Businesses must commit to net zero to bid for UK gov contracts

Article by Adam Duckett

ALL companies bidding for UK Government contracts must have committed to produce net zero emissions by 2050.

The UK Government’s new procurement rules cover businesses bidding for contracts for goods, works or services worth more than £5m (US$6.8m) a year. The measures come into force immediately as the Government pushes for greener measures ahead of the UK hosting the COP26 UN climate conference later this month.

“Government spends £290bn a year on procurement and it’s right that we use this spending power to green the economy,” said Steve Barclay, Minister for the Cabinet Office.

The new rules require businesses bidding for contracts to have committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, and must provide a carbon reduction plan setting out current scope 1 and 2 emissions covering emissions from its own operations and energy use, as well as some scope 3 emissions including business travel, employee commuting, transportation, distribution and waste.

Tom Thackray, Director of Decarbonisation at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said: “The scale and breadth of spend makes public sector procurement an essential tool in driving net zero progress across all sectors and regions of the country. This new policy will provide a sharp focal point for public-private partnerships.”

The measures will apply to contracts issued by all central government departments as well as hundreds of so-called executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies including the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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