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Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will ask the European Commission to bring forward proposals to scrap the existing EU law regarding surveillance policy for goats; how many (a) goats and (b) sheep have been diagnosed with scrapie in each of the last three years; and how many have been destroyed. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The European Commission's TSE Roadmap of 15 July confirms that the current extended monitoring of goats will be reviewed in the second half of 2005 after more results are available. Monitoring was increased to provide a better estimate of BSE in goats in order to assess whether the positive BSE case slaughtered in France in 2002 was an isolated case. A possible UK case of BSE in a goat that died in 1990 is also under investigation.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of free plastic shopping bags given away in England between 1997 and 2005; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The Department's current estimate for the number of plastic bags given away in England between these dates is 66.8 billion bags. This estimate is based around a figure of 10 billion per annum for UK carrier bag usage, contained within a consultant's report for WRAP in 2005. This figure was cited by in the Scottish Executive's Extended Impact Assessment for the plastic bag levy bill. The figure for England per annum is generated by calculating the proportion of the UK population that live in England (currently 83.5 per cent.) and adjusting the UK figure accordingly. In calculating this figure over several years it has to be assumed that the figures have been constant since 1997 as we do not hold any data relating to the fluctuations in usage over this period.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what parts of her Department's estate will not be covered by the commitments set out in the Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate. 
Jim Knight: Framework commitments are directly applicable to the core Department and its seven Executive AgenciesCentral Science Laboratory, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Pesticides Safety Directorate, Rural Payments Agency, State Veterinary Service, Veterinary Laboratory Agency, Veterinary Medicines Directorate.
Environmental Management Systems are in place or are being introduced at Defra sites except where there are plans for disposal, where we are a minor occupier sharing with another Department, or where there are very few staff.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to provide the delivery of sustainable development within government; and what progress has been made on her Department's Sustainable Development Strategy. 
Mr. Morley: Defra has a public service agreement target to promote sustainable development across Government. The launch of the UK Government's sustainable development strategy in March 2005 has helped to define clearly the shared priorities for action that need to be developed over the conning years.
The strategy includes a specific commitment for Government bodies to produce sustainable development action plans. These will define the specific contributions Departments will make towards delivery of the strategy. A senior level officials sustainable development programme board has been created to oversee delivery of the strategy and progress on the priority areas.
Defra's overarching aim is sustainable development and the Department's five-year strategy published in December 2004 tackles 'Putting sustainable development into practice'. Progress against the Department's five-year plan is reported in the Department's annual report.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what she has identified as the most significant sustainable development impacts in relation to the operation of her Department's estate; and what steps have been taken to review arrangements for public reporting of such impacts. 
EnvironmentalUse of land and associated landfill impacts (such as leachate and methane gas production) from waste disposal; use of non-renewable resources; contributions to global warming due to utility use and project management practices; contributions to ground level ozone and greenhouse effects from the use of refrigerants and materials during maintenance of buildings; land take for the development of new properties; atmospheric emissions contributing to global warming associated with business travel, fleet cars and staff commuting.
SocialImpact of landfill on local community from leachate and methane gas production, noise and visual impacts; local and global health impacts associated with air emissions, global warming and volatile organic compounds (VOCs); health, safety and welfare impacts of work practices and procedures.
EnvironmentalReduced air emissions from effective green travel and transport planning; protection of biodiversity through land and ground management; reduced need for landfill and associate emissions due to increased recycling and recovery of materials; reduced use of non-renewable resources through appropriate procurement specification and management.
SocialReduced health, noise and visual impacts from waste disposal due to increased recycling and recovery of materials; improved staff welfare and health benefits from effective green travel planning.
To date, we have reported on these impacts on a public internet site http://defraweb/corporate/sdstrategy/operations/index.htm. We continually seek to improve presentation, topicality and transparency of public reporting on our operational impacts.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what arrangements her Department has in place to report publicly on its key sustainable development impacts. 
