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New Scottish Procurement Policy Note (SPPN): Taking account of climate and circular economy considerations in public procurement (1/2021)

Scottish Procurement has issued a new Scottish Procurement Policy Note 1/2021, which clarifies expectations with respect to climate and circular economy considerations, aligning recently strengthened 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.

The global climate emergency is recognised by the Scottish Government, COSLA, and public bodies across Scotland. As part of the national endeavour to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, the Scottish Government's Programme for Government 2020-2021 commits to action on the climate project impact of the £12.6 billion of annual public procurement.

The key points are:

  • The global climate emergency is a strategic national priority and forms a central tenet of a green recovery;
  • New regulations introduced in November 2020 require Scottish public bodies to report on, where applicable, “targets for reducing indirect emissions of greenhouse gases” by 2022;
  • Public bodies should demonstrate in their organisational Procurement Strategies how their organisation will prioritise and take account of climate and circular economy in their procurement activity and, reporting ongoing progress against these commitments in their annual procurement reports, demonstrating how they are using procurement to support Scotland’s response to the global climate emergency;
  • The Scottish Government’s Sustainable Procurement Tools are available to all public bodies and include indicators and guidance to support Scottish public sector buyers to consider and act on a number of climate change considerations;
  • While this SPPN focusses on public procurement, cross-functional working will be required to align corporate commitments and timelines to climate change commitments; and
  • We would encourage public bodies to focus their energies on effecting change with reduced emissions.

SPPN 1/2021 can be read in full on the Scottish Government website.

SDP Scotland

SDP is participating in the Procurement and Climate Change Forum (PCCF), contributing to the Supplier and Market Engagement strand. The PCCF has been established to review with representative bodies of key sectors how best it can mobilise the £11 billion of annual public procurement spend to support the climate emergency response. SDP is working with the Forum, and considering the ask/expectation of suppliers when bidding for public contracts - particularly with regard to ensuring that the ask/expectation is relevant, proportionate to the size of the tender, and is legal. Once confirmed, SDP will then factor these within future tender training to ensure that suppliers are up-to-date and prepared for questions that may be asked as part of a tender exercise.

The Supplier Development Programme has issued previous communications regarding SPPNs which can be viewed on the SDP Scotland website.

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