Defra

DEFINITION: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the UK Government department responsible for environmental protection, food production and standards in the standards, agriculture, fisheries and rural communities in the UK.

See also: BEIS

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How will the UK's departure from the EU impact energy and sustainability professionals from a policy perspective; and how does that impact change depending on the different possible exit scenarios that remain? edie's Green Brexit Matrix maps out the answers.

Gove announces plans for a 'shadow watchdog' in the event of a no deal Brexit

Gove announces 'shadow watchdog' for environmental standards in event of no-deal Brexit

Environment secretary Michael Gove has announced plans for a "distinguished" lawyer to lead a shadow watchdog to oversee environmental protection in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Of the 3,980+ people directly employed by Defra, around 2,700 have been transferred to

Two-thirds of Defra staff shifted from environmental duties onto Brexit preparations

More than two-thirds of the Department for Food, the Environment and Rural Affairs' (Defra) employees have been taken out of their key roles and tasked with delivering Brexit, new official Government figures have revealed.

How to produce an engaging sustainability report: Seven steps to success

Sustainability reporting has evolved from a niche practice to a mainstream aspect of corporate governance. The modern sustainability report is a vital tool to ENGAGE with shareholders, employees, stakeholders and, increasingly, consumers.

Emma serves on a number of boards and advisory committees which include:
ShareAction, Menhaden Capital, The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project and the Green Finance Institute

Emma Howard Boyd reappointed as Environment Agency chair

Emma Howard Boyd has been reappointed as the chair of the Environment Agency (EA) by Secretary of State Michael Gove, with her second term set to run until September 2022.

A 10-week Defra consultation exploring whether property developers should be required to deliver a

Built environment sector calls for biodiversity focus in upcoming Environment Bill

A group of UK built environment businesses have penned a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, calling on future legislation to boost economic growth through restorative planning that benefits the environment.

In November last year, Environment Secretary Michael Gove dismissed reports that the UK will run out of drinking water if there is no Brexit deal

Water sector works with Defra to prepare for 'no deal' Brexit

The government has been "working closely" with water companies to prepare for all scenarios of the UK's exit from the European Union, including a "no deal" Brexit.

A former farmer, Eustice served as Defra's Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

Defra's George Eustice resigns over possible Article 50 delay

Agriculture Minister George Eustice has resigned today (28 February) over Brexit.

The government is exploring two variants of the deposit return system

All in or on-the-go?: Green economy reacts to Defra's deposit return scheme vision

The consultation on the UK's waste management process has sparked new debates on standardised waste collections and the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regime. But the green economy wants to go "all in" on deposit return systems.

Juniper was appointed WWF's executive director for advocacy and campaigns in 2017

Gove chooses WWF's Tony Juniper as preferred Natural England Chair candidate

Environment secretary Michael Gove has named WWF UK's executive director for advocacy and campaigns Tony Juniper as the Government's preferred candidate for the Natural England Chair position.

Sustainability Leaders Awards 2019: Meet the Winners

Welcome to the winners report for the 2019 Sustainability Leaders Awards. Organised by edie, these awards recognise excellence across the spectrum of sustainable business; from the best efficiency programmes through to product innovation, from stakeholder engagement and CSR initiatives to the people making it happen.

Roydon Common Nature Reserve

Agency protecting English environment reaches 'crisis point'

Thousands of environmentally important sites across England are coming under threat as the government body charged with their care struggles with understaffing, slashed budgets and an increasing workload.

The Office for Environmental Protection will have the power to bring legal proceedings against the government

Government urged to address funding and data concerns for post-Brexit environment watchdog

The UK Government has been urged to equip any new watchdog for future environmental standards with adequate funding and performance measuring qualities, a new report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has claimed.

The watchdog will replace the power of the European Commission to take governments to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for not fulfilling their obligations

Draft Environment Bill outlines vision for UK's post-Brexit green watchdog

The UK Government has published a partial draft for its anticipated Environment Bill, outlining the powers and limitations of the nation's new post-Brexit watchdog for green standards.

Experts of the green economy sweep through the 147-page document to outline their thoughts

Resources and Waste Strategy: Green business community reacts

In the newly-launched Resources and Waste Strategy, Defra has pledged to make producers pay for the full costs of recycling or disposing the packaging they produce. But how has this commitment, alongside the Strategy's other key measures, been met by members of the green community?

Under the proposals, producers will be forced to pay full net-costs of disposal of packaging they place on the market – up from just 10% now

Major packaging reforms spearhead Resources and Waste Strategy

A huge overhaul of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system has been proposed today (18 December) in the Government's Resources & Waste Strategy, which also includes plans for separate household food waste collections and a nationwide deposit return scheme.

The statistics arrive in the same week that a Government Minister hinted the imminent Resources & Waste Strategy will “require separate food waste collections

England stays in 'doldrums' as recycling rates inch forward

England's household recycling rates have increased by 0.3% to 45.2% in 2017, the latest Government statistics have revealed.

