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17 May 2012 | Adam Leach
Companies including BT, BSkyB and Lloyds Banking Group have signed up to a procurement initiative to promote and develop low-carbon innovation in the catering, transport and renewable energy sectors.
The initiative, launched in partnership withThe Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group, will demonstrate demand for low-carbon technologies in order to drive innovation and investment from suppliers. It is also expected to lead to growth and jobs.
Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, part of BIS, said: “As the UK’s innovation agency, we believe there is huge potential to use the purchasing power of the public and private sectors to stimulate innovation and at the same time to deliver benefits to the economy and the environment.”
The initiative consists of a series of agreements. Signatories to the fleet compact, including the Government Procurement Service (which is tendering for replacement vehicle purchase, hire and lease frameworks for up to £800 million) and BT (which has a fleet of 26,000 commercial vehicles and 6,000 company cars), have identified a need for low-emission vehicles that offer range and refueling times comparable to conventional cars.
Lloyds Banking Group and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust are among those in the catering compact. They have pledged to lower the amount of carbon in food procurement and will look at areas including production, distribution and waste management.
Signatories to the renewable energy compact, including BT, which uses one per cent of all the UK’s electricity, identified a need for biomethane for their energy requirements.