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New Procurement Rules Set Out To Reduce Carbon in the Public Sector

The Government Commercial Function, a cross-government network procuring or supporting the procurement of goods and services for the government, has developed a new commercial policy measure for all central government departments and arm’s length bodies.

This measure requires all suppliers bidding for major government contracts to commit to achieving Net Zero by 2050 and publish a ‘Carbon Reduction Plan’. This supports the UK’s legal commitment to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.

In-scope organisations looking to procure contracts with an anticipated contract value above £5 million per annum should apply the Procurement Policy Note (PPN). This must be applied to relevant procurements advertised on or after the 30th of September 2021.

Those in-scope should also include a selection stage criterion which requires suppliers to provide a Carbon Reduction Plan confirming the supplier’s commitment to Net Zero and setting out particular details about their carbon footprint.

To help support this, the PPN includes standard selection questions that in-scope organisations can use in order to request this information from suppliers and explains how the responses to these questions should be assessed.

Key points to note are:

• Environmental considerations and carbon reduction will be a factor in the majority of contracts.

• In-scope organisations will need to document a decision if they decide not to apply the PPN.

• The standard selection criteria set out in the guidance to the PPN cannot be amended, and results in a pass/fail assessment. It is not expected that suppliers are scored for their responses or that any comparative assessment is undertaken. As with other selection criteria, it’s necessary to verify that the successful supplier meets the criteria prior to contract award.

• Carbon Reduction Plans will be a standard document used for all relevant procurements. It’s envisaged that plans will be published on supplier websites or will be available upon request and should be reviewed and updated annually to reflect changes in organisational structure and to take account of progress made in reducing emissions.

Organisations can find a Carbon Reduction Plan template within the PPN. For more guidance on the new procurement rules, please visit the government website.

To find out how Inspired Energy can help your business, speak to Wayne Brown on 01772 689250 or email wayne.brown@inspiredenergy.co.uk

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