UKPM challenges Departments to slash energy use

Build­ing on the Government’s com­mit­ment to reduce emis­sions across the cen­tral gov­ern­ment estate by ten per cent, the Prime Min­is­ter has today chal­lenged Depart­ments to com­pete to reduce the ener­gy used in their depart­men­tal head­quar­ters over the month of Octo­ber 2010.

As Depart­ments strive to cut emis­sions at their White­hall head­quar­ters, an online league table will be updat­ed dai­ly to allow the pub­lic to see how each Depart­ment is doing. 

Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron announced on 14 May 2010 that Gov­ern­ment Depart­ments would cut their emis­sions by ten per cent with­in 12 months and pledged to make this the ‘green­est gov­ern­ment ever’. 

As part of that effort, a series of month­ly inter-depart­men­tal com­pe­ti­tions will run until May 2011. 

Since July 2010, the MOD, along with oth­er Gov­ern­ment Depart­ments, has been dis­play­ing real-time ener­gy use for our head­quar­ters build­ing on our web­site — see Relat­ed Links. That data is now being com­pared across Depart­ments and you can see how we are get­ting on in the com­pe­ti­tion on the Green­er Gov­ern­ment web­site — see Relat­ed Links. 

For Octo­ber the com­pe­ti­tion is focused on depart­men­tal head­quar­ters, and for the MOD this will be Main Building. 

The com­pe­ti­tion is based on which Depart­ments do the most dur­ing the month of Octo­ber 2010 to reduce ener­gy con­sump­tion as a pro­por­tion of their ener­gy use, com­pared to the total ener­gy con­sump­tion since all real-time data sys­tems became up and run­ning on 1 August 2010. Future com­pe­ti­tions may focus wider. How­ev­er, sav­ing ener­gy can save mon­ey across the Depart­ment and every­one can help achieve our targets. 

The Prime Min­is­ter said: 

“In May I called for real action to make us the green­est gov­ern­ment ever. I made a com­mit­ment that over the next 12 months cen­tral Gov­ern­ment Depart­ments would reduce their car­bon emis­sions by ten per cent. We have made a start but clear­ly we can all do much more to show lead­er­ship on this vital issue. So today is a clear chal­lenge to Cab­i­net Min­is­ters and an oppor­tu­ni­ty for the pub­lic to hold us to account.” 

Sec­re­tary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, said: 

“I am per­son­al­ly com­mit­ted to ensur­ing MOD sup­ports the Prime Minister’s pledge to make this the green­est gov­ern­ment ever and I encour­age all staff to take action, where appro­pri­ate, to help the Depart­ment meet this chal­leng­ing target.” 

Facil­i­ties man­agers across the Depart­ment have been work­ing hard since the Prime Min­is­ter set the chal­lenge in May to meet the ten per cent tar­get, which applies to 25 MOD build­ings across the whole estate. Changes which have start­ed to take place across the estate include mak­ing the most effi­cient use of our heat­ing sys­tems, includ­ing tem­per­a­ture man­dates, and alter­ations to light­ing and IT equip­ment. How­ev­er, we all need to do our bit to ensure the MOD per­forms well in the month­ly com­pe­ti­tion and meets its ten per cent target. 

The things you can do include: 

  • using stair­cas­es rather than lifts where you can;
  • shut­ting down com­put­ers and turn­ing off mon­i­tors dur­ing pro­longed absences;
  • turn­ing off print­ers and fax machines at the end of the day;
  • think­ing about whether you need to print or pho­to­copy all the pages of a doc­u­ment or just some of them;
  • select­ing the dou­ble-sided option when­ev­er you are print­ing or photocopying. 

The chal­lenge has been set. The com­pe­ti­tion will be based on which Depart­ments’ min­is­te­r­i­al head­quar­ters build­ings do the most dur­ing the month of Octo­ber 2010 to reduce ener­gy con­sump­tion as a pro­por­tion of their ener­gy use, com­pared to the total ener­gy con­sump­tion in Sep­tem­ber 2010. 

You can find the league table on the Green­er Gov­ern­ment web­site — see Relat­ed Links. 

Ener­gy and Cli­mate Change Sec­re­tary Chris Huhne said: 

“White­hall must lead the way if we are to inspire the pub­lic to reduce their ener­gy use. This chal­lenge under­lines the urgency of tack­ling emis­sions and intro­duces some healthy com­pe­ti­tion to bring out inno­v­a­tive ideas. 

“Mak­ing a ten per cent reduc­tion in emis­sions in just one year needs all Depart­ments to make a con­tri­bu­tion and in par­tic­u­lar staff need to play their part in build­ing a green­er government.” 

Min­is­ter for the Cab­i­net Office, Fran­cis Maude, said: 

“This is about White­hall being more effi­cient — sav­ing ener­gy, sav­ing mon­ey; and more trans­par­ent — pub­lish­ing the infor­ma­tion that allows the pub­lic to hold gov­ern­ment to account.” 

If you are based in Main Build­ing, why not come and vis­it the ‘Green­er Gov­ern­ment Project Ten’ stand at the top of the North Door esca­la­tors and sign up to help­ing us get our green credentials. 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

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