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Published by: ImprovingSupport on Jan 13, 2011
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The ACEVO Commissioning Support Service
Strategic Policy Drivers
There is a clear direction of travel being laid out in UK Policy that reflects our response to global treaties and EU regulation.While the change in administration may have altered the emphasis from national targets driving compliance to one wheregovernment creates the conditions for the market to provide solutions, the UK still has to meet the targets of EU carbonreduction regulations. An example of the market driven policy would be the feed in tariff for renewable energy generation,which will make it more economically viable for investment in small and community level renewable energy generation.In addition to these general pieces of policy and legislation there are specific pieces of environmental legislation not listed,such as the EU Landfill Directive, which are improving performance in a specific areas of public service delivery andperformance such as waste management.
Communication on Limiting Global Climate Change
In the ‘Communication on Limiting Global Climate Change’ the EUcommitted to reducing total carbon dioxide emissions to 20% below1990 levels by 2020. This may be increased to a 30% reduction on 1990levels if an international agreement on carbon reduction can be reached.
Climate Change Act
The UK has passed legislation which introduces the world’s first long-term,legally binding framework to tackle the dangers of climate change. TheClimate Change Bill was introduced into parliament in November 2007and became law a year later. The Climate Change Act creates a newapproach to managing and responding to climate change in the UK by:
A joint initiative to strengthen support services for the third sector
Delivering Sustainable Public Services
It is no longer possible to avoid man made climate change. The effects are being felt from the Maldives toCumbria. If we are to stabilise CO2 emissions and prevent average temperatures rising above 2°C, the pointat which we might hit climate change tipping points, then we need to transform ourselves into a low carboneconomy.An important part of this transformation will be lead by the public sector and the third parties itcommissions to deliver public services. The public sector throughout the UK including local and nationalgovernment spent over £575 billion
in 2008/9 of which £102 billion was spent on healthcare and £88billion on welfare. Of this total expenditure approximately £12 billion
is spent on third sector organisations.This expenditure represents a wide range of activity that necessarily implies a huge carbon footprint. Theway this expenditure is spent in future will have a major role in stimulating the low carbon economy andhelping society to adapt to climate change.This factsheet examines the policy drivers promoting change and highlights how a number of third sector organisations around the country are delivering sustainable public services that provide excellent examplesof how this change can be realised.
The ACEVO Commissioning Support Service
Setting ambitious, legally binding targets: a 26% reduction on 1990 levels of CO2 by 2020 and an 80% reduction b2050Taking powers to help meet those targetsStrengthening the institutional framework Enhancing the UK’s ability to adapt to the impact of climate changeEstablishing clear and regular accountability to the UK Parliament and to the devolved legislatures.
The CRC (Carbon Reduction Commitment) Energy Efficiency Scheme
Starting in April 2010, the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme is the UK’s first mandatory carbon trading scheme. The initialphase of the Carbon Reduction Commitment will be compulsory for organisations that consumed over 6,000 MWh of half-hourly metered electricity during the period from January 2008 to December 2008. At today's prices, this is roughly equivalent to total half-hourly electricity bills of approximately £500,000 per year.
The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan (DECC)
This plots how the UK will meet a 34% cut in emissions on 1990 levels by 2020, transforming the country into a cleaner,greener and more prosperous place to live. This is at the heart of the economic plans for 'building Britain’s future' andensuring the UK is ready to take advantage of the opportunities ahead. The Transition Plan is the most systematic responseto climate change of any major developed economy.
Local Authority Performance Indicators
Although the Comprehensive Area Assessment process has been cancelled by the new coalition administration, theNational Indicator Set did include a number of targets for local authorities related to climate change. The National Indicator Set was the main way in which central government performance managed local government. It covered services deliveredby local authorities alone and in partnership with other organisations like health services and the police. Given the coalitionclaims to be the greenest government ever they will have to find an alternative way to encourage sustainable practice andpreparing for climate change amongst local authorities. The indicators that directly related to climate change were:
NI 185 - CO2 reduction from Local Authority operations
A reduction in the emissions produced as a result of all the activities undertaken by the local authority, including thosedelivered by contracted third parties.
