Environment Agency is 'greenest public sector organisation'

The government agency tasked with keeping business on the straight and narrow when it comes to environmental performance has shown it can practice what it preaches, according to the Sunday Times Green List.

A 14% reduction in carbon emissions and a commitment to achieving targets on transport emissions, energy use, office waste and water use have earned the Environment Agency 8th place in the annual list, the highest ranking of any public sector body.

BT is the only large organisation to have done better than the EA according to the newspaper, which ranked the telecommunications giant one place above at 7th.

To achieve success the Environment Agency has set itself several key targets including:

·Reduce staff mileage by 20% (by 2011)
·Reduce our own water usage by 25% (by 2011)
·Reduce our Carbon Dioxide emissions by 30% (by 2012)
·Reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by 20% (by 2011)

Car sharing and video conferencing are also central to their efforts to reduce transport emissions and staff across the organisation are working hard to reduce their environmental impact by getting involved with campaigns on water use and waste sent to landfill.

Tony Dean North West regional director 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."

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.

Richard Caseby, managing editor of The Sunday Times, describes the annual Green Awards as "the first [environmental award] 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."

An outstanding performance in such a survey gave the Environment Agency a special award for the best large organisation for employee engagement.

It would be fair to assume that staff in the Environment Agency are to certain degree pre-engaged on environmental issues and therefore one could be cynical of this award.

However, Tony Dean is keen to recognise the leadership of the Environment Agency, "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."

Mark Hirons



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