Investing in Environment


DND assigns a high priority to its environmental programs and is committed to conducting its operations in ways that protect human health and the environment. The Department continues to evolve as an environmentally responsible and sustainable organization by addressing past environmental problems and continuing to seek opportunities to maintain the health of the environment into the future.

Work underway

The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces play a leadership role in efforts to meet the government-wide target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent (below 2005 levels) by 2030 and transition to the use of cleaner energy.

On bases and wings across the country, DND is actively identifying energy efficiency improvements to its infrastructure (and commercial fleet) which will contribute to reducing GHGs by 265 260 tonnes by 2030. That’s the equivalent to the energy consumption of nearly 10 500 Canadian homes!

Since 2004, DND has built more than 50 buildings meeting industry-recognized level of high-environmental performance (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

Beyond reducing our footprint and focusing on green infrastructure, DND manages a National Wildlife Area at Canadian Forces Base Suffield. This arrangement represents DND’s diligent stewardship in protecting a significant wildlife habitat area on Federal Lands in Canada.


Federal Sustainable Development Strategy

The Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) is an approach, currently in its second cycle, that provides a whole-of-government view of actions to achieve environmental sustainability, is integrated into core federal planning and reporting, and is supported by a robust measurement strategy.

This approach stems from the passing of the Federal Sustainable Development Act, 2008, which signaled a change in how the Government of Canada would fulfill its commitment to sustainable development.

The Federal Sustainable Development Strategy is divided into four main Themes: Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality; Maintaining Water Quality and Availability; Protecting Nature and Canadians; and Shrinking the Environmental Footprint - Beginning with Government.

Under the FSDS 2013-2016, through the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS), Defence is responsible for 2 targets under Theme III, Protecting nature and Canadians, which include: species at risk and chemicals management (contaminated sites) as well as 5 targets under Theme IV, Shrinking the Environmental Footprint, which include: greenhouse gas emissions, real property environmental performance, green procurement (and information technology), sustainable workplace operations, and water management.

Defence Environmental Strategy

The Defence Environmental Strategy (PDF Version, 5415 KB) effectively integrates and employs best practices through life-cycle management into workplace activities and operations at an organizational level in support of a sustainable modern military.

The Government of Canada has made it a priority to manage its activities with environmental sustainability in mind. Today, the Defence Environmental Strategy along with the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy provides the Department of National Defence with the direction it needs to continue to evolve as an environmentally responsible and sustainable organization.

Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan

The Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP) is a cost-shared program that supports federal departments, agencies and consolidated Crown corporations in addressing contaminated sites for which they are responsible. The primary objective of this program is to reduce environmental and human health risks from known federal contaminated sites and associated federal financial liabilities.

The goal of the 15-year FCSAP program is to complete the assessment and remediation or risk management of highest-risk federal contaminated sites.


Species at Risk

The Species at Risk Act (SARA), which became law in 2002, is a key federal government commitment to prevent wildlife species from becoming extirpated or extinct and secure the necessary actions for their recovery. It provides for the legal protection of wildlife species and the conservation of their biological diversity. Since the Species at Risk Act came into force, the federal government has legally listed more than 500 species under the Act.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Department of National Defence (DND), Environment Canada, and the Parks Canada Agency to manage activities and protect species at risk on DND lands in accordance to the Act.

As a good environmental steward, the Department is committed to protecting the wildlife species on DND lands through adherence to the Species at Risk Act. As such, the Department has drafted policy instruments and guidance to assist members of the CF and employees of DND to fulfill the requirements of the Species at Risk Act. [1]



[1] Information from MRL_DGE_Species_at_Risk_ADMIE_Feb10.doc and MRL DPAO SARA MoU (XX 2011) ENG.doc (requires approval).

Date modified: