Our process helps Canada achieve sustainable development solutions that integrate environmental and economic considerations to ensure the lasting prosperity and well-being of our nation.


We rigorously research and conduct high quality analysis on issues of sustainable development. Our thinking is original and thought provoking.


We convene opinion leaders and experts from across Canada around our table to share their knowledge and diverse perspectives. We stimulate debate and integrate polarities. We create a context for possibilities to emerge.


We generate ideas and provide realistic solutions to advise governments, Parliament and Canadians. We proceed with resolve and optimism to bring Canada’s economy and environment closer together.

The Sustainability Project

The NRTEE joined 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?


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