Rebecca Evans MS, Minister for Finance and Local Government
Published in March 2021, the Wales Procurement Policy Statement set out 10 principles for procuring well-being for Wales. While the statement in its entirety supports decarbonisation, principle 6 specifically states:
“We will act to prevent climate change by prioritising carbon reduction and zero emissions through more responsible and sustainable procurement to deliver our ambition for a net zero public sector Wales by 2030.”
A considerable amount of work has been undertaken to support the wider Welsh Public Sector to deliver decarbonisation through procurement. This includes publication of the Wales Procurement Policy Note (WPPN) 06/21: Decarbonisation through procurement - Taking account of Carbon Reduction Plans which mandates use of Carbon Reduction Plans for Welsh Government procurement contracts over £5m from April 2022. This WPPN promotes the use of Carbon Reduction Plans as best practice to Welsh Public Sector bodies who are also committed to the journey to net zero.
Action on decarbonisation has been further supported by WPPN 12/21 ‘Addressing CO2e in supply chains’ that provides guidance to the Welsh Public Sector on strategies to take action on emissions arising from procured goods and services.
We will shortly be publishing revised and updated versions of the Sustainability Risk Assessment tools that support procurement planning for goods and services contracts by prompting consideration of sustainability risks and opportunities.
The proposed Social Partnership and Public Procurement Bill will also place a duty on public bodies to undertake socially responsible procurement which is likely to include reporting on carbon reduction.
The Welsh Government is currently undertaking a procurement exercise that will deliver a Procurement Centre of Excellence (PCoE) pilot to share best practice, and provide a live insight into Welsh procurement policy, policy enablement and training. There will be two phases to the pilot, these being the alpha and beta with the alpha stage reporting on deliverables and providing evidence for a decision to proceed.
The initial policy area that the PCoE will focus on is “Net Zero Wales”, and in particular, policy guidance detailed in the Wales Procurement Policy Note 12/21: Decarbonisation through procurement – Addressing CO2e in supply chains. The Services pilot will need to deliver a tangible improvement in this focus area by the end of the alpha stage to evidence the progression to the beta stage.