Canada's Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS)

Planning for a Sustainable Future – A Federal Sustainable Development Strategy for Canada 2016-2019 - Consultation Feed Back

Submitted by the Canadian Fair Trade Network (CFTN), on June 24th, 2016

The Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) is a focused draft strategy for the Federal Government to create a sustainable economy, protect the environment and enhance Canadians’ well-being. It articulates a path to achieve this by outlining five goals within a framework of accountability and measurable performance indicators. The draft FSDS aligns itself with a number of SDGs and emphasizes the importance of working with all stakeholders within Canada to achieve the goals. Finally, the FSDS outlines the roles various government departments, including Public Services and Procurement Canada, play in greening government operations.

The draft FSDS acknowledges the interrelationship between a sustainable environment, economic prosperity and social development; however, absent from the strategy is a clear plan for Public Services and Procurement Canada to support the five FSDS goals or the SDGs.

Currently the Public Services and Procurement department focuses primarily on “Green” procurement, however, a mandate letter from the Prime Minister to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement defined the inclusion of green and social procurement as a top priority (http://pm.gc.ca/eng/minister-public-services-and-procurement-mandate-letter). Including social values in procurement at the federal level will support many of the 2030 Agenda Goals including Goal 1 (No Poverty), 2 (Zero Hunger) and 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). Sustainable procurement is a tool for achieving the FSDS goals and the UN Agenda Goals, and integrating sustainable procurement with the FSDS would recognize the interdependency between Canada and other nations, and the importance of procurement in global sustainable development.

Further, the government should see sustainable procurement as a powerful tool to align and achieve its multiple and complex strategic objectives across many interrelated government departments. The strategic potential for federal procurement to support the FSDS strategy and international development goals, as set out by Global Affairs Canada, is enormous.

To enhance the draft FSDS and support the adoption of sustainable procurement by the government, CFTN requests the following:

  • The Canadian Fair Trade Network (CFTN) would like the Federal Government to transition its “Policy of Green Procurement” to a sustainable procurement policy that accounts for the economic, environmental and social impacts of the Federal Government’s spending, and employs this spending to shape a desired environmental, social or economic outcome.
  • CFTN would like the role of federal sustainable procurement in advancing the goals and global sustainable development articulated within the Government’s FSDS.
  • CFTN would like to request that the sustainable procurement policy supports best value for money criteria such as those outlined in the fair trade certification standards that support the FSDS and the SDGs.
  • CFTN would like the Federal Government to adopt a directive that supports best value for money principles and requires purchasing professionals use third party fair trade certifications to achieve environmental and social outcomes for defined goods procured at the federal level.

CFTN recognizes the significant role federal purchasing can have on achieving numerous departmental objectives. In addition, we understand the requirements to uphold various trade agreements and contract law as part of the procurement process.