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SOGE targets

In June 2006, the Prime Minister launched new targets for sustainable operations on the Government estate.

The targets replace those in the Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate (originally published between 2002 and 2004). The complete list of new operational targets can be viewed below or alternatively you can download the targets (PDF, 36KB).

Priority Targets

Climate change & energy

Carbon emissions from offices

  • Reverse the current upward trend in carbon emissions by April 2007.
  • Reduce carbon emissions by 12.5% by 2010-11, relative to 1999/2000 levels.
  • Reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2020, relative to 1999/2000 levels.

Carbon emissions from road vehicles

  • Reduce carbon emissions from road vehicles used for Government administrative operations by 15% by 2010/11, relative to 2005/2006 levels.

Carbon Neutral

  • Central Government’s office estate to be carbon neutral by 2012.

Energy Efficiency & Renewables

  • Departments to increase their energy efficiency per m² by 15% by 2010, relative to 1999/2000 levels.
  • Departments to increase their energy efficiency per m² by 30% by 2020, relative to 1999/2000 levels.

Existing Sustainable Operational Commitments (to continue until completion)

  • Departments to source at least 10% of electricity from renewables (31 March 2008)
  • Departments to source at least 15% of electricity from Combined Heat and Power (2010)


Sustainable consumption &production

Waste arisings

  • Departments to reduce their waste arisings by 5% by 2010, relative to 2004/2005 levels.
  • Departments to reduce their waste arisings by 25% by 2020, relative to 2004/2005 levels.


  • Departments to increase their recycling figures to 40% of their waste arisings by 2010.
  • Departments to increase their recycling figures to 75% of their waste arisings by 2020.

Natural resource protection


  • Departments to meet or exceed the aim of having 95% of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI’s) in sole ownership or control in target condition by 2010.

Water consumption 1

  • Reduce water consumption by 25% on the office and non-office estate by 2020, relative to 2004/2005 levels.
  • Reduce water consumption to an average of 3m3 per person/year for all new office builds or major office refurbishments.2

Sustainable Procurement

UK Government Sustainable Procurement Action Plan

Leadership and Accountability

  • Permanent Secretaries are accountable for their department’s overall progress and for ensuring, from 2007-08 onwards, key staff in their departments have performance objectives and incentives that drive the implementation of this plan, linked to performance objectives for delivering efficiency savings.

Budgeting and Accounting Practice

  • Where responsibility for capital and revenue budgets is divided between different organisations, sponsoring Departments will review budgeting arrangements and performance frameworks to ensure any barriers to choosing sustainable solutions are resolved. In addition, where Departments believe an upfront cost constraint prevents them from choosing the most sustainable option, they may raise this with the Treasury.

Building Capacity

  • Departments to set out the actions they are taking to ensure procurement practice helps to achieve their sustainable operations targets in their departmental Sustainable Development Action Plans
  • Government encourages organisations to make full use of the Task Force flexible framework where it helps improve procurement practice and achieve sustainability targets while OGC are developing an new detailed procurement framework.  

Raising Standards

  • Departments/OGC to take action in respect of central Government contracts to meet updated and extended mandatory standards.
  • Existing contracts will be updated as soon as is practical;
  • New contracts will be required to meet these standards;
  • Steps will be taken to remove offers that fall below these standards from framework agreements within 12 months (where permissible under existing contract terms);
  • Departments will make use of pan-Government collaborative contracts in key areas to achieve compliance.
  • New Government contracts, where relevant, will include appropriate requirements for suppliers and sub-contractors to provide products and services that comply with agreed mandatory standards and assist in the delivery of departmental sustainable operations targets.
  • From 1 April 2009 only timber and timber products originating either from independently verified legal and sustainable sources or from a licensed FLEGT partner will be demanded for use on the Government estate - appropriate documentation will be required to prove it.  From 1 April 2015, only legal and sustainable timber would be demanded.
  • OGC will help Departments achieve their sustainable operations targets through supporting the development of pan-Government procurement of goods and services, required to meet the sustainable operations targets.

Market Engagement and Capturing Innovation

  • OGC and Government departments will work together to strengthen their strategic engagement with key sectors to ensure key suppliers have plans in place to lower their carbon footprint and that of their supply-chains. 

Further information on Sustainable Procurement:

UK Government Sustainable Procurement Action Plan

Quick Wins

Transforming Government Procurement (PDF, 888KB) (link to HM Treasury website)

Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative

Achieving Excellence in Construction (link to OGC website)

Timber Procurement

Government to mandate
Existing Sustainable Operational Commitments (to continue until completion)
  • Departments to source at least 10% of electricity from renewables (31 March 2008)
  • Departments to source at least 15% of electricity from Combined Heat and Power (2010)

The above sustainable operational targets to apply for the reporting period April 2006 – March 2007


1 Departments have stated that it may prove difficult to capture the number of visitors - Departments are therefore encouraged to provide an estimate and give qualitative evidence of how those figures impact usage.

2 This will be a one off assessment for the first year of occupancy.

3 Those Departments which have signed up to the Carbon Trust’s Energy Efficiency Programme would be viewed as having fulfilled this requirement.

4 In conjunction with BREEAM guidance - Departments to define what a new build and major refurbishment is for their own estate. An appropriate environmental assessment process such as BREEAM or an equivalent (e.g. CEEQUAL, DREAM etc.) appropriate to the size, nature and impact of the project must be carried out on all projects.  Where BREEAM is used, all new projects are to achieve an “excellent” rating and all refurbishment projects are to achieve at least “very good” rating, unless site constraints or project objectives mean that this requirement conflicts with the obligation to achieve value for money.  Where an alternative environmental assessment methodology is used, projects should seek to achieve equivalent ratings.

5The scheme is already collecting data on a Government building by building basis – consideration will need to be given how the new targets’ data should be collected to avoid duplication of effort.

6This does not mean departments must replace their existing EMS. Departments can decide whether to implement an accredited certified EMS for their whole estate, or in selected buildings only.

Updated: 31 March 2010