The role of public procurement: Adapting to climate change

1 September 2009

Adapting to climate change – the role of public procurement (1.83 MB)

The public procurement market for capital projects, estimated at £47bn, is large enough to influence the wider market. This report examines the economic and legal case for incorporating climate change adaptation into public procurement. It also examines current public procurement processes for capital projects in detail. Of the two most commonly used types of procurement procedure for public construction projects, for example, the Competitive Dialogue procedure is more helpful for embedding adaptation than the Restricted procedure. Costs of incorporation are not disproportionately higher than otherwise, while benefits can be significant, including avoided costs on health and human life, avoided infrastructure damage and avoided loss of economic activity.

The report sets out key messages for policy makers, for contracting authorities, for industry organisations and for contractors. This study was funded by Defra, Environment Agency, City of London Corporation and the London Climate Change Partnership programme funders (Greater London Authority, Environment Agency and Thames Water).