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Upholding justice and sustainability: The Ministry of Justice's environmental commitment

Upholding justice and sustainability: The Ministry of Justice's environmental commitment


The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) outlines its strategy to combat climate change while promoting justice outcomes, highlighting significant progress achieved thus far

In response to the pressing need for environmental stewardship, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has embarked on a transformative journey toward sustainability. As one of the largest government departments, the MOJ acknowledges its significant environmental footprint and embraces its responsibility to mitigate climate change impacts.

The MOJ's commitment to sustainability transcends mere compliance; it sees environmental initiatives as integral to its core mission of delivering justice outcomes effectively. By aligning its strategies with the government's green agenda, the MOJ aims to not only reduce its environmental impact but also foster societal benefits and enhance operational efficiency.

Chief Operating Officer James McEwen emphasises the pivotal role of sustainability in advancing justice outcomes. The MOJ recognises that investing in green initiatives can empower individuals, reduce recidivism rates, and contribute to the nation's transition to a greener economy. Through innovative approaches such as green job creation within prisons and probation services, the MOJ seeks to intertwine sustainability with its rehabilitation efforts.

The MOJ's Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy underscores its commitment to greening government operations while bolstering its resilience to climate change. Chief Sustainability Officer Carl von Reibnitz highlights the urgent need for concerted action, citing the alarming climate events of recent years and global initiatives like the Paris Agreement and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

Key components of the MOJ's strategy include decarbonising existing infrastructure, promoting resource efficiency, and nurturing biodiversity. Through targeted interventions such as installing renewable energy systems, optimising water usage, and enhancing habitat quality, the MOJ aims to mitigate climate risks and safeguard natural ecosystems.

The MOJ's progress in sustainability is evident through impressive statistics showcasing reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, improvements in resource management, and investments in nature conservation. These achievements underscore the MOJ's unwavering commitment to environmental stewardship and its dedication to upholding justice while building a sustainable future for all.

Progress So Far:

Tackling Climate Change:

  • 32% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • 7% reduction in heat emissions
  • 50% reduction in domestic flights
  • 500 boiler optimisation units installed across HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS)
  • 84 building management systems installed across HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS)
  • 6 HMCTS buildings connected to low carbon district heat networks
  • 450 MWh of ground-mounted solar panels installed
  • 650 electric vehicle charging points installed
  • 42% of car fleet are ultra-low emission vehicles
  • 10,000 lights replaced with LEDs across HMCTS

Promoting Resource Efficiency:

  • 46% reduction in paper use
  • 330,000m³ of water saved through leak rectification
  • 379 smart water meters installed
  • 51% of waste recycled
  • 92% of waste diverted from landfill

Protecting and Enhancing Nature:

  • 100% of protected nature sites in good or recovering condition
  • 7 tree nurseries established for woodland creation programs
  • Digital mapping of the quality and quantity of habitat
  • 16,270 trees planted by probation for the Queen’s Green Canopy
  • Over 50 wildlife ponds created
  • Over 20 orchards planted or restored
  • 155,000 tree saplings grown within HMPPS tree nurseries
  • Ecological management plans for all category A, B, and C prisons
  • 45 prisoners trained in tree horticulture

These accomplishments signify the MOJ's proactive approach to sustainability and its commitment to achieving tangible environmental outcomes while upholding justice principles. Through continued dedication and collaborative efforts, the MOJ aims to build on these successes and pave the way for a greener, more resilient future.