Local government and the path to net zero: What this means for tech suppliers

9 May 2022 01:07 PM

Summary and recording of techUK's local govtech procurement: challenges and opportunities in delivering environmental and social priorities webinar.

Around 300 councils have declared a climate emergency. Councils are taking action to reduce their own carbon emissions and working with partners to tackle the impact of climate change on their local area. On 26 April techUK convened local authorities and tech suppliers to better understand how councils are planning to meet net zero, how they are measuring and capturing environmental data, and the impact on public procurement and what this means for local govtech suppliers and the role they can play.

As local government increasingly includes sustainability requirements in tenders, in the webinar we heard how SMEs can be equipped to support councils tackle the climate change crisis not disadvantaged by requirements and discussed how local government and industry can better collaborate to solve one of the biggest societal challenges we face.

Jos Creese, Strategic Advisor, Advice Cloud kicked us off by sharing some practical tips on what public sector suppliers need to know when it comes to carbon net zero targets. Jos shared how tech suppliers should position themselves and best respond to tenders. Gavin Marshall, Sustainable Procurement Manager, Surrey County Council outlined how Surrey is starting to tackle the climate crisis through their procurement activities. They have taken a number of steps to further reduce their environmental footprint by making provision for the ongoing collection of supplier product and/or service specific carbon footprint data and engaging further with suppliers at all stages of the procurement process, from premarket engagement to contract management. The council are looking to collaborate with the tech industry to tackle the climate crisis, in areas of particular importance include new, innovative technology – particularly in the energy space for energy efficiency and renewables. Emily Bolton, Climate Change Officer, Cambridgeshire County Council shared the procurement tools they are using to measure and reduce carbon emissions. It was great to finish the session with Manish Malhotra – Associate Vice President – Head of UK Public Sector, Infosys on becoming a carbon neutral organisation and their journey to achieving carbon neutrality in 2020.

It was great to hear first-hand from local authorities how they are measuring carbon, better understand their expectation for suppliers and hear directly from suppliers what that means to them and how they can as well as providing techUK members with useful market insights on the weighting of sustainability in public sector tenders. You can watch the full recording below.