Exchanging Ideas on Climate
National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy
Exchanging ideas on Climate

Common menu bar links

The Sustainability Project


The Sustainability Project

The NRTEE is joining forces with the Public Policy Forum (PPF) to explore how new, collaborative engagement processes can lead to better sustainable development policy in Canada.

The NRTEE and the PPF believe that there may be a need for new forms of public and stakeholder engagement in the development and implementation of sustainable development policies and solutions. With this project, the NRTEE and PPF will explore the view that sustainability requires specially crafted and focused governance mechanisms and processes to navigate through difficult issues and to create a more integrated perspective within our governments and society on how to promote sustainability.

The central idea of sustainable development is that economic prosperity and environmental protection can be compatible, and must be pursued in an integrated way. This creates a profound governance challenge: sustainable development demands that the environment be included alongside society?s pursuit of economic and social goals, and that the needs of future generations are considered along with those of the present. At bottom, this governance challenge involves a need to reconcile competing interests and goals in the short-term, to secure long-term, sustainable development policies and plans.

Sustainable development: ?meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs? ? Brundtland Commission

Twenty years ago, this insight ? that sustainable development requires that differing interests be brought together to develop common ways forward ? was the principle on which the NRTEE was founded. It is also the insight that has recently driven the Public Policy Forum (PPF) to explore the role of public engagement in governance for sustainable development and other issues.

The NRTEE and PPF share two goals in this project:

  • Understand the potential for effective engagement mechanisms and processes to improve the governance of sustainable development in Canada;

  • Develop ideas, recommendation, and strategies for improved engagement practices of the NRTEE and similar organizations.

We will do so by convening a select group of sustainability experts and stakeholders, business and environment leaders, together with senior federal and provincial government representatives and public engagement professionals and the media, as well as NRTEE members, over a series of three focused roundtables to discuss, debate, and determine how sustainability governance can be improved.

Roundtable Sessions

  • Roundtable 1
    October 6, 2009
    Is there a governance problem?

  • Roundtable 2
    November 10, 2009
    What are the alternatives to the traditional policy process?

  • Roundtable 3
    December 8, 2009
    How can we implement collaborative solutions?


Roundtable 1
October 6, 2009

Roundtable 2
November 10, 2009

Roundtable 3
December 8, 2009


Roxanna Benoit
Manager, Public Affairs Bureau, Alberta Executive Council Office

Gerald Butts
President and CEO,
WWF Canada

Karen Clarke-Whistler
Chief Environment Officer,
TD Bank Financial Group

Mike Cleland
President and CEO,
Canadian Gas Association

Dianne Cunningham
NRTEE Member

Francine Dorion
NRTEE Member

Karen Farbridge
Mayor of Guelph, Ontario

Michael Keenan
Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Policy, Environment Canada

Gord Lambert
Vice President Sustainable Development, Suncor

Don Lenihan
Facilitator, Public Policy Forum

Dr. Stephen Lucas
Assistant Deputy Minister, Minerals and Metals Sector, Natural Resources Canada

Greg Lyle
Managing Director,
Innovative Research Group

Alfred MacLeod
Assistant Deputy Minister Intergovernmental Policy,
Privy Council Office

Hugh MacLeod
Associate Deputy Minister, Climate Change, Ontario Climate Change Secretariat

Peter MacLeod
Principal, MASS

David McLaughlin
President and CEO, NRTEE

James Meadowcroft
Canada Research Chair in Governance for Sustainable Development,
Carleton University

David J. Mitchell
President and CEO
Public Policy Forum

Peter Robinson
CEO, David Suzuki Foundation

Christopher Waddell
Carty Chair in Business and Financial Journalism
Carleton University