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Podcast title Sustainable Government
Website URL http://sustainablegovernment.b...
Description An insight into how we in government are trying to take forward the Sustainable Development Strategy Securing the Future ... and maybe give you a bit of a feel for what it is like working in government.
Updated Tue, 28 Aug 2018 03:34:24 PDT
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Category Government & Organizations
Science & Medicine

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Link to this podcast Sustainable Government


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Description: There is a new wiki from David Miliband allowing anyone to contribute to an environmental contract....look here -

David Miliband's wiki on the environmental contract: wiki.defra.gov.uk/WikiHome

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Description: This is Neil again. Well two bits of news this week.

First, the next newsletter is out - this one focuses on buying ethical and eco-friendly stuff. The main feature for example sets out what the Government is going to be buying in future and the target for becoming carbon-neutral by 2012.

Go to www.sustainable-development.gov.uk - also catch up with the last blog for the podcast that accompanies the newsletter.

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Description: Sustainable Procurement Task Force - Procuring the Future Podcast

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Description: Sustainable Development Strategy - One Year On Podcast

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Description: Hello

My name is Neil Witney - and I work for Jill. I thought I would just post to let you know that the next edition of the e-newsletter on sustainable development is now ready at www.sustainable-development.gov.uk.

This includes details of what's been happening over the last year and also some information about an event we held on 6 April celebrating what's achieved and asking people what needs to be done next.

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Description: Just getting used to the idea of being back at work again ... amazing how long nine hours in the office feels without the usual meetings and emails. So what will 2006 bring for SD in government ... well ...

Hopefully all departments will soon have published their SD action plans ... We did ours (http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/sustainable/action-plan.htm). Next month we launch the real version of the new SD e-zine. In February we start seriously launching the outputs of our Community Action 2020 programme - responding to what people in the SD consultation said they needed to make a difference at local level. Then in March we celebrate one year since the SD strategy launch ... the Sustainable Consumption roundtable will produce its report ... and there is more to come on Natural Resource Protection. Then in April we have the report of Sir Neville Simms task force on Sustainable Procurement. Just before Christmas I did a "what is going on" presentation to people promoting SD in the network of Government Offices. The general reaction was that they were amazed that so much is going on ...

But even more heartening is what I call the Today test. In the first five months of last year - up to and including the election - SD issues barely registered on the Today programme. The section in the Defra press cuttings headed SD/ CSR always carried the depressing words "no articles". Now SD seems to be dominating the post-election agenda ... with the result that I get into work later and later as there are more and more occasions when I need to stay under the duvet to hear one more item (or Jonathon Porritt yet again). The Prime Minister's Strategy Unit produced an intriguing slide on why governments always appear to be failing on the leading issues of the day -- because the key issues fall off the political radar screen.. solved = nil salience. So at the last election a Mori poll suggested that only 35% of the electorate thought the economy was a key issue ... 28% thought the environment was -- just one place behind.

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Description: I hate most things about Christmas (always lived in dread of presents I didn't want after a bad poppy umbrella experience aged 12) but I LOVE Christmas cards. I send loads and use them to keep in touch around the world. But time was that from 1st December onwards my workspace (all open plan here) would be filled with scenes of the frozen Thames and comedy reindeer from people we had dealt with over the past year. But now all the right on dematerialised people I come across have foresworn the physical Christmas card (waste, paper, envelope, stamp, signature, hassle) in favour of the animated e-Xmas card. My office is bare on any sign of Christmas. I know that this is a good example of sustainable consumption in action. I know it saves trees and saves energy and saves money. But at Christmas shouldn't we remember that third pillar of SD as well -- and allow a bit of personal contact -- if only a signature. Or at least that is what I thought until I discovered that my giant WWF penguin cards on recycled paper were going to cost me £ 1.12 each to send to Australia after queuing for half an hour in the post office. So maybe next year I will do Xmas online too.

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Description: After two failed attempts (sold out on a Sunday; keys left in the office on the Friday) I finally got to see the "political thriller" cum anti-corporation movie "The Constant Gardener". Kenya and Ralph Fiennes both looked great - but, unlike some of my business friends, I thought it was a pretty simplistic Michael Moorish take on big business. More interesting was a report in last week's FT on a joint study between Unilever and Oxfam on the real impacts of globalisation on developing countries and the need to move beyond a knee-jerk view to understand the complex impacts multinationals can have - and not to lump all multinationals together. Oxfam was big enough to concede that without the partnership with Unilever they would "have probably reached some wrong conclusions". the report is availabel from both their websites -- so if you emerge from the cinema depressed by the fate of Justin/Ralph and Tessa/Rachel at the hands of the evil makers of Dypraxa take a look at this report on Oxfam and Unilever's website -- and see a bit of the other side of the story.

