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Prisons: Carbon Emissions

Justice written question – answered on 1st February 2010.

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Photo of Tom Levitt Tom Levitt Labour, High Peak

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department is taking to reduce the carbon footprint of prisons.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (also in Government Equalities Office), Minister of State (Government Equalities Office) (also in the Ministry of Justice)

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) is working with constructors to attain the Government's goal of constructing new buildings which emit zero carbon by 2018.

NOMS aim is to produce increasingly sustainable prisons within the budgetary constraints in which it operates, focusing, in particular, on energy and emissions, water, waste and recycling. All new prisons are constructed with the aim of achieving an "excellent" rating under the Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method which measures a building's environmental performance.

NOMS are also working with the Partnership for Renewables the Carbon Trust subsidiary, to enable the generation of renewable wind power at sites across the estate that are not needed for operational purposes. If planning decisions are favourable, this could lead to the production of enough energy to offset up to half the Prison Service consumption.

Since 1999 the Prison Service and NOMS have reduced energy consumption by 29 per cent. Currently, 23 per cent. of energy used in prisons is procured from "green" suppliers. In addition to the 29 per cent. reduction the Carbon Management Implementation Plan aims to achieve a 3 per cent. year-on-year saving in carbon emissions in the next five years.

Recently the Prison Service has been awarded the prestigious Carbon Trust Standard for its efforts in reducing the prison estate carbon footprint.

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