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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how the carbon footprint of government-funded construction projects is assessed; and what guidance his Department issues on (a) identifying carbon savings during the planning and design process and (b) auditing the carbon footprint of completed projects.
Departmental construction projects are required to be procured in compliance with the 'Common Minimum Standards for the procurement of built environments in the public sector', developed and published by the Office of Government Commerce. These standards include the requirement to complete an appropriate environmental assessment process appropriate to the size nature and scale of the project, such as BREEAM or equivalent. There is currently no requirement to specifically assess the carbon footprint. Support is available to the Government through the Carbon Trust's Building Design Advice service, which helps organisations to identify the carbon savings in new and renovation projects. It also provides advice on carbon footprinting.