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Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to encourage the use of reused and recycled materials in capital procurement projects for which his Department is responsible. (98004)

The Department’s procurement procedures are consistent with the Office of Government Commerce and DEFRA Joint Note on Environmental Issues in Purchasing and with EU Procurement legislation. This means that only where it is relevant to the subject matter of the contract may environmental aspects be incorporated. A blanket approach to using reused and recycled materials is therefore not permissible but guidance is made available to all staff to enable them to consider such issues at the outset and incorporate them where it is appropriate and relevant to do so.

The Department includes a clause in its standard conditions of contract that requires contractors to comply with the Department’s environmental policy, part of which is to “conserve energy, water and other resources and reduce waste”.

Examples of where the Department has utilised reused and recycled materials include:

Trunk road construction and maintenance by the Highways Agency;

The extension of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch building at Farnborough;

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency’s (VOSA) Estates Modernisation programme;

All new vehicles purchased by the Government Car and Despatch Agency; and

The Channel Tunnel Rail Link construction project (being delivered through Development Agreements between the Secretary of State for Transport and London and Continental Railways and London Underground).