NI 186 - Per capita CO2 emissions in the LA area
A reduction in the total emissions produced within a borough per head of population.
NI 188 - Adapting to climate change
How the borough is preparing itself for the changing needs of society in a post climate change world that requires a lowcarbon economy.In addition there are a number of environmental indicators related tot hey types of services that the sector might deliver including NI 192 on household waste recycled and composted and NI 187 on tackling fuel poverty.
Shaping Our Future
The joint ministerial task force on climate change, the environment and sustainabledevelopment, was a joint initiative established in 2009 involving four governmentdepartments: Defra, DECC, OTS and CLG. Involving a huge range of stakeholders fromacross the sector they produced a report which looks at a wide range of topics includinghow the sector can contribute to the building of resilient communities and how the sector will deliver more sustainable public services.
The ACEVO Commissioning Support Service3
Sustainability Case Studies
The following case studies show different examples of how the different community groups, charities andsocial enterprises are delivering public services that often achieve social and health outcomes whilstundertaking work that in some way improves the local environment and helps in the fight against climatechange.
BedZED is a housing development that was developed in partnership by the Bio-Regional Development Group and thePeabody Trust Housing Association with Bill Dunster Architects. It was completed and occupied in 2002. The community comprises 50% housing for sale, 25% key worker shared ownership and 25% social housing for rent. The development alsocontained a number of work units. The houses and the estate were designed to maximise energy efficiency and benefitfrom communal and holistic systems working across the estate.The original aims of the project included reducing energy and water consumption by 33% for equivalent dwellings in thelocal area. In 2007 monitoring of the 100 households on the estate showed that residents used 45% less electricity, 81%less gas and less than 50% of the water consumed by comparative local households.The project partners continue to strive to improve performance on the estate and also to ensure that other new housingdevelopments are built with these principles in mind.
Blue Sky Development and Regeneration
Blue Sky is almost certainly the only company in England where you need a criminal record to get a job. It holds contractsto deliver landscaping services for a number of local authorities, housing associations and private companies. It hasexpended into recycling by providing operatives to work on kerbside recycling schemes for a number of local authoritiesand their waste contractors.Established as a not-for-profit company in 2005 by regeneration charity Groundwork Thames Valley, it has taken on over 250 employees on six month contracts. These contracts are all given to people who have recently been released fromprison, 14% of whom are also homeless. Nearly half of their employees move into sustained employment after workingwith Blue Sky. This significantly reduces the re-offending rate below the national average for people just released formprison, which is currently 75%.While working with offenders is their primary purpose, Blue Sky has done this in a way which delivers environmentalbenefit, through the activities the offenders work on. In the 2009-10 financial year; they improved and maintained over 500acres of land and recycled 3,532 tonnes of waste.
The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers has its origins in the Conservation Corps which were founded in 1959. Thefirst project involved working with volunteers to clear invasive species and protect rare flora and fauna in Surrey. Sincethese early days the charity has expanded massively across the country, and become and diversified so that a major part of its focus is on people as well as the environment. BTCV is now one of the major contractors to the Department of Work and Pensions having provided support to over 7500 people.A typical example of this is the work they are doing in Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield. Through a national contract fromDWP they are working with disability advisors at the local Job Centres. Through this service they are providing bespokesupport to over 200 people per year. Partnerships are arranged at the local level to ensure clients receive beneficial andrelevant training alongside real work placements. BTCV also offer a recruitment service to the private sector, ensuring they are working hard to create job opportunities and change people’s lives.In terms of sustainability, BTCV have undertaken a root and branch analysis of all their activities around the country. Every single activity carried out by the organisation across all its premises have been quantified in terms of CO2 emissions. BTCV

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