Environment Agency revealed as greenest public sector organisation in 2009 Green List

Posted: Monday 13th July 2009

Carbon emissions reduced by 14 per cent as organisation urges public sector to follow its lead.

The Environment Agency has been ranked as the top green UK public sector organisation in the Sunday Times’ annual Green List, published recently.

The organisation came in eighth place overall – the only public sector body to appear in the top ten. It was rated so highly due to its work on reducing transport emissions, energy use, office waste and water use.

The Sunday Times’ Green List is a guide on businesses with the most radically improved environmental performances, and takes account of the views of employees, as well as assessing the environmental performance, policies and practices of businesses.

In addition to proving its green credentials, the Environment Agency also won a special award for the best large organisation for employee engagement, following outstanding scores in the survey of staff opinion about their attitudes toward protecting the environment at work.

The Environment Agency has day to day responsibility for protecting the environment in England and Wales and is the Government’s green advisor. It always strives to find ways of reducing its own emissions and natural resource use. Over 99 per cent of the electricity it uses is from renewable sources and stringent targets are in place for reducing energy and water. Recycling facilities are available in its offices covering 20 different types of waste. The organisation’s green travel policies have led to a mileage reduction of some 8.9 million miles over the past two years alone. In three years, the Environment Agency has managed to reduce its overall carbon footprint by 14 per cent and water use by ten per cent.

In 2010, the Environment Agency will move to a new green head office building in Bristol. The building will be constructed to meet the Building Research Establishment's Environmental Appraisal Method (BREEAM) ‘excellent’ criteria, making it one of the greenest office buildings in the UK. It also recently announced proposals to generate its own renewable energy – enough to power a city the size of York – at its sites across England and Wales.

Graham Ledward, Director of Resources at the Environment Agency, said: “I am delighted that the Environment Agency has been recognised for its environmental achievements and this commendation demonstrates that we put the environment at the heart of everything we do.

“It is important that we help set new standards on environmental performance and it shows public and private sector organisations not only that it can be done, but also that it reduces costs to the business too.”

Richard Caseby, managing editor of The Sunday Times, said: “The 60 companies in this survey are all pioneers – enterprising, enlightened and fizzing with new ideas. All have a common sense of purpose about their corporate social responsibility.

“There may be plenty of environmental awards but this is the first that has both a robust methodology to measure environmental performance and a survey of each company’s staff to find out whether the green sheen is more than skin-deep.”

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