Date
12th November 2021

Keep 1.5 alive – that’s been the call throughout COP26, which holds its final day of activity on Friday. To mark the end of a summit characterised by calls for action instead of PR-driven pledges, UK Universities Purchasing Consortia (UKUPC), of which SUPC is a member, has released its carbon reduction plan for SMEs.  This guidance aims to help minimise the impact of the HE sector’s activities on the environment.  

While large suppliers may have the resources (if not always the will) to significantly lower their carbon emissions, it can be hard for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who may have limited expertise and financial or human resources to deliver meaningful change.

Larger suppliers already have to report their emissions, but the bulk of organisations supplying the HE sector in the UK are SMEs – changes within this supply base can have a meaningful impact.  

The guidance, which is being shared with all awarded SME frameworks suppliers, covers:
  • Why carbon reduction is important
  • Why the HE sector wants suppliers to commit to a carbon reduction plan
  • The benefits of having a carbon reduction plan
  • Ways to reduce your carbon footprint
  • Steps in developing a plan
  • Suggested template
  • Useful resources
  • Key terms glossary

Members can also use this guidance with suppliers that sit outside of consortia frameworks. 

Tackling Carbon Emissions in Cities

On the penultimate day of the COP26, discussions focused on supporting cities to reduce emissions through new funding aimed at impacting everything from public transport systems to waste management. Here are a few highlights: 

  • The UK pledged £27.5m of new funding for the new Urban Climate Action Programme (UCAP) to support cities targeting net zero. The programme, funded through International Climate Finance, will support cities across Africa, Asia and Latin America to take climate action and create a sustainable future, by helping them implement innovative climate action plans to become carbon neutral by 2050 and prepare low-carbon infrastructure projects to reduce emissions.
  • UCAP will help cities to implement projects like low-emission public transport systems, renewable energy generation, sustainable waste management, new climate-smart buildings codes and climate risk planning. By showcasing what is possible, city and regional authorities can demonstrate to other cities and national governments the opportunities available to drive action.
  • The programme will be delivered in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a global network of cities focused on climate action, and GIZ, the German development agency.
  • UCAP will build on the flagship Climate Leadership in Cities programme, which successfully supported megacities in Latin America and Asia to develop ambitious climate action plans consistent with the Paris Agreement; including developing pathways to net zero by 2050 and committing to ambitious interim targets by 2030 to keep 1.5 degrees within reach.

You can find all of the COP26 highlights across the two-week conference, here.


For support with your sustainable procurement needs, please contact SUPC’s Head of Category Management Jayne Thorn.