2023 to 2027 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

International Standard Serial Number: 1492-710X

Canadian Grain Commission

alt format

Alternate format
2023 to 2027 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
(PDF, 707 KB)

Introduction to the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

The 2022 to 2026 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) presents the Government of Canada’s sustainable development goals and targets, as required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act. This is the first FSDS to be framed using the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 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, the Canadian Grain Commission supports the goals laid out in the FSDS through the activities described in this Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS).

The Federal Sustainable Development Act also sets out 7 principles that must be considered in the development of the FSDS as well as DSDSs. These basic principles have been considered and incorporated in the Canadian Grain Commission’s DSDS.

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 (GIF) and Canadian Indicator Framework (CIF) targets and indicators. The strategy also now captures SDG initiatives that fall outside the scope of the FSDS to inform the development of the Canada’s Annual Report on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.

Canadian Grain Commission’s Sustainable Development Vision

The Canadian Grain Commission is a small science-based regulatory department with a focused mandate as set out in the Canada Grain Act to, in the interests of grain producers, establish and maintain standards of quality for Canadian grain and regulate grain handling in Canada. The Canadian Grain Commission supports the goals in the FSDS while delivering on our mandate to ensure the dependability of Canadian grain for domestic and export markets by providing a world class, science-based quality assurance system.

The Canadian Grain Commission is committed to activities that support achieving the FSDS goals and targets, and Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy and SDGs through our 2023-24 Strategic Plan. This involves reviewing guidelines and processes for carrying out our work and seeking ways to limit negative environmental consequences of our activities.

For more than a century, we have worked to increase our understanding of grain and grain products, and our scientists and research staff have established a reputation for excellence and innovation. Through research and innovation, the Canadian Grain Commission will continue to provide support for the Canadian grain sector to strengthen the resiliency of the food system, accompanied by a focus on encouraging greater diversity, inclusion, and strengthening relationships with Indigenous Peoples.

FSDS Goal: Support a Healthier and More Sustainable Food System

The Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC) 2023 estimates that over a quarter of a billion people were acutely food-insecure and required urgent food assistance in 58 food-crisis countries/territories in 2022. This is the highest number in the seven-year history of the report.

Canadian grain production contributes to providing safe and healthy grain and ensuring long-term food security both domestically and internationally. The Canadian Grain Commission contributes to the goal through our research, programs and services that support a consistent and reliable source of Canadian grain. To ensure that science and research continue to underpin Canada’s grain quality assurance system, we consulted with sector stakeholders on our new Science Strategy.

The Canadian Grain Commission continues to provide significant technical and policy support to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through evidence-based analysis and advice for a modernized regulatory framework. The Canadian Grain Commission also continues to put forward regulatory amendment packages to deliver on established grain grading and producer protection modernization goals.

FSDS Goal: Champion Gender Equality

As identified in our 2023-24 Strategic Plan, the Canadian Grain Commission is committed to strengthening our stakeholder relationships. A key deliverable under this initiative is to build relationships with underrepresented stakeholders (women, youth, Indigenous Peoples, and others) and promote an inclusive vision for the future of the grain sector.

Our Strategic Plan also identifies “A skilled, adaptable and productive workforce” as one of our four areas of focus. Despite being a small department, the Canadian Grain Commission has incrementally increased resources and collaborative cross-organizational efforts towards Gender-based Analysis Plus objectives. These efforts will continue to enhance a diverse and inclusive workplace that is representative of all Canadians.

The Canadian Grain Commission strives to eliminate barriers and address disadvantages in employment experienced by members of the four designated groups - Women, Visible Minorities, Indigenous Persons, and Persons with Disabilities. Continued emphasis is being placed on addressing representation gaps for persons with disabilities and for women in our technical inspection group. An active, employee-driven National Employment Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee provides diverse perspectives from across the organization and supports this work. This will lead to a wider understanding of diversity among managers and employees and more varied actions to ensure employment equity.

The Canadian Grain Commission’s Open Letter on Implementation of the Call to Action on Anti-Racism, Equity, and Inclusion further outlines our commitment and actions to ensuring a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work environment. We remain committed to increasing resources and collaborative cross-divisional efforts towards Gender-Based Analysis Plus objectives.

The Canadian Grain Commission's 2023-2027 DSDS also outlines our five-year, forward-looking commitments in support of the FSDS and the United Nations sustainable development goals. In accordance with the new 2022-2026 FSDS, we are responsible for contributing to:

  • Goal 10: Advance reconciliation with indigenous peoples and take action on inequality;
  • Goal 12: Reduce waste and transition to zero-emission vehicles; and
  • Goal 13: Take action on climate change and its impacts.

The Canadian Grain Commission will continue to ensure that our decision-making process includes consideration of FSDS goals and targets through strategic environmental assessments as required.

