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Social Value in Tenders – Fighting Climate Change

Social Value in Tenders – Fighting Climate Change 

Wednesday 22 November, 2023

Following on from our previous blogs 'The Increasing Importance of Social Value in Tenders', and Social Value in Tenders - Tackling Economic Inequality, this latest piece seeks to explore further the theme of fighting climate change. 

The fight against climate change has become a key priority for individuals, governments, and businesses and we see this within the scoring of public sector tender responses.  

As small businesses, we have a responsibility to contribute to this global effort by integrating social value and sustainability into our tendering processes. By aligning our business practices with climate change initiatives, we can not only enhance our chances of securing new contracts but also make a positive impact on society and the environment. 


Responding to the question within your tender submission 

Typically, when looking at our social value commitments in this area, there is one key element that buyers are looking for – can you demonstrate effective stewardship of the environment. This can be broken down into four key components: 

  • The amount of materials and products you can sustainably source  

  • How you will build diverse supply chains with sustainable relationships 

  • The steps you can implement to reduce your carbon footprint to net zero 

  • What you can do to create greener and cleaner places 

You aren’t necessarily required to address all of these fours areas but it’s a good lens to look though so let’s look at each of these in a bit more detail.  


The amount of materials and products you can sustainably source  

As a small business owner, there are several approaches to this you can take when looking at the materials you source.  

Are you working with, or can you work with suppliers who prioritise environmentally friendly practices and have certifications such as Fair Trade, organic, or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)?  

Have you reviewed the current materials/products you use to see if there are alternates available like using recycled materials or renewable energy sources? 


How you will build diverse supply chains with sustainable relationships 

Building these will take a strategic approach and commitment.  

It will be important to be clear on why you want to build these diverse supply chains, what this means to you and what you will be looking for from your suppliers. Once you know this you will need to communicate this to your existing and potential suppliers. 

You will also need to define the metrics you will use to measure supplier diversity and sustainability performance, and make sure your suppliers know this and are aligned. 


The steps you can implement to reduce your carbon footprint to net zero 

Are you measuring your carbon? You will need to evaluate your current position to understand your existing impact and identify where improvements can be made. If you can’t find ways to reduce your carbon footprint, are there any opportunities to offset it? You should consider putting in place a Carbon Reduction plan. If you need any help with this, our team can support you on this. 


What we can do to create greener and cleaner places 

How can you impact the space around you? There’s the literal space you occupy but also the broader community and environment. 

From creating green spaces within your premises to supporting your staff with such schemes and initiatives as cycle to work, tree planting and looking at how you manage your building and land, the opportunities are broad.  


Here are some examples of what our clients have done to bring these ideas to life: 

- - - A client specialising in home mobility solutions ensures 100% of the plastics used are recyclable and they also use hybrid vehicles with low CO2 emissions 

- - - Reporting on waste has led to waste reduction for one of cleaning client’s customers saving one customer £5,000. This same company are also committed to using eco-friendly cleaning products 

- - - An adaptation specialist has 3 ULeZ compliant vehicles and one electric vehicle in use in London 

- - - An aviation company has had a 1.2% reduction in consumables 

- - - A medical consumables manufacturer has committed to a 5% reduction in carbon emissions by 2025 with a carbon reduction plan which would see carbon emissions reduce by 80% by 2039 


The list goes on but hopefully, this gives you an idea of some of the things you can do. Make your response personal to your business but try to align with the buying company’s initiatives where possible. 

The importance of looking at these areas cannot be underestimated. With up to 10% of marks being awarded based on what your business is doing around social value, and fighting climate change falling into this, you must have a robust plan in place. 

If we can help at all, please get in touch 

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