Our energy use

The Department for Education's measures to reduce energy consumption and costs, and carbon emissions.

We publish information on our energy consumption and report on our initiatives to reduce emissions and waste.

Greening government targets

The Greening government commitments set targets for central government departments to reduce their environmental impact by 2015. We have exceeded all these targets. This includes:

  • reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by nearly half (43%)
  • cutting the amount of waste we produce by 62%
  • using a third less water

This also means we’re making financial savings. We’ll keep improving our performance and aim to be even more efficient during 2015 to 2016.

The table below shows our performance for the 2014 to 2015 financial year, against a baseline for the 2009 to 2010 year. It compares our results to the cross-government performance.

2014 to 2015 GGC target versus 2009 to 2010 baseline DfE progress Cross-government progress
Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25% -43% -20%
Cut domestic business travel flights by 20% -20% -18%
Reduce the amount of waste we generate by 25% -62% 22%
Cut paper use by 10% in 2011-12 -26% -30%
Office estate water - m3/full time equivalent employee 7.7 7.5
Reduce total estate water consumption (m3) -34% -9%
Sustainable procurement and improve supply chain engagement Qualitative Not calculated

Real-time data about energy use

We provide real-time energy data for our main offices.

General information about our 3 main offices:

Building location Building size Air conditioning Heating
London - Sanctuary Buildings 21,098 square metres Fully air conditioned Gas heating
Sheffield - 2 St Paul’s Place 6837 square metres Fully air conditioned Steam heating
Darlington - Bishopgate House 3,750 square metres Fully air conditioned Gas heating

How we plan and manage sustainable operations

We display our sustainable operations policy statement (PDF, 342 KB, 1 page) in our buildings’ reception areas and online. To manage our environmental impact, we use an environmental management system (PDF, 96.3 KB, 2 pages) which is modelled on ISO14001:2004.

All our plans and targets are aligned to the Greening government commitment targets. We also focus on wider and longer-term targets, including from the:

More detail on sustainability is available in the consolidated annual report and accounts.

More information

For more information on what we are doing to reduce our environmental impact, please contact:

Sustainable operations