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Canada Revenue Agency Sustainable Development Strategy Performance, 2007-2008

The commitments in the Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) Sustainable Development (SD) Strategy for 2007-2010 are implemented through specific activities. The following tables provides a brief summary of the progress made against those activities that were scheduled for completion during the 2007-2008 fiscal year.[Footnote 1]

CRA SD Strategy Goal 1: Reduce the effects of our operations on land, air, and water.
 
Activities scheduled for completion in 2007-2008 that contributed to the Federal SD Goal(s) and/or Green Government Operations (GGO) Government-wide Target(s)[Footnote 2] below are noted explicitly in the “Department's Expected Results” column.
  • Federal Goal 3: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    • GGO 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.
[Footnote 1] Spending and FTE figures for sub-activities may not add up to this total due to rounding.

Department's Expected Results for 2007-2008
Supporting Performance Indicator(s)
Achieved SDS Departmental Results for 2007-2008
Activity 1.1.1.1: Develop a methodology for estimating Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from waste management programs at priority facilities.
GHG methodology (output)
The GHG methodology was developed. It was applied to the 2006-2007 solid waste audit of 29 priority facilities. The results showed that by reducing, recycling and reusing about 2,700 tonnes of solid waste, the 29 priority facilities avoided generating more than 2,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents per year.
We will assess the applicability of the GHG methodology to future solid waste audit results.
Status: In progress (77% complete)
Activity 1.1.2.1: Include SD clauses and environmental specifications in all new strategic sourcing contracts.
[Federal Goal 6/GGO Target: Set a minimum of three procurement targets over three years.]
Percentage of strategic sourcing contracts that include environmental specifications.
All (100% or 2 of 2) strategic sourcing contracts issued in 2007-2008 contained environmental specifications/criteria.
Percentage of green products purchased was 11.4% of total product spending, exceeding our target of 10% for 2007-2008.
Status: Complete
Activity 1.1.2.2: Develop a management plan to expand the scope of green procurement to include IT hardware and software.
Expanded scope of Environmental Management Program for Green Procurement. (output)
We drafted a management plan to green the procurement of Information Technology (IT) equipment. Implementation will begin in 2008-2009. We also expanded the scope of the Environmental Management Program for Green Procurement to include IT commodities.
Status: In progress (88% complete)
Activity 1.1.3.1: Expand the paper baseline to include the three major sources of the CRA's paper consumption: 1) multi-purpose office paper; 2) paper used in CRA printing systems (e.g., ELCS); and 3) paper printed in external printing shops.
New paper baseline.
We expanded the paper baseline in 2007-2008 to include paper used in CRA printing systems and external printing shops.
The results for 2007-2008 show that CRA bought the equivalent of 1.2 billion sheets of paper used in envelopes, publications, and forms.
Status: Complete
Activity 1.1.4.1: Establish an emissions (GHG) baseline for business travel to include local and long-distance travel and videoconferencing.
[Federal Goal 3: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions.]
Baseline for business travel. (output)
We will establish the business travel baseline in 2008-2009 when analysis of the travel data is complete.
Status: In progress (35% complete)
Activity 1.1.5.1: All vehicles purchased/leased by the CRA are either hybrid or alternative fuel capable, where operationally feasible.
[Federal Goal 3/GGO Target: Reduce by 15% from 2002-2003 levels, GHG emissions per vehicle kilometre from the departmental fleet by 2010.]
Number and percentage increase in hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles.
The number of hybrids and ATF vehicles owned/ leased by the CRA in 2007-2008 increased by 2 vehicles. The percentage of hybrids and ATF vehicles in CRA fleet increased by 1% (vis--vis 2006-2007) to 39%.
Status: Complete
Activity 1.1.5.2: All gasoline purchased for CRA road vehicles will be ethanol blended, where available.
[Federal Goal 3/GGO Target: Reduce by 15% from 2002-2003 levels, GHG emissions per vehicle kilometre from the departmental fleet by 2010.]
Percentage of gasoline purchased for CRA vehicles that is ethanol blended.
Total gasoline purchased by CRA in 2007-2008 was 135,436 litres. Total Ethanol blend was 25,107 litres. Percentage of gasoline that is Ethanol blended was 18.5% (up from 7.2% in 2006-2007).
Status: Complete
Activity 1.1.5.3: Develop and distribute communications materials to CRA fleet drivers on ethanol blended fuels and retailers.
Number of CRA fleet drivers who received communications material on ethanol fuels.
We developed the EMP for energy. Implementation will take place in 2008-2009, and results will be available after the fiscal year end March 31, 2009
Status: Complete
Activity 1.1.6.1: Develop an Environmental Management Program (EMP) for Energy.
Percentage of targets completed in environmental management program for energy.
Results will be available after fiscal year end March 31, 2009.
Status: Complete
Activity 1.2.1.1: Complete an assessment of IT hardware and software disposal practices across the CRA and use results to expand the scope of the environmental management program (EMP) for hazardous materials.
Assessment document, and new IT hardware/ software disposal activities in the EMP for hazardous materials. (output)
Competing priorities did not allow a thorough assessment. Work will continue in 2008-2009.
Status: In progress (10% complete)

