Sustainable Development at Library and Archives Canada

LAC’s mandate is to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations; to promote and facilitate enduring knowledge, which contributes to cultural, social and economic advancement; and fundamentally to serve as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions. Further, LAC is to foster collaborative relationships amongst communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and transfer of knowledge within Canada. As a steward of Canadian heritage, LAC acquires thousands of records annually, both government and private archives, as well as published heritage. Such collections are accumulated in various formats, including books, maps, photographs, textual records, audio-visuals, and film. These collections are maintained and safeguarded in Special Purpose Space (SPS) with varying environmental conditions and storage container types to ensure their preservation.

As the steward of materials that are of great significance to Canadian heritage, LAC owns, maintains and operates five special purpose facilities across Canada. LAC’s space requirement is dictated by the collection and its future growth. In addition to its five custodial facilities, LAC occupies leased space in facilities in the National Capital Region (NCR) and shares space in the Vancouver Public Library and Halifax’s Pier 21 through collaborative relationship agreements. LAC is also undertaking two construction projects for new facilities: the Gatineau 2 (G2) storage facility and the Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility (OPL-LAC).

Sound stewardship of assets, ensuring long-term sustainability, and creating value for Canadian taxpayers are priorities for LAC. Sustainability and green operations are at the heart of LAC development decisions and continue to be key components for achieving LAC priorities.

LAC contributes to the FSDS through the following goals:

FSDS Goal 2: Greening Government - The Government of Canada will transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient, and green operations. The commitments under the Greening Government goal outline the areas where LAC will continue to reduce the environmental effects associated with its physical operations and procurement decisions. Specifically, LAC will take steps to green its buildings, reduce the energy consumption of its facilities, and reduce the carbon footprint of its fleet. LAC will promote employee engagement and awareness across a range of issues such as sustainable travel practices, efficient water use, and removing single-use plastics from meetings and events. Additionally, LAC will integrate environmental performance considerations into its procurement process.

