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Sustainable legacies for your communities

Our approach to sustainability

Procurement plays a vital role in establishing the essential partnerships between the public sector and industry as part of the UK’s journey towards a low carbon, sustainable future.

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Sector-leading frameworks

In the face of climate and ecological emergencies, we must work together to ensure our new-build construction projects have the lowest possible environmental impact; to decarbonise existing assets and to ensure the physical and natural infrastructure in our communities is resilient to the existing and future risks that climate change is creating.

We are the only public sector framework operator to have secured Champion status against the Construction Leadership Council’s Carbon Reduction Code.

That’s because our frameworks provide sector-leading approaches for truly sustainable projects, drawing on our work in three key areas.

3 keys to unlock sustainable procurement


Selecting the best partners


Frameworks with a clear mission


Continuous improvement & leadership

We select the very best consultancy, civil engineering, and construction partners to deliver your projects through our frameworks. We only appoint single providers to our frameworks reflecting their best-in-class capabilities.

  • Our delivery partners demonstrate compliance with the highest standards of public sector procurement - and deliver against our own Recommended Project Standards.

Our frameworks are not only designed to respond to and support your strategic response to the key environmental challenges you face. They also facilitate and enable sustainable outcomes in your projects.

All our frameworks provide

  • a structured delivery process that maximises the opportunities in your projects to reduce carbon, construction waste and water use

  • a structured delivery process that promotes biodiversity and effectively manage other environmental impacts

  • tailored performance management and KPIs that help you demonstrate success against your local priorities

Our work doesn’t stop when we’ve procured a framework. We work in partnership for a more sustainable industry, and to ensure the next project we support is better than the last.

We research, innovate, benchmark and seek to continuously improve the service offered to you through our frameworks and the industry as a whole.

In the sustainability space, we have convened collaborative working groups on:

  • Measuring and benchmarking carbon in construction

  • The adoption of our environmental standards and supporting the business case for net zero buildings

  • The adoption of Building Information Management (BIM) and design for manufacture

Research and innovation

Known for our procurement expertise, we are committed to raising the bar by establishing leading frameworks in response to climate emergency.

Our commitment to environmental protection goes beyond procurement.

In partnership with industry and academia, we continue to make an investment in research and development for future solutions in our efforts to cut waste in construction.

We are creating an integrated approach to measuring and reducing whole life carbon.

To support this, we are investing in the creation of Circular Models and developing efficient, standardised carbon capture practices that provide an accurate baseline that we can measure performance against.

We advocate and spearhead the improvement of waste management in construction by using digital methods (BIM) to share lessons learned and drive efficiencies in design.

Our environmental sustainability policy outlines the importance of our work in sustainable procurement, and our commitment to net zero and sustainable construction.

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Environmental policy

Read more about our commitment to the Environment.

Our approach in action


For your projects


Within SCAPE

Our recommended project standards are used to not only evaluate the capability of our supply chain during procurement, but also support you in establishing the sustainability brief for your projects.

Using the standards will empower you to recommend working practices and outcome-focused objectives, to enable the decarbonisation of your estate and a coordinated response to the climate emergency.

The standards were reviewed and endorsed by the UK Green Building Council and draw from the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge and the LETI Net Zero Design Guide.

Our sustainability policy outlines the importance of our work in sustainable procurement, and our commitment to net zero and sustainable construction.

We’ve committed to our own journey towards carbon neutrality by 2028, and outlined how we are going to do this in our Carbon Reduction plan.

In addition to our plan, we pledge to promote the following across our projects and the wider construction industry: creating project objectives that deliver low carbon outcomes, promote the circular economy and reduce waste construction, as well as the elimination of avoidable pollution and single-use plastics and biodiversity net gain.

  • We're committed to becoming a net zero organisation by 2028
  • We enabled the design of net zero buildings in our construction frameworks from 2020

  • We enabled the construction of new buildings that are net zero to operate from 2021

  • We're supporting the retrofit of existing buildings to deliver optimal in-use performance and minimise operational carbon
  • We're minimising the environmental impacts and embodied carbon across all construction projects
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Recommended Project Standards

Best practice standards for your projects

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