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Date updated: 14/09/2023

As part of our aim to be net zero by 2040 across our value chain, what the City Corporation buys, sells, invests in and leases to others, it is important that we change how we buy. Purchased goods and services is our third largest category of emissions regarding our value chain (Scope 3 emissions). Raw material availability and price add to the need for us to procure more sustainably.

We have established the Purchased Goods and Services Programme so we can collaborate with our suppliers to deliver low carbon and sustainable products and services without significant cost increases. Engaging with our supply chains will increase the opportunity to buy “green” products and services so they become the default purchase options.

We have implemented  an action plan for our 25 highest carbon emitting suppliers for goods and services and we have positive feedback from them. The plan reviews what steps the supplier is taking to reduce its carbon and how it can contribute its expertise to City Corporation contracts.

We want to promote sustainable procurement when our departments purchase goods and services in a way that is beneficial to the built environment and their budget. 

We have collated industry best practices  and produced the Low Carbon Procurement Guidance. It aims to support taking climate action, embedding equity, diversity and inclusion and protecting human rights throughout the City Corporation as well as for communities and suppliers.

Combustion vehicles are a key contributor to carbon emissions and reduce the air quality along their routes. Our suppliers often have to travel between sites which generates substantial CO2 emissions.

We encourage our suppliers to switch their vehicles to the electric equivalent (EV). As EVs produce no emissions while on the road and minimal air pollution, the carbon emissions from travel will be reduced.

While online catalogues are useful the “greener” choices are not always promoted or easy to distinguish, leaving cost as the only deciding factor when considering a purchase.

Working with suppliers, we are increasing the visibility of “green” options by adding visual cues and creating specific catalogues to help staff make more informed choicies. The definition of “green” varies so we include items which have a percentage of recycled content, are recyclable or are made from plant based/ biodegradable material.

We have partnered with Avarni, to provide a carbon reporting tool that will deliver better visibility of our supply chain emissions. It will enable us to model and forecast future emissions scenarios, without passing  on cost.

The carbon reporting tool will help the City Corporation to move away from spend based data and towards more accurate information. The tool will initially be used with our top 25 more carbon intensive suppliers (excluding construction). It is anticipated that moving away from spend based data will show a reduction in reportable carbon emissions.