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MoJ projects slammed over sustainability standards

The Ministry of Justice failed to assess the environmental performance of the majority of its construction and refurbishment projects, a National Audit Office report has revealed.

Nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of the justice department’s new-build and refurbishment projects in courts, tribunals and prisons had not been assessed to see whether they met the government’s own environmental standards, according to the report.

Since 2010 the MoJ has carried out 151 construction projects. However, only 30 of these received their final environmental assessment certification.

The majority of buildings (77) were not assessed and 20 only received interim scores. Around 10 per cent (14) of the department’s new-build projects failed to meet the required standard.

The government committed to all construction work on its new buildings achieving Excellent or Very Good BREEAM ratings, which assess performance including the sustainability of materials, energy efficiency and the accessibility of public transport.

Construction News understands that the Ministry of Justice will meet with the National Audit Office later this month to discuss the report.  

An MoJ spokesperson said: “We take our commitment to environmental sustainability extremely seriously – evidenced by the fact we have already cut our carbon emissions by 30 per cent since 2009/10, exceeding our target.

“We are also delivering a number of projects across the department to reduce our environmental impact and operating costs.

“We welcome the report by the National Audit Office and will set out our full response in due course.”

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