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Carbon Emissions

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate she has made of the carbon emissions of her Department; what commitment she has made to reducing such emissions; and if she will make a statement. (81058)

In 2004-05, the Department’s estimated carbon emissions from the buildings on its London administrative estate were 1,916,133 kilogrammes of carbon (kgC) (weather corrected). Our estimated emissions from cars used for official business was 31,397 kgC.

The Department is committed to reducing its carbon emissions. We have a policy to renew plant and equipment with more energy efficient models. We also purchase energy from renewable sources wherever possible. The Carbon Trust has recently undertaken an energy survey of our three main London buildings, and we will seek to implement its recommendations where practicable.

We have also taken steps to reduce the requirement for staff to travel to meetings, by providing video conferencing facilities in all our buildings. We have also recently terminated the contract for a shuttle bus that provided staff transport between buildings, saving London mileage of 90 miles per day. Staff are now being encouraged to use public transport, or to walk.