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Sustainable Development: Public Buildings

Volume 470: debated on Wednesday 23 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what responsibility he has for sustainable construction on the Government estate; and what steps he has taken to ensure sustainability is achieved. (179809)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, is the Minister accountable for overseeing the implementation of the “UK Government Sustainable Procurement Action Plan (SPAP)”, launched in March 2007, and reports to the Prime Minister. Permanent Secretaries are accountable for their Department's overall progress and performance on implementing the SPAP.

Targets for sustainable operations on the Government estate were launched in June 2006 and reaffirmed in the SPAP. These targets include a mandate for individual Departments to conduct sustainability appraisals of office locations, and to apply the buildings research establishment environmental assessment method (BREEAM) excellent standards or equivalent, to all new builds or major refurbishments.

DEFRA applies BREEAM excellent standards to all new builds, and have undertaken sustainability appraisals for all office relocations in 2007.