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The Law Officers Department (LOD) Sustainable Development Action Plan (SDAP)

Forward by Vera Baird QC MP Solicitor General

I am pleased to introduce the latest version of the Sustainable Development Action Plan produced by my Departments.

The Government affords a high priority to sustainable development issues whilst recognising the challenges posted. My Departments have worked hard to improve the collection of data and put in place more robust monitoring systems to ensure that challenging targets are met.

We will work with our partners in the criminal justice system and elsewhere to tackle these issues and build sustainable communities.

Vera Baird QC MP
Solicitor General

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In March 2005 The Government published Securing The Future, an updated Strategy for Sustainable Development in the UK. The Strategy set out the Government's overall plans and required all government departments to draw up action plans for tackling sustainable development issues. The Strategy refers to a number of cross government commitments and this plan demonstrates how the Law Officers Department (LOD) proposes to meet those commitments which apply to their work.

The strategy explained that:

"the goal of sustainable development is to enable all people throughout the world to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life without compromising the quality of life of future generations. For the UK Government, that goal will be pursued in an integrated way through a sustainable, innovative and productive economy that delivers high levels of employment and a just society that promotes social inclusion, sustainable communities and personal well being. This will be done in ways that protect and enhance the physical and natural environment and use resources and energy as efficiently as possible."

The strategy set out five principles to form the basis for sustainable development policy in the UK.

Detailed information on the five principles can be found at the Sustainable Development website..

"Securing the Future" also outlines four priority areas:

  1. Sustainable Consumption and Production;
  2. Climate Change and Energy;
  3. Natural Resource Protection and Environmental Enhancement;
  4. and Sustainable Communities.

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The Law Officers Departments (LODs)

The Attorney General and the Solicitor General are the Law Officers. High level information on the Law Officers' Departments is shown below. The main business of the departments include criminal prosecutions and the provision of legal advice.

Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)

Staff Numbers 8834, Major or sole occupier in less than half of our buildings out of an estate of 87 buildings across England and Wales.

Serious Fraud Office (SFO)

Staff Numbers 293, Major occupier one building. Minor occupier two buildings – all in London.

Treasury Solicitors Department (TSD)

Staff Numbers 798. Main occupier of one building in London and lease responsibilities for a building in Taunton.

Attorney Generals Office (AGO)

Staff Numbers 50, sole occupier of one listed building in London.

HM CPS Inspectorate (HMCPSI)

Staff Numbers 52, sole occupier in one listed building in London and occupier of half of one floor of a building on a CPS lease in York.

Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office (RCPO)

Staff Numbers 234, Minor occupier in two buildings; one in London, one in Manchester.

The Law Officers' aim is for their departments to provide world class public services that deliver justice and meet the needs of the victims and communities so that:

  • people feel more secure from crime and anti social behaviour; fewer people's lives are ruined by drugs; and communities are safer places to live and work;
  • more offenders are brought to justice and proceeds of crime recovered through a modern and efficient justice process;
  • the UK is a more prosperous country because investments are secure and tax revenues protected;
  • the public has confidence and trust in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and the work of the Law Officers' Departments;
  • through the performance of the Law Officers' role as the government 's chief legal advisers and through the legal services that the treasury solicitor provides across government, the best legal support is given to departments in their delivery of quality public services and in their management of their business and people.
  • The Law Officers have joint responsibility with the Home Office and Department for Constitutional Affairs for the delivery of the following targets in the 2004/CJS Public Service Agreement (PSA): to improve the delivery of justice by increasing the number of crimes for which an offender is brought to justice to 1.24 million by 2007-08; - to reassure the public, reducing the fear of crime and anti social behaviour, and building confidence in the CJS without compromising fairness.

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Sustainable development in the Law Officers' Department

The Law Officers Departments will follow the five principles in Securing the Future. The core business of each department contributes directly to, 'ensuring a strong, healthy and just society'. The Law Officers' Departments action plan, which is attached, describes how the four key priority areas, from Securing the Future, will be addressed.

The plan includes action to raise awareness of sustainable development issues across the departments in order to ensure that sustainable development considerations are embedded both within policy development (where appropriate) and operational delivery. The Law Officers' Departments will work to:

  • comply with relevant environmental legislation;
  • minimise waste by reducing and reusing and maximise recycling opportunities;
  • conserve energy, water and other natural resources;
  • reduce carbon emissions from buildings and business related travel and;
  • reduce the usage of paper and office consumables;
  • introduce better procurement of sustainable goods and services;
  • ensure buildings are refurbished and operated to improve their environmental performance; and
  • introduce Environmental Management Systems based on international standard ISO14001.

In the management of our estate, performance will be measured against a series of targets within the Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate.

