Skip to main content

Environmental Appraisals

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health 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. [124714]

At present, the Department of Health does not keep a central record of environmental screenings and appraisals. However, departmental guidance on environmental policy appraisal (including a screening tool) is available to all staff on the departmental intranet. In raising staff awareness of sustainable development, attention has been drawn to the importance of carrying out environmental policy appraisals. This has also been drawn to the attention of agencies and arm's length bodies.The Department has been one of the lead Departments in developing and piloting an integrated policy appraisal framework. This is a good practice tool designed to assess the impact—including environmental and health impacts—of policy proposals. The pilots are being evaluated centrally before decisions are taken on the framework's future role in policy making and joined up Government across Whitehall.The Department's NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency introduced an environmental appraisal procedure into its ISO 14001 certified environmental management system in June 2002. This is available on the Agency's website at: http://www.pasa.nhs.ukThe Department's NHS Estates Agency has issued the NHS Environmental Assessment Tool (NEAT), which is bespoke software to be used by the national health service to identify environmental impacts within the existing operational estate and of new builds and refurbishment.