Mr. Morley: Sustainable development is Defra's overarching aim and, as such, the Department's annual report gives details of its key sustainable development impacts. In addition, Defra will be publishing a sustainable development action plan in December 2005 detailing the Department's key actions in 2006. The action plan will be reported on annually.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on what action relating to sustainable development is (a) required and (b) undertaken by her Department's (i) executive agencies, (ii) advisory non-departmental bodies, (iii) executive non-departmental bodies, (iv) tribunals, (v) public corporations and (vi)other bodies. 
Mr. Morley: All these bodies have commitments in the UK Government's sustainable development strategy and are required to deliver these commitments, while applying the sustainable development principles in the strategy. In December 2005, Defra and it's executive agencies will be publishing sustainable development action plans giving details of key sustainable development actions they will be delivering in 2006. Further information on other bodies could be gathered only at disproportionate cost.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment is made (a) of the environmental impact and (b) against sustainable development criteria of the bids made for contracts awarded by her Department; who makes such assessments; and whether such assessments are published. 
Mr. Morley: From 1 November 2003, all central Government Departments must apply the minimum environmental standards when buying certain categories of products and commodities. All Departments are required to submit a Sustainable Development in Government Questionnaire annually to Defra's Sustainable Development Unit.
The Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate sets out the cross-Government strategy for managing the Government estate in a way which contributes fully to the sustainable development agenda. See www.sustainable-development.gov.uk/sdig/improving/index.htm.
Currently, Defra procurement policy is to award contracts against the most economically advantageous tender criterion, having regard to the eligibility, economic and financial standing, ability, capability and technical capacity of the supplier to deliver the best whole life cost solution. Defra's policy on disclosure of documentation pertaining to commercial contracting is governed by the Freedom of Information Act. Requests for disclosure are considered on their merits relative to the nature of each specific request.
In addition to this overarching policy, Defra considers environmental and sustainability factors under its sustainable operations strategy including its acquisition and use of energy, water, waste and recycling, bio-diversity, travel, paper, office stationery, office furniture, office equipment, and facilities management. The Department applies UK timber procurement policy and is utilising the public sector catering services toolkit that it has developed in conjunction with other Government Departments.
As part of the sustainable procurement strategy required under Part F of the Framework, Defra will develop a sustainable procurement impact assessment tool (SPIAT) for use across Defra's commercial contracting portfolio.
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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of electricity used by buildings in (a) her Department and (b) its agencies came from renewable sources in each year since 1997. 
|(a) Defra||(b) Defra agencies|
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the annual spending by (a) her Department and (b) its agencies was on (i) electricity and (ii) on water and sewerage services in each year since 1997. 
|Water and sewerage||181,066||151,170||138,714||137,397|
|(b) Executive agencies|
|Water and sewerage||420,942||459,421||464,050||375,579|
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at which non-office sites on her Department's estate she has identified opportunities for significant water savings. 
Jim Knight: The majority of non-office sites on the Defra estate are scientific or research establishments. Standard water benchmarking practices do not apply to their working practices, but site specific targets have been developed in collaboration with the Watermark project team, and water use at these sites is regularly monitored and analysed to identify potential savings.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of copying paper used by her Department in (a) 200304 and (b) 200405 was from recycled sources; and how much post-consumer waste this paper contained. 
Jim Knight: For the two financial years in question, the percentages for printed publications are 100 per cent. and 100 per cent. for each year respectively; against the criteria of uncoated paper containing 100 per cent. recycled fibre and coated paper containing not less than 75 per cent. recycled fibre. For copying paper the percentages are 70 per cent. and 82.8 per cent. for each year respectively of which the content for each is 100 per cent. recycled fibre. The Department has amended its electronic catalogues to prevent acquisition of all virgin tinted papers.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of paper for printed publications used by the Department in 200304 and 200405 was from recycled sources; and how much post-consumer waste this paper contained. 
Jim Knight: For the two financial years in question, the percentages for printed publications printed through Defra's single central business unit are 100 per cent. and 100 per cent. for each year respectively; against the criteria of uncoated paper containing 100 per cent. recycled fibre and coated paper containing not less than 75 per cent. recycled fibre.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures she has put in place to ensure that her Department meets the targets to ensure that all copying paper brought by the Department is 100 per cent. recycled with a minimum of 75 per cent. post-consumer waste content. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures she has put in place to ensure that her Department meets the targets set by the Department to ensure that all paper for printed publications brought by the Department is 60 per cent. recycled, of which a minimum is 75 per cent. post-consumer waste. 
