Sustainable procurement

Green public procurement is a government initiative which aims to reduce the environmental impact of public sector sustainable procurement. Each year the public sector spends approximately £160 billion on goods and services and is therefore ideally placed to encourage the development of sustainable solutions to procurement demands within the private sector.

In January 2009, The NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy for England was published, with an objective for the NHS to help promote change towards a low carbon society. The strategy provides key action points to promote sustainability and come in line with the Government’s overall targets under the Climate Change Act 2008 of ensuring that the net UK carbon account for the year 2050 is at least 80% lower than in 1990, with a minimum reduction of 26% by 2020.

The NHS has carbon footprint of 18 million tonnes CO2 per year, procurement comprising of 60%. Within this procurement proportion of the NHS carbon footprint, nearly 6 million tonnes CO2 can be attributed to the pharmaceuticals, medical instruments and equipment that the NHS procures. Emissions from this make up the largest contribution to the NHS carbon footprint. Imagine how this scales up across all public bodies within the UK!

All organisations have a vital role to play in encouraging suppliers to reduce carbon emissions, to disclose their approach to carbon management and to take sustainability seriously. Our experienced procurement team can help you do this through advice on the management of your procurement process and on the contractual controls that you place on your suppliers.

Key services and issues

  • Managing the overall procurement process efficiently and minimising wastage at the outset
  • Options and legal structures for working in partnership with suppliers to improve sustainable and low carbon procurement
  • Legal implications and contractual models for local procurement, whole lifecycle costs and the environmental impact of financial decisions in all aspects of procurement

Our work

We regularly advise organisations in all the public sector on the green issues in procurement generally, and specifically in relation to the key issues listed above.

Glossary of terms:

Click here to view our glossary of procurement terms for bidders and suppliers.

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