How To

Please click a topic below for information and guides on how to use this resource.

Introduction to the site

The Canadian Grains Sustainability Metrics Platform is designed to provide information in an organized fashion on the state of sustainability performance for Canadian grains, oilseeds and pulse crop production.

Three sustainability categories are covered: Social Responsibility, Environmental Sustainability and Financial Viability. Within each of these three, information has been organized into sub-categories, or criteria, for easier access to the information.

Each sub-category (criterion) has its own sustainability report. Within the report, the following are what you will find:

  1. Overview: identifying why this sub-category (criterion) is important
  2. Canadian Perspective: key information on the sustainability performance of the Canadian grain production system within this sub-category (criterion). Within the Canadian Perspective section, information is further organized under key messages, with the data relevant to that key message. Exhibits have been provided to further substantiate the performance statements within each key message. These exhibits may be in the form of charts and graphs, or text, or in some cases, Web links. A list of sources of the data referenced in the text is provided at the end of the Canadian Perspective section.
  3. Industry Initiatives: a listing of key activities by the Canadian grains industry to meet the sustainability objectives relevant to this sub-category (criterion).
  4. Global Market Requirements: based on the five sustainability standards most often used by the global grains industry, this section provides a summary of key expectations relevant to this sub-category (criterion).

The sustainability reports are accessed through the three sustainability categories on the Home Page. Clicking on the “Explore” button will take you to the list of sub-categories (criteria), from which you can select the sustainability report you wish to review.

Clicking on the “Explore” button of Industry Initiatives will take you to a list of industry sustainability initiatives that have been referenced in the sustainability reports, which include a summary and a link for further information.

Clicking on the “Explore” button of Market Requirements will take you to a list of the five international sustainability standards that have been referenced in the sustainability reports. Clicking on each of the five will take you to their websites.

Clicking on the “Explore” button of Source Data will take you to all of the Exhibits that have been provided in the sustainability reports. The Source Data is organized by collections, each of which has a summary and a list. For information on how to search Data Sources, see the “How to search data sources” tab.

The Library is a shortcut to all the information: Sustainability Reports, Industry Initiatives, Market Requirements and Source Data as well as a Key Messages Index and Key Words Index. 

How to use this site to answer questions on the sustainability of Canadian grain production

The sustainability reports on social responsibility, environmental sustainability and financial viability are designed to provide answers to most types of sustainability questions that customers may ask. These reports contain the sustainability performance  information that is most requested. 

Each of the reports have key messages, and under those key messages, are data and charts to inform you.  For example, if you are looking for the carbon footprint/greenhouse gas emissions of the production of Canadian cereals, oilseeds and pulse crops, go the the Environmental Sustainability box on the Home Page or the Library, and select GHG Emissions & Air Quality. Click on the "View Report" button, then "Canadian Perspective" , then scroll down until you reach "The Carbon Footprint of Canadian crops vary across Canada due to production practices and climate". Continue to read the report and browse the charts until you find the information you need.

Although we do not have a key word search function, there are two indices to help you.

By going to the Library (right hand lower box on Home Page, or tab across the top), you will see.  "Index - Key Messages" and Index - Key Words".

The "Index - Key Messages" has an alphabetized list of key messages, with the report in which they are located indicated on the right.  Click on the arrow and you will be taken to that report.

The "Index - Key Words" has an alphabetized list of key words, or subjects,  that are relevant to the Platform.  The report in which these subjects are located is indicated on the right. Click on the arrow and you will be taken to that report.  Some subjects are part of multiple reports.

Should you not find what you are looking for, please use the "Contact" button to get in touch with us with your questions. We would be pleased to help you.

How to find data by province or region

The Canadian Grains Sustainability Metrics Platform has significant region- specific data.

Regions

Data is provided for almost all data sets for Canada and by province (except for Newfoundland and Labrador).

Some data sets provide information by Regional Unit (RU). An RU is the smallest spatial unit at which activity data from the different sources (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Canadian Forest Service) can be harmonized. RUs are AAFC Reporting Zones subdivided by provincial boundaries. The AAFC Reporting Zones are equivalent to ecozones of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's National Ecological Framework with additional subdivisions: the Prairie ecozone was divided into the Semiarid Prairies and Subhumid Prairies, and the Boreal Shield ecozone was divided into the Boreal Shield West and Boreal Shield East sections. The RUs for Canada can be seen by clicking the small gear symbol to the right of each chart that has RU data.

Sustainability Reports Search

Within the sustainability reports, information for Canada and the provinces is shown as the default. If you wish only to have information for a specific province, when you click the “View Report” button, you will see: “Showing data relevant to all crops and all geographies”.

If you “click to modify”, you will be able to remove Canada and/or those provinces that do not interest you. Data sets that do not have provincial data (only Canada data) will be included in your results.

For the Sustainability Reports, the geographic search function is only for Canada and the provinces - a search by RU’s is not provided.

