HC Deb 12 March 2004 vol 418 c1756W
Mr. Sheerman

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in what ways environmentally sustainable procurement strategies within the Department have driven innovation in the design and supply of products. [159147]

Mr. McNulty

Environmentally sustainable procurement strategies have driven innovation in this Department in the following areasIt is Government policy to use recycled paper and this Department has developed a Recycled Printing Papers Framework to meet the requirements of the Waste Strategy Initiative. Since the Framework started in August 2000, the success can be measured in terms of awareness, quality, availability and price advantage, demonstrated in savings to Government of £1.8 million, growth in the market place and improvements in supply and quality. There are now more than 25 Government Departments and agencies using the Framework. It is now a contractual provision within the Department to use legal and sustainable timber for all central furniture and property management contracts. Certification to this effect is required for all furniture supplied. A decision has also been taken to discontinue use of natural wood veneers on ranges of furniture where alternative finishes are available. The Department's catalogue of core stationery items clearly identifies "green" products. All toner cartridges are recycled. The Department's IT disposal contract offers surplus equipment to schools under a Home Office scheme. Any equipment where this is not appropriate is disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. All the Department's personal and laptop computers have power saving software which puts the hardware into power saving mode after approximately 20 minutes of inactivity. In addition, a rolling program is in place to refresh hardware: this has recently included the replacement of monitors with flat screen technology which has a much lower power consumption and heat output. All PC, laptop and network printer hardware also complies with EU energy saving and electrical regulation. The Department has encouraged its main suppliers of furniture, stationery and office machinery to aim for ISO 14001 certification. Most have now received accreditation with the remainder expected to achieve it in 2004. The Department carries out an annual environmental audit of suppliers of goods, irrespective of whether they have an ISO 14001 accreditation. The audits are carried out internally by trained staff. Example s of good practice are shared with other suppliers where possible. The Department (in collaboration with ODPM ) has awarded a contract for an electronic environmental management system (EMS) which is now being rolled out to other Government Departments.