Public Procurement and Property
COP26 Celebrating women in climate policy and action!
One of today’s COP26 themes is Gender. With a focus on ‘progressing gender equality and the full and meaningful participation of women and girls in climate action.’. To champion this theme, we’re hearing from some of our inspiring women of procurement and property!
Cristina and Louise joined our Sustainable Procurement Policy Team just this year. Already they’re making their mark in ensuring the £13.3 billion public procurement spend achieves our climate and societal goals.
Cristina (C) is passionate about social and environmental justice and recently obtained an MSc in Sustainability and Environmental Studies at Strathclyde University. Cristina enjoys repurposing clothes on her sewing machine and getting up close to nature. She works on achieving social impact, including community benefits through procurement.
Prior to joining the Scottish Government, Louise (L) worked as a postdoctoral investigator studying ocean chemistry and climate at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She enjoys baking and playing guitar, and her work focuses on Climate and Procurement.
Could you share a bit about what attracted you to Sustainable Procurement Policy?
C: During my master’s, I researched the detrimental environmental and socio-economic impacts that arise from our global food system. This motivated me to pursue a career in sustainability and while I fully believe that as individuals we have a responsibility to do our bit to reduce our carbon footprint and consume more responsibly, it is at policy level where I consider the greatest changes can be implemented.
L: Prior to joining the Scottish Government, I worked as a researcher investigating the impacts of climate change on commercial fisheries. I got into this area of research because I wanted to help address the climate crisis and its impacts on people and environments. While my science answered the ‘What is the problem?’ question, I realised that I wanted to be focusing on ‘What can we do about it?’. Procurement policy appealed to me because of the contribution it can make in meeting net zero targets.
What are the key aspects of Sustainable Procurement you think everyone should be aware of?
C: With every service, product, building or piece of infrastructure we buy, there are myriad of community or wider social benefits that should be considered. For example, can employment opportunities be given to those most vulnerable in society? Can small businesses and third sector organisations offer innovative local services that multinationals cannot?
L: Emissions occur not only during the use of a product, but in production and end of life processing so we need to be thinking longer term. Procurement includes considering whether to buy: can you use or repurpose something you already have? If you have to buy, can carbon be reduced during manufacture, use, or end of life and across the whole supply chain supporting that life cycle?
How does your team provide support and guidance for Sustainable Procurement?
We think that the Sustainable Procurement Tools Platform are an excellent resource for incorporating sustainability into your procurements. We are happy to walk you through them. Alongside the Tools themselves, this platform hosts guidance on embedding sustainability into procurement, as well as the Climate Literacy eLearning.
What should we do if we want to learn more about Sustainable Procurement?
- At the start of the year we published a Scottish Public Procurement Note (SPPN 1/2021): Taking account of climate and circular economy considerations in public procurement. This policy note clarifies expectations with respect to climate and circular economy considerations, aligning climate change reporting duties and current procurement policy and legislation which already requires public bodies to consider and act on opportunities to improve environmental wellbeing.
- In October of 2020 we published a Scottish Public Procurement Note (SPPN 10/2020): Measuring social impact in public procurement. This policy note clarifies the Scottish Government’s policy on measuring social impact through procurement, including case studies from across the public sector, and signposts support for application of this policy in the form of the sustainable procurement duty tools and accompanying guides.
To hear from more women in procurement, listen back to our International Women’s Day podcast with three of our senior leaders!
For further information on public procurement in Scotland please visit gov.scot/procurement
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Tags: climate change, Community benefits, COP26, environmental benefits, gender, Public procurement, public sector, Scottish Government procurement, Scottish public sector, Sustainability, sustainable procurement, women and girls