Sustainable Procurement Tools

Overview – Description and Scope

This guidance is concerned with the procurement of energy-using equipment or the use of energy in the delivery of a service that is being procured (see below for examples) the aim being to minimise or, where practicable, avoid carbon emissions.

This guidance may be considered, where relevant, alongside other Climate Change guides – Carbon in Production - Vehicle emissionsClimate Change Adaptation. Opportunities for jobs and skills to support climate change targets may also be relevant so you may also consider the Employment, Skills and Training guide.

This guidance may be considered, where relevant, alongside Construction Policy Note (CPN) 1/2023 which draws attention to the publication of a new chapter (chapter 18) within the Client Guide to Construction Projects.  The guidance provides an overview of the client’s role in planning for sustainability in construction projects, particularly during the project initiation phase.

The guidance reinforces the criticality of pre-procurement consideration of intended outcomes and optimum methods of delivery of these, involving mature dialogue internally and with the market. It also provides relevant procurement guidance, aligned with the Procurement Journey, with example clauses within the Annex.   

Users of this guidance should have completed the Climate Literacy e-learning module, available from the Sustainable Procurement Tools portal.

Supporting the Sustainable Procurement Tools

The guidance is part of a series of guides which support the sustainable procurement duty tools to help public sector organisations embed sustainability into their procurement processes.

For example, the Sustainability Test includes the following question:  Will the product or service procured routinely involve consumption of energy (electricity, gas or other fuel) AND/OR is there an opportunity to minimise energy consumption, including through innovative solutions?

Examples include:

Electrical equipment purchased (e.g. ICT, laboratory equipment, white goods, audio-visual, data centres).

Energy used in service delivery (e.g. FM, printing, construction, professional services and others).

Life Cycle Impact Mapping (LCIM), which may be used to identify and assess the social and environmental impacts within the life cycle of a product or service, can be an easy way into the Sustainability Test for internal customers to understand relevant risks and opportunities, such as climate change and energy.

Disclaimer - This guidance is provided to support the embedding of relevant and proportionate contract/framework requirements and the information and examples are provided in good faith. To the extent that this guidance contains any information concerning procurement law such information does not constitute advice to you. The content of this guidance is not to be construed as legal advice or a substitute for such advice, which you should obtain from your own legal advisers if required. Scottish Government is not and shall not be held responsible for anything done or not done by you as a result of this guidance.

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