Veterans Review and Appeal Board
2019-2020 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
1: Context for the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
Although the Veterans Review and Appeal Board is not bound by the Federal Sustainable Development Act and is not required to develop a full departmental sustainable development strategy, the Veterans Review and Appeal Board adheres to the principles of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) by implementing the Policy on Green Procurement.
The Policy on Green Procurement supports the Government of Canada’s effort to promote environmental stewardship. In keeping with the objectives of the policy, the Veterans Review and Appeal Board supports sustainable development by integrating environmental performance considerations into the procurement decision making process through the actions described in the “FSDS goal: low-carbon government” table in section 2.
2: Commitments for the Veterans Review and Appeal Board
||FSDS Contributing Action
|Support for UN Sustainable Development Goal target||Starting point(s), target(s) and performance indicator(s) for departmental actions||Link to the department’s Program Inventory|
|Reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from federal government buildings and fleets by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, with an aspiration to achieve it by 2025
||Support the transition to a low-carbon economy through green procurement
Target: 100% by March 31, 2020 Performance indicator: Percentage of acquisition cardholders that take green procurement training within one year of hire.
Target: 90% by March 31, 2020 Performance indicator: Number of accommodation stays that meet the target objective relative to the total number of all accommodation stays in the given year.
Target: 90% by March 31, 2020 Performance indicator: Volume of imaging hardware purchased that meet the target objective relative to the total volume of all imaging hardware purchased in the year.
Target: 90% by March 31, 2020 Performance indicator: Volume of toner cartridges recycled relative to the total volume of toner cartridges purchased in the given year.
3. Integrating sustainable development
Green procurement practices
- The Board receives procurement services from Veterans Affairs Canada under a Memorandum of Understanding; it does very little of its own procurement (approximately 10%).
- As a small organization that does very little of its own procurement, it is more effective for the Board to leverage the benefits of existing green procurement instruments. The Board will maximize the use of green procurement instruments provided by Public Services and Procurement Canada, such as standing offers and supply arrangements, as environmental considerations are integrated into the planning process. These common use instruments are designed to meet federal government green procurement standards.
- Where possible, the Board has put management processes in place to support the achievement of its targets to reduce the environmental impact of purchases.
Sustainable workplace practices
- The Board has invested a significant amount of time and effort into redesigning its hearing process to reduce its reliance on paper by incorporating more technology.
- This service improvement project involved new systems, new equipment, and new methods of sharing information so that Veterans’ applications move more quickly through the appeal process without relying on paper. From 2015 to 2018, the Board reduced paper usage in its operations by 37%.
- Going paperless has made the Board’s process more green, efficient and reliable.
- The Board also supports green meetings as a sustainable workplace practice.
A Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for policy, plan or program proposals includes an analysis of the impacts of the given proposal on the environment, including on the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) goals and targets. The results of these SEAs are made public when an initiative is announced. The purpose of the public statement is to demonstrate that when there are environmental effects, including impacts on achieving the FSDS goals and targets, of the approved policy, plan or program that they have been appropriately considered during proposal development and decision making. The Veterans Review and Appeal Board’s mandate is to provide an independent avenue of redress to individuals who are dissatisfied with disability benefits decisions made by Veterans Affairs Canada. Given its mandate, the Veterans Review and Appeal Board does not develop plans, programs or policies subject to strategic environmental assessments.
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