Headlines: February 18th, 1999

The DETR – official champion of sustainable development – has reported on how the department itself is doing to achieve its own targets.Glenda Jackson, the Minister responsible for green issues at the DETR, said this year’s annual report covered a much wider check on performance over a greater range of activity than before.

DETR (including agencies and Government Office) has 17,200 staff and 26 property centres across the country.

The report highlights how, in the last year, each property centre has been requested to revise or introduce local action plans, with targets, for improving the environmental performance of its operations.

Action has also been taken to ensure progress is managed and co-ordinated consistently across the estate, for example in the setting up for an environment forum to bring together policy makers and operational managers to monitor progress and develop further proposals and targets.

Green issues are on the standing agenda of regular meetings of DETR’s executive agencies, Government Offices and DETR property centres. And the department is working to produce a model building performance audit to help property managers perform an annual check of consumption, for instance, of heat and light.

DETR has contracted environmental consultants to help produce proposals for a further improvements to the management information in next year’s annual report. Future plans include the establishment of “green teams” of staff, and the regular use of newsletters, staff newspapers and intranets to promote the green agenda.