Sustainable Development Commitment

In August 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the United Nations hosted the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The summit brought together tens of thousands of participants to focus the world's attention and direct action toward improving people's lives and conserving our natural resources in a world that is growing in population, with increasing demands for food, water, shelter, sanitation, energy, health services, and economic security. 1 Collectively, the summit resolved to advance and strengthen the interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars of sustainable development - economic development, social development, and environmental protection - at the local, national, regional and global levels. 2

Canada participated at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, where it tabled a national report on its progress towards sustainable development over the past decade. In the report, Canada concluded that its overall performance was consistent with that of most of its industrialized peers: its standard of living, its ecological footprint, the longevity and education of its citizens were all broadly comparable to those of G7 countries. 3 In the same year as the summit, Canada's Speech from the Throne clearly detailed the need for Canada to focus on a longer-term vision for sustainable development based on quality of life for Canadians. It provided direction for Canada to move forward on broader themes such as conserving the health of the environment and ensuring competitive cities and healthy communities. Canada is currently solidifying its commitment to sustainable development by building a federal strategy with a clear vision for the future.

CRA Sustainable Development Vision

CRA sustainable development vision
To be a globally recognized organization for best practices for sustainable development: We will promote compliance with Canada's tax legislation while ensuring a sustainable environmental footprint of our operations and service delivery.

In its second sustainable development strategy, the Agency committed to a vision that stated its intention to contribute to a prosperous economy, a vibrant and just society, and a healthy environment for current and future generations. In preparing for its third strategy, the CRA updated its vision to make it more specific and understandable to employees and the public. The vision commits the CRA to become a globally recognized best practices organization for sustainable development, through the way it manages its operations and delivers services to the public. The vision is based on the CRA's mandate, and in the context of delivering value to clients through its programs and services. The vision supports the Government of Canada's sustainable development agenda.

CRA Sustainable Development Policy

It is the policy of the Canada Revenue Agency to carry out its mandate in a manner consistent with the principles of sustainable development and to promote sustainable development opportunities and obligations with respect to economic growth, social well-being, and a healthy environment thereby enhancing services to Canadians.

Policy Objective: The objective of this policy is to incorporate the principles of sustainable development into CRA programs, policies, and operations. Consistent with general management principles of the federal government, the sustainable development principles include the following:

Application: This policy applies to all CRA employees, at all levels, and in all branches and regions.

Requirements: Sustainable Development is everybody's responsibility. To incorporate sustainable development into its culture, the CRA will:

1 United Nations official Web site of the Johannesburg Summit 2002

2 United Nations, Report of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, South Africa, 26 August - 4 September 2002

3 Canada's national report for the World Summit on Sustainable Development 2002, Sustainable Development, A Canadian Perspective

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