Business Climate Guidance Case Study: Greater London Authority (GLA) Group

Going full circular economy at the GLA group

Embedding responsible procurement practices to reduce emissions and transition to a zero-waste circular economy.

GLA premises at City Hall near Tower Bridge.

The Mayor has set his ambitions to deliver a zero carbon city by 2030 and has committed that the GLA group[1] will lead by example.  These commitments are set out within its Responsible Procurement Policy[2]. The group is using its public procurement spend to provide social value and environmental sustainability benefits for London. It is using circularity throughout the procurement lifecycle to help maximise the use of resources and extend the life of assets, supporting the transition to a low carbon economy.

The GLA group collaborates with its supply chain to help London meet its ambitious targets:

  • London Fire Brigade is exploring new procurement approaches to develop a prototype zero emission capable pumping appliance, aiming to be the first to develop a vehicle of this type in the UK. It is also procuring personal protective equipment via a managed service arrangement that means it remains property of the supplier. This encourages uniform longevity via repair and reuse whilst complying with stringent product standards.
  • Transport for London is one of the largest consumers of electricity in the UK and is planning a major emissions reduction programme, by sourcing the electricity for the tube direct from renewable electricity suppliers via a Power Purchase Agreement. In addition, TfL and the GLA are working together to understand the potential benefits of and mechanisms for procuring renewable energy across the GLA group.
  • The Metropolitan Police Service is working with suppliers managing the National Uniforms Managed Service contract to divert waste from landfill. So far, ~ 10% of uniform items, including boots and de-badged trousers, have been reused or recycled. This includes Kevlar from protective vests which is now recycled into vehicle brake and clutch pads. Single-use clothes provided for detainees are now being cleaned and provided for reuse elsewhere.
  • Work is underway to understand consumption based (scope 3) emissions across the group and there are efforts to measure and reduce embodied Greenhouse Gas emissions in GLA group construction projects. London Legacy Development Corporation has committed to a 15% reduction in embodied carbon in new construction, compared to an industry baseline.

Key Drivers:

  • Policy: Commitment to delivery of the Responsible Procurement Policy.
  • Ambition: To create a resource efficient and resilient city with high environmental quality and accelerate London’s transition to a low carbon and circular economy.

 Challenges:

  • Early market engagement: This enables communicating the intention to transition towards a circular economy and reduce emissions throughout the supply chain.
  • Behavioural change: Requires a lot of engagement and communication with internal stakeholders. Having contracts with environmental KPIs can help.

Benefits:

  • Jobs and skills: Londoners will benefits from job creation and skills and training.
  • Environmental improvement: e.g. improves air quality and helps mitigate climate change.

[1] The GLA Group is made up of the following organisations; Greater London Authority; Transport for London; Metropolitan Police Service; Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime; London Legacy Development Corporation; and Old Oak Common and Park Royal Development Corporation.

[2] www.london.gov.uk/rp-policy

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