Environmental Strategy: Building a greener capital

The NCC’s environmental strategy provides a focused agenda for environmental leadership in Canada’s Capital Region.

Renewing the Environmental Strategy

In 2009, the NCC launched its first corporate environmental strategy, Building a Greener Capital. The success of this strategy has led to innovative environmental improvements in the region, such as the elimination of cosmetic pesticides on NCC lands and a reduction in the NCC’s overall emissions.

The current strategy expires on March 31, 2018. We are currently updating the strategy and will be working with our many partners who share our environmental management vision for the region.

In June 2017, we consulted the general public and stakeholders to gather their ideas for the goals of the new strategy. A second series of consultations was held with regional stakeholders in November 2017. Another series of consultations with the general public and stakeholders is planned for spring 2018. A sustainable development strategy, 2018–2023, will be presented to the Board of Directors for approval in September 2018.

Guiding principles

The Environmental Strategy is guided by four core principles:

  • Transparency
  • Collaboration
  • Leadership by example
  • Continuous improvement

Environmental Strategy action areas

The strategy defines five action areas that align with the NCC’s core business. Each area for action has ambitious objectives with clear, concrete, measurable targets.

  1. Reduce waste
    Reduce the waste going to landfill from all aspects of the NCC’s business.
  2. Protect biodiversity
    Provide greater protection for biodiversity on NCC lands.
  3. Prevent pollution
    Show leadership in preventing pollution of lands, groundwater and surface water.
  4. Lead in environmental practices
    Use leading environmental practices in planning, transportation, buildings and watershed management.
  5. Combat climate change
    Reduce the carbon footprint of all aspects of the NCC’s business.

Highlights of the NCC’s accomplishments in 2016–2017

  • Only 1.6 tonnes of waste generated on the Rideau Canal Skateway was sent to landfill. This represents a 93 percent reduction when compared to 2009–2010 levels.
  • A five percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions generated by NCC activities, mainly achieved by replacing 34 percent of the vehicle fleet.
  • The NCC worked with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority to restore wetlands upstream from Black Rapids Creek. The restoration work doubled the size of the wetlands.
  • The NCC fosters agriculture undertakings that contribute to the regional food supply.
  • The NCC leased 10 farms for local farming projects in the past year.
  • The NCC released the Natural Capital study in 2016. This study concludes that communities in the National Capital Region receive benefits worth an average of $332 million per year from the NCC’s green spaces.