CECA: Procurement reform needed to achieve net zero

By Helen Adams
To achieve net zero, The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) has said procurement reforms are desperately needed

In the pursuit of net zero, The Civil Engineering Contractors Association has encouraged a move away from awarding contracts to the lowest bidder,

As an alternative, it has called for a commitment to future contracts being awarded to those who qualify as the Most Advantageous Tender (MAT) rather than Most Economically Advantageous Tender.


Low carbon solutions cannot be achieved at lowest cost

CECA’s report, Building Net Zero Roads, highlights that cheaper options rarely yield the best results and low carbon solutions cannot be achieved at minimal expense. 

“The challenges of climate change cannot be overestimated, and how we build and maintain our roads plays a key role in futureproofing our planet”, said Marie-Claude Hemming, CECA director of external affairs. “A key avenue for change is procurement reform, and the forthcoming Procurement Bill which will soon be published for Parliament’s approval offers the perfect opportunity to embed the principles of whole life asset cost into the procurement process, combined with innovative delivery.

“But we cannot do this alone. Our drive to net zero roads, is one small part of a combined national and global effort to reduce emissions. As such, CECA will continue to work closely with governments and public bodies on how [we] can sustainably build the world class infrastructure we so urgently need.”


Clear net zero targets needed

The CECA has released some guiding principles for what it believes will create effective procurement:

  • Full commitment to Most Advantageous Tender (MAT) and long-term Value For Money, with clear definitions and weighting to consider and address low carbon goals 
  • Commitment to the net zero goals in the Construction Playbook and Value Toolkit
  • Develop a consistent approach to project procurement and outcome delivery across all contracting authorities and projects
  • Regular client engagement to support journey to net zero
  • Net zero targets imbedded in Procurement Policy Notices
  • A determination to monitor carbon reduction performance from contractors

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