In the public sector
The public sector has a significant role to play in ensuring decisions are taken to deliver long term value for money, by taking into account social, economic and environmental factors.
Central Government aims to lead by example by reducing the impact of its estate and purchasing sustainable goods and services. In 2010, the Prime Minister announced his commitment to ensure the ‘greenest government ever’ and reduce carbon emissions from Government departments by 10% in a year. Each Government department now publishes live data on its energy use and spending.
Sustainable development in the wider public sector
Many local authorities and public bodies also have sustainable operations and procurement targets. The public sector can help to meet these commitments through its work practices and wider behaviour.
Reducing the impact of the way government and the public sector operates is vital to delivering sustainable development: the decisions made on policies and programmes and their real world outcomes are significant.
The UK is committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 80% bt 2050 as well as ensuring that we are resilient to the effects of a changing climate: to achieve this all policies must take this into account through carbon reduction and adaptation plans. Climate change is just one of the symptoms of unsustainability and the Government is committed to safeguarding the wider environment, fairness and ensuring quality of life in all decisions.
Defra is leading work across government to ensure that the value of natural and social capital can be factored into central government policy making, and has produced guidance and tools for policy makers in completing impact assessments and business cases to ensure sustainability is at the heart of decisions.
Page last modified: 28 February, 2011