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Departmental Carbon Emissions

Volume 456: debated on Thursday 1 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to reduce carbon emissions from his Department. (110151)

Working with the Carbon Trust, DEFRA has developed a systematic approach to carbon management and is actively engaged in identifying carbon reduction opportunities through operational improvements, reduced energy costs, staff awareness and monitoring initiatives.

A system for benchmarking, monitoring and analysing utility usage across the estate has been created which highlights buildings where substantial energy savings can be made. Focusing on these sites has helped identify key projects which will return major savings on energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Among other smaller projects, three major ‘voltage optimisation’ projects which could save the department a potential 900 tonnes of carbon per year (8 per cent. of DEFRA’s total annual carbon emissions) are currently being assessed with a view to implement before the end of the financial year. The success of these pilot projects will influence the roll out of further initiatives in the new financial year.