Further supplementary memorandum submitted
by the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC)
The following note contains excerpts from
the Procuring the Future Sustainable Procurement National Action
Plan: Recommendations from the Sustainable Procurement Task Force
The UK Government's 2005 Sustainable Development
Strategy set out the ambitious goal to make the UK a leader in
the EU in sustainable procurement by 2009. The strategy recognised
that this was important in moving towards a more sustainable economy,
firstly because the scale of the public sector spend on goods,
services, works and utilities, at 13% of GDP, is capable of stimulating
the market for more sustainable goods and services. Secondly,
because only with government leadership can the consumption patterns
of business and consumers be shifted onto a more sustainable path.
Acknowledging that simply continuing with current efforts would
leave the UK short of that goal, the Secretary of State for the
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Chief Secretary to
the Treasury established a business led Task Force under the chairmanship
of Sir Neville Simms to devise a National Action Plan to deliver
the UK objective.
The Task Force identified 174 Government spend.
A prioritisation process resulted in 10 areas of spend being identified
for priority action. Construction procurement (building and refit,
highways and local roads, operations and maintenance) was identified
as the first of these 10. The report also identified that attention
should be focused on sectors where it is anticipated that there
will be a significant increase in future spend (eg Buildings Schools
for the Future Programme, London 2012 Olympic Park Construction).
England's schools are currently undergoing a
major programme of capital investment, bringing with it tremendous
opportunities for building sustainable schools, which can act
as models of sustainable development in their communities. Over
£2 billion per year is being invested in rebuilding or refurbishing
all secondary schools through the Building Schools for the
Future (BSF) programme, and a Primary Capital Programme
to rebuild or refurbish half of primary schools will be launched
shortly. This programme therefore offers a huge opportunity to
put sustainable procurement into practice and make a reality of
whole life value. Sustainable Development Commission research
shows there are opportunities for maximising the sustainability
benefits from the schools' building programme through:
introducing energy efficiency measures
into the 500 secondary schools that, under current plans, will
undergo "minor refurbishment". These schools will save
5,000 tonnes of carbon (tC) per year, with a five year payback,
after which those schools benefit from an average of £5,000
cost savings per year; and
using microgeneration as demonstration
technologies in the 3,000 secondary and 9,000 primary schools
due for major refurbishment or rebuild. If just 10% of these schools
install microgeneration, a minimum of 23,400 tC could be saved
with payback on the capital cost within the timescale of a PFI
contract (25-30 years). This would raise awareness in schools
and contribute to the commercialisation of microgeneration technology.
Using biomass heating (as in the Bristol Building Schools for
the Future project) because the benefit of running cost savings
will be achieved.
To realise these benefits means ensuring that
capital and running costs can be looked at togetherwhereas
these have traditionally been split in the schools funding framework
even for PFI contracts. It means moving away from artificial limitssuch
as the cost per m2 figure. And it means exploring options such
as Energy Services Companies (ESCOs) who can provide capital funding
for the sustainable energy systems in return for a long term energy
supply contract. This approach could be expanded to cover a range
of utilities including security, water, and ICT services. The
move towards a managed service for ICT by the Building Schools
for the Future programme is evidence of the economies available.
The Task Force identified that public sector
organisations have limited capacity to deliver sustainable procurement.
It also identified opportunities to build sustainable procurement
training into existing training programmes. The Task Force recommended
that public sector organisations establish effective Management
Information Systems to support delivery of sustainable procurement;
upgrade procurement capacity and train staff; achieve a specified
standard of sustainable procurement capacity over the next three
years; and those with procurement spend over £1bn per annum
appoint a Commercial Director to the Board by April 2007.
The Task Force called on HM Treasury to simplify
and clarify existing guidance on whole life costing and to reinforce
the requirement that it is applied in public spending. All public
organisations are called upon to examine their budgeting arrangements
to make sure they encourage and support sustainable procurement.
Big capital spend programmes should be reviewed to make sure they
are meeting high sustainability standards, starting with Building
Schools for the Future.
The Task force called on HM Treasury and DfES
to work with Building Schools for the Future programme to ensure
that it is meeting high sustainability standards and to learn
lessons for other capital projects.
Meetings in the past six months between
SDC and DfES to discuss BSF
|1 November 2006||Parmjit Dhanda MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Children, Young People and Families|
SDC: Sir Jonathon Porritt, Chairman
|19 October 2006||Chris Wormald, Director of Academies; and Sally Brooks, Head of Schools Capital|
SDC: Stewart Davies, Business Commissioner; Jake Reynolds, Senior Advisor, Education
|21 August 2006||Chris Wormald, Director of Academies; Sally Brooks, Head of Schools Capital; and Andrew Thorne, Advisor, Schools Capital|
SDC: Jake Reynolds, Senior Advisor, Education; Lizzie Pomeroy, Senior Advisor, Buildings
|AprilJuly 2006||Informal meetings every four to six weeks between Chris Wormald and Jake Reynolds|