Did you know: 1 University, 2 Housing Associations and 3 Councils are installing up to 15k Solar Panels over the next 3 years. And that is just the tenders for one week! Someone out there must be predicting a scorcher this summer!

It is so nice to see the Public Sector looking for alternative means of energy, after all it was in 1997 (Kyoto Protocol) the UK Government promised to reduce greenhouse gases by 12.5% by 2008 to 2012. Last year the UK Government vowed its ‘greenest year ever’ and promised central government would reduce its carbon emissions by 10% within 12 months  60.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases are created by the UK each year and the Public Sector is only responsible for 3%. That is any easy enough target to reduce, only 5.7 million tonnes!

So what can suppliers do to help this cause and win the contracts? Think for the future.

  • If the UK Government is looking to reduce carbon emissions, get on board, what are you doing as a supplier to reduce carbon emissions?
  • If you supply solar panels, that’s great, but what will be next? The energy solutions we are currently using are only second generation, we have only just made a dent in what we could be achieving. Again, think ahead and that is for everyone, not just solar panellists (can they be called that?)
  • Have a well written environmental policy stating how your organisation is taking every measure to cut down on your carbon footprint. And not just office recycling, think outside the recycling box! Have these ready long before you are filling out your PQQ.
  • Keep up to date with what is happening in the procurement world, read all your tender notices, even if  it just to see what direction the Public Sector is moving in. Be one step ahead of your competition!
  • Don’t just look at the tender notices you can do now, but also look at the ones you might be able to do in the future, and pick deadlines. ie. By 2013 we will be the leading suppliers of hot-dry-rock geothermal power. Again, solar power may be what people want in 2011, but what will they want the next time the contract is renewed?
  • Check out websites like The Carbon Trust, WRAP and Department of Climate & Energy Change (just to name a few), see what they recommend the Public Sector be doing to reduce their carbon footprints, and do it first! It is important to include what you are doing in your PQQ, this will show initiative.

It is not just up to the Public Sector to cut down carbon emissions, it is up to everyone. Sit down and think really hard about how much you are really doing as an organisation to help cut down your carbon footprint, because I believe all public contracts will be expecting more from suppliers. Recycling your can of Diet Coke after lunch is not enough any more, do more, and think to the future.

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