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Description: Last year the Sustainable development Commission launched a competition to find tipping points.. when would we reach the "magic moment" when we knew SD was becoming a reality... they ranged form the whimisical to the deeply earnest. Yesterday I was on a train to Liverpool to the Urban Forum annual conference chattign about SD to Paula Hirst who has just been seconded to work on SD at the Olympic Development Authority. After we left Runcorn we started chatting to the city type opposite (in second class) -- and to pass the time of day asked what he did... he was an ethical fund manager for Rathbone Investments. So my tipping point comes when strangers you meet randomly are involved in a sustainable activity. And then you pick up an abandoned Times -- and discover an interview with Jonathon Porritt about the SD strategy... the first national newspaper mention of Securing the Future???? and then the reality check of being yelled at by bunches of sceptical community acitivists.... more on tipping points at www.sd-commission.org.uk

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Description: only Wednesday -- but SD activity running at a high level. Some very short-term -- down to the finishing straits with ODPM colleagues (that is John Prescott's department) on the "barker" response that has been the subject of much toing and froing over the last months..; debating how we report progress on susatinabel development to our cross-departmental programme board next week (developed new chart with duck ratings on how SD principles are applied to policy areas .. aim to get all the ducks into the top row -- abandoned as too frivolous but must use in a presentation some time.. will capture someone's imagination); new SDC director announced as part of SD strategy proposals to beef up the Sustainabel development Commission (Andrew Lee from WWF if you haven't seen the news somewhere else); dinner with a couple of the failed candidates who are friends - and discussion on sustainable Olypmics; evidence before the Environment Audit Committee with Elliot Morley, our SD lead Minister on sustainable procurement; meeting to discuss upcoming SD ezine (watch this space .. launch Dec/ Jan). I'm tired just thinking about it...

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Description: Apologies for recent absence.. too sickly and too busy to add anything to blog. That is why still in office at 7.45. Have just completed an internet order for groceries to be delivered tomorrow.. experimenting with a range of fair trade coffees (to see which I like, as I drink it) and tea (which I hate so principles easily win); some ecover cleaning products (though balked at the price of the washing powder compared to my standard...), bananas, recycled paper towels -- and realise I have forgotten the organic porridge. Can't bear to log back on. And since I discovered the wonders of soap which you use rather than shower gel I not only waste less packaging, I never seem to use it up. 45p and it lasts a lifetime (or at least a good few months.. )Internet delivery is one of the key enablers of a carfree life in a city -- and a very good thing (even though inertia means that I am still with Tesco)> Roll on Environment Direct! Means I can top up shop at the farmers market and my BP website measured carbon footprint (nifty, try it) looks very dainty (apart from the US trip - ironically to the POW's business and environment programme)

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Description: So the VC technology worked fine... pictures good (if still with the slight woodentop element), audio great. One downside was that it is impossible to read body language - tough when speaking to a committee of MPs. Not sure they appreciated the symbolism of not flying. They will. But the other presenter - from the Suzuki foundation - who had produced a very critical report on Canadian environmental performance - said loads of nice things re the UK strategy. A lot of the questions seemed to be driven more by Canadian politics (not much surprise there) but a chance to make some points on the usefulness of one framework across the govt. And at very low impact - no jet lag, the taxpayer saved £ 2000k on flights and I even got home to see Newsnight talking about Tesco's CSR record and happiness (missed the Slough prog but will try to catch it next week..)... and to hear the England collapse on the radio this a.m. (maybe I would have been better off at 35k feet)

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Description: Hi I'm Jill Rutter, Director of Strategy and Sustainable Development at the UK's Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Last March the Prime Minister launched our new UK SD strategy "Securing the Future" .... so its taken us eight months to get this blog up and running..

so what are we trying to do... to give you an insight into how we in government are trying to take forward the new strategy (though you will have to put up with spelling mistakes until I find the spellchecker!!! )... and maybe too give you a bit of a feel for what it is like working in government...

who knows? we might even manage to make a book like the Guardian's Ashes weblog.

So its 15 November.. in London. That is news in itself as I was invited last week to give evidence to a Select Committee in Canada which is interested in the UK SD strategy as a model for a Canadian national strategy. Flights were booked to Ottawa until a colleague suggested that our themes of leading by example and cutting out unnecessary business travel were hardly compatible with a day trip to Ottawa.. so flights cancelled (don't think I can pretend that this will make Air Canada ditch the flight, but if everyone did the same.... ) and am trusting to the videoconferencing facilities this evening.. from 8.30-10.30. So let us see if it works.....