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In February this year, the Government announced their vision for mainstreaming sustainable development (SD) and ensuring that our policies take account of social, environmental and economic factors. Through this package we lead by example to reduce the impact of the Government estate on the environment and ensure that we procure more efficient and sustainable products. We engage with suppliers to understand and reduce the impacts of supply chains, while providing information and support for businesses and communities to do the same.
In June, DEFRA published the Natural Environment White Paper, which recognised that a healthy, properly functioning natural environment is the foundation of sustained economic growth, prospering communities and personal wellbeing. The White Paper sets out an ambitious programme of action covering the next 50 years and ensures that the value of nature is properly taken into account when developing policies.
At an international level, DEFRA is leading on preparations for the Rio+20 conference on SD in 2012, working with our EU partners to ensure ambitious and action-focused outcomes are achieved next year. The Government will continue to work closely with other countries to ensure that SD remains at the top of the EU and international agenda.