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The department of the environment has become the first central government department to gain two prestigious awards...
The department of the environment has become the first central government department to gain two prestigious awards - for developing a new environmental management system for its Office Services Division (OSD).

The awards - registration to both BS7750 and ISO 14001 - were made by SGS Yarsley International Certification Services Ltd, an independent certification body which assesses environmental and quality management systems against British and international standards.

Environment secretary John Gummer said:

'The new environmental management system that we have put in place will help us implement good green housekeeping practices and secure continual improvements in our environmental performance.

'I am confident that our success will encourage other organisations, as well as government departments, to consider securing accreditation. At a recent meeting, my fellow Green Ministers agreed to ensure that there are procedures in place to check that departments carry out good environmental appraisal of their policies and buildings.

'To achieve registration, DOEs Office Services Division (OSD) established an environmental management system to ensure and demonstrate compliance, in all its activities, with the departments green housekeeping policy statement.

'The system includes setting annual targets for improving OSDs environmental performance. The targets reflect OSDs assessment of where its activities have the most significant environmental impacts.

'They are geared to meet DOE objectives in areas such as reducing energy and water consumption, maximising recycling and minimising waste.

'Environmental appraisal was also discussed at the recent Green Ministers meeting along with actions to limit and combat the effect of climate change and green housekeeping. Green Ministers agreed that the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) for rating the environmental performance of buildings will be used in the design of all new Government buildings and major refurbishments.

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