NAC Environmental Sustainability Policy

1.0 Purpose

The NAC recognizes the urgency and importance of climate action and signals the NAC’s commitment, as Canada’s National Performing Arts Centre, to play a leadership role in greening the sector and activating the role of the performing arts in contributing to a sustainable future for all Canadians.

Sustainability is one of the core values of the NAC’s 2020-2023 Strategic Plan The Next Act. The NAC pledges to activate the role of the performing arts and lead change in the performing arts sector by championing environmentally sustainable practices.

The purpose of the policy is to align the NAC’s actions with our values, and with the broader long-term sustainability goals of the Government of Canada, in fostering sustainable practices at the NAC and throughout the sector.

2.0 Scope

This policy applies to all NAC employees.

3.0 Responsibility

3.1 As Champion of the NAC’s Environmental Sustainability Policy, The Executive Director of Operations is responsible for:

  1. Ensuring the implementation of this policy and its related documents;
  2. Overseeing the development and implementation of the NAC’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy and Action Plan and promoting sustainable practices at the NAC;
  3. Chairing the NAC’s Environmental Sustainability Steering Committee, and aligning and overseeing its activities;
  4. Providing advice and guidance to NAC leadership in the implementation of this policy and its related documents;
  5. Reporting on the NAC’s environmental sustainability activities to Senior Management, the Board of Trustees, or to the Government of Canada as required.

3.2 Members of the Environmental Sustainability Steering Committee – made up of representatives of Operations, Production, Artistic Teams, Strategy and Communications, and Food and Beverage – are responsible for:

  1. Supporting the implementation of this policy and its related strategies/action plans;
  2. Supporting the development, stakeholder engagement and implementation of the NAC’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy, identifying yearly milestones for its Action Plan and ensuring priority activities are aligned with organizational strategic objectives and business needs;
  3. Providing advice and guidance to NAC employees and management in the implementation of this policy and its related documents by their respective teams;
  4. Naming delegates from their respective departments to ensure the timely and consistent implementation of this policy.

3.3 Members of the NAC Leadership are responsible for:

  1. Ensuring this policy and related documents are addressed in the planning and implementation of the work of their respective teams;
  2. Integrating policy objectives into long-term planning and activities.

4.0 Policy Statement

Climate change is widely recognized as the most urgent problem facing humanity. The pervasive impacts of climate change are being felt environmentally, economically and socially. Institutions and individuals must take immediate action to mitigate the effects of climate change and adapt operations to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.

As a national leader in the performing arts, the National Arts Centre has a vital role to play in the fight against climate change and the promotion of climate justice. The NAC recognizes the importance of working collaboratively with sector partners, including the Canada Council for the Arts, to achieve greater impact.

5.0 Policy Requirements

This policy outlines the NAC’s commitments to the following areas of sustainable practice:

5.1 Energy Management

The NAC will foster climate-resilient low-carbon operations and services. This includes implementing more efficient operating strategies and technologies to reduce energy consumption related to building systems and building envelope. The program will identify specific energy management opportunities (EMOs) to decrease GHG emissions resulting from NAC operations. The NAC will continue to participate in the Energy Services Acquisition Program (ESAP) and its district energy program in the National Capital Region, which will dramatically reduce GHG emissions by 2025 through modernization. The NAC will also promote green modes of transportation and encourage employees and visiting artists to reduce business travel and take green modes of transportation whenever possible.

5.2 Waste Management

The NAC will reduce the environmental impacts of waste in a manner that will engage employees, artists and visitors. To achieve this, the NAC will develop a robust waste management strategy aimed at monitoring waste generation and diverting a maximum amount of solid waste away from landfills and incineration, through reuse, recycling, and composting. The NAC commits to purchasing environmentally preferable goods and services, i.e. those with a lesser/reduced impact on the environment over the life cycle of the good or service, when compared with competing goods or services serving the same purpose.

5.3 Artistic Production and Practice

The NAC commits to a continuous improvement mindset in adopting sustainable artistic production and practice. The NAC further recognizes the power of its artistic practices to bring about change in public perception of and responses to the climate emergency.

