Halifax Regional Municipality

Halifax, Atlantic Canada’s biggest city, has a burgeoning tourist economy, a number of universities, and many small town charms such as local shops, clean beaches and beautiful parks.

The Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) is demonstrating leadership by assessing and continuously improving its own contribution to the health, vibrancy and sustainability of the community. In 2004, HRM commissioned The Natural Step Canada to perform a high-level baseline sustainability analysis using The Natural Step Framework.

Twenty five managers from 13 departments learned about the sustainability challenges in City use of energy, water, land, materials, transportation and around social sustainability. The sustainability analysis also recognized HRM’s many commendable initiatives and yielded a series of recommendations for improving sustainability performance.

Staff identified two key recommendations for immediate attention. The first was to integrate the principles of sustainability into procurement policies of the HRM (Canadian municipalities buy 53 billion dollars of goods and services annually which has a tremendous impact on their entire supply chain). The second recommendation was to develop a stronger corporate culture of sustainability to lay the foundation for improving operational practices. A Sustainability Transition Team of 20 has been created and about 80 people from several departments will participate in a series of training sessions to further integrate sustainability into HRM’s corporate culture.

In 2007, Halifax Regional Municipality joined 13 other municipalities, organizations and businesses from across Atlantic Canada in the Atlantic Canada Sustainability Initiative (ACSI). This collaborative initiative is establishing a sustainability learning community using The Natural Step Framework as a guide.

Click here to read about the Atlantic Canada Sustainability Initiative.