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Sustainable Development

Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on steps he is taking to meet the commitments set out in his Department's framework for sustainable development. [118784]

A full statement of the steps the Home Office is taking to meet the commitments set out in the Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate is available on the Home Office website at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/docs/framework2.The main actions referred to in the statement are:

1. The Prison Service has implemented environmental management systems at four sites and plan to use this experience to produce an implementation manual which will be piloted in their north-west area, with a view to wider adoption across the whole Service if it proves successful. The Probation Service Estate has only recently been taken into the Department's ownership and as part of their new property management arrangements, a system for identifying and managing key sustainable development impacts on their key sites will be in place by April 2004;
2. On transport emissions the Home Office intends to purchase alternatively fuelled vehicles, so that by March 2006 10 per cent. of the fleet will be alternatively fuelled. The Department will also review its policy on motor mileage payments and consider measures to discourage staff from commuting to work by car;
3. On the water targets, surveys will be undertaken at poor performing office buildings and recommended modifications where practicable will be undertaken. Prisons and laboratories are working towards individual benchmarks on water consumption. The key sites on the National Probation Service Estate which have responsibility for payment of utilities will also join watermark over the next two years; and
4. The Home Office will respond to future commitments from the Framework as and when they are published.