GovToday presents Heat & Energy ’09 – SOGE – Leading the 'Shift' to a Low Carbon Economy Conference and Exhibition, which will be held on 22nd September 2009 at Church House Conference Centre, Westminster, London.

As part of our successful 'Securing the Future' series of Conferences, this premier event will examine the link between the Government's national Sustainable Development strategy as applied to the Government Estate and achieving the key objectives and priorities behind the groundbreaking Climate Change and Energy Strategies: to create a low carbon economy, tackling the unprecedented challenge of climate change and the future security of our energy supplies.

In June 2006, the Government's commitment to the 2005, 'Securing the Future' Sustainable Development Strategy was reinforced with the launch of Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE), a set of mandatory targets and requirements for all Government Departments and Executive Agencies.

These targeted areas included certain key elements, such as carbon emissions from offices, energy efficiency and renewables, including a remit to reduce carbon emissions by 12.5 per cent by 2010-11, 30 per cent by 2020 ( relative to 1999/2000 levels) and Central Government's office estate to be carbon neutral – zero net CO2 emissions from energy use – by 2012.

In March 2007, the Sustainable Procurement Action Plan (SPAP) was published, requiring each Government Department to develop its own Sustainable procurement action plan in order to achieve the SOGE targets.

The Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) was given the task to review the progress across government on an annual basis, and the most recent review – the '7th Annual Sustainable Development in Government (SDiG) Review', covering the financial year 2007-8 – revealed mixed results.

The Government Estate is on track to meet most major targets, except, importantly, those related to reducing carbon emissions, and increasing the proportion of energy from combined heat and power (CHP) and renewables; implementation needs to be accelerated to meet the SOGE targets in all three of these areas.

With Government Departments expected to lead the field in achieving Sustainable operations, the forerunners for effectively tackling climate change – Heat & Energy ‘09 – SOGE – Leading the 'Shift' to a Low Carbon Economy will examine the priorities ahead, giving best practice examples of progress to date, whilst defining the future challenges and key recommendations to drive this agenda forward.