08 Jun 2021

Procurement Policy Note 06/21: Taking Account of Carbon Reduction Plans in the procurement of major government contracts

The Cabinet Office has launched guidance on taking account of Carbon Reduction Plans in the procurement of major central government contracts.

In 2019, the UK became the first major economy to adopt a legal commitment to achieve ‘Net Zero’ carbon emissions by 2050 with the amendment of the Climate Change Act 2008. In support of this, the Government Commercial Function has developed a new commercial policy measure for all central government departments. The new measure means that all suppliers bidding for major government contracts must commit to achieving Net Zero by 2050 and publish a ‘Carbon Reduction Plan’.

This PPN applies to all Central Government Departments, their Executive Agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies. These organisations should apply this PPN when procuring goods and/or services and/or works with an anticipated value above £5 million per annum. It also applies to framework agreements and dynamic purchasing systems only where it is anticipated that the individual value of any contract to be awarded is greater than £5 million per annum.

The provisions of this PPN should be applied to any relevant procurements advertised on or after 30 September 2021.

As part of the selection criterion, bidding suppliers will be required to publish a ‘Carbon Reduction Plan’, confirming the supplier’s commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2050 in the UK, and setting out the environmental management measures that they have in place. The plan must meet the standard as set out by the guidance on this PPN, including, but not limited to:

  • Confirming the bidding supplier’s commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2050 for their UK operations.
  • Providing the supplier’s current emissions for the sources included in Scope 1 and 2 of the GHG Protocol, and a defined subset of Scope 3 emissions. 
  • Providing emissions reporting in CO2e (Carbon Dioxide Equivalent) for the six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol4.
  • Setting out the environmental management measures in effect, including certification schemes or specific carbon reduction measures you have adopted, and that you will be able to apply when performing the contract and that support achieving Net Zero by 2050.
  • Publication of the CRP on the supplier’s website.

For more information on the guidance please follow this link.

On 28 June techUK will be holding a webinar on The Race to Zero: developing a strategy to tackle your climate emissions. In this session attendees will hear from peers at the frontline of corporate climate action and hear the evidence on why setting a climate strategy is no longer a nice to have, but essential in securing innovation support, winning new business, and attracting the best talent to your business. Make sure to book your place now!