The Sustainable Development in Government Report shows that Defra met the quick win target for paper for printed publications. This
10 Oct 2005 : Column 157W
achievement owes much to the fact that most of Defra's printed publications are commissioned from a single central business unit using a central contract for recycled paper.
This Department partnering ODPM and DfT in a collaborative procurement, promoted by OGC to other Government Departments as well as the wider public sector, established the contract. The contract was for thesupply of a suite of recycled papers that met the published recycled standards, as well as evaluating the environmental credentials of the production process.
Jim Knight: Yes. Defra joined the Watermark project in September 2001. In September 2002, additional sites were included on the project. The majority of Defra office sites are now covered by the Watermark project.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by what date her Department expects to implement in full the quick win targets to ensure that (a) all copying paper brought by the Department is 100 per cent. recycled with a minimum of 75 per cent. post-consumer waste content and (b) all paper for printed publications brought by the Department is 60 per cent. recycled, of which a minimum is 75 per cent. post-consumer waste. 
Jim Knight: The date for implementation of this quick win target is October 2005. Defra already meets the target for copying paper. For printed publications, all printed material sourced through Defra's communications directorate meets the requirements identified.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list her Department's main suppliers of (i) copier paper, (ii)stationery, (iii) envelopes and (iv) paper for reports; in each case stating (a) the name of each paper used and (b) the recycled (and post-consumer recycled) content of each paper. 
Jim Knight: The Department's main suppliers for (i)are Banner Business Suppliers, The Paper Company and Premier Paper; for (ii) are Banner Business Supplies, Office Depot; for (iii) is Banner Business Supplies; for (iv) are Robert Home Paper, Howard Smith Paper, James McNaughton, Premier Paper.
The name of the white copier paper is Evolve which is 100 per cent. recycled fibre. For paper for reports, all papers meet the Defra criteria of uncoated paper containing 100 per cent. recycled fibre and coated paper containing not less than 75 per cent. recycled fibre.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the role is of the Sustainable Development Commission; how and by whom its members are appointed; what the scientific credentials are of each of its members; and which of its members are known to have existing or past affiliations to green political organisations. 
The Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) is the principal Government adviser on sustainable development, reporting to the Prime Minister and to the leaders of the devolved administrations.
10 Oct 2005 : Column 158W
The SDC's current remit is to advocate sustainable development across all sectors of the UK, particularlywithin Government (including the devolved administrations) and build consensus on the actions needed if further progress is to be achieved.
However, this remit is under revision following a commitment in the UK Government Sustainable Development Strategy (Securing the future) to strengthen the SDC and expand its role to act as an independent 'watchdog' looking at Government's progress on the strategy.
Members to the SDC are appointed by the Prime Minister and leaders of the devolved administrations. Appointments are made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments Code of Practice, and the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) principles of merit and equal opportunities, with independent assessment, openness and transparency of process.
The work of the commission is very wide-ranging, and commissioners are sought from a range of backgrounds to lead on specific areas of the commission's work, e.g. business, education, or energy and transport. During the selection process, candidates are assessed by merit against the advertised criteria, which focuses on demonstration of experience, not on formal qualifications. Therefore, details of specific scientific credentials of SDC commissioners are not held, but biographies of all commissioners are on the SDC's website: http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/pages/about_us/commissioners.html
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to her answer of 20 July 2005, Official Report, column 1765W, on the Sustainable Procurement Task Force, what role the taskforce has in assessing the impact on sustainability of implementation of recommendations from the Gershon Review. 
Mr. Morley: Through its Working Groups, the Sustainable Procurement Task Force is gathering evidence from both the public and private sectors on the extent to which public procurement is able to achieve efficiency gains as envisaged by the Gershon Review, while also meeting sustainable development objectives.
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