Carbon Net Zero: What public sector suppliers need to know
This year, we've seen a lot of talk about Carbon Net Zero plans - especially in procurement circles. Here's the scoop.
In April of this year, the government announced the world’s most ambitious climate change target into law, to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. Following this announcement, The Cabinet Office subsequently published a Procurement Policy Note (PPN) to help the Government achieve their target. This blog breaks down the target and examines what public sector suppliers need to do next.
What is Carbon Net Zero?
Carbon Net Zero describes a state where any Carbon Dioxide (CO2) or Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions left over after decarbonisation are offset by negative emissions, resulting in no net GHG impact.
For further definitions around carbon emissions and neutrality, check out these definitions by Plan A Academy here.
What does the target mean?
The UK has legislated to end its contribution to global warming by 2050, in effect reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 100% against 1990 levels. Upon announcing the target, the Prime Minister stated, “The UK will be home to pioneering businesses, new technologies and green innovation as we make progress to net zero emissions, laying the foundations for decades of economic growth in a way that creates thousands of jobs.”
The government has already laid the groundwork to end the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050 with the following:
- The Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, an ambitious blueprint for the world’s first low carbon industrial sector, slashing emissions by two-thirds in just 15 years.
- The UK has agreed to the North Sea Transition Deal to support the oil and gas industry’s transition to clean, green energy while supporting 40,000 jobs.
- Ahead of COP26, the government launched the campaign, Together For Our Planet, calling on businesses, civil society groups, schools and the British public to take action on climate change.
- The Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution
- The government’s Energy White Paper, will help the UK’s trajectory towards meeting the new sixth Carbon Budget.
What does this mean for public sector suppliers?
On the 5th June 2021, the Cabinet Office published Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 06/21, titled “Taking account of Carbon Reduction Plans in the procurement of major government contracts.” The aim of the PPN is for public sector suppliers to help the Government achieve its ‘Net Zero’ target. It is recommended that suppliers get to grips with the PPN and understand its requirements.
PPN 06/21 requires suppliers to commit to achieving Net Zero by 2050 and publish a ‘Carbon Reduction Plan’.
This includes, but is not limited to:
- A commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2050 for their UK operations.
- Provide current emissions for the sources included in Scope 1 and 2 of the GHG Protocol, and a defined subset of Scope 3 emissions.
- Provide emissions reporting in CO2e for the six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol.
- Set out their environmental management measures.
- Publication of the CRP on the supplier’s website.
Click here to view the Carbon Reduction Plan Template.