Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
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Statement of ACOA’s Contribution to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy

1. ACOA’s Sustainable Development Vision

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is a participant in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS). The FSDS represents a major step forward for the Government of Canada by including environmental sustainability and strategic environmental assessment as an integral part of its decision-making processes. ACOA is implicated under Theme I, “Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality” and under Theme IV, “Shrinking the Environmental Footprint – Beginning with Government.”

2. ACOA’s Decision-Making and Sustainable Development Practices

ACOA will set an example in its internal operations by:

  • pursuing the best practices in environmental management and pollution prevention, including recycling and waste reduction. This will be achieved through the Greening of Government Operations targets defined in Theme IV of the FSDS and through use of existing standing offers through Public Works and Government Services Canada.
  • educating ACOA staff on environmental issues and concerns and providing them with the resources to carry out the Agency’s sustainable development agenda.
  • setting measurable targets, reporting progress and reviewing Agency contributions to the FSDS on a yearly basis through the Agency’s Main Estimates process.

3. Implementation Strategies – Themes I through III

The Atlantic Energy Gateway (AEG) was launched as a complement to existing and planned utility and regional collaborative efforts and ongoing commercial activities within the region’s electricity sector. The objective of the AEG is to facilitate development of the Atlantic renewable energy sector by fostering collaboration, common understanding and communication among governments, and between governments and the private sector, in order to maximize and expedite the development of renewable energy resources in the region. 

The AEG will accomplish its objective by working in two broad areas:

  1. System Planning and Operations Modelling
    Examine the costs, benefits and mechanics of greater systems integration in the Atlantic region by developing a plan for resource development and operations, modelling transmission planning and exploring options for system and market operations.
  2. Regulatory and Economic Development
    Examine various issues related to the development of the Atlantic region’s clean energy industry, including regulatory and land-use planning, market development challenges and opportunities, supply chain development opportunities, and best practices in innovation and commercialization of research.

The AEG supports the first goal of the FSDS: climate change. Through the FSDS, the federal government has committed to “reduce greenhouse gas emission levels to mitigate the severity and unavoidable impacts of climate change.”1 Strategies to meet this goal include “providing sustained action to build a low-carbon economy and make Canada a world leader in clean electricity generation.”2 The work of the AEG supports this strategy and will assist Atlantic Canada in developing its low-carbon economy. 

4. Additional Sustainable Development Activities

In Atlantic Canada, ACOA is also helping to develop more competitive, resource-efficient and sustainable businesses and communities through its funding programs.

5. Link to ACOA’s 2012-2013 Report on Plans and Priorities, supplementary table titled Greening Government Operations

6. Link to the FSDS website, hosted by Environment Canada

For complete details on the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, see


[1] Planning for a Sustainable Future: A Federal Sustainable Development Strategy for Canada. Available at

[2] Planning for a Sustainable Future: A Federal Sustainable Development Strategy for Canada, p. 20, Environment Canada, 2010.