[Footnote 1] A complete annual report on SD progress for 2007-2008 is available at: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/sstnbl/prfrmnc/menu-eng.html
[Footnote 2] Spending and FTE figures for sub-activities may not add up to this total due to rounding.

CRA SD Strategy Goal 2: Our programs demonstrate sustainable service delivery.
 
Activities scheduled for completion in 2007-2008 that contributed to the Federal SD Goal(s) and/or Green Government Operations (GGO) Government-wide Target(s) below are noted explicitly in the “Department's Expected Results” column.
  • Federal Goal 4: Sustainable Communities – Communities enjoy a prosperous economy, a vibrant and equitable society, and a healthy environment for current and future generations.

Department's Expected Results for 2007-2008
Supporting Performance Indicator(s)
Achieved SDS Departmental Results for 2007-2008
Activity 2.1.1.1: Research and develop an historical timeline of CRA tax filing processes, focusing on the shift from paper filing to E-filing, and the associated paper burden.
Timeline report with paper usage (output).
The timeline report was developed. We completed the report that assessed paper savings resulting from the electronic services provided by the T1 tax program between 1990 and 2007. The finding showed that of the 402 million tax returns filed by taxpayers within that period, a total of 107 million (27%) returns were processed electronically through EFILE and NETFILE. This resulted in savings of 4.3 billion sheets of paper from the reduction in the mail out of T1 returns and tax packages. This is equivalent to approximately 500,000 trees, and avoided the creation of about 54,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
Status: Complete
Activity 2.2.1.1: Integrate sustainability criteria into new key federal/provincial partnerships, where appropriate.
Percentage of partnership negotiations/discussions that included considerations of sustainability criteria; number of commitments completed in the action plan for integrating SD into partnerships.
To assist the application of the criteria, we prepared a guide for applying the SD Criteria that was posted on the SD Website. The link to the Website was also included in the guide documents.
Data on the use of the criteria will become available when the guide documents are finalized and are in use.
Status: In progress (40% complete)
Activity 2.2.1.2: Promote the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) to ensure that eligible Canadians are aware of the assistance that can be obtained through the program; and provide program volunteers and community associations with the necessary software/computers to assist individuals to file their tax returns electronically.
Number of volunteers trained and number of community associations carrying out the CVITP in partnership with CRA; number of software/computers donated to the CVITP.
In order to carry out the CVITP in 2007-2008, the CRA trained 15, 041 volunteers and partnered with 2,096 community associations. We also donated 10,520 tax software programs. No computers were donated to the program during this period.
Status: Complete
Activity 2.2.1.3: 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.
[Federal Goal 4: Sustainable Communities – Communities enjoy a prosperous economy, a vibrant and equitable society, and a healthy environment for current and future generations.]
Membership and/or leadership position in international committees; shared information, best practices, and technical assistance with partners. (output)
The CRA continued to manage multilateral and bilateral relations with international organizations, and provide technical assistance on tax administration.
Status: Complete
Activity 2.3.1.1: Integrate principles of sustainable development, such as innovation and efficiency, into the CRA's marketing and/or branding strategies, and advertising campaigns.
Type of SD concepts included in marketing and branding products.
The CRA developed a branding strategy to encourage and equip employees to deliver clear and consistent messaging to both internal and external audiences when conducting CRA business.
As an example of SD messaging in CRA brand, the Agency's advertising radio campaign for the 2008 tax filing season advocated electronic tax filing as a way of lessening paper burden. The CRA also promoted the Agency's commitment to SD in a new youth recruitment video.
Status: In progress (65% complete)
Activity 2.3.1.2: Explore the use of an ‘SD watermark' or SD statement on client and taxpayer correspondence and the CRA's external Web site.
Result of recommendations report for the use of SD watermark and next steps.
Resulting from the consultations, the Minister's Office and the Commissioner's Office formally adopted the practice of duplex printing all Executive Correspondence letters destined for external or internal distribution. And specifically, those correspondences that are managed by the Executive Correspondence and Language Services (ECLS) Division. We also updated the CRA writing, and related guidelines to reflect this change, as well as, promoted CRA's Reduction in Internal Paper Consumption Directive.
Status: Complete

