POL Min (06) 20/13 Revised: Government Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Climate Change

Reference number:
POL Min (06) 20/13 Revised

RELEASED UNDER THE OFFICIAL INFORMATION ACT

Government Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Climate Change through the Govt3 Programme

On 13 September 2006, the Cabinet Policy Committee (POL), having been authorised by Cabinet with Power to Act [CAB Min (06)34/16]:

Background

1 noted that government spending comprises the single largest share of the market in sectors such as roading, buildings, office supplies and IT equipment;

2 noted that government purchasing power can help drive cleaner production and improved cost-effectiveness over the whole life-cycle of goods and services, as well as the development of low-emissions and energy efficient technology;

3 noted that the Govt3 programme has been operating since November 2003 and currently has a membership of 47 government agencies;

4 noted that the Govt3 programme enables government agencies to show leadership in improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions particularly in regard to buildings and transport;

5 noted that the Ministry for the Environment will provide Govt3 agencies with guidance on best practice in sustainable building procurement by April 2007;

Sustainable building practices

6 directed Govt3 public service departments to accelerate the adoption of sustainable building practices, which could include:

6.1 specifying best practice sustainable building indicators (performance goals) for government building tender documents for new buildings and renovations focusing on:

6.1.1 improving energy efficiency;

6.1.2 minimising transport impacts by carefully considering building location and facilities;

6.1.3 improving water conservation;

6.1.4 improving the site ecology;

6.1.5 improving recycled content and low toxin building material use;

6.1.6 improving indoor environmental quality;

6.1.7 improving waste minimisation facilities in buildings and during construction;

6.2 undertaking pre-occupation and ongoing commissioning of building systems for their buildings, particular where buildings are on net leases and/or are over 2000 square metres. (Building commissioning is the process of ensuring that all the building features and systems are built and function as intended);

7 invited Ministers responsible for other Govt3 agencies to request their agencies to undertake the actions referred to in paragraph 6;

8 invited the Minister for the Environment to report to POL by 30 April 2007 with recommendations for appropriate environmental rating tool standards for government buildings;

Sustainable transport practices

9 noted that the Ministry for the Environment in partnership with the Ministry of Transport will provide Govt3 agencies with guidance on best practice in sustainable vehicle procurement and travel planning by 30 April 2007;

10 directed Govt3 public service departments to accelerate the adoption of sustainable transport practices, which are expected to include:

10.1 adopting best practice vehicle procurement guidelines that improve fuel economy, safety and greenhouse gas emissions reductions;

10.2 participation in fleet check audits;

10.3 adopting workplace travel plans;

11 invited Ministers responsible for other Govt3 agencies to request their agencies to undertake the actions referred to in paragraph 10;

12 noted that a project has recently commenced offering all Govt3 signatories with fleets of over 50 vehicles the opportunity to undertake a free fleet check audit;

13 invited the Prime Minister to write to Chief Executives of all Govt3 member departments with vehicle fleets of 50 vehicles or more along the lines of the letter attached as Appendix 3 to the paper under POL (06) 271;

14 directed the Ministry for the Environment to work with Govt3 agencies to develop guidelines on how to measure, reduce and offset the carbon footprint associated with transport impacts by April 2007;

Next steps

15 agreed that fleet replacement and Govt3 building projects will take into account whole-of-life costing to ensure purchasing decisions are delivering best value over whole-of-life;

16 directed the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry of Economic Development, in consultation with the Treasury;

16.1. to consider the impacts of recommended government lease periods for vehicles and buildings;

16.2. report to POL with proposals by 30 April 2007;

17 invited the Minister for the Environment and the Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues to report to POL on progress towards government leadership in energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions under the Govt3 programme by 30 April 2007;

18 noted that on 6 March 2006 Cabinet agreed that to support agency monitoring and improvement, the Govt3 programme will develop an on-line data reporting system and good performance benchmarks for eight key sustainable practice indicators:

18.1 energy use - buildings (kWh per m2 per annum);

18.2 energy use - domestic ground transport (litres of fuel used);

18.3 energy use - domestic and international air travel (estimate of km);

18.4 waste - tonnes to landfill and tonnes recycled;

18.5 paper use - reams of copier paper and weight of publications;

18.6 staff numbers - full-time equivalents - (to standardise comparisons on above indicators);

18.7 tenders and contracts - text of any sustainable practice clauses;

18.8 progress on achieving targets in their Sustainable Practice Action Plan;

[CAB Min (06) 7/3C]

19 invited the Minister for the Environment to report to POL by 30 April 2007 on Govt3 agency progress against the eight key sustainability indicators referred to in paragraph 16;

20 noted that the Minister for the Environment and the Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues propose to publicly announce the package of work described in this minute;

21 noted that the Minister for the Environment indicates that consultation is not required with the government caucuses or other parties represented in Parliament.

Secretary's note: This minute has been amended to correct the wording of paragraphs 6 and 9.