Section 3: Commitments for Library and Archives Canada

FSDS Goal 2: Greening Government
Responsible Minister: All ministers
Greening Government FSDS Target(s)FSDS Contributing Action(s)Corresponding Departmental Action(s)Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and targetStarting point(s) where available, and your choice of performance indicators for departmental actionsProgram(s) in which the departmental actions will occur
Target: Real property and fleet (greenhouse gas emissions reductions). Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from federal government facilities and fleets by 40% by 2030 (with an aspiration to achieve this target by 2025) and 80% below 2005 levels by 2050 (with an aspiration to be carbon neutral)All new buildings and major building retrofits will prioritize low-carbon investments based on integrated design principles, and life-cycle and total-cost-of ownership assessments which incorporate shadow carbon pricingLAC will:
- Continue with the construction of G2, a net zero carbon storage facility.
- Assess its current portfolio to identify carbon-reduction opportunities.
- Report annually on GHG emissions across all facilities from electricity, fuel, and non-energy sources.
- Assess opportunities to generate on-site renewable electricity.
- Ensure that new facilities meet or exceed leading environmental and efficiency standards.
- Purchase 100% clean electricity by 2022 as part of the PSPC-led GC-wide initiative.
- Explore opportunities for fuel switching
Retrofitting existing buildings to reduce GHG emissions and prioritizing new low- and zero-carbon buildings to minimize additional GHG will allow LAC to meet its target of reducing GHG emissions 40% by 2030.Starting point: Total GHG emissions from LAC facilities in fiscal year 2005–06 (base year): 2954 tCO2 [X]
Performance Indicator: - GHG emissions from facilities in current reporting fiscal year = [Y] ktCO2e - Percentage (%) change in GHG emissions from facilities from fiscal year 2005-06 to current reporting fiscal year = [1-Y/X] %
Internal Services
Use 100% clean electricity by 2025OtherJoin the Treasury Board Secretariat- and Public Services and Procurement Canada-led initiative to purchase clean electricity for the Government of Canada.LAC will work with federal partners to procure 100% clean electricity by 2022 to contribute towards its emissions reduction target.Starting point:
LAC uses 99.1% clean electricity (2018-19 reporting).
Performance Indicators:
- Electricity consumption in the year = [X] kWh
- Electricity consumption from non-emitting sources (including renewable energy certificates) in the year = [Y] kWh
- Percentage (%) of clean electricity = [Y/X] %
Internal Services
Divert at least 75% (by weight) of non-hazardous operational waste from landfills by 2030Other- Conduct a waste assessment to set a baseline for non-hazardous operational waste.
- Ensure that each facility has a recycling program in place.
- Increase awareness and promote more sustainable workplace practices.
- Conduct further assessments and report on progress.
- Reduce packaging waste in the procurement process.
LAC will measure the non-hazardous waste it is sending to landfills, implement procedures to manage building operations and take advantage of programs to improve the environmental performance of its buildings to divert at least 75% of this waste from landfills.Performance Indicator:
- Mass of non-hazardous operational waste generated in the year = [X] tonnes
- Mass of non-hazardous operational waste diverted in the year = [Y] tonnes
- Percentage (%) of non-hazardous operational waste diverted = [Y/X] %
Internal Services
Divert at least 75% (by weight) of plastic waste from landfills by 2030Other- Conduct a waste assessment to set a baseline for plastic waste.
- Ensure that each facility has a recycling program in place.
- Increase awareness to reduce the use of single-use plastics and promote more sustainable workplace practices.
- Conduct further assessments and report on progress.
- Eliminate the use of single-use plastics at departmental events.
- Reduce plastic packaging in the procurement process.
- Evaluate opportunities to eliminate single-use plastics in the procurement process.
LAC will measure the plastic waste it is sending to landfills, implement procedures to manage building operations and take advantage of programs to improve the environmental performance of its buildings to divert at least 75% of this waste from landfills.Performance Indicator:
- Mass of plastic waste generated in the year = [X] tonnes
- Mass of plastic waste diverted in the year = [Y] tonnes
- Percentage (%) of plastic waste diverted = [Y/X] %
Internal Services
Our administrative fleet will be comprised of at least 80% zero-emission vehicles by 2030Fleet management will be optimized including by applying telematics to collect and analyze vehicle usage data on vehicles scheduled to be replaced- Update procurement requirements to reflect the requirement for a zero-emission administrative fleet.
- Develop infrastructure to support the charging of zero-emission vehicles.
- Purchase only zero-emission administrative vehicles starting in 2023.
- Exceed the target by exploring opportunities to include zero-emission or hybrid trucks in the operational fleet.
LAC will update the procurement requirements to ensure that at least 80% of administrative fleet vehicles will be zero-emission by 2030 and will install electric vehicle charging stations for LAC administrative and operational fleet vehicles.Starting point:
LAC currently has one administrative vehicle.
Performance Indicators: - Total number of of administrative vehicles
- Percentage of annual administrative fleet purchases that are ZEV or hybrid and
- Percentage of ZEV in administrative fleet
- Number of vehicles logged via telematics
Internal Services
By 2022, departments have developed measures to reduce climate change risks to assets, services and operationsUnderstand climate change impacts and build resilience- As a component of its Real Property Master Plan, LAC will assess the risk of climate change to real property portfolio, services and operations by 2021.
- Develop mitigation strategies for each identified risk in a response plan by 2022.
LAC’s assessment will provide a clearer picture of the potential impact climate change will have on its assets, services and operations. The mitigation strategies will aim to reduce risks of damage to LAC infrastructure and collections, ensure the safety of employees and clients visiting LAC sites, and minimize/avoid interruptions to services and operations.Starting point:
As of 2020, 0 risk assessments and risk mitigation strategies have been developed.

