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Environmental improvement

To underpin our targets, an annual Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP) drives continual environmental improvement.

Energy and utility improvements

Carbon saving initatives at Parliament includes;

  • adjustments and improvements to the building management system;
    lamp replacement with energy efficient options and improved lighting control;
  • installation of solar panels on roof of the Palace;
  • re-commissioning of boilers and installation of a new summer boiler for the Palace;
  • developing the environmental requirements and opportunities for the Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal Programme;
  • installation of AMR's for all gas meters on the Estate;
  • working with project teams to incorporate energy efficiency savings when refurbishing the outbuildings in the Estate.

This has resulted in a 63.2% reduction of absolute carbon emissions in 2022/23 against our base year of 2008/09.

Waste and recycling improvements

Since our base year Parliament's recycling rate has increased by 23.2% and there has been a reduction in the weight of waste generated by 24.6% (as at March 2023).

Parliament continues to explore new opportunities to move waste streams up the waste hierarchy in collaboration with its waste service providers. The specification for the waste contract includes a written requirement for a continual improvement approach to collaborative waste recycling improvement.

Initiatives to increase Parliament's recycling rate and reduce waste generated have included;

  • the introduction of a series of initiatives to reduce single use avoidable plastics on the Estate;
  • implementation of an office waste collection system which allows for compostable disposable items and food to be collected together, this is in addition to facilities to collect mixed recyclables (i.e. paper, cans and plastic);
  • Parliament continues to target a reduction in the generation of its waste and increase in its recycling rates as a priority as per the waste hierarchy, and where appropriate uses procurement specifications to encourage supply chain improvements.

Water saving

Parliament has continued to increase its water efficiency since 2008/09 and figures up to 2022/23 show water consumption has fallen by 42.5% in mains consumption and 15.5% in borehole consumption. 

Parliament uses boreholes to abstract cooler groundwater from an aquifer 120 metres below Portcullis House. This water is then used to cool the ambient temperature in Portcullis House via a heat exchanger. This method is much more efficient than conventional air conditioning units.

The efficiency of the boreholes has been increased even further after work was undertaken between the Building Management System and the ambient temperature in Portcullis House. This ensures that the borehole water was used only necessary. This work has greatly improved the levels of water management. In addition to providing cooling, the borehole water is also used to supply the water features in Portcullis House and to supply water for flushing the toilets.

Green Travel 

Parliament has a Green Travel Plan with the principal aim to provide information to staff, Members, Members' staff and visitors to help reduce commuting and work-related transport carbon emissions.

There is also the provision of a Dr. Bike maintenance scheme and cycle parking facilities for cyclists on the Estate.