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Environmental Impact

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many of the Department's policies have been screened for their environmental impact since June 2001; how many environmental appraisals have been conducted, and on what policy issues; and what information has been published about these screenings and appraisals. [124720]

The Department for Education and Skills produces a Regulatory Impact Assessment where a proposed policy is likely to have an impact on business, charities and the voluntary sector. The Regulatory Impact Assessment includes an environmental impact appraisal where this is deemed appropriate. Since June 2001, none of the Department's Regulatory Impact Assessments have included an environmental assessment.The Department also has additional procedures in place to ensure environmental appraisal of policy. Examples of policy issues that have included appraisal of environmental impacts are: guidance to schools in England on energy and water; obtaining accreditation for environmental management of one of our headquarters sites to 'an international standard'; and, in the curriculum, the Growing Schools initiative.We have not published information on these appraisals.