Public Procurement Group (PPG) – focusing on climate change
Environmental considerations are already at the heart of our sustainable procurement duty. To meet government targets and aspirations, however, we need a step change. That requires a focus on ‘what’ we buy and ‘how much’ we buy as well as ‘how’ we buy.
The PPG initiated a dedicated procurement and climate forum to tackle this issue, chaired by Scottish Government with representatives from across the public sector. It met for the first time on 11 November 2019. They reviewed what leading organisations are doing through procurement to influence the change in behaviours required to tackle the climate emergency, before discussing the next steps.
It was agreed that:
- there are many forums out there which have been set up to tackle elements of climate change with good practice emerging. The PPG need to prioritise where the forum can offer leadership and make the biggest contribution to the climate emergency in the short, medium and longer term. Our ultimate aim is to help transform thinking, so that climate considerations becomes embedded in behaviours.
- we need to promote a ‘design for reduce, reuse and recycle’ concept within specifications – where ‘reduce’ includes consideration of lowering emissions, reducing packaging, plastics and the consumption of products and services. For example, it is better to define a requirement for a fleet of ultra-low emission cars (focusing on ‘what’ we buy) than to define a requirement for a fleet of diesel cars and consider a suppliers’ green credentials as part of our procurement process.
- we must collaborate with our suppliers to influence supply chains on reducing emissions and waste. There should be a focus on manufacturing and packaging processes, transport and logistics.
- we need to recognise that it is the commissioners, service delivery managers and budget holders that often hold the key on what we buy. Reducing the demand or consumption of products and services requires a corporate appetite, supporting policies and local governance. Driving change will require clear direction from the top and some tough decisions for local organisations.
In the meantime, Scottish Government launched two separate public consultations that touch upon procurement: