Statement outlines the NWMO’s commitment to sustainability
Ontario wetlands, photographed in July 2023.
The Nuclear Waste Mangement Organization (NWMO) has published a new Sustainability Statement this week. The statement acknowledges that the actions we take to implement our mandate will have an impact on the future. It also outlines our organization's commitment to sustainability, which has always been integral to our identity. We recognize that sustainability requires a holistic and interconnected understanding of respecting, protecting and being in a relationship with the air, land and water.
Publishing this Sustainability Statement is a crucial step towards taking meaningful, measurable and reportable actions toward a sustainable future. As part of a variety of strategies to address climate change — while still meeting Canada’s growing energy needs — the Canadian government is increasingly pursuing new nuclear technologies.
"With these words, we are laying the groundwork for a sustainability program that is rooted in both Indigenous Knowledge and western science — a program that will pave the way for putting in place sustainability objectives that are measured, transparently reported and adapted as our work progresses,” said Bob Watts, the NWMO’s Vice President of Indigenous Relations and Strategic Programs.
Over the next four years, we will develop and implement a comprehensive sustainability program, encouraging innovation and ensuring that recommended actions represent all our values, including Reconciliation. We will establish precise targets, thresholds and sustainability metrics, along with public reporting structures, and we will update the program to reflect commitments made during the impact assessment process.
“Sustainability has always been and will continue to be our north star. As we begin our journey to construct and eventually operate facilities needed to achieve our mandate, we will fully characterize our direct, indirect and supply chain impacts and dependencies associated with these activities,” Bob Watts said of our future.
The NWMO is implementing a plan that will span generations. Given the duration of our work, we expect the wider socio-political environment to evolve, leading to changes in accompanying social priorities and objectives. The Sustainability Statement underpins our work as we strive to reflect the relationships and priorities of greatest importance to Indigenous peoples and Canadians.
Founded in 2002, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term management of Canada’s intermediate- and high-level radioactive waste, in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.
The NWMO has been guided for more than 20 years by a dedicated team of world-class scientists, engineers and Indigenous Knowledge Holders that are developing innovative and collaborative solutions for nuclear waste management.