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Volume 406: debated on Friday 23 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department"s procurement policy includes timber used in the construction of departmental building projects; and if he will make a statement. [114608]

The Department of Health has adopted the model specification clause as proposed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for the procurement of timber from sustainable sources. This policy is specified in any procurement of timber products.NHS Estates advise and guide the NHS on sustainable development issues. In April 2002, NHS Estates issued the NHS Environmental Assessment Tool (NEAT). NEAT includes a section on the requirement for timber to be specified from sustainably managed sources.