Emerging from the famous Brundtland Report, “Our Common Future”, the NRTEE became a model for convening diverse and competing interests around one table to create consensus ideas and suggestions for sustainable development.
“The Round Table will be providing leadership in the new way we must think of the relationship between the environment and the economy and the new way we must act.”
Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, October 1988
Since its creation in 1988, concerns about climate change, air quality, and water availability have made Canadians and their governments increasingly aware of the need to reconcile economic and environmental challenges as they have become increasingly interlinked. They are the flip sides of the same coin. That need for reconciliation—and the process of working towards it—is the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy’s raison d’être.
Excerpt from the 1993 NRTEE Act
The purpose of the Round Table is to play the role of catalyst in identifying, explaining and promoting, in all sectors of Canadian society and in all regions of Canada, principles and practices of sustainable development.
A Solutions-Focused Mediator
The NRTEE has been focused on sustaining Canada’s prosperity without borrowing resources from future generations or compromising their ability to live securely.
Our mission is to generate and promote sustainable development solutions
to advance Canada’s national environmental and economic interests simultaneously,
through the development of innovative policy research and advice.
We accomplish that mission by fostering sound and well-researched reports on priority issues and by offering advice to governments on how best to reconcile the often divergent challenges of economic prosperity and environmental conservation.
A Unique Convener
The NRTEE brings together a group of distinguished sustainability leaders active in businesses, universities, environmental groups, labour, public policy, and Aboriginal communities across Canada. Our members are appointed by the federal government for a mandate of up to three years. They meet in a round table format that offers a safe haven for discussion and encourages the unfettered exchange of ideas leading to consensus. This is how we reconcile positions that have traditionally been at odds.
A Trusted Coalition-Builder
We also reach out to expert organizations, industries and individuals that share our vision for sustainable development. These partners help spark our creativity, challenge our thinking, keep us grounded in reality, and help generate the momentum needed for success.
An Impartial Catalyst of Change
The NRTEE is in the unique position of being an independent policy advisory agency that advises the federal government on sustainable development solutions. We raise awareness among Canadians and their governments about the challenges of sustainable development. We advocate for positive change. We strive to promote credible and impartial policy solutions that are in the best interest of all Canadians.
A National and International Leading Force
We are also at the forefront of a prospective new international research network that will bring together some of the world’s most renowned sustainability research institutes. This will build our research and capacity, giving us access to new thinking and proven solutions in other countries that could benefit Canada. Armed with a proven track-record in generating environment and economic solutions, we now seek to use our influence and credibility to move forward Canada’s environmental and economic priorities in concert with the world.
An Independent Leader
The NRTEE Act enforces the independent nature of the Round Table and its work. The President and CEO is accountable to Parliament and reports, at this time, through the Minister of the Environment. The NRTEE is not an agency of Environment Canada or any other federal government department, but its estimates and reporting obligations are included within the broader environmental portfolio of government.
The NRTEE’s Dynamic Secretariat
A group of staff maintains our secretariat which conducts the policy research and analysis required by our members in their work. The secretariat furnishes administrative, promotional and communications support to the NRTEE. We are here to answer your questions or direct you to an expert who can. Please let us know how we can help you.