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Vehicle emissions: sustainable procurement guidance

Guidance for public bodies covering the purchase of supplies and services that may be vulnerable to the effects of climate chnage.

Vehicle emissions: sustainable procurement guidance

Vehicle emissions

This guidance is concerned with the procurement of vehicles or the use of vehicles in delivery of products or service delivery.

It is part of a series of guides which support the sustainable procurement duty tools to help public sector organisations embed sustainability into their procurement processes.

Description of risk or opportunity

  • are vehicles routinely used in the supply of a product procured or in service delivery?
  • are there opportunities to minimise vehicle movements and/or associated emissions?

An example includes distribution and logistics, movement of material and/or people in service delivery.

Role of procurement

The Climate Change Plan, along with the Scottish Government’s Energy Strategy, provides the strategic framework for our transition to a low carbon Scotland.

Our plans in relation to climate change and reducing emissions are also set out in the Programme for Government, for example see A nation with ambition: the Government's Programme for Scotland 2017-2018.

We have identified the significant role that public sector procurement can have in securing environmental improvements, particularly in relation to vehicle emissions, and assisting the accelerated transition to a low carbon economy.

Appropriate procurement strategies can help stimulate economic development and encourage innovation.

The majority of contracts will involve vehicle transport to some extent, but the buyer must bear in mind the proportion of this activity to the scope of the contract.

It is also important to consider to what extent the contract represents a significant part of the business of a potential supplier. Only when these issues have been considered can the buyer assess whether vehicle emissions may be a core issue to the contract, i.e. 

A service contract that involves regular movement of people, equipment, materials or supplies as part of contract requirements (e.g. construction, FM, social care contracts); or

A contract for products and equipment that involves regular delivery of these to your site(s) (e.g. ICT deliveries).

Where the direct procurement of vehicles is included the Cleaner Road Transport Vehicles (Scotland) Regulations 2010 are applicable. The regulations require that energy and environmental impacts linked to the operation of vehicles over their whole lifetime are taken into account in all purchases of road transport vehicles, as covered by the Public Procurement Directives and the Public Service Regulation.

Transport Scotland has produced guidance on the procurement of road transport vehicles on behalf of public sector organisations in Scotland.

This guidance is provided to support the embedding of relevant and proportionate contract/framework requirements and the information and examples are provided in good faith. To the extent that this guidance contains any information concerning procurement law such information does not constitute advice to you.

The contents of this guidance is not to be construed as legal advice or a substitute for such advice, which you should obtain from your own legal advisers if required. Scottish Government is not and shall not be held responsible for anything done or not done by you as a result of this guidance.