Departmental Energy

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 30th April 2008.

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Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Conservative, Wokingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department has taken to reduce its energy consumption in the last 12 months; and what his Department's expenditure on energy was in (a) the most recent 12 month period for which figures are available and (b) the immediately preceding 12 months.

Photo of Meg Munn Meg Munn Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is working to reduce its energy consumption in line with the new Government targets on sustainable operations on the Government estate announced in June 2006. In the last 12 months, the FCO has:

started to replace its global Information Technology infrastructure with a new system that makes full use of advanced power saving settings and the latest methods for distribution of software updates. Computer base units will no longer need to be fully powered at all times and fewer, and more efficient, printers are being installed; incorporated energy saving measures into the new Information and Communication Technology building at the Hanslope Park site, including solar panels; solar shading on facades to reduce heat gain; high efficiency ammonia refrigeration for the air-conditioning; heat recovery from servers; continued to work towards improving the energy efficiency of light fittings in the FCO's Main building and Old Admiralty building; begun to replace hand dryers with a more energy efficient model; run campaigns to encourage staff to follow good practice in using energy efficiently and effectively; extended environmental management practices to 20 overseas posts and is preparing to roll these out to a further 50 posts in the next month; agreed and started to implement a framework specifically designed for the FCO, based on the Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method into new office and residence builds overseas; and opened new office buildings in Doha and Geneva that incorporate energy efficient measures.

The FCO's expenditure on energy since 2006, including value added tax where applicable, totalled:

UK estate Overseas estate Total
2006-07 3,477,450 14,503,743 17,981,193
2007-08 3,104,657 14,726,851 17,831,508

Expenditure on the overseas estate for 2007-08 is provisional.

This represents an overall decrease of £149,685, a reduction in expenditure of 11 per cent. in the UK and just over 1 per cent. overall.

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