Green product standards ready by end of March

10 March 2011

10 March 2011 | Paul Snell

Specifications to help public sector buyers purchase more sustainable products will be in place by the end of this month, the UK government has announced.

According to the Carbon Plan published this week, “government buying standards” for cleaning products and services, food, furniture, gardening services, textiles, transport and water-using products will be finalised by the Department for Food, Rural Affairs and the Environment by the end of March.

Applying these minimum standards should help buyers reach a wider aim - also announced as part of the plan - to cut carbon emissions, reduce waste, water consumption and the amount of business travel by March 2015 and encourage sustainable procurement.

The plan also repeated its commitment to measuring and publishing details of greenhouse gas emissions created by vendors.

Broader commitments to reduce the country’s carbon footprint included reforms to electricity generation, a strategy to help build the infrastructure to support ultra-low emission vehicles and a promise to work with the EU to take action on emissions created by international shipping if no global agreement can be reached by the end of this year.

The government has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 10 per cent by May 2011, 34 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050 - based on 1990 levels.

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