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Environmental Sustainability - Operations and Procurement

All Government departments and their Executive Agencies are committed to achieving the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) targets and delivering the commitments laid out in the Sustainable Procurement Action Plan (SPAP).

The SOGE targets were set in 2006, replacing the previous targets (known as the Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate.) A number of "mandated mechanisms" underpin the targets; departments are mandated to use these tools and products in order to improve the sustainability of their operations, contributing to achievement of SOGE targets. Defra, DECC and DfT own the policy behind the targets and the full list of targets and mandated mechanisms is laid out on Defra"s website.

The SPAP was published by Defra, on behalf of Government, in March 2007. It sets out a number of mandatory commitments on sustainable procurement for departments to deliver. On publication, these commitments were added to the list of SOGE targets on the Defra website.

In 2010, Government announced new Sustainable Development in Government targets that will be in place from 2011/12 and will replace the SOGE and SPAP framework. Seehere for further information.

OGC"s Centre of Expertise in Sustainable Procurement (CESP) was set up in April 2008 to provide leadership on and a central focus for environmental sustainable procurement and operations across the government estate. Everything CESP does is geared to helping central government departments and their agencies meet their sustainable procurement and operations targets.  Twice yearly (Summer and Winter) the CESP publishes Delivery Plan Updates providing the most recent performance data on sustainable operations and procurement and details of cross government activities to meet targets and commitments.  Sustainability performance on the government estate and highlights of activities to continually improve performance are also reported by the OGC in the annual (June) State of the Estate Report.

Our policies on sustainable procurement support the commitments and targets listed above, and define the approach to delivering sustainable procurement exercises within the boundaries of the EU Procurement Directives and UK regulations:

OGC has produced guidance aimed at assisting departments in meeting the targets and commitments and improving the sustainability of their operations and procurement. In addition, we have compiled a list of links to websites and guidance documents owned by other organisations, which may also assist departments.

Further information on how to incorporate sustainable development considerations into operations and procurement is available elsewhere on the OGC website, most notably on management of the government estate and on procurement of particular products and services, such as energy and fleet.


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If you are looking for a specific document or guidance on a specific topic you can use the search engine at the top of this page. For further information, or guidance please contact the OGC Service Desk on 0845 0004999.