Sustainable Procurement Tools


Glasgow City Council (“the Council”) operates a fleet of around 1,400 vehicles. The Fleet is a vital component in delivering frontline services to the residents of Glasgow and for many, is the most immediate visual representation of the Council’s services.

The majority of the Fleet has an age profile that is not ideal to meet the increased demands of operational requirements of seven day a week operations and more important achieving fuel efficiencies. Concurrent with the requirement to replace the Fleet, is the need to make a fundamental step-change in vehicle emissions and lead in the adoption of alternative fuels, including hydrogen.

The Council’s Fleet Strategy (Strategy) was approved by the City Administration Committee on the 12th September 2019. The Strategy sets out the Council’s ambitions and commitments to transform its Fleet away from traditional fossil fuels and adopt new emerging technologies which includes the purchase of zero emission vehicles to support the Council’s ambitions of achieving net zero by 2030.

The Requirement

As at March 2020, the majority of the 1,400 vehicles did not meet Net Zero carbon emissions. A procurement work plan was implemented to support the transition to zero emission vehicles, including the supply of relevant alternative fuel.

Procurement Overview

To support the implementation of the Fleet Strategy and delivery of the associated procurement workplan, the Corporate Procurement Unit (CPU) has worked collaboratively with its key stakeholders in Neighbourhoods, Regeneration and Sustainability and colleagues in Legal, Financial and Insurance Services, to design and develop the sourcing strategies for its Fleet requirements relating to the first phase of the transition to net zero vehicles, details as follows:

  Contract Title

*Purchase of 11 Gritters (Chassis) and Conversion to hydrogen dual fuel and conversion of 10 existing gritters to hydrogen dual fuel


Purchase of 

Quantity of 30 – 2-Seater Electric Vans &

Quantity of 70 – 5- Seater Electric Vans
3 Purchase of Two Electric - 16 Seater Mini-buses
4 *Conversion of Refuse Collection Vehicle to Hydrogen Fuel Cell Power
5 Contract Hire of 180 Electric Cars
6 Lease of 16 Electric Panel Vans
7 Contract Hire of 20 Electric Vehicles
8 Installation of Vehicle to Grid Vehicle Charging Infrastructure
9 Purchase, Maintenance & Repair of 26-ton Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Refuse Collection Vehicles

*To support alternative fuel supply of hydrogen for dual fuel gritters and refuse collection vehicles as detailed above, the Council has concluded two further Open Procedure procurement exercises for the following:

  1. Supply of a Mobile Hydrogen Refuelling Managed Service which will address the interim requirement of hydrogen for dual fuel gritters.
  1. **Supply and Dispensing of Fuel Cell Purity Grade Green Hydrogen which will address long term requirements.

**It should be noted that the hydrogen refuelling station will be the first of its kind in Glasgow, producing green hydrogen in a safe, reliable and cost-effective way. The contract has been designed in such a way to enable the supplier to supply commercially available hydrogen for other fleets. 

In addition, a procurement exercise is also underway for the provision of Technology/Telematic Hardware and Software Solutions which will help to monitor electric vehicle optimisation, driver behaviour, vehicle health, Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) faults, vehicle mileage and accident crash data. This suite of procurements was conducted using various compliant procurement routes.

This case study will predominantly focus on the Open Tender for the *Purchase, Maintenance & Repair of 26-ton Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Refuse Collection Vehicles (RCVs) which will result in the delivery of 19 RCVs by 31st October 2022, under a phased delivery schedule.

To effectively deliver the above projects, the CPU invested significant time in extensive market research and engagement which involved issuing a Prior Information Notification and a Capability & Capacity Assessment.  The Capability & Capacity Assessment was undertaken at the beginning of the procurement exercise and  involved sharing a draft specification and incorporating numerous questions regarding cost drivers, commercial models, whole life cost considerations, delivery timelines, risk etc with relevant suppliers. The responses helped the commodity team and CPU in identifying the appropriate route to market, the creation of an outcome focussed  detailed specification, tailored award criteria which supported sustainability and the fleet strategy objectives and subsequently would assist the Council in working towards its ambitious target to deliver net zero by 2030.

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