Last reviewed 17 September 2021

Bidders for public sector contracts must have Net Zero Carbon Reduction Plans in place by the end of this month to be eligible for major government contracts.

From 30 September 2021, suppliers bidding for major government contracts with a value of over £5 million a year, will be required to demonstrate a commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2050 in the UK with the inclusion of a Carbon Reduction Plan (CRP). 

Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 06/21  Taking Account of Carbon Reduction Plans in the Procurement of Major Government Contracts, published by the Cabinet Office, applies to contracts advertised by “In-Scope” organisations which include central government departments, their executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies.

The introduction of the PPN follows publication of the UK Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy and the National Procurement Policy Statement, which both stress the role of social values, such as delivering carbon zero by 2050, in all key public sector procurement.

Details are presented here. The PPN includes a CRP template that suppliers should use in completing their CRP. This includes baseline emissions calculations for Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, current emissions reporting and, carbon reduction targets for all three scopes.

Suppliers are also required to provide details of completed carbon reduction projects and plans for further carbon reductions to meet net zero targets.

The PPN advises that environmental considerations and carbon reduction plans will be a factor in most, if not all, contracts and the application of this PPN will be relevant in the majority of cases. This may include, but is not limited to contracts which:

  • have a direct impact on the environment in the delivery of the contract

  • require the use of buildings by staff engaged in the delivery of the contract

  • require the transportation of goods or people used in the delivery of the contract

  • require the use of natural resources in the delivery of the contract.

Full details of the PPN including the Carbon Reduction Plan template are available from the government here.