CRA SD Strategy Goal 3: All employees apply sustainable development in their jobs.
 
Activities scheduled for completion in 2007-2008 that contributed to the Federal SD Goal(s) and/or Green Government Operations (GGO) Government-wide Target(s) below are noted explicitly in the “Department's Expected Results” column.
  • Federal Goal 3: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Department's Expected Results for 2007-2008
Supporting Performance Indicator(s)
Achieved SDS Departmental Results for 2007-2008
Activity 3.1.1.1: Include meaningful and measurable SD expectations in the guidelines for preparing performance agreements for Executive Cadre and Management/gestion (MG) management levels.
SD responsibilities in guideline document. (output)
For 2007-2008, a total of 89% of ECs included SD in their performance agreement. This compares to 68% in 2006-2007.
We updated and included SD clauses in the 2008-2009 guide for preparing EC performance agreements. We also drafted SD clauses for inclusion in the guide for preparing MG performance expectations. However, we were unable to finalize the MG clauses due to extended consultations with stakeholders. This will be completed in 2008-2009.
Status: In progress (95% complete)
Activity 3.1.1.2: Continue to develop and deliver job-specific SD training for MG managers.
Number of MG Learning Program sessions with SD content delivered and number of participants.
A total of 360 MGs attended 18 SD sessions under the MGLP for 2007-2008.
Status: Complete
Activity 3.1.1.3: Explore opportunities to deliver SD messages and communications materials to ECs, and to integrate principles of SD into new management development learning programs/resources. (e.g., EXDP).
Number of EC managers who received training or communications materials on SD.
Data on the number of EC managers who attended the sessions since the provision of SD information will be available in 2008-2009.
Status: Complete
Activity 3.2.1.1: Innovate in the delivery of general SD awareness messages to employees through national campaigns, events, and local initiatives, such as Environment Week.
Results of and participation in national and local SD awareness campaigns and events.
The results from the 2007 SD employee awareness survey showed that participation rates for our three national events were: Earth Day – 36%, Environment Week – 45%, and Waste Reduction Week – 54%.
Status: Complete
Activity 3.2.1.2: Implement the SD Innovation Fund (SDIF) nationally to employees.
Number of Innovation Fund proposals received, accepted and results of funded projects.
For the first launch in 2007-2008, we received 35 submissions from which 5 projects were selected and awarded a total of $50,000. In the second launch of the SDIF, we received 32 proposals from employees. A total of $37,000 was awarded to five projects for implementation in 2008-2009.
Status: Complete
Activity 3.2.1.3: Strengthen employee commitment to SD in workplace by providing employees and their managers with the necessary tools and examples to include SD commitments in employee performance agreements.
Web page and guidance material on including SD in employee performance agreements. (output)
We developed tools to help SD Coordinators promote employee SD clauses, and to enable managers and employees draft SD clauses that are appropriate to their job function. At the end of the period, stakeholder consultations were ongoing.
Status: In progress (40% complete)
Activity 3.2.1.4: Develop and launch a Recognition Toolkit for recognition coordinators to enable them to recognize employees in the branches and regions for their contributions to SD in the workplace, such as innovation in business practices leading to efficient internal operations and service delivery.
Number of employees recognized for their contributions to SD in the workplace.
During the year we finalized the SD Recognition Toolkit that was drafted in 2006-2007. The purpose of the toolkit is to enable the SD Network to integrate SD recognition in the formal recognition program of the CRA.
Through future reports from the Agency's internal SD Network, we will be able to report ad hoc results on the number of employees recognized for SD contribution.
Status: Complete
Activity 3.2.2.1: Establish a baseline for employee commuting, such as emissions (GHG) and employee commuting behaviour /mode of travel.
[Federal Goal 3: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions.]
Baseline survey and report. (output)
The results from our survey showed that CRA employees made over 20 million commuting trips; traveled over 360 million kilometers when commuting to and from work; and produced over 64,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and 2,800 tonnes of air pollution while commuting. The results also showed that 47% of employees drove alone in their vehicles, 25% took public transit, 20% car pooled, 6% used active transportation (e.g. bike, walk, and inline skate) and 2% teleworked. We will use this information to implement effective sustainable commuting initiatives, and measure changes over time.
Status: Complete

