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Environmental Regulations

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her Department is committed to the achievement of environmental management to ISO 14001 standard; and if she will make a statement. (81064)

The Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs launched new sustainable operations targets for the Government estate on 12 June.

The new targets included a commitment that all Government Departments should have an environmental management system (EMS) in place, based, or modelled upon, a recognised system, such as ISO 14001, or the European regulation EMAS.

Previous target for EMSs for the Government estate, published in September 2002, had the same wording as the recently announced commitment.

Some 82 per cent. of the Department of Communities and Local Government staff, including executive agencies, work in three properties that are covered by an environmental management system (EMS) that have certified accreditation to ISO 14001:2004. Our other four significant buildings have an EMS in place and are working towards ISO 14001 accreditation.

In the small properties—in Barton, Glossop, Garston and Bootle—where it is considered that an EMS is not economically viable, the Department has worked with their local authority to minimise their environmental impact.

This answer does not include properties occupied by Government offices, which carry out functions on behalf of 10 Government Departments.