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Government calls on contractors to help cut carbon emissions

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office

CAB 129-10
20 July 2010

The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, has called on departments and contractors to work together to cut Central Government carbon emissions by 10 per cent so that the Government becomes the greenest ever.

At a meeting today Francis Maude and Greg Barker, the Minister for Energy and Climate Change, urged UK's leading facilities management companies to work under the terms of a new Energy Efficiency Code. This meeting followed the Prime Minister’s pledge on 14 May to cut central Government carbon emissions by 10 per cent in one year to help protect the environment and save money.

The event was attended by senior representatives from major contractors which maintain Government buildings. These companies also outlined how they can share best practice on saving energy use and what can be achieved in pursuit of this goal.

The Government’s new Energy Efficiency Code states that all departments should:

In response, contractors are asked to share their expertise with public bodies and actively identify opportunities to reduce energy emissions. 

Francis Maude said:

“In this fiscal crisis, it is essential that we take radical steps to increase efficiency and reduce energy use. This saves money and helps to cut the deficit, but it also helps to protect our environment. The public sector as a whole is responsible for three per cent of UK carbon emissions and spends more than £2.5 billion on energy every year, so there is a huge potential to make a real difference.

“This Government is determined to tackle waste wherever it exists, and that includes energy use. To achieve results central Government departments need to work with contractors to identify waste and share best practice. 

“Central to the drive for greater efficiency is transparency. If people can see how much energy departments are using then government’s energy use is under more scrutiny. In achieving this goal I want to harness the experience and innovation of the private sector so that we can share practical solutions to saving energy.”

Greg Barker, Minister for Energy and Climate Change, said:

“As the Prime Minister announced when he took office, we are determined to make this the greenest government ever. The coalition is leading by example with our pledge to reduce carbon emissions from government buildings by 10 per cent this year. Civil servants and building managers will need to work closely together to cut carbon and reduce waste.”

To help forge a close working relationship between civil servants and building managers the Office of Government Commerce’s Centre of Expertise in Sustainable Procurement has been bringing together the best of private sector practice in saving energy and encouraging Government departments to emulate their successes. In addition, to encourage better energy use the Office of Government Commerce has produced new guidance for Government departments and facilities management suppliers.

Notes to editor

  1. On 14 May 2010 the Prime Minister announced that “carbon emissions from central Government will be cut by 10 per cent in the next 12 months” [External website] and that “Government department headquarters will also publish online in real time their energy use so that the public can hold ministers and civil servants to account for their carbon footprint”.
  2. The Energy Efficiency Code is on the Office of Government website [External website]. It is a voluntary code of conduct, but is the basis of effective partnership between departments and private companies.
  3. The Office of Government Commerce guidance for facilities management contracts [External website].
  4. The meeting took place in central London.

For media questions about the energy efficiency meeting please call the Office of Government Commerce Press Office on 020 7271 1376.

Cabinet Office Press Office
22 Whitehall
London SW1A 2WH

Tel: 020 7276 0436 – Fax: 020 7276 1146
Out of hours telephone 07699 113300 and ask for pager number 721338