Listening to Canadians

As required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act, the Canadian Grain Commission has taken into account comments on the draft 2022-2026 FSDS made during the public consultation held from March 11 to July 9, 2022.

During the public consultation, more than 700 comments were received from a broad range of stakeholders, including governments, Indigenous organizations, non-governmental organizations, academics, businesses, and individual Canadians in different age groups and of various backgrounds. The draft FSDS 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, the Canadian Grain Commission identified sustainable development priorities and issues that affect us. These include:

  • Food security in conjunction with climate change, geopolitical conflicts, and supply chain disruption.
  • An enabling policy and regulatory environment to stimulate innovation and advance sustainable agriculture.

What We Did

The Canadian Grain Commission took the above-mentioned key priorities and issues into consideration in this DSDS.

In June 2022, we affirmed our 2023-24 Strategic Plan. While most Canadian Grain Commission resources will continue to be dedicated to day-to-day delivery of programs and services, the following four key areas of focus were confirmed and align with stakeholder comments on the draft 2022-2026 FSDS:

  • Modernize the Canadian Grain Commission’s regulatory framework, programs, and services.
  • Position the Canadian Grain Commission as a global leader in grain science.
  • Strengthen the Canadian Grain Commission’s stakeholder relationships, with a focus on Canadian producers.
  • Attract and retain employees in a competitive market.

Through our programs and services, and stakeholder partnerships that support a world-class Canadian grain quality assurance system, export market customers can rely on Canadian grain to meet their evolving quality and safety needs, and to strengthen global food security. We are dedicated to modernizing the Canadian Grain Commission’s regulatory framework, programs and services to continually support an innovative grain sector.

The Canadian Grain Commission recognizes that departmental actions affect the entire sector and values the importance of collaborative efforts. To position the Canadian Grain Commission as a global leader in grain science, we engaged with stakeholders to develop a Science Strategy. One of the objectives of our Science Strategy is to investigate the impacts of genetic and environment effects, and evolving agronomic practices on grain quality, functionality, and safety characteristics. Another objective is to leverage monitoring data using statistical modeling and artificial intelligence to better understand the impact of environmental and weather patterns on grain quality and safety parameters.

More information on the FSDS public consultation and its results is available in the FSDS Consultation Report.

Canadian Grain Commission’s Commitments

Goal 10: Advance reconciliation with indigenous peoples and take action on inequality

FSDS Context

Social, economic, and environmental inequalities persist in Canada. These inequalities disproportionately affect people with multiple intersecting identity factors such as gender identity and expression, race and ethnicity, faith community, Indigeneity, disability, sexual orientation, and low socioeconomic status. Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples is essential to addressing social, economic and environmental inequalities and achieving substantive equality. Each of us has a duty to further this work, both collectively and as individuals.

The Canadian Grain Commission is integrating anti-racism, equity, diversity and inclusion principles into its recruitment and promotion practices. The Canadian Grain Commission established a National Employment Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (NEEDIC) to lead work on advancing employment equity in our organization. The committee is engaging with management and staff on providing training and education through its Diversity and Inclusion Speakers Series while developing the Diversity and Inclusion Calendar. In 2022, the Canadian Grain Commission developed an Accessibility Plan in consultation with staff and the NEEDIC.

With the help of these initiatives, we aim to close the representation gap of all designated groups. As achieving reconciliation goes beyond closing these gaps, the Canadian Grain Commission is participating in the Indigenous Career Navigator Program—an interdepartmental program initiated following the Clerks Call to Action and in response to the Many Voices, One Mind: A Pathway to Reconciliation Action Plan. The program provides advice and guidance to indigenous employees on their career path.

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

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
Implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Implement Indigenous Procurement Renewal and the Procurement Strategy for Indigenous Business (PSIB).

Program: Internal services
Performance indicator: Percentage of the total value of procurement contracts that are held by Indigenous businesses.

Starting point: new program

Target: 5% annually
PSIB supports the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action as well as advances Goal 8, decent work and economic growth for the Indigenous community. Thus, it also contributes to reducing inequality (Goal 10).

Relevant targets or ambitions:
CIF Ambition/Target: Canadians have access to quality jobs and Canadians contribute to and benefit from sustainable economic growth.

CIF Indicator: Gross domestic product per capita
Continue to promote and provide Indigenous cultural competency training and/or training on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act through speaker series events or the Indigenous Learning products by the Canada School of Public Service.

Program: Internal services
Performance Indicator:
Percentage of employees that attend one or more Canada School of Public Service reconciliation related courses or speaker series events each year.

Starting point: new program

Target: 25% by March 31, 2024
Public servants are in a unique position to help build respectful relationships and partnerships 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 in Canada, and their knowledge of 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.

