4.0 Other SD Program Results

4.1    CRA Contribution to Government-wide SD Priorities

The CRA SD strategy 2007-2010 was designed to contribute to progress on the Government of Canada's priorities for SD. This includes those priorities stated in the June 2006 document Coordinating the Fourth Round of Departmental Sustainable Development Strategies.

The CRA's SD action plan for 2007-2010 identifies 15 activities that contribute directly to the priorities established in the coordinating document. Of those 15, a total of eight were scheduled for implementation during fiscal year 2007-2008. Details on the performance of each activity and associated progress can be found in Appendix D.

CRA Goal 1:  "Reduce the effects of our operations on land, air, and water"

Federal Goal/ Target CRA Activity Description 2007-2008 Result

Federal Goal 3: Reduce GHG emissions.
Target: Reduce by 15% from 2002-2003 levels, GHG emissions per vehicle kilometre from the departmental fleet by 2010.
Federal Goal 6: Strengthen federal governance and decision-making to support SD/GGO
Target: Set a minimum of three procurement targets over three years. Include SD clauses and environmental specifications in all new strategic sourcing contracts. (due date: annual)

The CRA included green specifications into the 100% (2 of 2) strategic sourcing contracts that were issued in 2007-2008. Establish an emissions (GHG) baseline for business travel to include local and long-distance travel and videoconferencing.
(due date: March 31, 2008)

We determined the data set, and information analysis is ongoing to establish a baseline for business travel in 2008-2009. All vehicles purchased/leased by the CRA are either hybrid or alternative fuel capable, where operationally feasible. (due date: annual)

The CRA bought five vehicles during the period. Two were conventional fuel vehicles due to operational requirements, and three were ATF vehicles - no hybrid vehicle was acquired. All gasoline purchased for CRA road vehicles will be ethanol blended, where available. (due date: annual)

In order to standardize the use of ethanol fuel by CRA fleet, the Agency integrated this requirement in the policy instruments that govern fleet. Formal approval of the policy instruments is expected in 2008-2009.

CRA Goal 2:  "Demonstrate sustainable service delivery of tax and benefit programs"

Federal Goal/ Target CRA Activity Description 2007-2008 Result

Federal Goal 4: Sustainable Communities - Communities enjoy a prosperous economy, a vibrant and equitable society, and a healthy environment for current and future generations. Contribute to economic development in Canada and abroad by holding a leadership position within organizations, such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); and sharing information with partners on better tax administration, encouraging better economic practices, working with partners to develop internationally accepted tax rules, and managing and coordinating technical assistance projects in different countries. (due date: annual)

The CRA continued representation on multilateral, bilateral, regional and international tax organizations. We demonstrated our leadership through technical assistance, and the sharing of best practices for tax administration.

CRA Goal 3:  "All employees apply sustainable development in their jobs"

Federal Goal/ Target CRA Activity Description 2007-2008 Result

Federal Goal 3: Reduce GHG emissions. Establish a baseline for employee commuting, such as emissions (GHG) and employee commuting behaviour /mode of travel. (due date: March 31, 2008)

We established a baseline for employee commuting that showed that CRA employees made over 20 million commuting trips; travelled over 360 million kilometres when commuting to and from work; and produced over 64,000 tonnes of GHGs and 2,800 tonnes of air pollution while commuting.

CRA Goal 4:  "Use modern systems that support and maintain sustainable development"

Federal Goal/ Target CRA Activity Description 2007-2008 Result

Federal Goal 6: Strengthen federal governance and decision-making to support sustainable development. Continue to integrate sustainability criteria into key programs and policies of the CRA. (due date: annual)

We updated and included the sustainability criteria in the draft corporate policy suite. We developed and released a sustainability criteria guide on CRA Intranet. Promotion of the criteria will continue in 2008-2009. Develop an SD report card by establishing economic, social and environmental indicators spanning all business lines. (due date: March 31, 2008)

To advance the preparation of an SD report card for the CRA, we completed a research paper on corporate social responsibility (CSR)[Footnote 5] reporting in the private, public and quasi-public sectors. It included a scan of the CRA to compile a set of potential SD indicators for the Agency. Work will continue in 2008-2009.

