Net zero targets can weigh heavily on local authorities

Much of the responsibility for achieving 2050 goals, particularly in relation to the built environment, is falling to local authorities and municipalities. However, the need for public accountability can slow project starts down and the short timescale requires bureaucracy to be minimised.

“We’re facing a climate emergency, we need to do things quickly, we need to do things collaboratively, we need to do things in a way that enables best practice and that gets us to where we need to be in a really quick way. Some of that is about avoiding the red tape of procurement,” said Chris Clarke, performance and improvement director at UK-based public sector procurement specialist Scape.

“The statutory deadlines that we’ve got as a country – 2050 for most of the UK and 2045 in Scotland — are big challenges and in terms of the built environment that’s 40% of carbon emissions,” Clarke added while talking to Real Asset Insight’s Richard Betts.

He said that for the public sector, “cutting carbon in buildings that they’re responsible for is one challenge, but also creating systems and approaches and regulatory frameworks to encourage citizens to cut carbon from their buildings and businesses is a very big part of local government and the public sector’s challenge.”

He said that Scape has created an applied and practical route to market contract and procurement process that allows public sector organisations to get into net zero projects quickly.

Scape was founded by local authorities to focus on efficiency and social impact from procurement. “It’s a quick route to market and almost like a brokerage service, but all the public procurement regulations taken care of.”

“Frameworks provide very rapid access to those solutions, and the other part of it is about bringing the best in industry together. Scape’s approach allows us to bring high quality contractors together with consultants to work with the client on these solutions. Speed and effectiveness, in terms of bringing the solutions to where they’re most needed quickly, is what this is all about.