Executive Summary

Sustainable Development Defined
Sustainable development is popularly defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is choosing to conduct business in ways that will extend the benefits of economic prosperity to broader segments of the population, ensure universal access to social services, and preserve the health of the natural environment (land, air, and water).

At the CRA, we believe that getting our own house in order is still the most effective way to contribute to sustainable development. The employer of more than 40,000 people, with operations in over 200 offices, we administer Canada's tax legislation. Through environmentally responsible management of our operations, and sustainable service delivery, we can contribute to a prosperous economy, a good quality of life for all Canadians, and a healthy environment.

The Agency's second sustainable development strategy put forward four goals: two directed at capacity building and two focused on reducing the effects of our operations and programs on the environment. Overall, we were pleased with our performance. We completed most of the framework to enable us to develop, implement, and measure performance of sustainable development at the CRA. We adopted a Sustainable Development Policy, strengthened our national SD Network, and established both a Learning Strategy for Sustainable Development and an online knowledge centre for employees. We significantly advanced our Environmental Management System (EMS) including finalizing the Environment Policy, developing and implementing Environmental Management Programs for the significant aspects of our operations, and further defining our environmental footprint.

While we did well in developing our sustainable development program, we need to continue to focus on integrating sustainable development principles into our daily decisions, and in monitoring and reporting progress.

This document-the CRA's third sustainable development rc4087-06-03is an update of the second strategy. Using our assessment results, we were able to make this third strategy more focused and strategically poised to advance the integration of sustainable development into our operations and service delivery. The strategy is a four part interconnected agenda that focuses on:

1. Environmental excellence in operations;

2. Sustainable service delivery;

3. Employee engagement; and

4. Modern sustainable development management.

The first two parts, Goals 1 and 2, demonstrate how we can influence our operations and business to be more sustainable. Goal 1 aims to reduce the effects of our internal operations on land, air, water and ultimately, surrounding communities. Goal 2 aims to demonstrate sustainable service delivery, and communicate our sustainable development commitment to the public.

The last two parts, Goals 3 and 4, focus on our employees and on managing sustainable development-they are the vehicles for achieving the first two goals. Goal 3 aims to have all employees apply sustainable thinking in their jobs and beyond, while Goal 4 seeks to modernize management frameworks, systems, and processes to enable us to integrate sustainable development into both our operations and service delivery.

By the end of this strategy, we envisage that we will have moved from moderate best practices to systematic environmental management of our operations; from limited to enhanced sustainable service delivery with systematic measurement of paper use; from minimal to moderate employee buy-in and support; from minimal to moderate sustainable development integration into programs, policies, and plans; and to a completed sustainable development framework.

For this third strategy, we will use six mini-implementation strategies that will guide us to achieve our 3-year plan. These strategies are to engage leadership from management; provide effective and creative communications; provide simple and effective tools and support; support and enhance our national SD Network; target systems and templates as a way to integrate sustainable development into CRA planning activities; and assign appropriate resources.

Successful implementation of this third sustainable development strategy will require the commitment and involvement of all CRA management and employees. The senior-level executive Sustainable Development Champions will intensify visibility of sustainable development within the Agency and externally to the public. The Sustainable Development (SD) Division, the centre of expertise in Headquarters, will continue to be the main driving force for coordinating and supporting sustainable development, and for partnering with other government departments and stakeholders to advance our horizontal commitments. The national SD Network, EMS Committee, and various SD committees in all our branches and regions will support the mandate of the sustainable development program, and effectively enable us to truly make sustainable development a part of our business.

With strengthened leadership, our people firmly committed and enabled, and our systems and processes modernized, the CRA is poised for even higher levels of excellence in its operations and service delivery, using the principles of sustainable development as a launching pad.

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