Data Sources/Library search

You can also use the Library or the Data Sources link on the Home Page to undertake a data search. If you are using the Library to search for data, you can enter the Source Data section, where you will be provided with a list of data collections. Directly underneath the list is an Advanced Search button. Click and you will be taken to “what can we help you find today”. If you type in Canada, province and/or RU you are interested in, all Exhibits in all data collections containing that region will be provided to you. Note that data that is not region specific will also be included - if data is only for Canada, it will be provided in a provincial or RU search; if data is only for Canada and the provinces, it will be provided in an RU search. 

You can also perform the same search function within each data collection. When you click on a specific data collection, it will provide a “view report”. Clicking the “view report” button will provide you with two choices: “Documents’ and “Exhibits”. Click on “Exhibits” to obtain a list of all data sets within that data collection. You can then search by region within that data collection only.  

How to find data by crop

Crops

The Canadian Grains Sustainability Metrics Platform has some crop-specific information on the following ten crops: barley, canola, corn, durum, field peas, flax, lentils, oats, soybean and wheat (non-durum).

Sustainability Reports Search

Within the Sustainability Reports information for all crops is shown as the default. If you wish only to have information for a specific crops (crops), when you click the “View Report” button, you will see:  “Showing data relevant to all crops and all geographies”. If you “click to modify”, you will be able to remove those crops that do not interest you. If the information is not crop-specific, it will be provided to you. 

Data Sources/Library search

You can also use the Library or the Data Sources link on the Home Page to undertake a data search. If you are using the Library to search for data, you can enter the Source Data section, where you will be provided with a list of data collections. Directly underneath the list is an Advanced Search button. Click and you will be taken to “what can we help you find today”. If you type in the crop(s) you are interested in, all Exhibits in all data collections containing that crop will be provided to you. Note that data that is not crop specific will also be included.

You can also perform the same search function within each data collection. When you click on a specific data collection, it will provide a “view report”. Clicking the “view report” button will provide you with two choices: “Documents’ and “Exhibits”. Click on “Exhibits” to obtain a list of all data sets within that data collection. You can then search by crop within that data collection only.  

How to find the source of the data

Each of the data sets referenced on the Platform has its source identified.

The exhibits are the charts, graphs, information or links that are located in the boxes in the text of the sustainability reports, or through the Source Data box. Each of the exhibits has it source identified or a web link provided within the chart itself.

There is other data provided in the text of the sustainability reports. These data have a superscript number, with the source corresponding to each number located at the end of the Canadian Perspective section of the sustainability report.  

How to download, save or print information

Sustainability Reports

At the top of each sustainability report, there is a “print” button. You will be provided with two options: “include exhibits”, which will include all of the charts and graphs in the report; or “exclude exhibits”, which will not include the charts and graphs but will include their titles.

Your choice will then be downloaded to permitting printing and/or saving as a PDF file.

Data

There are two ways to obtain the data imbedded in the charts. To see individual data points, pass the cursor over any of the bars, line points or pie sections; the data will be shown on the screen. To download the entire data set, click on the CSV below the graph and you will be provided with an Excel file in CSV format that you can print and/or save.

General

Another option to print from the Platform is to right click at any time and select “print” to print or save as a picture what is on the screen. However, formatting may be an issue with this method.  

How to obtain a password
Some data on this site is available only to members of the CRSC, and is password protected.  CRSC members wishing to obtain a password should submit ther request through: execdir@sustainablecrops.ca.
How to access the CRSC Carbon Lifecycle Reports

The Carbon Lifecycle reports for ten major crops and for fertilizer manufacturing is available only to CRSC members and are password protected.  Once you have a password, you may access the reports through the following steps:

You must be logged in to access password protected data. Log in by clicking on the "Log in" tab at the top, right hand corner of the home page.  You will be asked for your e-mail address and your password.

Return to the Home page and click on the "Explore" button in the Source Data box.  You will be provided with a list of data collections. Select "CRSC Major Crop Lifecycle Assessments".

This will take you to an overview of the Carbon LCL's, and two choices: "Documents" or "Exhibits". Click on "Documents" and you will be provided the list.  The lock icon on the right hand side of each reports should be open.

To open a report, click on the opened lock at the right of the report that you are interested in. You will then be provided with a choice to open the document or save it. The reports are in PDF format.

How to stay current

It is the intention of the CRSC to amend the information on the Platform as new or additional information or updates to existing information become available. For regular users of the Canadian Grains Sustainability Metrics Platform, there are two mechanisms you can use to remain current.  

  1. To ensure transparency on how current the information is, when you enter into a sustainability report, at the very bottom centre on the screen is “Last Updated … …” which will provide you with the last major amendment date.
  2. Located beside the "Last Updated" details is a “Subscribe” button, which permits you to receive an e-mail notification each time the report receives a significant update. To minimize e-mail traffic to you, this feature applies only to updates for that specific report. If you are interested in receiving update notifications of more than one report, please subscribe to each report.  
How to get more information
Should you have a query to which you are not able to find an answer in the Platform, please do not hesitate to contact the CRSC. We will do our best to help you. The “Contact Us” tab has been designed to permit you to provide your question, which will be submitted directly to CRSC staff.