Bidders for public sector contracts who want to stay in the game must ensure they have robust Sustainability Plans.

Last summer, the Cabinet published:

Procurement Policy Note - Taking Account of Carbon Reduction Plans in the procurement of major government contracts. This obliges all Central Government Departments, their Executive Agencies and Non Departmental Public Bodies when procuring goods or services with a value exceeding £5million p.a. to include in any assessment of a supplier's technical and professional ability, as a selection criterion, a requirement for bidding suppliers to provide 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 and which will be in effect and utilised during the performance of the contract.

More recently we have Welsh Procurement Policy Note WPPN 12/21: Decarbonisation through procurement - Addressing CO2e in supply chains - the purpose of which is to provide public sector bodies in Wales with advice on the actions that can be taken on Scope 3 Green House Gas (GHG) CO2e emissions with a particular focus on the purchased goods and services element. Actions include consideration of Purchased Goods and Services (PGS) and covers all the activities that go with supporting the manufacture and delivery of PGS. This includes the Waste disposal (End of use/ End of life down-stream) and wastes arising from Estates functions, covered by Facilities Management contractual arrangements that can be controlled via the procurement process. For example by:

  • Contracting with businesses organised on Circular Economy (CE) principles (e.g. eco-design, design for disassembly)
  • Utilising / requiring Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) or suppliers take back of products and/or packaging.
  • Including waste disposal requirements in contracts or establishing separate contracts for waste disposal that require waste segregation to minimise residual 'non-recyclable' waste and create revenue streams for recyclable materials in recyclate markets.

For more information on ESG and Sustainability, visit Freeths Energy, Waste & Sustainability page where you can watch recordings of our previous webinars.


The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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