The Accelerated Reduction / Elimination of Toxics (ARET) program was established in the early 1990s.


The program was started by the New Directions Group (NDG), a group of senior industry representatives and Environmental Non-Government Organizations (ENGOs). After Environment Canada , 1991, the ARET Stakeholder Committee was formed to participate in the program. The committee of representatives of industry, provincial and federal governments, health and environmental groups, and labor organizations.

The committee first evaluated a list of over 2000 chemicals, scoring them on the basis of toxicity, persistence, and bioaccumulation capability. By 1994, the evaluation was complete and the result was that of toxic substances.


Short-term goals

  • Reduce persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic substance emissions by 90 percent
  • Reduce all other toxic substance emissions by 50 percent

Long-term goals

  • Virtual elimination of releases of 30 persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic substances
  • Reduction of another harmless substances


The success of the ARET program is disputed. While Environment Canada states that over 70,000 tonnes of toxic substances were prevented from being released from the success of the program, the multi-stakeholder nature of the substance would be given priority. Environmental and labor groups with the committee on the subject of reduction , rather than elimination , of these substances by industry representatives. Nils Axel Braathen also claims that it has been questionable.

See also

  • Environment Canada


  • Environment Canada’s ARET Program Summary
  • ARET Case Study in Braathen ’s Voluntary Approaches for Environmental Policy (pp. 28-30)
  • „The Day the NGOs Walked Out“ – Discusses controversy of ARET