Elcom is launching a simple cost-effective and fully compliant solution – called CarbonWise – that can help organisations to win more business from the public sector. The launch of our new CarbonWise tool this month prompts me to highlight some of the benefits of having a carbon action plan in place when bidding for public sector contracts.

Why is making a commitment to sustainability important?

A carbon action plan demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and working towards the UK target of net zero by 2050. The UK government has also declared its goal of reducing carbon emissions 75% by 2035, a target that puts UK organisations under some pressure.

As of April 1st, having a carbon action plan in place is now mandatory for NHS contracts over £5 million including VAT. At the moment, this only affects a small minority of larger suppliers, but we’re already seeing the Crown Commercial Service highlight whether or not other suppliers have carbon action plans in place and it seems likely that this requirement will soon apply to smaller suppliers and other government organisations as well.

Having a robust carbon action plan can provide several benefits for businesses, including competitive advantage, cost savings, improved reputation, and compliance with regulations. Businesses wanting to stay competitive over the coming years will have to take steps to demonstrate carbon efficiency, both to remain compliant with regulations and to attract forward-thinking clients and partners.

How can suppliers demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and reducing carbon emissions?

Putting together a robust carbon action plan is the best way to demonstrate that your organisation has considered the environmental impacts of your operations and taken steps to reduce your carbon footprint to a reasonable degree.

There are many advantages to creating a carbon action plan, including:

Competitive advantage: By demonstrating a commitment to reducing carbon emissions, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors who do not have a similar plan. This can help businesses stand out during the bidding process and increase their chances of winning contracts.

Cost savings: Implementing a carbon action plan can help businesses identify inefficiencies and areas where they can reduce energy consumption and waste. This can result in cost savings for the business, which can help them provide more competitive bids.

Improved reputation: Taking action to reduce the carbon footprint can improve the business’s reputation with customers and stakeholders, including public sector clients. This can help businesses build stronger relationships and win more business in the future.

Compliance: The government has set targets to reduce carbon emissions, and public sector clients may have specific requirements for suppliers to comply with these targets. By having a carbon action plan, businesses can demonstrate that they are committed to meeting these regulations and can provide assurance to clients that they are a responsible and sustainable supplier. If your organisation is the first in its market to put together a carbon action plan, you’ll also gain the first-mover advantage.

At Elcom, we want to help organisations across the UK to work towards national targets for carbon neutrality and monitor their own carbon emissions closely. CarbonWise is a new tool that allows organisations to calculate their carbon emissions from a series of simple inputs and create an action plan to achieve compliance.


  • Shaun Toner

    Shaun Toner is Head of Supplier Engagement, supporting our 37000+ suppliers on our MultiQuote platform. Shaun has a real passion for helping SMEs find and win public contracts. This passion has bled through to our buyers were he now helps our Education establishment procurement requirements. Shaun Toner grew up in Glasgow  and attended Glasgow University, where he Studied  Political Science and Government. He has since furthered his education with further courses in agile leadership and management. Since 2015, Shaun has helped hundreds of suppliers navigate the highly fragmented world of the public sector by simplifying the challenging market around identifying relevant contract opportunities and navigating the complex procurement processes.

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