Publication / 04 Dec 2010

Carbon Footprint of London’s Local Authority Procurement

Key findings and recommendations from the first year research of a truly ground-breaking initiative to reduce the carbon footprint associated with £8 billion of London’s public procurement.

Capital Ambition commissioned Trucost to measure the carbon footprints of the supply chains of London local authorities. The study provides insight into the main sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their procurement. Trucost engaged with suppliers of goods and services and shared information with local authorities about opportunities to cut carbon, which could also result in cost savings.

On average, every £ million of expenditure by local authorities in London resulted in 337 tonnes of GHG emissions, measured in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Local authorities with smaller carbon footprints than the average are well placed for controls on carbon and could help others identify carbon savings in their supply chains.

Local authority carbon footprints provide a baseline for targets to reduce emissions from supply chains. A range in the carbon footprints of procurement from 167 tCO2e per £ million of expenditure to 674 tCO2e/£ mn suggests that some local authorities could make big improvements in carbon efficiency. Plans to cut carbon can focus on sectors that add most to carbon footprints. The overall supply chain carbon footprint is mainly due to the high carbon intensity of sectors such as utilities and construction.

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