20 December 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
The size of central government's estate has reduced by at least 156,000 square metres - the size of 13 Trafalgar Squares, according to its State of the Estate report.
The annual report describes progress throughout the 2017-18 financial year in improving the efficiency and sustainability of government property that makes up its central estate.
All regions show a decrease in size over the past year, with the exception of the East of England, which has grown by nearly 15,000 square metres - this is because of Public Health England's (PHE) new science campus site in Harlow, Essex.
The London and the South East estates have been shrunk by 51,000 square metres and 36,000 square metres respectively, despite the number of holdings increasing in both regions over the year. This points to better use of space by departments, states the study.
Total operating costs for 2017-18 were £2.60 billion, up from £2.57 billion in the previous year.
In real terms, this is a reduction of £22 million (0.8 per cent). The estate costs £760 million (23 per cent) less to run in real terms than in 2010.
On reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the government as a whole cut its emissions by 39 per cent in 2017-18 compared with 2009-10, showing "continued strong progress towards the new target of 43 per cent".
The government as a whole also reduced its paper consumption by 55 per cent in 2017 to 2018 compared with 2009-10, exceeding its 2020 target.
Government departments reduced their overall waste by 40 per cent in 2017-18 compared with the 2009-10 baseline and total water consumption fell by 10 per cent in 2017-18 compared with 2009-10.
The report can be accessed here.