Creating a Carbon Reduction Plan for Public Sector Tenders

Nov 9, 2021Bid Management, Bid Writing, Research, SME Champions, Social Value, Tender Writing

We blogged a few months ago about the publication of PPN 06/21 Taking account of Carbon Reduction Plans in the Procurement of Major Government Contracts and how companies tendering for certain contracts would need to put together a Carbon Reduction Plan.

With COP26 bringing the environment to the forefront, we decided that now was the right time to provide some more support on developing a carbon reduction plan that not only meets the requirements but will help you win tenders.

What is a Carbon Reduction Plan?

A carbon reduction plan is supposed to include your current carbon footprint and your commitment to reducing emissions to Net Zero by 2050. It should help you to understand the impact of your business on the environment but isn’t intended to replace any internal carbon footprint calculations. It should be a high-level summary document that gives a clear picture of your compliance with the Net Zero ambition. This is not a Net Zero policy or similar, it is a specific document that needs to be created for and included with your tender submission.

Read the Government’s Technical Standard for the Completion of a Carbon Reduction Plan here.

What Goes in a Carbon Reduction Plan?

Carbon Reduction PlanThe Government provided a template alongside PPN 06/21 which can be used as the basis for your Carbon Reduction Plan. It includes:

  • A commitment to reaching Net Zero by a target year of your choice.
  • Your Baseline Emission Calculations – you can use a historical baseline if you have already carried out this exercise.
  • Current Emissions – if this is different from the baseline, you can include an up-to-date picture.
  • Emission Reduction Targets – if you have set targets for reductions, you can include them here.
  • Progress Against Targets – this can be included in graph form to illustrate what progress you have made so far.
  • Carbon Reduction Projects – this is the place to outline what initiatives your company has in place to meet your Net Zero ambition. This can include completed projects and those you have planned or in progress.
  • Declaration and Sign-off

How to Get Started

If you’re tendering for central government contracts over £5m in value, then you will need to include a Carbon Reduction Plan with your next tender. If you’re tendering for lower values, or to other public sector organisations, then they are not compulsory – yet, however, we expect the need for a Carbon Reduction Plan or similar to become a requirement across all tenders in due course. If you start now, you will be ahead of the competition.

The first step is to carry out a baseline exercise, to understand what your current emissions are. This is a specialist area, and consulting firms are available that can support you with this. For example, the Carbon Trust has a free introductory guide to carbon footprinting which can be downloaded here.

This will allow you to understand where the emissions are being generated in your operation, and to develop ways to minimise them. This might be through projects such as:

  • Reducing international travel
  • Moving to an electric fleet
  • Recycling
  • Moving to sustainable supplies
  • Switching to online meetings
  • Limiting journeys for business
  • Switching to a green energy supplier
  • Carbon offset

It is also worth working with your supply chain to encourage them to undertake the journey with you.

Bidding for Better

At Bid for Success, we work best with companies who are great at what they do, and have ambitions to do better both through company growth but also the way in which they ‘give back’ to the communities they work in. If this sounds like you, get in touch today to find out how we can work together for mutual success.



Adrian Corcoran

Adrian Corcoran is Managing Director and Founder of Bid for Success. Passionate about working with great businesses to win them new work, she and the Bid for Success team are here to help you with your bidding and work winning needs.


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