28 Mar 2024
by Weronika Dorociak

Cabinet Office publishes Carbon Reduction Contract Schedule containing sustainability T&Cs for public contracts

The Cabinet Office has published a Carbon Reduction Contract Schedule to assist all central government departments, their executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies with integrating sustainability goals into public procurement contracts. The Schedule has been accompanied by a new Procurement Policy Note (PPN 01/24).

The primary purpose of the Schedule is to reduce contract-level GHG emissions to support the UK government’s commitment to achieve net-zero by 2050. As such, it includes T&Cs that support decarbonisation goals, cover reporting of GHG emissions, set targets for suppliers or mandates them to develop reduction plans to actively monitor and mitigate GHG emissions during the contract's duration.

Part B of the Schedule includes sector specific paragraphs for technology, IT hardware asset management and cloud services:

Sector

Paragraphs

Technology

1. The Supplier shall comply with the EU Data Centres Code of Conduct (the “Code of Conduct”). The Supplier shall ensure that any data centre used in delivering the Services is registered as a “Participant” under this Code of Conduct or provide evidence that the best practices therein have been adopted.

2. When designing, procuring, implementing and delivering the contract, the Supplier shall ensure compliance with the technology code of practice, procure “ENERGY STAR” certified products and adopt appropriate best practices set out in ISO 50001 for Energy Management.

IT hardware asset management

1. The Supplier shall ensure that IT Assets procured for the delivery of the contract shall as a minimum comply with Government Buying Standards (“GBSs”) where those standards exist for the asset type concerned i.e. laptops, desktops, workstations, scanners and printers.

2. Where the IT asset is not covered by GBSs the Supplier shall ensure compliance with the GBSs criteria, covering mobile phones, imaging equipment (including printers, scanners, and copiers), and office IT products being monitors/computer displays, personal computers (laptops, notebooks, desktops, thin clients), keyboards, external power supplies and discrete graphic processors.

3. For asset types where there are no GBSs or EU Green Public Procurement criteria available, the Supplier shall ensure that the models of asset deployed have Energy Star certification (using “ECMA” or equivalent declarations agreed with the Authority) and comply with “EPEAT” or equivalent schemes for sustainable management of resources and energy over the asset lifecycle.

Cloud Services

1. When hosting the Services in the cloud, all data centres used either by the Supplier [or by its Sub-contractors] in provision of the Services, must be operated with due regard for energy and cooling efficiency and in accordance with the EU Data Centres Code of Conduct (the “Code”).

2. In operation of the cloud service, all available power management facilities on Supplier Assets are to be utilised to deliver the service such that standby and other low power modes are activated to match availability to demand, paying due regard to the Service Levels as specified in the Service Levels Schedule of the Standard Contract Templates.

3. The Supplier shall provide the Authority with a copy of the annual energy return required by the Code, in respect of the energy used in the provision of the Services.

 

The decision to include any of the T&Cs in contracts is at the discretion of the in-scope organisations. Before incorporating the Schedule or applying it to existing contracts through contract variation, it has been recommended that they evaluate their own understanding of carbon reduction initiatives, the supplier's maturity, the contract's value and estimated carbon emissions, and its criticality.

We recommend all techUK members involved in public contracts or interested in public procurement to familiarise themselves with the Schedule and its implications.

 


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By 2030, digital technology can cut global emissions by 15%. Cloud computing, 5G, AI and IoT have the potential to support dramatic reductions in carbon emissions in sectors such as transport, agriculture, and manufacturing. techUK is working to foster the right policy framework and leadership so we can all play our part. For more information on how techUK can support you, please visit our Climate Action Hub and click ‘contact us’.

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Contact the team

Weronika Dorociak

Weronika Dorociak

Programme Manager, Sustainability , techUK

Craig Melson

Craig Melson

Associate Director for Climate, Environment and Sustainability, techUK

Mia Haffety

Mia Haffety

Programme Manager - Telecoms and Net Zero, techUK

Lucas Banach

Lucas Banach

Programme Assistant, Data Centres, Climate, Environment and Sustainability, Market Access, techUK


techUK - Committed to Climate Action 

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Visit our Climate Action Hub to learn more or to register for regular updates.

By 2030, digital technology can cut global emissions by 15%. Cloud computing, 5G, AI and IoT have the potential to support dramatic reductions in carbon emissions in sectors such as transport, agriculture, and manufacturing. techUK is working to foster the right policy framework and leadership so we can all play our part. For more information on how techUK can support you, please visit our Climate Action Hub and click ‘contact us’.

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Contact the team

Weronika Dorociak

Weronika Dorociak

Programme Manager, Sustainability , techUK

Craig Melson

Craig Melson

Associate Director for Climate, Environment and Sustainability, techUK

Mia Haffety

Mia Haffety

Programme Manager - Telecoms and Net Zero, techUK

Lucas Banach

Lucas Banach

Programme Assistant, Data Centres, Climate, Environment and Sustainability, Market Access, techUK

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Authors

Weronika Dorociak

Programme Manager - Sustainability