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What is a Carbon Reduction Plan?

From 30 September 2021, suppliers bidding for major government contracts with an anticipated value of over £5m per annum (Including Frameworks and DPS), will be expected to demonstrate their commitment to achieving ‘Net Zero’ by 2050 in the UK with the inclusion of a Carbon Reduction Plan. This new requirement will be included in all relevant notices, and will be utilised in England by Central Government Departments, their Executive Agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies. It is not mandatory for Devolved Administrations, but they can adopt this requirement on a voluntary basis.

What is a Carbon Reduction Plan (CRP)?

A CRP is a statement from suppliers identifying their current carbon footprint and the commitment they will make to help the UK achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050. The purpose of a CRP is to identify what impact the project will have on the environment, by asking suppliers to provide details of the environmental management measures that will be in place when fulfilling the contract.

The details suppliers will be expected to include within their plans are:

  • Confirmation of the supplier’s commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2050 for their UK operations
  • Provision of current emissions for the sources included in Scope 1 and 2 of the GHG Protocol, and a defined subset of Scope 3 emissions
  • Provision of emissions reporting in CO2e (Carbon Dioxide Equivalent) for the six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol4
  • Details of environmental management measures in effect, including certification schemes or specific carbon reduction measures the supplier has adopted, and will be applied when delivering the contract to support achieving Net Zero by 2050
  • Approval from the board of directors (or equivalent management body) within 12 months of the date of the procurement
  • Confirmation the CRP has been published on the supplier’s website

The evaluation of CRPs is a review of whether or not suppliers meet the requirements - for which they can pass or fail. A supplier’s CRP will not be compared to those of other bidders, and has no impact on the evaluation criteria chosen by the contracting authority.

A template for the CRP can be found within the PPN: Taking Account of Carbon Reduction Plans in the procurement of major government contracts

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