CRA SD Strategy Goal 4: Use modern systems that support and maintain sustainable development.
 
Activities scheduled for completion in 2007-2008 that contributed to the Federal SD Goal(s) and/or Green Government Operations (GGO) Government-wide Target(s) below are noted explicitly in the “Department's Expected Results” column.
  • Federal Goal 6: Strengthen federal governance and decision-making to support sustainable development.

Department's Expected Results for 2007-2008
Supporting Performance Indicator(s)
Achieved SDS Departmental Results for 2007-2008
Activity 4.1.1.1: Continue to plan, implement, and report performance of the CRA Environmental Management System (EMS).
Timely SD and EMS reports that meet reporting timelines of the CRA and the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD).
All EMS and reports were delivered on time to the national committee, and senior management. The CESD forwarded one environmental petition to the CRA. The Agency acknowledged the petition and provided a response within the time frame prescribed by the Auditor General Act (1995).
Status: Complete
Activity 4.1.1.2: Renew the three-year commitment from SD Champions (Assistant Commissioner-level) and the Terms of Reference for SD Steering Committee.
SD Steering Committee quarterly meetings (indicator); SD Champions and committee terms of reference. (output)
Three meetings of the committee were held during 2007-2008. The revised terms of reference was approved by the group.
Status: Complete
Activity 4.1.1.3: Improve and formalize (where needed) the SD Network infrastructure in all branches and regions.
Type of improvements to the SD Network.
We developed an SD Committee toolkit that will be released to the SD Network in 2008-2009. A survey of SD Network was conducted to determine how to improve the delivery of the SD program. Job levels for regional SD Coordinators were increased, while we formalized job descriptions for branch SD Coordinators.
Status: In progress (80% complete)
Activity 4.1.1.4: Improve SD performance reporting by aligning the data management and statistical analysis systems for the national, branch and regional SD action plans, and the environmental management programs of the EMS.
Improved system for data management and statistical analysis of SD Strategy and EMS.
The systems documentation was finalized, and project is in the initial phase of development.
Status: In progress (55% complete)
Activity 4.2.1.1: Continue to integrate sustainability criteria into key programs and policies of the CRA.
[Federal Goal 6: Strengthen federal governance and decision-making to support sustainable development.]
Number and type programs, policies, and plans that were assessed using sustainability criteria.
We applied the SD Criteria to the E-resourcing project. The goal of the project is to leverage technology to reduce the average time required to hire employees at the Agency.
Status: In progress (80% complete)
Activity 4.2.1.2: Develop an SD Report Card by establishing economic, social and environmental indicators spanning all business lines.
[Federal Goal 6: Strengthen federal governance and decision-making to support sustainable development.]
Number and type of social/economic/environmental indicators developed.
To advance the preparation of an SD report card for the CRA, we completed a research paper on corporate social responsibility (CSR)[Footnote 3] 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. Competing priorities slowed progress on this activity. However, this report contains elements of CSR reporting that will be strengthened each year.
Status: In progress (30% complete)

[Footnote 3] CSR refers to the integration of environmental, social, and economic factors to traditional financial factors in the decision-making process.