Irish businesses should pay attention!
In June the UK government demonstrated its commitment to tackling climate change by announcing new measures requiring businesses to commit to net zero by 2050 as a condition of bidding for any major government contracts. They are the first country in the world to make climate responsibility a requirement for public tenders.
The new public procurement policy measures (PPN 06/21) will initially apply to all central government departments, their executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies, imposing new selection conditions when procuring goods, services or works with an anticipated contract value of over £5 million per annum.
After 30 September 2021 all public tenders over £5 million will require bidders to submit a clear and credible “Carbon Reduction Plan”, detailing their organisational carbon footprint along with confirmation of their commitment to achieve net zero for their UK operations by 2050.
The PPN is highly prescriptive, mandating the use of a specific Carbon Reduction Plan template. Existing Corporate Social Reporting (CSR) or Environmental Social Governance (ESG) statements will not be accepted. Bidders that fail to comply risk being excluded from the process. This will have significant repercussions along the entire supply-chain of businesses immediately impacted by the policy, as companies scramble to calculate their level 3 carbon emissions.
The adoption of Ireland’s Climate Action Bill 2021 and the publication of Ireland’s Climate Action plan are imminent. This will result in the implementation of mandatory carbon budgets at government department and county council level.
Irish businesses can expect the Irish government to adopt similar measures as part of their public procurement policy. I recommend businesses start planning now!
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