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Green Procurement

Meeting Policy Requirements

1. Has the department incorporated environmental performance considerations in its procurement decision-making processes?


2. Summary of initiatives to incorporate environmental performance considerations in procurement decision-making processes:

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) continues to implement concrete measures to incorporate environmental performance considerations in procurement decision-making processes. These measures, which include policy support, technology enhancements, and training, support the Government of Canada’s Green Procurement Policy. This is realised through the framework established in the CRA Sustainable Development (SD) Strategy 2007-2010, and the annual Environmental Management Program (EMP) for Green Procurement.

The CRA established its own in-house Green Procurement Guidelines. These guidelines, which support the Government of Canada's Green Procurement Policy, apply to the procurement of goods and services and are intended to help reduce the environmental impacts of CRA operations. They also promote environmental stewardship by integrating environmental performance considerations in the procurement process. The guidelines apply to all CRA employees.

The Agency continues to include sustainable development clauses and environmental specifications in all new strategic sourcing contracts. These national procurement instruments establish long-term agreements with vendors to supply goods and/or services on a best value basis.

The Agency continues to improve the efficiency of its procurement processes by integrating SD and environmental considerations into existing procurement tools. The CRA online purchasing system, Synergy, for example, reduces paperwork requirements, identifies environmentally friendly product options, and enables accurate tracking of CRA green procurement performance.

Members of the Executive Cadre (ECs), MG managers and functional heads are encouraged to integrate SD commitments into their performance agreements and expectations each year. This raises green procurement and sustainable development awareness levels among senior managers, and holds them accountable for supporting these objectives in their jobs.

Support for green procurement also includes a strong commitment to training. Green procurement training is made available to all procurement officers and their managers.

3. Results achieved:

Overall, CRA senior management continued to demonstrate strong support for sustainable development and green procurement. Within the Executive Cadre, 99% of its members included SD measures in their performance agreements for 2009-2010. Managers and functional heads (MGs) also included SD measurement criteria in their core performance expectations.

Procurement officers and their managers were encouraged to take an online green procurement training course. Of the 93 employees identified in 2009-2010, a total of 47 employees indicated that they had completed the course (51%). Support for this initiative will continue indefinitely until all employees in these positions have received the training.

In 2009-2010, all nine, or 100%, of strategic sourcing contracts issued contained environmental specifications/criteria. These included:

  • Headsets and handsets
  • Battery recycling services
  • Enterprise content management software
  • Telephone set cleaning and refurbishing services
  • Office and boardroom chairs
  • End user devices
  • Media monitoring services
  • Primary rate interface services
  • Commercial/consumer credit reports

The CRA also included environmental specifications in other strategic sourcing contracts that are expected to be issued in 2010-2011. They are:

  • Short run printing
  • Cut sheets
  • IT supply chain
  • Non-T1 envelopes
  • Filing cabinets
  • Real estate (access to databases)

4. Contributions to facilitate government-wide implementation of green procurement:

Not applicable. The CRA does not have responsibilities under Section 8 of the Policy on Green Procurement.

Green Procurement Targets

5. Has the department established green procurement targets?


6. Summary of green procurement targets:

The CRA’s SD Strategy for 2007-2010 has established the following targets related to green procurement:

Target 1.1.2: Expand the green procurement program to achieve the following results:

  • By March 31, 2008, green products account for 10% of total product spending
  • By March 31, 2009, green products account for 15% of total product spending
  • By March 31, 2010, green products account for 20% of total product spending

Under the framework outlined in the Agency's SD Strategy for 2007-2010 and annual EMP for Green Procurement, the CRA continues to explore new ways to improve efficiency, conserve resources, and implement environmentally responsible procurement practices. The activities included in the CRA’s SD National Action Plan (2007-2010) that support green procurement are as follows:

Activity Include SD clauses and environmental specifications in all new strategic sourcing contracts.

Activity Develop a management plan to expand the scope of green procurement to include IT hardware and software.

Activity Review and improve the efficiency of the CRA procurement process, such as the bidding process, ordering systems, e-capabilities, green procurement tracking, and any new contracting tools, when working with suppliers.

Activity Explore opportunities to green services procured by the CRA.

Activity Implement a Printer Consolidation Strategy that will establish appropriate user-to-printer ratios and update acquisition, renewal, and disposal policies and procedures to achieve these ratios.

Activity 1.1.2 6: Provide green procurement training to 100% of procurement officers and their managers.

Over the course of the SD Strategy 2007-2010, activities through were completed, while activities and remain in progress.

7. Results achieved against green procurement targets:

In 2008-2009, the CRA determined that 6.2% of goods purchased were green products. However, the $17.8 million spent on green products in 2008-2009 was the CRA’s highest annual total since the Agency began tracking green procurement spending.

In 2009-2010, 28.0% ($2,798,197 of $9,997,421) of products purchased through CRA’s online purchasing system (Synergy) were green.[Footnote 1] 

The CRA augmented the proportion of green vehicles in its fleet by acquiring hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles instead of traditional vehicles, where operationally feasible. In 2009-2010 the CRA fleet was 47.4% green – an increase of 11% over 2008-2009.

In 2009-2010, the Agency continued to reduce the amount of office paper purchased. By leveraging technology and communicating to employees, each CRA employee used an average of 5,147 sheets of office paper in their job. This is down from 5,385 sheets per employee (4.4%) in the previous year, and a recorded high of 7,399 sheets of office paper used per employee in 2003-2004.

[Footnote 1] The overall proportion of green product purchases from all CRA sources is not yet available for 2009-2010.