Department for Work and Pensions: Carbon Emissions

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 23rd September 2020.

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Photo of Paula Barker Paula Barker Labour, Liverpool, Wavertree

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to reduce carbon emissions arising from the operations of the Department.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

DWP has performed well in reducing its carbon emissions to date. DWP recently submitted its annual Greening Government Commitments (GGC) return for 2019/20. Our analysis shows that we have exceeded our carbon targets for 2019/20.

DWP Estates are developing the Estates Carbon Management Plan, which makes reference to the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, as well as the UK’s commitment to Net Zero Carbon by 2050 and the UKGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Framework. The Carbon Management Plan utilises the OGP Net Zero Carbon tool, which DWP have been beta testing, to help determine prioritised impactful activities. These plans are currently being incorporated into the department’s CSR20 bid to Treasury. The plan includes recommendations to:

- Improve the operational performance of our estate;

- Invest in our estate to improve energy efficiency;

- Ensure we lease highly energy efficient buildings for our long term estate;

- Ensure that energy efficiency standards are adhered to when we refurbish or fit out buildings.

It is by implementing this Carbon Management Plan that we propose to meet the forthcoming new Greening Government Commitments targets, and in doing so meet the 2032 target to halve direct emissions on the public estate. This will also position the Department on the correct pathway towards the Net Zero Carbon 2050 target.

It should be noted that, as a result of COVID-19, we are looking to lease additional estate capacity for the additional coach recruitment announced by the Chancellor. This will inevitably lead to a short-term increase in overall carbon emissions across the Estate during the period of these leases. However, the lease commitments for these additional properties will be short term (typically less than 3 years) and the Department is committed to implementing measures to reduce the carbon emissions within its longer-term property portfolio.

The Department is committed to supporting the Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) targets of 25% of its fleet to be electric vehicles (EV) by 2022 and 100% by 2030. Prior to COVID-19, plans were in place to start implementation this year. We are now reviewing the impact of COVID-19 on our plans.

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