A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is the part of the decision-making process where the environmental impacts of a policy, plan or program proposal are considered. The Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals (the Cabinet Directive) and its guidelines explain when departments and agencies must conduct an SEA and what it should consider.
An SEA helps managers, Ministers, and Cabinet make informed decisions by providing information about how a proposal could affect the environment – in either a positive or negative way. It also shows how a proposal contributes to the government's environmental and sustainable development goals. These can be found in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.
The department's SEA process evaluates a proposal by looking at three key areas:
- economic impact
- social impact
- environmental impact
The Cabinet Directive requires departments and agencies to prepare a statement once a detailed SEA is finished. The statement's goal is to show that a proposal's environmental impacts have been examined and considered during the decision-making process.
- Federal Zero-Emission Vehicle Measures
- Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation in Canada
- Next Generation of Clean Transportation Initiatives
Impact Assessment Agency of Canada: Strategic Environmental Assessment