The COVID-19 outbreak has had an immeasurable impact on us all, with economies across the globe continuing to reel from its multi-fold effects. But there’s no denying that the crisis has also led to some unexpected positive outcomes. With months of closures across transport networks, high streets and offices, COVID-19 has forced us to re-evaluate our relationship with the environment and shift our perceptions around carbon neutrality in the UK.
Investing in a green recovery can help build long-term resilience into our economic systems as we build back from the pandemic. As the government works to build the largest economic recovery packages in modern history, there is unprecedented potential for the nation to meet the UK’s national target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and work towards a new future. Many local authorities have committed to reaching the ambitious target even sooner: in July 2019, Bristol City Council boldly adopted the goal of achieving a completely carbon neutral city by 2030. But for this to happen, returning to ‘business as usual’ is not an option. To adopt a truly resilient green recovery, a complete reset is needed.
The public sector is at the forefront of driving innovative change to support the UK in its mission to carbon neutrality. Now more than ever, contracting authorities must look to outcomes-based procurement processes that prioritise social value and net-zero in all infrastructure and building projects. Such ‘green projects’ will also help to deliver the government’s levelling-up agenda by opening up employment opportunities, delivering higher long-term cost saving and laying the foundations for sustainable long-term economic growth.
Transport is now the biggest emitter of carbon across all sectors in the UK, highlighting a need for fundamental transformation in the way we travel. Housing has also been identified as a key priority: heating and hot water in homes are the UK’s second largest source of emissions and, with many of the UK’s homes draughty and inefficient, the housing sector offers a clear area for improvement.
But how can public sector organisations ensure they are accessing the right suppliers to match their complex construction and key infrastructure requirements while maximising their social value activity to achieve net-zero targets?
At Bloom, we believe procurement is a lever to drive net-zero. Through our pre-accredited supply chain, buyers can access a Housing and Communities category of spend with the capability to deliver works associated with the development of Green Homes and support the public sector’s net-zero goals. With social value deeply embedded in our DNA, we have a proven track record in empowering the public sector to deliver on their net-zero goals, build a sustainable supply chain and deliver real, measurable impact to local economies. Our recently published annual Social Value Report revealed that Bloom successfully embedded over £28.2 million in social value activity within just 12 months.
As the delivery partner of the innovative NEPRO³ framework, Bloom have facilitated the successful delivery of expansive infrastructure projects across the country on behalf of the public sector. With a specific category of spend devoted to highways and transport projects, we can ensure compliance and a full audit trail of spend for the public sector, allowing them to focus on the wider strategic aims of these vital projects that will deliver economic growth in the future.
When utilising our dynamic marketplace, the public sector can benefit from a diverse range of architects, civil engineers and cost consultants with the capability to work either remotely or on-site. These suppliers range from VCSEs and local SMEs to established organisations already doing business in the marketplace, ensuring that buyers always have the right providers available to match their complex requirements. Unlike traditional frameworks, our buyers also have unrestricted access to any supplier in the UK and award via direct award, offering a fast and compliant route to project delivery.
As the nation restarts its engines, so to speak, it’s paramount that public sector organisations pair the UK’s economic recovery with its decarbonisation ambitions. Organisations must now commit to building long-term resilience through projects to ensure that the planet, and the people who live on it, can thrive in a post-pandemic world. If you’d like to discuss how Bloom can help your organisation deliver on your net-zero goals, get in touch with us today.Supporting economic recovery