Sponsored: Innovative funding options can help the UK achieve its net-zero goals

3 Jan 23

Joe Tilley, sustainability and strategic portfolio director at Crown Commercial Service, explores some ways to ensure public procurement contributes to cutting emissions.

Joe Tilley

Joe Tilley

The UK government set out its mission to make the UK carbon net zero by 2050. However, in April 2021, the government took this one step further, announcing the world’s most ambitious target to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990.

Since 1990, the UK has cut carbon emissions by more than 40%. In line with commitments under the Paris Agreement, the UK is the first major economy to pass laws committing to net zero by 2050.

Barriers to decarbonisation

Although the public sector is prioritising net zero in response to the climate emergency, decarbonisation of the public sector is a huge undertaking, and we have to move quicker if we are to achieve our aims. Capital investment and budget constraints, according to our research, are by far the biggest obstacles to implementing net zero strategies.

Additional barriers include:

  • a lack of inter-departmental and stakeholder coordination to maximise scale
  • limited access to affordable and readily available energy efficiency technologies
  • limitations of capacity and experience
  • insufficient information about their existing energy performance


Making procurement a force for good

Getting the best from your procurement spending allows you to maximise every pound, save time and redirect precious resources where needed. Procurement can be a force for economic, social, and environmental good when used to increase your buying power.

As the UK’s largest public procurement organisation, we handled more than £27bn of public sector procurement in 2021-22. We are working to ensure our agreements and the products and services within them continue to support the government’s ambition to reach net zero by 2050. At CCS, we are enabling all of our future agreements to decarbonise every pound of public sector spend, whether that is capital or operating expenditure.

Innovative funding options

A green transition requires a significant investment in cleaner technologies. With budgets already stretched, meeting the high upfront costs of net-zero projects, such as energy efficiency upgrades, green materials and solar PV panels, is an extra burden.

Under pressure to deliver carbon emission targets, public sector sustainability leaders and facilities management professionals need to find reliable funding sources. However, identifying reliable financial support for sustainability projects is cumbersome.

One-stop for open net zero grants and funding unlocks net zero barrier

Grant information is often scattered across multiple sites and in various formats. Many organisations lack the time and resources to find and apply for net-zero grants. Even after finding the funding, it’s complicated to apply, often requiring stretched resources to divert time to complete the application.

The CCS CNZ grants and funding page simplifies the process. By bringing everything together in one place, you can quickly see what funding is available, which unlocks a considerable barrier for your net zero aspirations.

Green asset financing

Our twin-agreement solution consists of a framework for accessing specialist asset finance advisors and a funding platform through the Leasing and Loans Dynamic Purchasing System.

The solution provides direct access to lenders, offering a range of leasing arrangements and loans to decarbonise your estate. The two solutions can be used independently or jointly to achieve significant commercial benefit through tailored, competitive finance.

End-to-end solutions for decarbonisation

CCS has many end-to-end solutions to help with decarbonisation initiatives across your procurement portfolio, from the obvious areas, such as energy and fleet, to areas you might not consider, such as technology hardware, document management, and logistics.

We offer 36 commercial solutions (procurement frameworks) in areas that will be key to accelerating the transition to net zero. These frameworks can help procure low-emission vehicles, greener energy solutions, including heat pumps and solar panels, construction using low-carbon materials, refurbishment and maintenance of buildings, energy-efficient cloud storage, and help remove single-use plastics from public sector supply chains.

Visit our CNZ website or get in touch at [email protected] to learn more about how we can support your decarbonisation journey.

  • Joe Tilly
    Joe Tilley

    Sustainability and strategic portfolio director at Crown Commercial Service

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