Greening Government

The UK Government has introduced a series of commitments for delivering sustainable operations for Government departments to achieve. The Food Standards Agency strives to meet the Greening Government commitments, and we are committed to being open and transparent about how well we are doing.

Although the Greening Government commitments apply to England only, all of our offices apply sustainability initiatives to reflect them, where possible. Most of the policies cover all of our offices and staff.

Environmental policy

The FSA is committed to delivering a sustainable estate and reducing the environmental impact of our operations. The FSA environmental policy is available at the link below.

Environmental management system

In order to meet the Greening Government commitments and follow best practice across government, we have implemented an environmental management system (EMS) in our London office. An EMS provides us with a framework for managing environmental responsibilities efficiently in a way that is integrated into our overall operations.

Sustainable procurement

The FSA procurement team is committed to continually improving its performance on sustainability, in both internal and external procurement functions. This includes complying with all relevant UK Government policies and Government buying standards on sustainable development and sustainable procurement, and all relevant legislation and regulations establishing sustainable development as a clear feature of procurement decision making.

The FSA are committed to providing sustainable process through procurement, this is by analysis tools and identification of key areas. The majority of contracts are awarded through frameworks and all contracts are given sustainability consideration. Revised procurement policy requires GBS as mandatory requirement for all categories. Currently the FSA does not have the maturity of other organisations to have developed its own intractable methods of identifying supply chain impacts. However, via our current method of uploading a supplier to our Ii-Procurement system, all requests go through a rigorous process with Dun and Bradstreet which was initially adopted by Defra, and in turn we have merged this into our own process. This ensures rigorous checks of companies, initiation of alerts to support where supplies have not been received on time or at all. This has been helpful in forming FSA strategy to ensure we procure future services for FSA via the GPS framework where the supply chain impact has already been assessed.

Procurement of food and catering services in our London office is provided by ARAMARK.
ARAMARK policy statements for food procurement and waste.

FSA staff

The FSA has a wellbeing strategy for employees, which includes an employee assistance programme, an anti-bullying and harassment campaign and a stress policy.

From 1 June 2011, the opportunity to apply for one day's paid special leave per year to support the activities of voluntary organisations that make an impact on local or national communities, was made available to all staff in the FSA.

Accounting for sustainability

As part of its sustainable development strategy, the Government has introduced sustainability reporting via an organisation's annual report and accounts. We incorporate sustainability reporting into the FSA Annual Report as part of this commitment.

Carbon reduction and energy efficiency

CRC energy efficiency scheme
The CRC energy efficiency scheme is a mandatory emissions trading scheme for large public and private sector organisations in the UK that aims to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions through energy efficiency. The more CO2 we emit, the more allowances we have to purchase. As a UK Government department, the FSA is a mandated participant, and our London, Cardiff and Belfast offices participate in the scheme.

Government carbon offsetting facility
In 2009, the FSA joined the government carbon offsetting facility scheme to meet the Government commitment to offset carbon emissions from official air travel. Membership of this scheme is compliant with the Kyoto Protocol. By carbon offsetting we help maintain the FSA's reputation within Government as a leader in sustainable operations.

Display Energy Certificate
Since 1 October 2008, public buildings in the UK over 1,000m2 must exhibit a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) prominently at all times. DECs are based upon actual energy usage of a building and increase transparency about the energy efficiency of public buildings. A copy of the latest certificates for the London and Belfast offices are available below.

Sustainability on the FSA's estate
The FSA is committed to energy and water efficiency, recycling and reducing its carbon emissions. Graphs showing our electricity, gas and water consumption and waste recycling on the FSA's estate in Aviation House, London.

Regular testing of air conditioning
The air handling plant in the London office is maintained and inspected regularly. We hold a copy of the current inspection report on the Aviation House air conditioning plant on site.

Travel policy

Targets have been set across government in respect of the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The FSA is required to report, on an annual basis, its carbon emissions from business travel. By reducing unnecessary travel and ensuring that essential travel is managed in a sustainable manner, the FSA can contribute to the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases, improve local air quality, minimise health risks and reduce congestion.

Further information

More information on the Greening Government commitments can be found on the Defra website at the link below.

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