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Departments: Environment Protection

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 17 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance he has provided to other Departments and agencies on the establishment of environmentally sustainable strategies for the Government estate in relation to (a) new buildings, (b) retrofitting existing buildings, (c) water use, (d) land use and (e) transport arrangements. (136244)

DEFRA provide guidance on sustainable operations on the Government estate, on the estates pages of the Government's sustainable development website:

Additional guidance is provided by other parts of DEFRA and by other Government Departments:

(a) New buildings

(b) Retrofitting existing buildings

Government guidance on public sector construction and property asset management includes sustainable development considerations. Both OGC's ‘High Performing Property’ programme and ‘Common Minimum Standards for the Built Environment’ documents reflect Government's environmental and sustainable development targets and standards. Departments are also mandated to work with the Carbon Trust, using their carbon management programme. management.asp

(c) Water use

The following site includes a page covering environmental performance at:

It links to guidance from governmental and non-governmental bodies, such as WaterWise, Envirowise, Market Transformation Programme and the “Quick Wins”, giving details of water saving appliances and technologies.

DEFRA have also issued sustainability guidance to public sector food procurers:

(d) Land use

DEFRA would expect Government Departments and agencies to reflect planning policy in developing their estate.

(e) Transport arrangements.

DEFRA have set up a Civil Service Travel Group to identify Government travel practices, and to assist Departments to travel in a more sustainable way when doing business. It also aims to place sustainability at the heart of all Government travel procurement and contract management.