Can Government Procurement Data Help Achieve Net Zero Targets?

In the face of climate change and growing environmental concerns, the global call to action for achieving net-zero emissions has never been louder. Governments worldwide are setting ambitious targets to combat climate change, aiming to balance greenhouse gas emissions with removals by the mid-21st century. We wondered, how can government procurement data help with this process? 

The Power of Government Procurement.

Government procurement refers to public sector organisations purchasing goods and services. This sector, valued at $13 trillion, holds huge potential for influencing sustainable practices and reducing carbon footprints. Governments, being some of the largest consumers in the world, have immense purchasing power. By aligning their procurement practices with net-zero objectives, they can drive significant change.

Here’s are some ways, data can help to achieve net-zero targets:

Transparency and Accountability.

Government procurement data provides transparency into how public funds are spent. This enables citizens, businesses, and policymakers to track expenditures, ensuring accountability in achieving sustainability goals.

Transparency also encourages competition among suppliers to adopt greener practices, leading to a more sustainable marketplace.

 Informed Decision-Making.

By analysing procurement data, governments can make informed decisions to prioritise sustainable products and services. Data-driven insights allow for smarter choices that align with net-zero objectives.

Analysing data can help identify suppliers with strong environmental credentials, facilitating the procurement of products and services with lower carbon footprints.

Setting and Monitoring Targets.

 Agencies can establish criteria for green procurement and use data to assess their success in meeting these goals. Regular tracking of emissions reductions in the supply chain becomes possible, making way for ongoing improvements.

Promoting Innovation.

Suppliers are incentivised to develop eco-friendly products and services to meet the demands of government buyers if sustainability goals are clearly set.This fosters a culture of innovation, leading to the creation of more sustainable solutions across industries.

Spend Network Carbon Dashboard.

In 2021 we started looking at how Government can reduce CO2 emissions through procurement. We set out to generate a CO2 value for every contract in the UK by using our state of the art machine learning tools.

Our analysis is conducted using the published data by public sector bodies in the UK.  You can view the dashboard here.

This research covers only the contracts that have been published, based on the volumes of payments made to suppliers that are not listed in Contracts Finder and other sources, there are large numbers of contracts remain unpublished in the UK and therefore the true nature of CO2 emissions cannot be fully understood at the present time. 

If you are looking for government procurement data, Spend Network holds data for more than 150 countries, and 700 sources, globally. Get in touch to find out more.

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