Action on sustainable development will form part of the efficiency programmes arising from the Gershon review and will be included as part of the work for the forthcoming comprehensive spending review for 2007.

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Benefits and risks

The benefits to the LOD of achieving the SDAP objectives include substantial savings in resource use and running costs along with waste reduction and raising awareness of SD in our operations.

The risks of not taking action include:

  • Failure to protect natural resources
  • Increased running costs
  • Reputational damage
  • Failure to contribute to UK government target reductions of CO2 emissions

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Ministerial responsibilities

The Solicitor General is the sustainable development Minister for the Law Officers' Departments and has overall responsibility for ensuring the Law Officers' Departments fulfil their sustainable development commitments.

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Policy and operations

The Law Officers' Departments are not significant Policy making departments but will ensure that sustainable development policies are embedded into all their operational processes. Each department has appointed a champion for sustainable development. A Steering Group on Sustainable Development comprising representatives from Law Officers' Departments is responsible for implementing the action plan and will endeavour to "Lead by example" in all that it does.

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Engaging staff and stakeholders

Staff and managers will be engaged in the delivery of these actions by raising awareness of key issues where appropriate to their work, through articles in the in house journals, intranet publicity and poster campaigns on key activities,e-learning, presentations, cascade briefings and team meetings. We will publish the Action plan on our respective intranets. Sustainable development will be integrated into induction processes and appropriate training programmes.

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Monitoring and reporting

The Law Officers' Departments will monitor and review progress and performance against the sustainable development policy statement and their action plan. The Steering Group on Sustainable Development for the Law Officers' Departments reports progress to the Solicitor General. The policy statement and the action plan will be reviewed in 2007. Progress against the action plan and performance against our sustainable development targets will be included in the annual Departmental Report covering the Law Officers' Departments.

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LOD Action Plan 2007-2008

The Sustainable Operations Targets launched on 12th June 2006 by the Prime Minister included a mandate that accepted elements from the Sustainable Procurement Task Force National Action Plan would be included within the new targets.

Priority area - Climate change & energy

Carbon emissions from offices

  • Reverse the current upward trend in carbon emissions by April 2007
  • Reduce carbon emissions by 12.5% by 2010-11, relative to 1999/2000 levels
  • Reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2020, relative to 1999/2000 levels.
LOD action
  • Continue the move to Renewable energy. Continue to liaise with all current contractors/suppliers to indicate need to have renewable energy supplied. Members to give updates at quarterly meetings and report in SOGE 06/07 and 07/08.
  • Consider the potential benefits to be implemented from the Carbon Trust Survey report (of 3 CPS buildings) across the whole of the LOD. To record take up of reports recommendations and report position by Next meeting Jan 08.
  • All new office equipment to meet Government Approved Environmental Standards (Defra Quick Wins). Each member to report their position at regular meetings and in SOGE 07/08.
  • Ensure CHP is considered when refurbishing plant, also the use of wind turbines. All business cases to include this consideration. Any Business cases where CHP etc installed to be reported at regular meetings.

Carbon emissions from road vehicles

  • Reduce carbon emissions from road vehicles used for Government administrative operations by 15% by 2010/11, relative to 2005/2006 levels.

Carbon neutral

  • Central Government's office estate to be carbon neutral by 2012.
LOD action
  • Consider extending to include rail travel by 31 March 2008.
  • Support any Central Schemes for offsetting as they become available.

Energy efficiency

  • Departments to increase their energy efficiency per m² by 15% by 2010, relative to 1999/2000 levels.
  • Departments to increase their energy efficiency per m² by 30% by 2020, relative to 1999/2000 levels.
LOD action
  • Raise energy efficiency awareness across the LOD by publishing articles in in-house publications as appropriate, communicating with office managers, reducing temperature settings and operating times of both heating and air conditioning plant (see above Carbon Trust Reports).
  • Use the Staff Survey results to increase awareness.

Priority area - Consumption & production

Waste arisings

  • Departments to reduce their waste arisings by 5% by 2010, relative to 2004/2005 levels.
  • Departments to reduce their waste arisings by 25% by 2020, relative to 2004/2005 levels.
LOD action
  • Establish Waste arising figures for the period 2004/05 or at least as close to period as possible to establish baseline data by 31 March 2008.


  • Departments to increase their recycling figures to 40% of their waste arisings by 2010.
  • Departments to increase their recycling figures to 75% of their waste arisings by 2020.
LOD action
  • Establish what % can be recycled from above Waste data.

Priority area - Natural resource protection


  • Departments to meet or exceed the aim of having 95% of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI's) in sole ownership or control in target condition by 2010.
LOD action
  • Not applicable to all areas of the LOD but ensure individual Estate strategy has the facility to encapsulate biodiversity issues by 31 March 2008.