4.2 Interdepartmental Participation

As part of the federal government, the CRA takes an active role in contributing to the interdepartmental SD community. Much of our contribution during 2007-2008 was made through the Interdepartmental Network for Sustainable Development Strategies (INSDS). During the period the Agency contributed to the INSDS mandate review, management system survey, SD strategy roll-up report, and to the INSDS Sub-Committee on Awareness, Communications, and Training.

The CRA also participated on the Interdepartmental Sub-Committee on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). We provided input to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) on evaluating the Cabinet Directive on SEA to improve its contribution to balanced decision making. Members of the SD division with responsibilities for environmental management provided input at several federal workshops on a variety of topics including fleet management, managed print solutions, active transportation, energy monitoring.

In 2007 the Agency was invited by the Office of the Auditor General to participate in the Green Ribbon Panel Survey. The survey was intended to identify opportunities to strengthen the implementation of the sections of the Auditor General Act related to the environment and sustainable development practices. The CRA provided input by completing the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) online survey and in doing so provided a number of recommendations with respect to the role and practices of the Office of the CESD.

The Agency will continue to participate through the interdepartmental process, including the greening of government operations priorities.

4.3 SD Program Costs and Benefits

During fiscal year 2007-2008, the Agency invested approximately $1.75 million in direct costs (personnel and operating) for the SD division in Ottawa and regional offices to implement the SD program (see Table 2).

Table 2: 2007-2008 Sustainable Development Program Budget ($000)

  Resource Type

Expenditure Area












SD Innovation Fund








Many of the initiatives in the CRA's SD strategy, while aimed at environmental improvement, had the added benefit of improving the Agency's operational efficiency, or conferred benefits to other areas of society. Examples include:

A prime example where measurable results have been achieved is the Agency's use of office paper. The table below shows that, since the implementation of our paper reduction strategy, we have reduced the amount of paper used per employee, as well as, reduced expenditures on office paper.

Table 3: Reduction in Annual Office Paper Consumption and Cost[Footnote 6]

Fiscal Year Average Consumption per FTE in Sheets Office Paper Expenditures
2002-2003 7,011 $2.43 million
2003-2004 7,399 $2.42 million
2004-2005 7,234 $1.81 million
2005-2006 6,047 $1.56 million
2006-2007 5,761 $1.45 million
2007-2008 5,721 $1.48 million

Paper consumed by the Agency to deliver its individual (T1) program has also been substantially reduced through the implementation of online tax filing options. While offering Canadians enhanced convenience and efficiency, these programs have had a positive impact on the Agency's environmental bottom line. During the period from 1990 to 2007, the use of electronic filing (EFILE and NETFILE) in the individual (T1) Tax Program has resulted in the following paper savings: 

This is equivalent to savings of:

Other areas where benefits of the CRA's SD program accrue to the Agency include staff recruitment and employee morale. While benefits such as these are difficult to quantify, and have not been measured directly, some evidence to suggest that those entering the workforce include an organization's environmental program as one criterion when choosing an employer[Footnote 8]. The CRA will continue to examine opportunities to improve our knowledge of the full range of benefits associated with the delivery of our SD strategy.

4.4    SD Program Assessment

Internal and external assessments of the Agency's performance on SD are important means for the CRA to examine and address deficiencies in our program. In 2007-2008 the CRA Board of Management examined the SD program for sound overall administration, and integration in CRA business. Specifically, the Board asked whether the CRA has a reliable reporting framework in place for SD, and how well the CESD viewed the SD reports of the Agency. The Board judged the SD program's processes and integration of SD as "strong," the highest available rating.

The CESD did not audit the CRA's SD program in 2007-2008. However, the CESD did forward one environmental petition to the Agency during the period on the recycled content of the Agency's paper supply. A response was issued to the petitioner within the time limit specified by the Auditor General Act (1995).

4.5 Future Considerations

The SD program at the CRA will continue to evolve to respond to both changing requirements of the CRA and the Government of Canada, including the new Federal Sustainable Development Act, whichis intended to make environmental decisions more transparent and accountable to Parliament.


[Footnote 5]
CSR refers to the integration of environmental, social, and economic factors to traditional financial factors in the decision-making process.
[Footnote 6]
The figures for 2002-2004 reflect the added consumption of Canada Customs operations.
[Footnote 7]
Estimates using the Environmental Defense Fund Paper Calculator. For more information visit http://www.papercalculator.org
[Footnote 8]

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