Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It has been a long week...

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...

Friday, November 25, 2005

Consuming a (bit) more ethically

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)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Canada update

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)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Welcome to our new SD blog.....

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.....