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Procurement law can help reduce emissions

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland is concerned that the opportunity to reduce Scotland's emissions and set an example of excellent sustainable public procurement practice, through the forthcoming Procurement Reform Bill, may be missed.

Civil society priorities for the Procurement Reform Bill

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland has joined forces with STUC, Enough Food for Everyone IF, SCVO and the Scottish Fair Trade Forum to identify our combined top 10 priorities for the Procurement Reform Bill.  


“Scotland has set world leading targets in our Climate Change legislation and we have the opportunity to show similar leadership in sustainable procurement.”
Scottish Government's Sustainable Procurement Action Plan, 2009The Scottish Government is currently preparing plans for a new law on how over £9bn of public funds in Scotland are spent: the Procurement Reform Bill. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland is concerned that the initial intention behind this Bill, to achieve more sustainable procurement, has been lost. Indeed, this change of focus is reflected in the renaming of the proposed Bill from Sustainable Procurement Bill to Procurement Reform Bill.
In summer 2012, the latest figures confirmed that Scottish emissions had increased and, indeed, the first legally-binding target set under the Scottish Climate Change Act had been missed. The proposed Bill could provide an opportunity to deliver significant emissions reductions in Scotland, contributing towards emissions targets.
There is positive work being done on sustainable procurement in Scotland, within and outside the public sector, but this lacks strategic drive, or a rigorous, cohesive and ambitious approach from government.
The Bill must be used as a framework to help facilitate a shift to Scotland’s public sector carrying out its business in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner. This would then be a Procurement Reform Bill worthy of its name in terms of progress towards sustainability of Scotland’s government and public sector performance.
Key points
  • This is a key opportunity for Scotland to deliver on climate change targets and signal a clear shift towards a low carbon economy.
  • This Bill must clearly set a strategic intention and purpose of government to procure all its products, materials and services sustainably.
  • The Bill must provide a legal framework to facilitate and achieve the transition towards sustainable procurement, with clarity on how environmental benefits will be safeguarded.
  • The Bill must give proper importance to environmental benefits alongside social and economic benefits.
  • Sustainable procurement requires an integrated approach from the start of the procurement process.
SCCS responded to the Scottish Government's Procurement Reform Bill Consultation.  Read the full  Stop Climate Chaos Scotland consultation response.