Performance Indicators:
Number of risk assessments and risk mitigation strategies developed for assets, services and operations as part of the Real Property Master Plan.
Internal Services
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]
Support for green procurement will be strengthened, including guidance, tools and training for public service employees1. Train procurement and materiel management staff to support this policy objective (reduction of greenhouse gas emissions).
2. Integrate this FSDS objective into the procurement and materiel managers’ performance evaluation.
3. Integrate environmental performance considerations into procurement management processes and controls; collaborate with Public Services and Procurement Canada, and use the green procurement tools available.
4. Promote the use of taxi carpooling when going from one LAC building to another through the intranet and internal forums.
5. Integrate environmental performance considerations into its hardware procurement process by replacing obsolete hardware with new energy-efficient models.
Green procurement incorporates environmental considerations into purchasing decisions and is expected to motivate suppliers to green their goods, services and supply chain.1. Number and percentage of employees who completed the Canada School of Public Service Green Procurement course (C215)
Starting point: 7 out of 7 employees in 2017-18 = 100%
Target: N out of N employees = 100%
2. Number and percentage of managers and functional heads of procurement and materiel whose performance evaluation includes this goal
Starting point: 2 out of 2 managers or heads in 2017-18 = 100%
Target: N out of N managers or heads = 100%
3.1 Volume of used toner cartridges sold for recycling purposes
Starting point: 3 batches of cartridges in 2017-18
Target: 3 batches annually
3.2 Percentage of surplus electronic equipment disposed of in an environmentally appropriate manner
Starting point: 100% in 2017-18
- 90% of equipment was donated to to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s (ISED) Computers for Schools Program
- 10% of equipment was given to certified recyclers (batteries, power supplies)
Target: 100%
- 90% of equipment will be donated to ISED’s Computers for Schools Program
- 10% of equipment will be given to certified recyclers (batteries, power supplies)
4. Number of annual communications by means of messages on the LAC intranet, the administrative services forum, the management forum and the senior management forum
Starting Point: 0 communications
Target: 4 communications
5. Percentage of IT material more than five years old replaced by new energy-efficient models
Starting point: 28% of laptops and 16% of PCs in 2017-18.
Target: 20% of laptops (approx. 200 laptops) and 2% of (approx. 2 PCs)
Internal Services

Section 4: Integrating Sustainable Development

LAC ensures that its decision-making process takes into account the objectives and targets of the FSDS.

To date, LAC has not conducted a detailed strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of policy, plan and program proposals. Public statements on the results of LAC’s assessments will be made when an initiative that has undergone a detailed SEA is announced.

As part of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, LAC will be developing a Green Plan to provide strategic direction and illustrate specific LAC commitments and actions in addressing climate change through its operations. The Green Plan is about making smart, informed, forward-looking decisions that consider future climate conditions and effective adaptation measures that can lower costs over the long term for the organization and government.

The 2021 Real Property Master Plan will evaluate all of LAC’s existing facilities for opportunities to reduce carbon emissions and improve resiliency in the wake of extreme climate events. The first step in this process was commissioning a Net Carbon Zero study for its Federal Records Centre in Winnipeg with results and recommended actions received in summer 2020. LAC has also joined the initiative to purchase 100% clean electricity by 2022, jointly led by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) and Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS). This will further reduce LAC’s carbon emissions and promote investment in a green economy.

LAC has integrated sustainable development into the plans for its two upcoming facilities, G2 and OPL-LAC. G2 will be first Government of Canada building built to the requirements of Canada’s Greening Government Strategy and its first net zero carbon facility. It will feature a heat recovery system, a heat exchanger, and a geothermal loop. Additionally, the facility will have a project life of 100 years as defined by the CSA-S478 “Guideline on Durability in Building.” OPL-LAC will be a LEED Gold certified building, and is being designed to include efficiency measures to minimize energy consumption. The selected location is adjacent to a new LRT station and connected to Ottawa’s network of multi-use pathways for cyclists and pedestrians.

The Preservation Centre and Gatineau 2 facilities sit on a 22.5HA plot of land in downtown Gatineau, QC., acquired by the Government of Canada on behalf of LAC’s predecessor organization (National Archives of Canada) in 1989 to accommodate future growth. The site has a population of Western Chorus Frogs (pseudaris triseriata), designated as ‘Threatened’ in 2008 and placed under the protection of the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has developed a recovery strategy for the Western Chorus Frog and LAC is working in partnership with ECCC to develop an action plan for the Gatineau site. This plan will examine options that allow the land to be developed in a sustainable way while supporting the recovery of the species and protecting the natural settings and features of the site. LAC will continue this approach when developing other lands in the future.

Many of LAC’s goals are accomplished through collaboration with partners and stakeholders, and engagement has been a cornerstone of LAC’s strategic planning. Whether it is through investment in LAC’s current portfolio, consolidation, replacement of assets, or disposals, engagement takes place with federal partners, local and municipal governments, and various communities and organizations. The City of Ottawa is a partner for the OPL-LAC Joint Facility Project and the City of Gatineau an important stakeholder for the Gatineau 2 project. PSPC also plays an important role in the daily operations of the Government of Canada as a key provider of services for federal departments and agencies and supports LAC in the achievement of its objectives.

Sustainability is a core development principle to ensure that LAC can preserve Canada’s documentary heritage for the benefit of present and future generations and serve as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.

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