How Green is the Public Sector?
The Public Sector plays a key role in promoting sustainable development and acts as an exemplar to business regarding what can be achieved. As a major buyer of goods and services from the private sector, it can (and does) insist that companies that supply it, do so in a sustainable manner.
What is the Governments Sustainable Development Strategy?
The Public Sector first committed to leading by example on sustainable development in 2005, with the publication of The UK Government Sustainable Development Strategy, (Securing the Future).
Four priority areas were identified for action across the UK:
Every public sector organisation was required to develop their own detailed sustainability plan to meet the challenges outlined in this strategy. They all did this, with many of them becoming exemplars on how to develop a sustainable strategy, set targets to reduce their environmental footprint and achieve them.
The Securing the Future strategy was withdrawn in 2018 as it became clear that more radical action was required to reduce the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
In June 2019, the UK Government signed the net zero target into law. This committed all of us in the UK to become net zero (in terms of carbon emissions) by 2050. This initiated a change in the direction of sustainable development policy to the more activist approach of investing in innovation and projects to meet the UK’s net zero target.
What Drives the Public Sector to Go Green? The Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener
The UK Government’s net zero target requires all of us to decarbonise everything we do by 2050 and to offset any emissions that cannot be removed. For the public sector this requires all their buildings to be decarbonised in the same way as all domestic buildings. The scale of this challenge is huge, given the number of schools, hospitals, council, and other public sector buildings in the UK. Each public sector organisation will have to find ways to meet the net zero target, and this will require a robust action plan to be put in place.
Going Green will be working with the public sector in the same way as we are with business. We will be developing a community to share ideas and providing guides and training to help the public sector meet the challenges ahead.
The public sector has a huge task in investing proposed government funds, which are outlined in their Build Back Greener strategy. Support is being provided to decarbonise energy, the industrial sector, transport, the agriculture sector, and domestic properties.
The investment proposals across the public sector, business and residential areas include:
Investment in the transport sector includes:
In the agriculture sector the government is:
Going Green will play its part through its:
These will support the public sector, business, and individual households on their journey towards a green sustainable future.
This Autumn we launch the Going Green Academy, the UK’s green training platform, helping you to future proof your business. To register your interest in joining the Going Green Academy, launching this Autumn, please subscribe here.