Water consumption

  • Reduce water consumption by 25% on the office and non-office estate by 2020, relative to 2004/2005 levels.
  • Reduce water consumption to an average of 3m3 per person/year for all new office builds or major office refurbishments.
LOD action
  • Establish baseline water data for period 04/05 or at least as close to period as possible by 31 March 2008.
  • Ensure water consumption is reduced to an average of 3m3 per person/year for all new office builds or major office refurbishments by using best available practices. Estate Strategy and Business case template to be amended to include this requirement by 30 June 2007.

Priority area - Sustainable procurement

Leadership and accountability

  • Perm Secretaries are accountable for their departments overall progress and for ensuring from 2007-08 onwards:

    Key Staff in their Departments have performance objectives and incentives that drive the implementation of this plan, linked to performance objectives for delivering efficiency savings?

LOD action
  • Procurement Targets.009-013 All LOD departments to review the Procurement targets and advise of individual or joint time table by Januarys SD Steering Group meeting.

Budgeting and accounting practice

  • Departments will review budgeting arrangements and performance frameworks to ensure barriers to choosing sustainable solutions are resolved.
  • Where Departments believe an upfront cost constraint prevents them from choosing the most suitable option, they may raise this with the treasury.

Building capacity

  • Departments to set out actions they are taking to ensure procurement practice helps to achieve their sustainable operations targets in their SDAPs.
  • Departments to make full use of the Task Force flexible framework where it improves procurement practice and delivery on other sustainable operations targets while OGC develops a new detailed procurement framework.

Raising standards

  • Departments/OGC to take action in respect of central government Contracts to meet updated and extended mandatory products standards.
  • New contracts will be required to meet these standards.
  • Existing contracts will be updated as soon as is practical.
  • Steps will be taken to remove offers that fall below these standards from framework contracts within 12 months.
  • Departments will make use of pan-Government collaborative contracts in key areas to achieve compliance.
  • New government Contracts, where relevant will include appropriate requirements for suppliers and sub-contractors to provide contacts and services that comply with agreed mandatory standards and assist in the delivery of departmental sustainable operations targets.
  • From 1 April 2009 only timber and timber products originating either From independently verified legal and sustainable sources of from a licensed FLEGT partner will be demanded for use on the government Estate- appropriate documentation will be required to prove it. From 1 April 2015 only legal and sustainable timber will be demanded.

Market engagement and capturing innovation

  • OGC and Government departments will work together to strengthen their strategic engagement with key sectors to ensure key suppliers have plans in place to lower their carbon footprint and that of their supply-chains.

Priority area - Government mandate

Carbon Trust Carbon Management Programme

  • Departments to adopt the Carbon Trust's Carbon Management Programme.
LOD action
  • CPS to adopt the CT Carbon Management Programme and update the LOD quarterly on their application.


  • The application of BRE's Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) excellent standards or equivalent, to all new builds/major refurbishments.
LOD action
  • To have systems in place that consider and apply (where appropriate) the BREEAM Scheme.

Sustainable Procurement Task Force National Action Plan

  • Accepted elements from the Sustainable Procurement Task Force National Action Plan.
LOD action
  • See above actions.

OGC's Property Benchmarking Scheme

  • OGC's Property Benchmarking Scheme.
LOD action
  • CPS is part of the pilot Scheme. All Departments to join scheme when it becomes mandatory next year.

Accredited certified environmental management system

  • Departments to work towards an accredited certified environmental management system (EMS) i.e. ISO 14001 or EMAS25.
LOD action
  • CPS to develop generic template by 31 January 2008 and other LODs to implement as appropriate.

Core data

  • Data collection and reporting – identification of core data to be reported against the new target.
LOD action
  • To review and establish core data requirements for the Sustainable Operations targets and report as required.

Volunteering in the community

  • All Departments to encourage staff to take an active role in volunteering in the community.
LOD action
  • Report at 31 March 2008 how many staff are taking an active role in volunteering in the community. To consider how to improve this figure once established.

Sustainability appraisals

  • All Departments to conduct sustainability appraisals of office relocations.
LOD action
  • Put procedures in place for the use of sustainability appraisals on office relocations once guidance received from DEFRA/SDC.

Electricity renewables

  • Departments to source at least 10% of electricity from renewables (31 March 2008).
LOD action
  • See above.

Combined heat and power

  • Departments to source at least 15% of electricity from Combined Heat and Power (2010).
LOD action
  • Have procedures in place to consider CHP in all office refurbishments and boiler replacements as applicable if the replacement of plant is our responsibility by 31 March 2008.

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