Initiatives advancing Canada’s implementation of SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities

SDG 10—reduced inequalities is integral in ensuring that no one is left behind. It addresses not only inequalities in income but also those related to representation and development assistance. The following initiatives demonstrate how Canadian Grain Commission programming supports the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, supplementing the information outlined above.

Planned initiatives Associated domestics targets or ambitions and/or global targets
The National Employment Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee is engaging with management and staff on providing training and education through its Diversity and Inclusion Speakers Series while developing the Diversity and Inclusion Calendar.

Human Resources, in collaboration with the committee, is leading a self-ID campaign and launching an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion data dashboard.
The Diversity and Inclusion Speakers Series increases the ability of staff at the Canadian Grain Commission to effectively interact, work, and develop meaningful relationships with people of various cultural backgrounds, which contributes to advancing government-wide Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion work, and creates a more inclusive workplace.

The improved collection, analysis, publication, and availability of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion data will further support inclusion and education efforts on reducing inequality and ensuring employment equity.

Both initiatives contribute to:
CIF Ambition: Canadians live free of discrimination and inequality.

GIF Target: 10.2 By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status.

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

FSDS Context

Canada is party to legally binding international agreements that prevent waste and litter, control the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and other wastes, and ensure such wastes are disposed of in an environmentally sound way. Goal 12 is about ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. Its focus directly supports SDG Global Indicator Framework targets in reducing food waste, achieving the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes, and promoting sustainable public procurement practices.

The Canadian Grain Commission reduces waste through selling surplus grain samples, equipment, furniture, and material through GC Surplus. We have replaced fluorescent grain grading lights with LED lights. Further, we strive to reuse plastic inspection bags until the end of their life. The Canadian Grain Commission has started pilot programs to reduce waste including recycling non-hazardous gloves and replacing environmentally hazardous solvents using a “Green Chemistry” approach. Goals of the pilots include raising awareness of reducing waste and inspiring actions in other parts of the organization and government.

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
Maximize diversion of waste from landfill Action 1: Implement non-hazardous gloves recycling (pilot program).

Action 2: Divert grain sample disposal from landfills to repurposing for lab testing, feed and compost.

Program: Internal Services
Action 1: Performance indicator: weight of material diverted.

Starting point: new program

Target: 15 kg per annually

Action 2: Performance indicator: reduction of grain sample disposal to landfill.

Starting point: new program

Target: 80% of total grain samples annually
Actions that reduce the generation of construction and demolition waste will help to reduce Scope 3 emissions for the production, transport and disposal of material. Diverting waste from landfill reduces landfill gas and transport hauling emissions. 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
Transform the federal light-duty fleet Replace conventional vehicles with hybrid or zero emission vehicles.

Program: Internal Services
Performance indicator: Percentage of new vehicle purchases that are zero emission vehicles or hybridFootnote 1

Starting point: new program

Target: 50% of new purchases
Purchasing zero emission vehicles reduces greenhouse gas emissions from conventional fleet operations.

Relevant targets or ambitions:
CIF Ambition: 12.1 Canadians consume in a sustainable manner.

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 programmes 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 Ensure all Procurement, Contracting and Materiel Management staff, as well as all acquisition card holders are well-versed with the criteria and are taking C215 Green Procurement course or equivalent.

Program: Internal Services
Performance Indicator: Percentage of SMEs who have completed training in green procurement.

Starting point: In 2022-23, 90% of procurement and materiel management specialists trained in green procurement

Target: 100% by March 31, 2024
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: 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.

Initiatives advancing Canada’s implementation of SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production

SDG 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production aims to decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation and harms to human health and increasing resource efficiency. The following initiatives demonstrate how Canadian Grain Commission programming supports the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, supplementing the information outlined above.

Planned initiatives Associated domestics targets or ambitions and/or global targets
The Canadian Grain Commission Grain Research Laboratory is piloting green chemistry methods to reduce the use of hazardous solvents. In addition, it is participating in collaborative research projects to study how changing agricultural practices are affecting grain quality. The Grain Research Laboratory must use chemicals to meet the social and economic goals of Canada and of the world community. The Grain Research Laboratory’s experimentation and assessment of green chemistry methods is one step towards addressing waste reduction. It contributes to Global Indicator Framework 12.4. By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment. In addition, this initiative also contributes to achieving Goal 3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
The Canadian Grain Commission’s procurement team will pursue options for compost services and single-use plastic collection boxes to further reduce waste. Diverting organic waste and plastic waste contribute to the GIF Target 12.5. By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse. In addition, the single-use plastic collection contributes to Canada’s commitment on zero plastic waste by 2030 and Ocean Plastics Charter.
The Canadian Grain Commission reduces waste of surplus equipment, furniture, and material by selling it through GC Surplus. Reducing operational waste contributes to:

GIF Target: 12.5. By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.

CIF Ambition: 12.3 Canadians consume in a sustainable manner.

