UK government launches £1 billion low-carbon procurement drive

Posted at May 20, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on UK government launches £1 billion low-carbon procurement drive

The UK government is launching a new initiative to drive low-carbon procurement that could be worth some £1 billion of spending.

The initiative led by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Prince of Wales Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change aims to create more demand for low- and zero-carbon products in three trial sectors – transport, renewable energy and catering.

The Departments of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Government Procurement Service are also participating in the drive, along with BT, EDF Energy, BSkyB and Lloyds Bank.

The signatories identify a particular need for low-emission vehicles offering similar range and refuelling capabilities as conventional vehicles.

BT, for example, has one of the largest vehicle fleets in Europe at 26,000 commercial vehicles and 6000 company cars – but notes with other participants in the scheme that battery-powered electric vehicles are not suitable for a significant proportion of fleets.

Under the renewables part of the agreement, the signatories indicate an interest in biomethane if it can be injected into the gas grid rather than having to be used where it is generated.

“The government has a key role to play in ensuring more effective supply chain engagement, and by signalling demand for low carbon innovation,” says Business Secretary Vince Cable.

Other participating organisations include Johnson Matthey, BAA, Philips, Thames Water, Kingfisher/BQ and a number of colleges and hospitals.

“We believe there is huge potential to use the purchasing power of the public and private sectors to simulate innovation and at the same time to deliver the benefits to the economy and the environment,” says Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board.

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Related stories:
Business leaders call on EU to redouble green growth efforts (3-May)
Business leaders urge UK government to stay on path to low-carbon economy (14-Mar)
Multinationals need to reduce emissions from supply chain, says report (3-Feb)

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