8 August 2008 | Jake Kanter
The OGC has appointed cabinet office minister Tom Watson to help ensure the government achieves its sustainable procurement objectives.
The Labour MP has this week published a plan, compiled by the OGC's Centre of Expertise in Sustainable Procurement, to meet the sustainability targets set out in the 2006 report Sustainable Operations for the Government Estate. These include objectives on reducing carbon emissions and waste, and improving energy efficiency.
The plan sets out strategies for public sector buyers, such as purchasing IT management software that switches off PCs when they are not in use. Other measures include using procurement frameworks and shared services, while encouraging more efficient use of government workspace.
Watson said: "A lower carbon economy is probably the single biggest issue facing us all today, and government has a crucial leadership role in limiting the effects of climate change."
OGC chief executive Nigel Smith said the plan was a significant step for the government. But he added: "There is still a long way to go for government to achieve its sustainability goals."
The government wants the UK to be among the leaders in the EU on sustainable procurement by next year.
In April, the Sustainable Development Commission said progress in the public sector has been "pretty disappointing" (news, 10 April 2008).