HC Deb 21 November 1996 vol 285 c705W
Mr. Martyn Jones

To ask the Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission if he will list the ways in which the National Audit Office has(a) demonstrated by example and (b) promoted externally, the ability to improve efficiency and competitiveness through environmental auditing; and if he will make a statement. [4509]

Sir Terence Higgins

The National Audit Office is committed to a policy of concern for environmental issues. Energy management practices in the National Audit Office headquarters building have resulted in better performance than is typical according to the Building Research Establishment's published data for the type of building, and the office is committed to reducing the use of energy in line with Government targets. The National Audit Office uses environmentally preferred products where possible, recycles waste, and works with its suppliers to achieve environmental objectives.

As part of its statutory reporting to Parliament, the National Audit Office has published a number of reports addressing a range of environmental issues, including anti-pollution measures, conservation programmes, and the impact of transport on the environment. A list of 17 such reports over the last five years has been placed in the Library. For example, the report by the Comptroller and Audit General entitled, "Buildings and Environment", published in 1994, examined how the Department of the Environment had set energy conservation requirements through the building regulations, and had promoted energy efficiency measures and awareness of their importance to households, building managers and the construction industry. The National Audit Office is also contributing to development work on Environmental Auditing for the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions.