Procurement

Government buying standards

The DEFRA website provides information on Government Buying Standards with information to make it easier for government buyers to buy sustainably. Information includes:

  • Official specifications that all government buyers must follow when procuring a range of products
  • Information about sustainable procurement and how to apply it when buying
  • Direct links to websites with lists of products that meet the standards

 

The website provides links to all the current specifications by product group. All central government departments and related organisations must ensure they meet at least the mandatory Government Buying Standard when buying goods and services in the product groups.  The product groups are:

  • Buildings – covering a range of construction products
  • Construction projects – new builds and refurbishments
  • Cleaning products and services
  • Electrical goods – a range of electronic devices such as TVs and ovens
  • Food and catering services
  • Furniture
  • Horticulture and park services – including soil products
  • Office ICT equipment – computers, printers, scanners etc
  • Paper and paper products
  • Textiles
  • Transport
  • Water using products


For more information on each product group click here

Procuring for Carbon Reduction (P4CR)

The NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy recognises that procuring in a low carbon way is a major challenge. This is why Procurement professionals, the Department of Health and the Sustainable Development Unit have developed this guidance.
The P4CR toolkit aims to provide procurement professionals, as well as other staff, with guidance, methodologies and tools to identify and understand the carbon reduction opportunities for their organisation. Procuring for Carbon Reduction (P4CR) will help you reduce carbon emissions when buying goods and services.

Procuring for Carbon Reduction guidance documents:

  • P4CR Summary – This gives an overview of the P4CR work and sets it within its wider context.
  • P4CR Roadmap Slide set – This is a PowerPoint slide pack providing an overview of the P4CR programme and the level of carbon reduction required to meet UK targets. This pack will help you communicate the issues and identify what is being put in place to meet the challenges.
  • P4CR Workbook – This is practical guidance aimed at procurement teams. The guidance is structured around a procurement flexible framework with a maturity matrix (included separately). It will help you consider the carbon impacts of procurement decisions and deliver quantifiable carbon reductions.
  • P4CR Flexible Framework – The Flexible Framework identifies elements of management process and activity against five progressive levels of maturity.
  • P4CR e-learning Resource - A 4 hour course which will help develop awareness and understanding of the greenhouse effect and climate change.

 

Procurement hotspots

Research in 2010 and 2013 by the Sustainable Development Unit showed the health system carbon footprint was dominated by procurement with 65% of the footprint attributed to the goods and services procured .

The Goods and Services Carbon Hotspots report (2012) focussed specifically on the procurement of goods and services in the NHS.  The study identifies carbon hotspots in the supply chain comparing the carbon contribution of 18 categories of goods and services against six different NHS organisation types (acute, primary care and community services, mental health, ambulance services, specialist services and Strategic Health Authorities). 

The Goods and Services Carbon Hotspots report can be found here.


Procurement of high GHG pharmaceutical prescription items

The Carbon Footprint updates for NHS in England 2012 report calculates the GHG impact of NHS in England to be 24.7 Mt CO2e (1). The GHG emissions from procurement were estimated in the report as 15.2 Mt CO2e, representing 61% of the total footprint. Of this, 5.1 Mt CO2e is attributed to the procurement of pharmaceuticals representing 21% of the total footprint

This report focuses on identifying the likely priorities from all the pharmaceutical prescription items procured by NHS in England. Once these items are identified, targeted measurement through their manufacture and prescription can be considered as a next step.

See also Carbon Hotspots/pharmaceuticals section






  • The P4CR documents will help procurement staff reduce carbon emissions when buying goods and services for the NHS. It is a programme with a range of supporting materials, resources and tools.

    Download Document

  • This is a PowerPoint slide pack providing an overview of the P4CR programme and the level of carbon reduction required to meet UK targets. This pack will help you communicate the issues and identify what is being put in place to support the NHS in meeting this challenge.

    Download Document

  • This is practical guidance aimed at procurement teams. The guidance is structured around a procurement flexible framework with a maturity matrix (included separately). It will help you consider the carbon impacts of procurement decisions and deliver quantifiable carbon reductions.

    Download Document

  • The Flexible Framework identifies elements of management process and activity against five progressive levels of maturity

    Download Document

Procuring for Carbon Reduction Tools:


  • P4CR Self Assessment Tool– This is a self assessment tool which will enable you to track your progress using P4CR.
  • P4CR Self Assessment Tool - Demonstration version. As above but with dummy data added for demonstration purposes.
  • P4CR Hierarchy of Interventions Slides Set – This is a slide set explaining a simple concept that is central to the P4CR guidance. It aims to assist procurers in identifying the most appropriate interventions to take with groups of or individual suppliers.
  • P4CR SCOPE Tool - both a simple and E-class (2010) mapping version.

We have also added a guidance document and an excel tool that was developed in conjunction with Defra for the assessment of energy performance of electrical medical devices. Energy Efficiency of Medical Devices Protocol and Tool.

There are also a number of resources on the Defra website you may find useful: