Ministry of Justice responds to environmental report

In its original report, the Environmental Audit Committee claimed the department failed to meet its own “unambitious” environmental targets

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By Jonny Bairstow

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has responded to a report from the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) claiming it has failed to meet its own “unambitious” environmental targets.

The EAC called on the department to set stretching green targets for 2019-20, collect environmental rating certificates for all its refurbishment and new build projects and improve oversight of sustainability performance.

The MoJ says it has now accepted a significant number of the EAC’s recommendations.

This includes adopting 21 low emission vehicles in its fleet, with hopes of extending this amount to 51 over the next year, as well as accepting the assertion its new buildings should have BREEAM certificates.

The department notes it has already met its target to reduce emissions by 22% by 2020 and says it is now proposing targeting a 38% reduction in the same timeframe.

It also accepts it requires more oversight and says it has now set up a quarterly Senior Sustainability Board to ensure environmental sustainability is embedded in all areas of its work and has agreed to publish each of its sustainability strategies.

Mary Creagh, Chair of the EAC, said: “I welcome the government’s positive response to our report and that ministers accepted many of our recommendations and are acting on some of them.

“It remains frustrating, however, that reports such as ours are required to ensure sustainability remains at the front of departmental agendas.”