A new journey begins

The strategy provides a focused and innovative agenda for environmental leadership in Canada’s Capital Region, and serves as an overarching element to be included in all of the NCC’s plans, strategies, policies and operations.

The NCC’s Sustainable Development Strategy, 2018–2023, provides a focused and innovative agenda for environmental leadership in Canada’s Capital Region, and serves as an overarching element to be included in all of the NCC’s plans, strategies, policies and operations. It reflects the NCC’s commitment to working with its partners, stakeholders and the public to continue building a greener and more sustainable Capital Region together.

Not only does this strategy aim to protect our natural and cultural heritage, it will also contribute to improving the health and well-being of all residents and visitors in the National Capital Region. It aligns with three important federal and international initiatives: the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, the Greening Government Strategy and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

This strategy was approved by the NCC Board of Directors in September 2018.

Our Principles

The strategy is founded on six principles which define how it is implemented. These principles are intended to send a clear message about the way that the NCC wants to do business. The NCC pledges to implement the commitments identified under each principle by 2023 and to report on progress annually.


The NCC acts as a leader in promoting excellence in environmental sustainability in the National Capital Region.

Transparency and accountability

The NCC regularly reports on progress, including both successes and shortfalls, to the Government of Canada, stakeholders and the public.


The NCC continually seeks collaboration with regional partners to improve understanding of regional environmental processes and best practices.

Public participation

The NCC seeks ongoing public, stakeholder and staff input to shape the priorities and support the implementation of the strategy.

Natural capital in decision making

Natural capital is consistently valued and integrated into the NCC’s decision making.

Social equity

The NCC considers the social and health impacts of its built environment and services for diverse communities and visitors in the National Capital Region.

Our Actions

Thirty-six actions have been identified to be completed by 2023. They call for the NCC to innovate and to improve the way it does business. They are presented under the 10 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy goals relevant to the NCC. Each action has a set of indicators and clear, concrete, measurable targets.

  1. Effective action on climate change: Renew the regional sustainable transportation and mobility strategy; conduct a climate change risk assessment; promote urban density; and install electric vehicle charging stations.
  2. Safe and healthy communities: Clean up contaminated sites, and study the use of pesticides on NCC lands.
  3. Low-carbon government: Undertake energy efficiency audits of our buildings, and develop new ways of tracking, analyzing and implementing green building measures; green the corporate fleet, purchasing practices and employee travel; and reduce waste sent to landfills.
  4. Modern and resilient infrastructure: Adopt stormwater management guidelines, and study flood risks.
  5. Clean energy: Study the renewable energy potential of NCC lands, and increase the number of buildings connected to the federal government’s district energy system.
  6. Pristine lakes and rivers: Restore degraded shorelines, and protect shoreline vegetation on leased lands.
  7. Sustainably managed lands and forests: Adopt a forest strategy; manage invasive plant species; identify ecological corridors; and renew funding for biodiversity projects.
  8. Healthy wildlife populations: Adopt bird-friendly design guidelines and road ecology guidelines; enhance pollinator habitat; and protect species at risk habitat.
  9. Sustainable food: Adopt an urban food strategy and local food campaign; protect soil health; and diversify monoculture farmland.
  10. Connecting Canadians with nature: Enhance environmental education programs; improve access to parks via public transit; and increase bike share infrastructure in green spaces.