Green procurement: Buyers for Climate Action
The Government of Canada is determined to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within government operations and purchased assets through the Greening Government Strategy.
In support of the strategy, collaboration with other governments presents an opportunity to:
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions from supply chains
- increase and improve green procurement efforts
About Buyers for Climate Action
Buyers for Climate Action (BCA) is a coalition of leading green buyers who purchase a significant volume of goods and services in the following categories:
- real property
- information and communications technology
- vehicle and marine fleet
- goods and services that improve climate resilience
In 2021, the BCA was established to help drive the transition to a green, net-zero carbon economy by collaborating on green procurement. The BCA shares knowledge and collaborates on best practices to:
- accelerate and improve green procurement
- increase capacity of buyers to work with suppliers to provide greener goods and services
The BCA is funded through the Greening Government Fund and has been granted $1,332,000 over three years (2021 to 2024). The BCA will use this funding for projects and for the BCA’s secretariat, which is part of the Centre for Greening Government at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
The BCA undertakes various initiatives including:
- advancing disclosures by suppliers
- developing model procurement specifications in the following areas:
- net-zero carbon and climate resilient buildings
- low carbon construction materials
- zero emission fleets
- green information and communications technology
The BCA brings together leading green buyers who purchase a significant volume of goods and services annually. Members of the BCA must:
- be committed to net-zero carbon operations by 2050
- be committed to lowering carbon emissions in procurement
- have a green procurement policy or strategy
Examples of policies, strategies or plans that current members of the BCA have set out include the:
- Government of Canada’s Greening Government Strategy and Policy on Green Procurement
- Government of British Columbia’s CleanBC Roadmap to 2030
- Government of Québec’s 2030 Plan for a Green Economy and Government Sustainable Development Strategy 2023–2028
- City of Vancouver’s Green Vancouver
- City of Toronto’s TransformTO Net Zero Strategy
- City of Montréal’s Climate Plan 2020-2030 and Montréal 2030: Citywide Strategic Plan
Life-cycle carbon in real property
The Life-Cycle Carbon in Real Property Working Group was established in 2022 to deliver on green procurement related to real property. The working group aims to collaborate and share best practices for:
- implementing new procurement requirements for embodied carbon
- developing construction standards
One of the working group’s accomplishments is the Standard on Embodied Carbon in Construction, which sets minimum requirements for design and construction services to disclose and reduce the embodied carbon of major federal government construction projects, including renovation or construction of new buildings or engineering assets.
The standard currently covers concrete; work is underway to expand the standard to include both steel and life-cycle assessments for whole buildings.
The Greening Fleet Working Group was launched in September 2022 to increase efforts in fleet greening through information-sharing and collaboration with key jurisdictions. The working group is a network where members can:
- exchange knowledge and resources
- obtain feedback and support from other subject matter experts
- collaborate on fleet-greening initiatives
Over the past year, the working group has:
- identified common priority areas of work for their on-road fleets
- convened meetings about the procurement of telematics and infrastructure to charge electric vehicles
Members of the working group are also collaborating to advance greening in other areas, such as medium- and heavy-duty fleet vehicles and police vehicles. One of the working group’s accomplishments has been the development of a guide to procuring telematics.
The Climate Resilience Through Procurement Working Group was launched in December 2022. The working group’s objective is to use procurement to promote climate resilience.
The working group produces deliverables, such as market research, capacity-building tools, and sample procurement specifications and contract language.
The group’s first accomplishment was the development of climate resilience criteria, which can be applied in procurement processes, in collaboration with ECPAR (Espace québécois de concertation sur les pratiques d’approvisionnement responsable). These criteria were developed as an addition to the Green Procurement Criteria for Cloud Services.
The Green Procurement Criteria for Cloud Services was developed in collaboration with ECPAR and sets out criteria to consider when procuring cloud services. The criteria:
- addresses energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, climate resilience, waste management, and general contract performance
- provides examples of supporting documents intended to aid in compliance that can be requested from bidders
- highlights the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals addressed by the criteria
You can request a copy of the Green Procurement Criteria for Cloud Services by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact the Buyers for Climate Action (BCA) by email at email@example.com.
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