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Departmental Carbon Emissions

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 3rd February 2011.

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Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Shadow Minister (Energy and Climate Change)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent steps her Department has taken to reduce its carbon emissions to meet the target of reducing central Government carbon emissions by 10% by June 2011.

Photo of Richard Benyon Richard Benyon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

DEFRA is committed to reducing carbon emissions from its estate and has taken a number of actions through the 10% CO2 reduction initiative to implement projects which will improve its performance and deliver further savings.

To date, improvements have been made to a number of buildings across the DEFRA estate. Improvements to plant controls and Building Management Systems (BMS); improved insulation; and installation of energy efficient technologies such as voltage optimisation, boiler optimisation, and low energy lighting, are examples of initiatives implemented to meet the target.

These initiatives have been supported by the introduction of a 19° C winter heating temperature set point across the DEFRA estate, tighter control of heating and lighting times and staff awareness campaigns which have encouraged participation and support. These campaigns have enabled the Department to identify additional ideas for delivering further savings and help to embed culture change.

Delivery of the 10% CO2 target is enabling DEFRA to demonstrate its commitment to reducing CO2 emissions. This follows on from its achievement of the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) 2010 target for carbon reduction from offices in 2009, where it met and exceeded the target. DEFRA is now less than 0.5% away from achieving the 2020 target of a 30% reduction in its CO2 emissions. Since 2006, the Department has delivered an average 4% reduction year on year 2006 to 2009 and a 12.5% reduction in 2009-10.

DEFRA's CO2 reduction performance is a direct result of the implementation of measures identified through its ongoing Carbon Reduction Programme. Since 2006, this programme has identified and reduced excessive energy consumption across the network estate. This has been delivered through a structured approach to the analysis and benchmarking of energy consumption data and a focus on quick win, high carbon saving projects. DEFRA's achievements have often set the benchmark for the sustainability industry. Specific achievements have been recognised through Carbon Trust Standard, BREEAM outstanding ratings and internationally through CoreNet Global.

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