Goal 13: Take action on climate change and its impacts

FSDS Context

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Canadians are seeing more extreme temperatures and precipitation as well as more frequent and severe wildfires, heatwaves, droughts and flooding. Climate change is not only one of the top threats of global biodiversity but also puts agricultural production and food security at risk.

The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change identifies collaborative federal, provincial and territorial actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enable sustainable economic growth. Actions related to agriculture under the Pan-Canadian Framework include increasing stored carbon, generating bioenergy and bioproducts, and advancing innovation. The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act enshrines in legislation the Government of Canada’s commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and highlights the need to reduce absolute green house gas emissions across all economic sectors, including agriculture. The Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership focuses on strengthening the competitiveness, innovation, and resiliency of the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector. The Canadian Grain Commission recognizes the importance of collaboration and innovation and is committed to supporting the government and the grain sector in improving environmental performance.

In addition to ensuring Canadian grain is dependable and safe, the Canadian Grain Commission is seeking opportunities within its programs to support the whole-of-government effort to reduce emissions and take action on climate change. The Canadian Grain Commission is committed to becoming a leader on greening government by transitioning to climate resilient operations and taking action through tracking progress and planning proactively.

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
Implement the Greening Government Strategy through measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve climate resilience, and green the government’s overall operations. Action 1: Continue to reduce electricity consumption by ensuring multifunctional printers are configured to be energy efficient.

Action 2: Continue to reduce printing and paper waste by shifting work processes from paper-based to digital and encouraging digital signatures.

Program: Internal Services
Action 1: Performance indicator: Percentage of multifunctional printers that are configured to be energy efficient.

Starting point: new program

Target: 100% by March 31, 2024

Action 2: Performance indicator: Number of services in the cloud.

Starting point: As of March 31, 2023, the Canadian Grain Commission had six services available online.

Target: Move one paper-based system online per year.
The main driver of climate change is the greenhouse effect. This requires swift action outlined in the Greening Government Strategy: A Government of Canada Directive. As one of the largest real property owners in Canada, the ongoing greening of federal Crown-owned assets will support Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy.

Relevant targets or ambitions:
CIF Ambition/Target: 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: 13.1.1 Greenhouse gas emissions.

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
Reduce risks posed by climate change to federal assets, services and operations. Continue to reduce electricity consumption at primary data centre by migrating workloads to the cloudFootnote 2 to build reliable and climate-resilient infrastructure and operations.

Program: Internal Services
Performance indicator:
Number of corporate workloads in the cloud

Starting point: As of March 31, 2023, the Canadian Grain Commission had four corporate workloads in the cloudFootnote 3.

Target: Move one service to the cloud per year.
Migrating workload to the cloud reduces the risks of disruption of critical service delivery to Canadians.

Relevant targets or ambitions:
CIF Ambition/Target: 13.3 Canadians are well-equipped and resilient to face the effects of climate change.

CIF Indicator: 13.3.1 Proportion of municipal organizations who factored climate change adaptation into their decision-making process.

GIF Targets: 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

Initiatives advancing Canada’s implementation of SDG 13 – Climate Action

One of the biggest challenges in implementing the 2030 Agenda is the low level of awareness and the lack of widespread engagement. The following initiatives demonstrate how Canadian Grain Commission programming supports the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, supplementing the information outlined above.

Planned initiatives Associated domestics targets or ambitions and/or global targets
Continue to implement standardized and enhanced virtual meeting setup to accommodate more meetings in board rooms and to reduce individual computer usage for meetings. Sustainable technology implementation enables behavior change and nudges staff towards making better choices. The awareness campaign will raise understanding of the possibilities and create spaces for open and productive dialogue.

With the help of the Canadian Grain Commission’s 2023-2027 DSDS, the implementation of sustainable technology and awareness campaign will help staff understand the linkages between the goals and mobilize action on climate change, collectively and individually.

This initiative contributes to:
CIF Ambition: Canadians consume in a sustainable manner.

CIF Indicators: 12.2.1 Proportion of businesses that adopted selected environmental protection activities and management practices.

12.3.1 Total waste diversion per capita.
Implement an awareness campaign on the Canadian Grain Commission’s 2023-2027 DSDS and highlight the work in achieving the commitments. The awareness campaign will also function as a platform to welcome suggestions on potential future actions.

Integrating Sustainable Development

The Canadian Grain Commission supports the goals laid out in the FSDS through delivering on our mandate to ensure dependable Canadian grain for domestic and export markets. In addition to carrying out our mandate, we have a collaborative role to play in supporting broad climate resiliency.

The Canadian Grain Commission will continue to ensure that its proposal development and decision-making process includes consideration of FSDS goals and targets through a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process, as required. The Canadian Grain Commission will also apply Gender-Based Analysis Plus in decision-making processes for our services and programsFootnote 4.

Date modified: