Green procurement ''not enough'', say Tories

21 January 2009

21 January 2009 | Paul Snell

Improving the procurement of low-carbon products in the public sector will not be enough for the UK to meet its reduction targets, according to the Conservative party.

In its latest policy green paper, The Low Carbon Economy, the party said it would be adopting proposals made in its Blueprint for a green economy study last year to use public sector "financial muscle" to drive sustainable purchasing.

The policies include setting out a timetable to ensure a proportion of government spend is with carbon-neutral suppliers, adopting a policy of buying only eco-friendly cars, establishing local supply chains for food and increasing energy performance standards across the government estate.

There was also a pledge to establish proper baselines so any reduction in emissions can be measured and reported correctly.

However, the document warned this alone would not be enough to hit targets, without boosting the use of technology to change the way the public sector carries out its business. The party promised to implement video-conferencing to reduce emissions and make cost savings on travel.

But there was no reference to the previous study's proposal to make the OGC report on the public sector's progress on sustainable procurement annually (News, 20 September 2007).

A spokesman told the party continues to look at recommendations made by the committee, but this report "wasn't the right place to deal with that issue".


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