Some developers already follow a biodiversity net-gain approach voluntarily

Defra launches call for evidence on 'biodiversity net-gain' developments

The Government is consulting on whether property developers should be required to deliver a "biodiversity net-gain" when building new housing or commercial projects.

10 ideas to drive forward your energy behaviour change strategy

This report showcases the output of edie's SPARK! event, where roundable participants shared experiences of staff engagement and behaviour change initiatives and techniques, while also exploring practical steps that businesses can implement to overcome barriers and foster the desired behaviours amongst staff.

During the Theos annual lecture in London, Gove said he would carry on as Environment Secretary “for as long as I can be useful” to Defra

Michael Gove confirms further single-use plastic measures to feature in Resources & Waste Strategy

EXCLUSIVE: Environment Secretary Michael Gove has revealed that the Government is set to unveil new restrictions on single-use plastics before the end of the year.

JLL, Interface, Burger King, Nestle, Sainsbury’s, Sodexo and European Metal Recycling have all been selected as Waste to Wealth “Champions”

UK businesses target resource productivity through 'waste to wealth' commitment

A group of more than 40 major businesses including Unilever, Sky, Iceland and PwC have signed a new "waste to wealth" commitment that aims to double the UK's resource productivity by 2030.

Gove has previously been supportive of May’s Chequers deal. Image: Chatham House

Michael Gove set to remain as Defra Secretary

Michael Gove will stay on at Defra after turning down the role of Brexit Secretary, according to reports.

Sustainability Leaders Awards 2019: Meet the finalists

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The agency has lost a large number of staff between 2010 and 2018

MPs condemn raid on hundreds of environment staff to work on Brexit

Hundreds of staff who protect biodiversity and enforce environmental regulations in the UK have been redeployed to work on Brexit.

Asda, Wickes, Lidl and B&Q are among the latest retailers to join the “Ready to Burn” scheme for domestic fuels

Big-name retailers collaborate to spur uptake of clean domestic fuels

Several big-name retail brands including B&Q, Asda and Wickes have this week unveiled fresh measures to help consumers make the switch to low-carbon, smoke-free and energy-efficient home fuels.

By 2026, it is hoped the 250 largest UK companies across the two sectors will be added to the programme

UK business giants commit to 'world-first' Roadmap to halve food waste

Some of the UK's largest supermarkets, hospitality firms and food and drink manufacturers have committed to a "world-first" initiative from WRAP to halve food waste by measuring and acting on wastage levels across a "farm-to-fork" approach.

The Airport plans to invest in more peatland restoration projects over the next two years, and is already exploring other locations

Heathrow Airport launches peatland restoration project to offset emissions

Heathrow Airport has invested almost £100,000 into a peatland restoration project near Salford, in a move that will push the airport towards its carbon-neutrality aim by offsetting the carbon emissions of almost 64,000 passenger flights to New York.

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Food security in Britain is in long-term decline, with the country producing 60% of what it needs to feed itself, compared with 74% 30 years ago,

UK would run out of food a year from now with no-deal Brexit, NFU warns

Britain would run out of food on this date next year if it cannot continue to easily import from the EU and elsewhere after Brexit, the National Farmers' Union has warned.

Ofwat has urged the water sector to deliver a “game change” on leakage. It has challenged the water sector to reduce leakage by 15 per cent by 2025

Gove: Water companies need to 'raise the bar' to tackle leaks

Water companies have agreed they need to "do more" to adapt and prepare for changing weather patterns as the environment secretary challenged them to "raise the bar" to tackle leakage.

Packaging recycling obligations require more than 7,000 firms responsible for generating waste to demonstrate that a certain amount has been recycled

UK's plastic waste may be dumped overseas instead of recycled

Millions of tons of waste plastic from British businesses and homes may be ending up in landfill sites across the world, the government's spending watchdog has warned.

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Defra’s deputy director of waste and recycling, Chris Preston, confirmed the tax restructure

Tax breaks on recycled content set for inclusion in UK's Resources and Waste Strategy

Increased rates of tax on virgin materials, coupled with tax breaks for manufacturers using recycled content in their products, are set to be included in the Government's new Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS), a Defra official has revealed.

Powering ahead: Learning from the leaders in onsite energy generation

Energy costs are rising, clean technology costs are tumbling, and new off-grid opportunities are becoming more viable – NOW is the time to upgrade your organisation’s sustainability strategy through onsite energy solutions, and this webinar will show you the way.

The recommendation report was published following discussion with environment secretary Michael Gove, in December last year

Packaging industry calls for policy reform to boost plastics recycling

A host of UK packaging organisations have called for more recycling collection points, tax reliefs for recycled content and a universal list of acceptable materials as part of a desired regulation reform to make it easier for consumers to recycle packaging waste.

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This exclusive insight report explores the key drivers, challenges and opportunities facing sustainability in the UK's hospitality & leisure industry.

WEBINAR: How to uncover savings and improve your operational performance through energy insight

Our expert panel will discuss how to use advanced energy insights to help you to uncover savings and improve your operational performance.