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Environmental Management

Volume 449: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether his Department (a) is committed to the achievement of environmental management to ISO 14001 standard and (b) has been externally certified as in compliance with that standard; and if he will make a statement. (81188)

The Northern Ireland Sustainable Development Strategy, published on 9 May 2006 identifies the implementation of environmental management systems as a mechanism that will reinforce progress made, and being made, in the improvement of the sustainable development profile of the Northern Ireland Government Estate.

Sustainable Development Action Plans are currently being developed by Northern Ireland Departments and the Northern Ireland Office in line with a commitment made in the Sustainable Development Strategy. Each department will set out in its action plan with regard to the implementation of environmental management systems.

It will be for each department to decide which of the available standards such as ISO 14001, EMAS, the European eco audit scheme, etc. is most appropriate for the management of its own estate. A number of Departments have environmental management systems in place, some of these accredited to ISO 14001 and some to other standards.