17 January 2008 | Jake Kanter
Government departments remain unclear about buying for "sustainable" buildings, and have missed sustainability targets, a group of MPs has revealed.
A report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) found departments remained conflicted between trying to achieve "value for money" and buying sustainably.
MPs urged the OGC to "encourage" departments to meet environmental targets, which cover categories such as energy, water, waste, travel, construction and procurement, by using OGCbuying.solutions' "quick wins", a list of sustainable products.
They added the agency should also monitor compliance with using products on the list. Incentives should also be introduced for those departments who do meet sustainability targets.
Edward Leigh, chairman of the PAC, said in a statement: "The government should practice what it preaches and set an example for others to follow. The message must be driven home that sustainability can and should deliver better value for money over the whole lifetime of a building."
A spokesman for the OGC said: "Performance monitoring is key in building on the existing good work in this area and there has already been active engagement by departments in the Office of Government Commerce's Property Benchmarking Service, which will be compulsory from April this year."