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Sustainable Development Strategy 2007-2010

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Introduction

Since submitting its first Sustainable Development Strategy (SDS) in December 1997, the Correctional Service of Canada has worked tirelessly to improve its environmental performance in keeping with its course toward sustainable development.

Between 1997 and 2000, the first cycle where specified departments and agencies were required by law to publish Sustainable Development Strategies (SDSs), CSC focussed primarily on increasing the number of regional employees working in the environmental portfolio and developing some environmental management tools in response to the ecological commitments made in its SDS 1997.

From 2000 to 2003, based on the experience gained over the previous three years, the SDS 2000 was more modest in terms of the number of environmental commitments. In fact, constrained by limited resources, the complexity of issues involved and the many challenges of implementing its environmental management system (EMS) – an essential tool for making progress with its SDS – CSC had no choice but to reduce the scope of commitments made in its previous SDS from some 42 environmental targets to only 12. Despite the hard work to achieve the proposed targets with the available resource level, CSC was unable to conclusively report on whether significant progress was made or expectations exceeded for the majority of targets set out in its SDS 2000.

With the submission of its third SDS for 2003–2006, some commitments were again dropped so that CSC could focus on the nine environmental targets it considered priorities. Although particular attention was paid to setting specific end-points, in other words, definite, measurable, achievable over time, CSC still had to deal with the difficult task of balancing its sustainable development intentions with available resources in order to meet its environmental commitments. The SDS 2003 should have therefore enabled CSC to better define the scope of its capacity to address the targets and measure progress so that it could implement changes that would bring about the desired results for the fourth SDS (2007-2010).

This document, SDS 2007-2010, presents an updated assessment of progress and a refocusing of our efforts. In it we show what has worked well, where improvements are appropriate and how we intend to do things differently for SDS 2007-2010 to bring about the results we know will make concrete contributions to sustainable development.