Sustainable Procurement: A Vision for UK Infrastructure

Constructing Excellence

Constructing Excellence Board Member and Development Procurement Director at Heathrow, David Ferroussat, discusses the outputs of an Infrastructure Forum working group that he has been chairing on Sustainable Procurement. 

The report has highlighted the importance of a clearly defined and robust pipeline of projects to enable procurement behaviour that is sustainable in the long-term. Less than 8% of the projects and programmes currently listed in the IPA’s National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline are sufficiently certain that contractors can invest in the skills and technology required to deliver them. This is driving unsustainable behaviours such as procurement based of lowest cost rather than value for money; high risk transfer to the private sector; and inadequate investment in skills.

The Working Group has recommended that HM Treasury issue a Pledged Project List, including only those projects which have been approved for delivery, and those projects already underway should then be monitored through a Contract Footprint Framework to evaluate capacity and risk exposure to particular contractors.

These changes will create an environment for more sustainable procurement practices: using a definition of value for money that captures a wide range of factors contributing to Social Value; reducing the cost of competing for tenders through increased use of two-stage procurement frameworks; boosting the pipeline of projects by accepting unsolicited proposals across all Government Departments; creating a mobile Cabinet Office team with a five-year remit to develop procurement skills within Government Departments and public authorities.

Read the report in full from the Infrastructure Forum website.