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.