The Cabinet Office has very recently published a new Procurement Policy Note, PPN 06/21, aimed at ensuring delivery of the country's carbon budget commitments.
Under the new PPN, from 30 September 2021 onwards, all Government bodies procuring goods and/ or services with an anticipated contract value of over £5m per annum (excluding VAT) must require bidding contractors to commit to achieving Net Zero by 2050. Such bidding contractors must also publish a Carbon Reduction Plan.
The Carbon Reduction Plan must:
- confirm the contractor’s commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2050 for their UK operations;
- provide details of the contractor’s current emissions;
- set out the environmental management measures - including certification schemes or specific carbon reduction measures - that will be applied during the operation of the contract to achieve the Net Zero target;
- be updated at least annually; and
- be published or signposted on the contractor’s website.
The Cabinet Office has issued a template for the Carbon Reduction Plan along with guidance to support PPN 06/21. The latter document sets out the methodology to be used by Government bodies when assessing a bidding contractor’s Carbon Reduction Plan. The guidance stresses that contractors should be excluded from bidding for public sector contracts where there has been a failure to “make an organisational commitment to reduce their emissions over time to achieve Net Zero by 2050”.
The measures are intended to underline the UK’s global leadership in tackling climate change.
“As the world looks towards the UK and COP26 for leadership on decarbonisation, business is already playing a vital role in driving progress towards a greener future. The CBI has long supported using procurement policy to ensure government spending supports the UK’s environmental objectives and these changes will encourage more firms across the country to demonstrate their own commitment to net zero when bidding for government contracts. Partnership between the public and private sectors can make the UK a global role-model, not only in delivering vital public services but working together to tackle climate change.” Tom Thackray, Director of Infrastructure and Energy, at the CBI -