As a Public Sector organisation there are many actions that can be taken within your organisation to start to reduce the impact on climate change. These actions can be split into two types:
- Internal action around the building and the staff that work for the organisation;
- External action around service provision, procurement and policy.
The actions that a public service organisation takes internally will be much the same as those taken by any private business. Many of these actions not only make environmental sense but also economic sense, making the organisation more efficient in the long run. Reducing your emissions and therefore your impact on climate change needs to be approached in a structured organised way much like the approach that is needed for any other major issue in business. Doing so in this way is known as carbon management.
Carbon Management is akin to most other management systems that currently exist in businesses and organisations. It will therefore sit comfortably with existing structures in business, for example ISO 14001. It consists of five main steps:
- Understand Emissions;
- Define Purpose;
- Identify Opportunities;
- Develop Action Programmes;
- Monitor Progress.
As with all other management tools, this is a cyclical process which continues and adapts over time, taking into consideration the lessons learned. Click here to read more about the five main steps of carbon management.
External action by public authorities on climate change refers to the action that can be taken in areas that an organisation may influence. This can be through the services they provide, procurement and other policies such as grant funding; in other words, all of the decisions that such an organisation makes.
The following are some of the areas the public services should look at in order to:
- Ensure ‘carbon managed criteria’ are included as part of all funding criteria;
- Devise and implement a Green Procurement strategy. The total government purchasing budget exceeds €10Bn per year and therefore the public sector has significant influence in supporting the green market sector. A green procurement strategy should emphasise training in green procurement and life cycle analysis and pave the way for low carbon products, services, mobility and accommodation in the public sector;
- Consider carbon management of all services provided by your organisation.
- Follow the strategies outlined in the National Strategies & Initiatives section.
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