Headlines: May 27th, 1998

 All government departments, executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies are being asked to compare their plans for improving environmental performance with new guidelines issued by the Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions. The move is designed to make the process of government greener and to integrate environmental considerations into all decisions. Minister will monitor progress through target setting and monitoring results.

The guidance issued by DETR includes a model policy statement which can be adopted or adapted to meet particular needs and an improvement programme with suggestions for targets and performance indicators for greening operations.

The DETR improvement targets include increasing energy efficiency, reducing traffic congestion and exhaust emissions caused by the department’s operations and increasing the use of sustainably produced timber. In many cases the ‘greening’ targets are in line with efforts to improve efficiency. DETR is seeking to increase energy savings of 20% March 2000 through the use of energy saving equipment. The government energy bill is about £250m and if this level of improvement was achieved across the board it would amount to saving £50m of public expenditure each year.