The Task

Action Sustainability supported a wide collaboration of eight Borough Councils in the West of London – Harrow, Brent, Ealing, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Hammersmith & Fulham, Richmond, and Wandsworth – as well as West London Waste (WLW), to develop a Low Carbon Procurement Toolkit.

The purpose of the Toolkit is to enable the inclusion of carbon considerations in the procurement and commissioning cycle in order to stimulate lower carbon outcomes from their purchasing power and actions towards Authority targets for net zero carbon.

The Action

Between April 2021 and March 2022, we undertook a programme of work to develop a suite of documents to support both procurement colleagues within Authorities and the suppliers from whom they procure. These included the following documents:

  • Low Carbon Procurement Policy: A common approach, set of principles, and aims for reducing carbon that all eight Local Authorities and WLW can adopt into their procurement frameworks.
  • The Toolkit: a step-by-step guide for procurement teams to embed low carbon considerations into their tenders through the plan-source-manage process, accompanied by a suite of questions that can be used in the Supplier Questionnaire (SQ) and Invitation to Tender (ITT) stages. These questions are based on an assessment of where risks and opportunities for carbon lie in the supply chain. The toolkit also contains supporting guidance on model answers. Importantly, it differentiates between the questions to ask SME suppliers and large suppliers, where relevant.
  • Supply Chain Charter: A charter for suppliers to sign up to demonstrate their commitment to the low carbon targets of the West London Authorities. This includes what is expected of the supply chain and how West London Authorities will support the supply chain to meet the low carbon targets
  • SME guidance: A stand-alone guidance document to sign-post SMEs to what to expect in the tender process and how to respond to SQ and ITT questions around low carbon.

We also developed and hosted training on how to use the toolkit for procurement and commissioning officers in the eight Local Authorities and WLW. In parallel, a course aimed at SMEs on how to engage in the procurement process on low carbon considerations and implement low carbon ways of working in their organisations.

This in-depth project has provided a robust set of documents that Authority Procurement teams can use to source lower carbon goods and services from their suppliers, therefore enabling them to contribute to their Authority’s net zero carbon targets.

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