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Interserve scoops £500m Defra support contract

05 December 2008

Achieving Defra's sustainability targets are at the core of the FM service offering from Interserve for this 15 year Sustainable Built Environment Workplace Support (SBEWS) contract for 186 sites across England and Wales.

The contract covers 186 sites throughout England and Wales and involves three Category 4 laboratories, 39 Category 3 laboratories, 226 other laboratories and 162 offices. It encompasses a number of core Executive Agencies including:
• Animal Health
• Central Science Laboratory
• Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science
• Government Decontamination Services
• Marine & Fisheries Agency
• Regulatory Science Agency
• Rural Payments Agency
• Veterinary Laboratories Agency
• Veterinary Medicines Directorate
• Natural England

The core services value of the contract is approximately £500m, although it is expected that the full value of services delivered, including projects and additional works, will significantly exceed this.

Interserve will operate as a long-term strategic partner for Defra, sharing the Department’s goals. The SBEWS programme is more than a conventional FM contract, and as well as a broad range of ‘normal’ FM services such as buildings maintenance and waste management , it encompasses more strategic services such as energy procurement and management, professional and project services and fleet management.

The main benefits delivered for Defra by the contract include:
• annual savings and continuing cost reductions over the 15-year term of the contract;
• a commitment to investing in the Defra estate achieving and exceeding sustainability targets for waste and recycling, energy and water consumption, carbon emission and biodiversity;
• continuing investment in sustainability and environmental performance, aimed at influencing behavioural change, accommodation use and exceeding longer term Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) targets;
• a flexible contract; and
• a single national point of contact for Defra’s building and accommodation needs.

Interserve will also analyse and present options to Defra in several other areas – for example, telecommunications, transport, travel and accommodation, and a detailed assessment of building layouts and occupancy. Staff that currently provide FM services to Defra will transfer to Interserve.

Embedding sustainable development into this procurement and linking it to service delivery, investment and carbon reduction was of fundamental importance. Although the in-scope services covered by SBEWS are frequently outsourced, few organisations have incorporated them into such a truly integrated service model, enabling Interserve to ensure sustainability is at the heart of its service delivery.

Uniquely, Interserve will play a major role in helping Defra to reach and exceed its sustainability targets in areas such as waste and recycling, energy and water consumption, carbon emissions and biodiversity. Interserve will use its RENEWABLES programme to improve:
• estate performance in areas such as combined heat and power systems;
• usage of sustainable materials such as timber, cleaning and food products;
• procurement and green supply-chain management; and
• behavioural change that inspires Defra and Interserve employees to work more sustainably.

“Defra’s vision required a fresh approach to service delivery,” explained Adrian Ringrose, Interserve’s Chief Executive. “Our response is a total accommodation service model that encompasses sustainability, exemplar FM service, asset management and space and workplace management. We have selected, combined and developed the best practices from across PFI, PPP and traditional FM contracting into a unique, responsive and innovative service model.”

Helen Ghosh, Defra’s Permanent Secretary, said, “I am pleased to announce that Interserve has been selected to take forward Defra’s Sustainable Built Environment and Workplace services contract. This contract will provide excellent value for money and cost savings. Interserve is committed to investing in the Defra estate and will play a major role in helping Defra exceed its sustainability targets so that we can lead the way in sustainable Government.”

Interserve Plc ( is a services, maintenance and building group operating in the public and private sectors in the UK and internationally. It offers advice, design, construction and maintenance services for buildings and infrastructure, runs the operational systems and back-office services that support them and provides a range of plant and equipment in specialist fields. Interserve is based in the UK and is a FTSE 250 company. It has revenue of £1.7 billion and a workforce of 50,000 people worldwide.

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