The NAC will integrate sustainability criteria in the feasibility analysis and planning of artistic projects and strive to support artistic work that engages with climate action. It will communicate its sustainability goals to its network of artistic partners, collaborators and contractors through the continued adoption of green procurement practices and by outlining sustainability requirements in agreements.

The NAC also commits to the adoption of sustainable practices during artistic creation and production. This includes using environmentally sustainable materials and tools and reducing production waste. As much as possible, show builds such as sets, props, costumes, hair & makeup will be made of recycled materials and reused/recycled/diverted from the landfill after their use. Any equipment that is to be discarded will be broken down and recycled, repurposed, donated or given to a third-party company for recycling as appropriate. The NAC will continue to convert its theatrical lighting and equipment to energy-efficient alternatives. Digital technology and tools will be leveraged to reduce dependance on paper.

5.4 Monitoring, Reporting and Engagement

The NAC commits to developing, monitoring, and reporting on key sustainability performance indicators in the areas of energy consumption and waste management. In developing its sustainability performance targets, the NAC commits to establishing goals that align with the Government of Canada’s long-term sustainability objectives, including its commitment to net zero operations by 2050 and its goal to reduce Scope 2 GHG emissions by 40% by 2025.1

As encouraged in the Government of Canada’s Greening Government Strategy, the NAC will proactively publicly disclose its GHG emissions annually and adopt the reporting recommendations of the TCFD (Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures) by Crown corporations as relevant and appropriate.

The NAC will demonstrate its commitment to green leadership by actively sharing its results and best practices with its key government stakeholders, partners and collaborators across the country and as well as engaging its employees, artists and audiences in achieving the NAC’s environmental sustainability goals as outlined in this policy.

Note on the monitoring of scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions:

Scope 1: The NAC is a consumer of energy and not a producer. Since it does not produce its own energy, the NAC is exempt from reporting Scope 1 GHG emissions.

Scope 2: The NAC receives its operational energy from the centralized heating and cooling plant operated by Public Services and Procurement Canada. The NAC has established a protocol for measuring and monitoring its energy consumption, and the resulting Scope 2 emissions.

Scope 3: The NAC is in the process of establishing processes to measure current levels of Scope 3 emissions. A monitoring and reporting protocol will be established following the determination of this baseline.

6.0 Expected Outcomes

The expected results of this policy are:

  • Improve NAC facilities, operations and artistic practice in a manner that will increase efficiency, reliability and environmental performance while maintaining the high standard of safety, resulting in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and operating costs;
  • support a healthier working environment/workplace for employees, artists and the public through the implementation of environmentally sustainable practices;
  • contribute to Government of Canada environmental sustainability objectives, such as:
    • reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air contaminants;
    • improving energy and water efficiency;
    • reducing ozone depleting substances;
    • reducing waste and supporting reuse and recycling;
    • reducing hazardous waste;
    • reducing toxic and hazardous chemicals and substances; and
    • supporting biodiversity
  • achieve value for money while engaging in the purchase of environmentally-preferable goods and services;
  • leverage technology (including emerging environmentally-friendly practices) to achieve environmental sustainability targets;
  • use or purchase environmentally-preferable and climate-resilient goods;
  • create a National Arts Centre that is resilient to climate change.

7.0 Compliance and Policy Review

Compliance with this policy is mandatory. The Environmental Sustainability Steering Committee will support the EDO in the oversight and compliance to this policy and supporting instruments, and for taking corrective action in the case of non-compliance.

This policy is subject to review every two years by the NAC’s Environmental Sustainability Steering Committee. Changes to the policy must be approved by the NAC’s Board of Trustees.

8.0 References

Applicable Government of Canada Legislation and Policies:

Greening Government Strategy

Greening Government Strategy: A Government of Canada Directive -

Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures ( Providing guidance on climate related reporting-including recommendations for Crown Corporations)

Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures | TCFD) (

2021-Metrics_Targets_Guidance-1.pdf (

9.0 Enquiries

Enquiries regarding the National Arts Centre’s Environmental Sustainability Policy should be directed to the Senior Advisor, Communications and Strategy.

1Greening Government Strategy: A Government of Canada Directive -